Tag: hand-crafted tiles

  1. Interior Trends 2023 | Check out this year's style ideas

    Interior Trends 2023 | Check out this year's style ideas We’re passionate about keeping up to date with the latest interior trends, researching innovative styles and new products to forecast what will dominate the interiors scene during 2023. Our tile portfolio offers a wide range of designs, textures, finishes, colours and formats. We have an extensive range to ensure you’re choosing the most up-to-date styles for an interior that you’ll love for years to come. Our in-house designers, Jane Addis and Becca Keenan have done extensive research for 2023 interior trends, carefully selecting the following three key themes that are set to be everywhere throughout the upcoming year. This year we’ve focused on shining a light on timeless tiles from some of our most loved collections with enduring style and quality.   Surface The Surface trend is all about our tiles that we’ve sourced from around the world, highlighting in particular our carefully curated range of contemporary tiles. Think clean lines, mixed formats and unusual surfaces, this trend is great for those looking to achieve a modern yet glamourous finish. Incorporating texture into a scheme is a great way to add detail and interest, without committing to bold colours or patterns. This trend focuses on an eclectic mix of tiles, showcasing some of our most interesting formats and textured products that have been meticulously sourced by our expert teams. Creating a luxe look in your home can be easily achieved by pairing together certain design elements. ‘This trend seeks to bring deep tones, contrasting surface finishes and subtle textural detail together to create an elegant feel with rustic touches. We’ve styled black marble hexagons with distressed pink brick tiles, green and gold accents and natural textures to create a look embodying the Surface trend.’ Becca Keenan, New Products Designer.   Colour Glossy jewel-tones, rich reflections and impact, the Colour trend is all about our glazed tiles. Bolder colours have been slowly making their way to the forefront of design, with vivid ceramics becoming a popular choice for those looking to inject some colour into kitchens, bathrooms, hallways and throughout the home. When it comes to embracing the Colour trend with tiles, the options from our ranges are almost endless. Illustrating a radiant feel, this trend features a range of artisanal tiles that are glazed in our factory. Take a look at bright pink and blue wall tiles from our Winchester collection, the deep tones of green and red from the Artworks range, bold designs from both Odyssey and Living ranges and even heritage shades from our geometric Victorian Floor Tile collection. Manufacturing these tiles in-house allows us to create a vibrant and unique range of timeless colours options, so you can find the perfect shade for your interior. Our hand-mixed glazes have been carefully developed over the decades, with precise and perfected recipes. Each tile is fired in our beloved kilns at an exact temperature and time depending on the recipe and glaze. ‘Embrace the Colour trend with the bold shades of Vermillion, Teal or Straw from the Winchester collection. These vibrant wall tiles feature our signature glossy glaze, creating a luxurious yet lively feel. For a creative style statement choose a complementary yet detailed wallpaper, or a contrasting colour for the floor or even the ceiling. The combination of playful prints and bright colours will help you to achieve a fresh, unique finish in kitchens, bathrooms or hallways.’ Becca Keenan, New Products Designer.   Craft The Craft trend embraces our unique and celebrated manufacturing processes, featuring hand-crafted tiles from our most cherished collections. We've celebrated over 35 years as a leading tile manufacturer with our story beginning in the development of decorative tile sets for cast iron fireplaces. Today, we are renowned for our unrivalled tile glazes, exclusive designs and comprehensive tile options; many of which continue to be produced in Exeter, Devon. ‘The Craft trend celebrates our wide range of manufacturing methods. From screen-printing and hand-painting to casting, moulding, glazing and digital printing - everything we produce in our Devon factory is unique thanks to the experience and passion of the skilled crafts people, artists and designers who make up our team.’  Jane Addis, New Products & Design Manager. Our unique manufacturing story has allowed us to create a beautiful range of tiles. Our in-house creative team are at the forefront of ceramic techniques including hand-painted intricate florals, botanical details, raised fruits, screen-printed heritage designs, larger format decoratives and glaze development. These wonderful tiles include timeless delft drawings and Art-Deco designs all the way through to contemporary prints and patterns that have been designed by our specialist teams and printed on our state-of-the-art digital printer.  ‘To achieve this look style our checkerboard effect Harlequin tiles from the Odyssey Grande collection with softly glazed Mere field tiles from the Winchester Cosmopolitan collection. Together these tiles create the basis for a rustic yet timeless kitchen or bathroom space.’ Becca Keenan, New Products Designer.   Read more...
  2. Paradis Mere is our Tile for the Year for 2023!

    Paradis Mere is our Tile for the Year for 2023! Bold botanical palm leaves, gorgeous green tones and our signature glossy tile glaze – Paradis Mere is our Tile of the Year for 2023! We have been nominating a Tile of the Year for the last six years, choosing exclusive tiles like Paradis Mere that are truly unique and set to influence upcoming trends.Small in format but bold in design, Paradis Mere has four faces. Each face showcases more of the pattern, offering a varied abundance of tropical leaves. Inspired by gorgeous botanical gardens and the summer palms found in Devon’s local areas of outstanding beauty, Paradis Mere was a natural choice for our Tile of the Year 2023.Paradis Mere has been designed and developed in our Design Studio in Devon and is manufactured in Exeter by our skilled and passionate production team. Using some of the most authentic manufacturing processes and glaze recipes, this tile is truly unique. Each tile is hand-crafted by skilled artisans using the longstanding screen printing method which, together with its reactive inks, means each kiln produces a different effect, so no two tiles are the same.‘We really love the unpredictable, rustic nature of reactive print. Botanical motifs are here to stay for the foreseeable - palms especially. After spending time visiting local botanical gardens, we saw this project as the perfect opportunity to combine them both together to create Botanique Paradis! Designed, developed, and produced in our Devon factory, Botanique really embodies the skilled craftsmanship and passion that we have for creating new products at Original Style.’ Becca Keenan New Products Designer. Botanique Paradis Mere is a versatile product, create a range of different looks with this tile – whatever your style! For a rustic kitchen look, mix up the faces, using ‘Mere’ or the coordinating plain tile 'Cotton' from our Winchester collection, to break the pattern up and add a pop of colour.For something more edgy, try using Paradis inside a shower enclosure without any coordinating plain tiles mixed in. You could use ‘Mere’ to tile the rest of the room, or maybe even just choose some areas to create a zoned effect. For a subtle look, team with our new ‘Cotton’ field tiles, their soft white glaze coordinates perfectly with Paradis Mere.Paradis Mere is a brand new tile and its versatile design can be styled to create a range of different looks - contemporary or traditional. But, however you choose to style Paradis Mere, this tile will no doubt bring a unique, botanical touch to your interior décor and we hope it brings as much joy to you as creating it has to us! To discover more about our Tile of the Year campaigns, click here.  Read more...
  3. Interior Trends 2021: Sanctuary

    Interior Trends 2021: Sanctuary Over the past year, the need for creating calm and serene spaces within the home has become even more paramount. Confined to the walls that surround us, escapism and relaxation are what homeowners are seeking to achieve when updating an interior décor scheme – and we couldn’t be more on board with this design and lifestyle trend.   Our Sanctuary trend looks at ways to bring tranquility into the home to establish distinct areas for us to unwind in and harmonise our emotional well-being. When it comes to colourways, it’s all about the soft pinks and warm beige's to really embrace a calming and classic neutral palette. Textures also play a key part when it comes to designing a sanctuary. Tactile surfaces, either smooth and glossy or structured and matt, will help create a cosy, spa-like feel and tiles are the perfect material for incorporating either of these textures. For a matt wall covering, our Trellis collection in our Living range is the perfect tile for encapsulating this trend. Featured below is Trellis Lace which has been teamed with warm brown tones and gold accents – a design that exudes tranquility and style. If you're looking to incorporate more dusky pink tones and bolder prints, our Odyssey Taupe tiles in our Leigh pattern will provide a cosy, feminine feel whilst maintaining a matt finish. If you love luxury and want to take this look a step further, look to incorporate some more reflective finishes for an added touch of opulence. Our White Pearl Hexagon mosaics or large-format Bianco Oro marble-effect tiles are the epitome of luxe décor; their reflective and polished surfaces bounce light around a room for a bright and welcoming atmosphere. To complete the look, incorporating a number of other natural materials is a must. From wooden accessories, indoor plants or even some dried pampas grass will encourage that feeling of serenity and bring all design aspects together. To find out more about our Sanctuary trend, watch our video below.   Read more...
  4. Embracing patterns – a round-up of our favourite tile designs

    Embracing patterns – a round-up of our favourite tile designs Patterned tiles have been around in interiors for decades and recent years have seen them make a comeback stronger than ever! From feature floors to stylish splashbacks, patterned tiles are perfect for those looking to add a little extra detail and character to a scheme.   With such an array of patterns available you might not be sure where to start. So here’s an overview of some of the many pattern styles that are available, as well as some inspiration, to help get you started…   Delicate details Perhaps you want to include a touch of pattern into your scheme without committing too much to a full wall or floor? Try adding in more of a delicate or subtle pattern, this will add interest without too much of a statement look. To achieve this softer style team plain wall or floor tiles with a panel or section of patterned tiles, our Living collection is perfect for this look. Comprising of several smaller collections, The Living Collection offers a variety of patterned wall tiles with coordinating plain tiles. Here’s a few options:   Classic Patterns When you think of patterned tiles you may immediately picture the traditional Victorian Floor Tile patterns found in many homes and buildings throughout the UK. These patterned floors really do stand the test of time and come in several colours and styles:   Opting for a classic Victorian Floor Tile pattern will ensure your space is timeless and stylish for years to come.   Muted Tones We also have plenty of patterned tiles in muted tones, so that you can subtly incorporate pattern into your home to add some character. For walls and floors, take a look at our Mezzo collection, it offers nine patterns all in muted tones of blue and grey:   Bold and Beautiful To make a statement, take a look at our Odyssey Primo and Grande collections. They both offer a number of bold patterns all inspired by journeys of discovery:   Micro-Patterns There’s been a real rise in the micro-pattern trend over the last few years. Up close, the small patterns are intricate and beautiful yet from afar, tiles appear plain or lightly textured. This helps to create a contemporary look with a bit more charm and detail. Our Nano collection is perfect for this and offers four ditsy style prints with an urban edge.   Mosaics Mosaics have a long history and have adorned the walls and floors of many different interiors for years. Made up of smaller pieces to create a sheet of tiles, mosaics offer a naturally patterned effect in their format and are great for breaking up spaces to add interest:   Whichever patterned tiles you decide to choose, we’d love to know more and see pictures of your finished installation! You can share them with us on Instagram by tagging @originalstyleuk   Read more...
  5. Four tips for choosing the right colour tiles for your home

    Four tips for choosing the right colour tiles for your home Choosing a colour scheme for your kitchen, bathroom, or any room in your home can be a difficult decision, especially with a myriad of colours available! It’s worth doing your research to find a colour scheme that you feel comfortable with (and can live with!) as well as one suited to the style of your home. We’ve put together four tips to help make the process less daunting and help you select the best tiles for your space…   1. Research Tiles are often an afterthought when it comes to home makeovers, but they have the power to completely transform a room. After researching online, visiting your local dealer is a good place to start; here you can browse inspiring displays and get advice from friendly and knowledgeable staff, but most importantly get samples to test in your own home. When selecting a colour there are three basic schemes to choose from, tonal, harmonious and complementary. A tonal scheme is the use of one colour but in varying hues, for some this may be too plain but adding in texture is a great way to alleviate the potential blandness of a single colour. For example if you have opted for white neutral cabinets and décor, a white textured tile like Fusuma adds immediate detail and interest. A harmonious scheme is balanced and easy on the eye, using colours that are next to each other on the colour wheel. Complementary colours are opposite each other on the colour wheel, for example pink and green. This type of colour scheme is great if you are looking for something more striking.   2. Style of property Considering the style of your home is also important when selecting colour. If you have a modern new build it may not suit traditional dark red and buff Victorian Floor Tiles, but if you love the look, a neutral colourway like grey and white as pictured below, is better suited to a new build. Likewise with period properties, applying brightly coloured jewel toned mosaics to the bathroom could look out of place, but if you want to embrace a daring colour you can still do so with the Artworks collection, try a bold Baroque Blue for depth and atmosphere.   3. Considering your space The size of your room can also guide your colour choice, if you are updating a smaller room and want to make the most of the space, it’s common sense to opt for lighter shades. This needn’t mean white, grey or beige, using pastel shades is a nod to introducing some colour without the commitment of a bold shade. Just look at the Winchester Tile Company for plenty of pastel hues, perfect for adding a drop of colour to your interior. It’s also important to see how tiles look in different lights, so we recommend getting samples from your local dealer and looking at them in your space at different times of the day to see how they are affected by light.   4. Finishing Touches It can be tempting to match all your accessories to your colour scheme, but this can look overwhelming, if you already have a statement colour in your kitchen or bathroom try using a complementary shade for items like towels and décor. For the ultimate finishing touch, border tiles can really add that coveted wow factor; use them to frame, highlight and finish an area to perfection, or even to add a pop of colour Read more...
  6. How to add character to your home with tiles

    How to add character to your home with tiles Adding character to your home can be a challenging task - but whether you’re living in a period property or modern new-build there are many ways you can add character to your home with tiles.   You might already have a certain look or style that you’re trying to recreate but if not, don’t worry - taking some time to research and think about how best to work with your space will reward you for years to come. A good place to start is considering the style of your property. If you have a Victorian property with period features you might be leaning towards a more traditional style, but, if this isn’t your taste, you can still incorporate modern fixtures, fittings and accessories to create a dynamic style that suits you and your properties original architecture.   Period Properties A period property is characterised by a distinctive architectural style- think Victorian, Edwardian and Georgian. Houses built in these era’s naturally come with a range of inherent characteristics, from bay windows and iron railings to stained glass windows and doors. Restoring these features is a good way to add character, especially with tiles. Our Artworks collection offers an array of rich classic colours, detailed mouldings and decorated options perfect for those looking to update their walls whilst considering a properties’ historic style. They can be used in porches, hallways, kitchens and bathrooms to create a timeless look for years to come.   For a more farmhouse style, there’s our Winchester collection; home to a selection glossy glazed wall tiles in muted tones and rustic finishes, as well as coordinating mouldings to frame areas to perfection.  Team tiles from our Cosmopolitan range with natural wood tones, an authentic AGA-style cooker and shaker cabinets to create a country kitchen filled with character.     If you’re looking to create a more contemporary feel then explore the ‘New Heritage’ trend which is all about adding a new twist to an old classic. Our Victorian Floor tiles used in shades of grey are perfect for this.     Modern Properties New builds won’t have the inherent features of a period property but they are a wonderfully blank canvas that you can completely make your own, rather than having to design around existing quirks like big ornate fireplaces that may not be your style. A great place to start is deciding on a colour scheme and palette in order to create an interior that flows seamlessly. You may choose neutral tones and natural finishes or opt for bolder statement pieces with pops of colour. Creating a mood board of paint samples, tile options, fabric swatches and furniture will help you to see how your finished look will come together.   For bathrooms you can’t go wrong with a classic brick or subway tiles, bring in texture with our Winchester Elements range whilst maintaining and urban yet chic feel. Creating a synergy of old and new is also a great way to add charm to a space, try incorporating some vintage furniture pieces; we love this modern rustic setting with our Living tiles.   Most importantly when adding character to your home make sure to be true to your own tastes and style in order to create something truly unique and distinct, with whichever tiles you choose!  Read more...
  7. Finishing touches - how to use mouldings, tile trims and grouts

    Finishing touches - how to use mouldings, tile trims and grouts Mouldings, tile trims, grouts and all the other finishing touches associated with tiling can often be overlooked or a last minute thought, however, these accessories can complete a tiling project to perfection. Many of our tile collections are available with coordinating mouldings and border tiles that be used to frame, highlight and finish tiled spaces seamlessly.   Wall tiles and mouldings Our Winchester collection is hand-crafted by skilled artisans in our Devon factory. Exuding rustic charm and offering an authentic appeal, tiles and moudlings from the Winchester collection are perfect for those looking to add character to a space. The Winchester collection offers a whole host of glazed wall tiles in a variety of colours, many of which have a coordinating moulding.    Including a moulding in your scheme is a great way to lift simple décor and add interest. If you prefer the look of plain, glossy metro tiles - adding a decorative border or skirting in the same colour will provide a detailed twist:     There are four ranges within the Winchester collection; Elements, rustic brick tiles in muted hues and bolder shades; Residence, glossy glazes in a number of formats; Artisan, with mellow tones inspired by nature; and Classic, traditional formats in a wide range of colours and mouldings as well as a selection of whimsical designs. It’s not just our Winchester collection that hosts an array of mouldings, our Artworks collection also features a number of intricate border and skirting designs. Perfect for adding a decorative edge to simple field and brick tiles, our Artworks collection includes many classic colour options as well as contemporary shades of grey, allowing you to explore both traditional as well as modern tile and moulding combinations. Choose from simple a Omega pencil style, timeless Egg and Dart and detailed Hogarth. These mouldings are great in areas where tiles fill half a wall or come to dado height as they help to create a stylish, sophisticated finish.     Trims and Grout Whilst selecting tiles can be an exciting process, choosing a grout colour may seem less important in comparison – but with a bit of careful consideration, choosing the right grout colour can really complete a project. The most popular options when it comes to grout are shades of grey, limestone and jasmine, depending on the colour of your chosen tiles. Choosing a darker colour grout can reduce the appearance of stains and general wear and tear but also it creates a stylish contrasting feature against lighter coloured tiles – imagine white metro wall tiles teamed with grey grout. Trims can be used around windows to hide any tile edges, as a border around tiles where they don’t fill an entire wall and even in smaller spaces, like alcoves or recesses. Choose from a variety of finishes, shades and thickness, all of which will help you create a sleek and streamlined finish to your tile project.   With the amount of aspects to consider in a tiling project, we appreciate this process can be slightly overwhelming. However, this experience can remain fun and exciting by having a tile specialist walk you through your tile design journey and provide you with expert guidance. We work with over 2,000 retailers across the world so that you can choose your perfect Original Style tiles in confidence.  Read more...
  8. Designed in Devon – A Q&A with our New Products and Design Manager Jane Addis

    Designed in Devon – A Q&A with our New Products and Design Manager Jane Addis We’re proud to design and manufacture many of our tile ranges at our factory in Exeter, Devon and over the years we’ve created a variety of exclusive collections; from our classic Winchester ranges to the large format prints in Living.   Our story is unique and we’re incredibly fortunate to have a talented team of passionate designers and craftspeople who create tile patterns and glazes that you’ll adore for years to come.  We managed to catch up with our New Products and Design Manager, Jane Addis, earlier this year to provide you with some insight into the life of a tile designer and to showcase how our gorgeous tile collections are created.   Q. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into ceramics, as well as your role at Original Style? A. I’ve always been happiest with a pen or paint-brush in my hand and after studying textile design at university I decided to fulfil a lifelong dream to live in Spain and to learn Spanish. This took me to a fabulous region of Spain - Andalusia and in particular Seville, where I learned Spanish part-time and made flamenco dresses. On my daily walks to work, I loved looking at the various tiles that adorned the shop fronts often hand painted and heavily influenced by Islamic geometric prints. On my return to Devon, inspired by what I’d seen I hunted out local tile manufacturers and landed my first design job! Eight years later, I joined Original Style as a designer (I fell in love with their Winchester range). I have worked at Original Style for six years now I love being a part of an industry that is challenging, exciting, trend-led and UK based. I’m lucky that my role is quite diverse and includes putting together product ranges for UK house-builders as well as designing and developing ranges for the majority of our product portfolios. Q. Where do you find inspiration for tile designs? A. The ceramic industry is much more trend-led than it was when I started my career over 10 years ago. Trips to national and international shows and exhibitions are one of the ways that I keep ahead of the trends to ensure what is developed and ultimately launched is the right product at the right time. Many of the interior trends that influence what consumers buy originate on the catwalk and are gently filtered down to other industries including wallpaper, textiles and ceramics. How I then interpret these trends completely depends on the product range and target audience. For example the ‘tropical’ trend that has been so very popular for a number of years inspired our range called Eden - a gorgeous selection of botanical inspired large format tiles. This range was developed and then launched at exactly the right time and continues to be our best-selling collection within our Living Brochure. We also visit national trust properties, museums, design shows as well as taking lots of pictures whilst we are on holiday! A designer’s eye is always open for inspiration.  Q. How long does it take to develop a new tile collection? From conception to manufacturing, to reach the market? A. This can depend on how that product is being made. For example a design that is going to be screen printed requires quite a lot of set up work with a team of people, Digitally printed product can be quicker depending on the level of complexity of the design. With all projects we also have the rule that things don’t always go to plan with ceramics! Working with a natural based product and beautiful handmade glazes all add to the possibility of not always getting what you anticipate! Q. If you had to pick a favourite tile design what would it be? A. That’s hard as we have so many gorgeous products! But, I love the Nano range in our Living collection - its super simple, easy to live with but gives a real urban design edge to any room. I also love our Artisan range - simplistic, beautiful colours, creating a timeless heritage - these tiles will stand any test of time.        Q. Which tile range did you enjoy designing the most? A. The Living range was a joy to design as it was one of the first ranges we developed on our new state of the art digital printer and it’s been a huge success for us. It was great to experiment with a new way of producing tiles and we had lots of fun photographing the new designs in our on-site photographic studio. It’s amazing that I’m able to be part of the whole lifecycle of a products’ development, including seeing the tiles in customer project photos shared on Social Media Q. How does it make you feel when you see pictures of the tiles you've designed in people’s homes? A. It brings me so much joy! I also love to see how people use our tiles, how they are styled and how much pleasure they bring the end user. Q. What challenges do you face when bringing a tile design to life? A. One of the main challenges is making it exciting as well as possible to create in our factory. Our Exeter based production site is unique with a combination of state of the art technology and beautiful antiquated machines that are very loved. It’s important as a designer to be aware of the boundaries our machinery might have as well as trying to achieve something different. We have a wonderful team that are incredibly passionate about what they do and have a brilliant amount of technical knowledge. Q. What advice would you give to those looking to create fabulous tiled focal points in their home? A. To be bold! As I mentioned earlier ceramic tiles are much more trend-led now and there’s plenty of choice. I think it’s always best to have that focal point in a place that is quite visible. Think behind the bath, behind the cooker, make a feature of that walk-in shower. Tiles can add texture, colour and ultimately create atmosphere within a room Q. What’s the best thing about being a designer and working at Original Style? A. The ability to design products that are exciting, trend-led and to work in UK manufacturing - something I’m proud of every day Read more...
  9. How to plan your next home improvement

    How to plan your next home improvement The key to a successful home improvement project is all in the planning. It can be very tempting to dive straight in and get started, but carefully planning your project, preparing your area and ensuring you have everything in place before you start, will ensure you get the best results. So, whether you’re working on your kitchen, bathroom, hallway or even the downstairs cloakroom, take a look at our top tips to help give you the best start.   Before you start anything, look at your area and decide how you can best use it and make the most of the space, it’s also worth consulting a professional builder, tiler, architect or even interior designer – especially if you’re about to start a large project. Now is also a good time to consider your budget and make a detailed list of priorities and plans. Consider your style - There are many interior styles to work with and you may already have an idea of the look you are trying to achieve. Some of the most popular looks are: 1. Contemporary – think sleek handle-less kitchen cabinets, modern fixtures and fittings and large format style tiles, often in stone, wood and concrete effects. While no single style is dominant, contemporary schemes tend to have natural elements, muted colours and softened rounded lines. Here’s a few ideas for a contemporary style space:     2. Traditional – this style usually depends on the age of a property and its original features. For example if you have a Victorian home, some traditional features may include fireplaces, Victorian geometric tiled floors, bay and sash windows and even stained glass windows. Many homeowners stay true to the period features of a property and keep or update them, here’s a few examples:     3. Farmhouse – this style is often found in more rural areas in the countryside and is inspired by farmhouse buildings. Farmhouse style embodies muted, neutral tones, many textures and natural elements, painted furniture and rustic field or brick tiles in soft shades like those available in our Winchester collection. Here’s a look at the farmhouse style:   Take your time to think about the style of your property and consider how to make the most of its features. This should make it easier to decide on an interior style that you’ll love for years to come.   Get inspired - This is one of the most exciting stages when planning a renovation. Spending a good amount of time on Pinterest, Instagram and flicking through the pages of interior magazines is a great way to feel inspired. It’s also brilliant research and you might be surprised to find that you change your mind a few times along the way! You can check out our Pinterest boards here, there’s plenty of beautiful kitchen, bathroom and interior images to browse through. You can also download our brochures, In the meantime, here’s a few idea's:     Don’t forget finishing touches - Once you have established a clear idea of your finished project, consider thinking about those all important finishing touches. Tiles are brilliant for pulling a space together and completing a project to perfection. Whether it’s a simple splashback or a feature wall, we have plenty of tiles to choose from.  Read more...
  10. The appeal of sheer simplicity in interior design and tiling schemes

    The appeal of sheer simplicity in interior design and tiling schemes We are pleased to introduce American interior designer, Kate Roos, who has kindly agreed to share her thoughts on current design trends and to talk us through her thought process when it comes to choosing tiles for her clients’ homes. Kate Roos is a Minneapolis - based kitchen and bath designer focused specifically on cabinetry design for the whole house, space planning and material and product selection. She has used Winchester tiles in one of her recent stunning projects and we used the opportunity to speak to her about aesthetics, practicality and achieving balance between the two. The beautiful photos illustrating Kate’s work were taken by talented commercial & residential photographer, Andrea Rugg. Kate sourced her clients’ tiles at Rubble Tile.All images belong to Andrea Rugg and are only authorized for use on this blog.   Q. What kind of customers do you usually get and what kind of services are they primarily looking for? A.The majority of my clients are looking to completely re-imagine their kitchens or bathrooms and I help guide them through the process. I need to understand what the client hopes to achieve with the remodel. How do they want the room to feel: warm and inviting, modern or traditional? How they would like the space to function: who does the cooking, cleanup, how many family members are in the space at any given time? Space planning and cabinetry design define the layout, look and function of the space. Backsplash tile, countertop, lighting and hardware selections bring character to the room. I also love staying involved during construction to manage design details and witness the new space come to life! Q. What is your biggest challenge when it comes to home décor? A. Challenges arise regularly when designing kitchens and bathrooms. Often the space is limited due to poorly placed ductwork or lack of expansion opportunities. Creative solutions are paramount to attaining the kind of function my clients want. Planning the space is exciting - I explore the limitations and opportunities and I push myself to find the best outcome.The client's budget also drives my creativity. Kitchen remodels can add up quickly, so I am cautious about making dramatic choices like moving plumbing, taking out walls, or moving windows and doors. Understanding where clients should splurge and where they should be prudent is a large part of the design process.Q. How important are kitchens and bathrooms when it comes to decorating a house? A. Without a doubt kitchens and bathrooms are the most costly remodels and the most rewarding. People spend a lot of time in these spaces and it’s very important not to rush through the design process. The finishes in these spaces are fixed, meaning they are locked into the space making them difficult and costly to replace. How you feel and interact in the space is a high priority. Bathrooms should be both relaxing and functional with good lighting and easy-to-clean surfaces. Kitchens should allow for effortless cooking and entertaining with high quality finishes and proper storage. Taking time to work through the details before the remodel ensures that the kitchen or bath will work for you and exceed your expectations. Q. Would you say that American customers place special value in products that are designed and made in England? A. Products that are made in England add a special quality to any American design, providing a sense of history and tradition. Often these products are made using centuries old techniques, fine craftsmanship, and offer an understated elegance. Products like lighting, tile, and hardware can be that special element that pulls the room together.Q. When choosing tiles for your customers, what exactly are you looking for? A. Tile can be an overwhelming item to choose. I usually start with the countertop, because there are fewer options than there are with tile. Once the counter is selected we begin thinking about tile; the color, shape, material. Tiles should enhance the space and add some contrast to other elements in the room, be it with texture or hue. Tile is an opportunity to have fun and take some risks if you are so inclined. If the counter is polished, a matte or rustic finish of the tile can temper the luster; if the countertop is honed, shiny tile can be a lovely way to bounce light through the space. For traditional designs a subway tile is perfect. I love unexpected sizes like 2”x8”, 3”x12” or 5”x5” installed in a ½” or 1/3” offset brick pattern. Selecting a handmade tile with variation in shape and glaze can add interest and shimmer as well. Q. What advice would you give to people looking to create fabulous tiled focal points in their homes? A. When it comes to a kitchen or bath focal point, take cues from other elements in the space. If the space already has several bold elements, I would create a framed tone-on-tone focal point over the range. Finding a tile line like Winchester Tile Company that offers various formats, beautiful glazing, decorative tiles and different finishes makes implementing tonal choices easy. Choose a color that you love, choose a field tile, a pencil or border tile to be used for the frame and have a play with tiling patterns for the interior. This approach adds visual interest and textural variation without adding a new color to the space. There are endless ways to add an interesting focal point with tile, so experiment and see what you like! Q. Has there been a shift in tile format preferences in the American market? A. In Minnesota, where I live, the traditional subway tile is still quite desirable. New tile options with bold color and texture are abundant, but when it comes to final decisions, a simple subway tile format is tried and true and always timeless. You can't go wrong. I try to transition away from the classic running bond 3”x6” when possible with different sizes (2”x8”, 3”x12”, etc.) and different installation options like 1/3” offset or stacked: a mix between modern and classic! Q. Why did you choose tiles from The Winchester Tile Company? What was it about the product that you found appealing and where did you source the tiles from? A. I have always loved the tile offerings from Winchester Tile Company, and when you find something you love, you find ways to use it! The range of colors and glazes are endless, and the handmade look of the tile is exceptional. When we selected tile for the St. Anthony Falls Kitchen, my clients wanted something traditional yet unexpected and the offset 5”x5” tiles were perfect. The tiles sparkle when the sun streams through the windows making the space feel distinctive.Q. How did you hear about The Winchester Tile Company? A. I discovered The Winchester Tile Company through my local supplier, Rubble Tile in Minnesota, and I have been finding ways to use it ever since. They are always knowledgeable and so helpful in steering me in the right direction. I was trying to find a white subway tile in just the right shade of off-white and The Winchester Tile Company had the perfect color. They are now one of my go-to tile manufactures. I can always find interesting color, sizes, textures and sheens. Photo's by commercial & residential photographer, Andrea Rugg Read more...

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