When Annie Selke Companies partnered up with The Tile Shop for a collection, we drew inspiration from fabrics, rugs, and other textiles. The results are more than 200 tiles that are full of texture, pattern, and handmade style. Seeing how five designers (including our very own Annie) used our tiles in a variety of spaces reveals that tiles are just as versatile a decorating tool as our beloved textiles. Here are ten ideas for decorating with tile, inspired by our Tile Shop collection:
Refresh a boring kitchen with a bold backsplash
When redoing a kitchen, people often think it’s all or nothing, but designer Cheryl Luckett of Dwell by Cheryl proves that you can make a dramatic transformation without gutting the space. Luckett had relatively new honey oak cabinets and floors in her bungalow home. “I didn’t want to blow that up,” says Luckett. “I have really nice floors, and if I painted the cabinets I would lose the connectivity.” Instead, she went bold with her backsplash, installing our Shadow Navy Ceramic Wall Tile all the way to the ceiling, creating an effect almost like wallpaper.
Add softness and interest in an entryway
Luckett used our Watercolor Lines Indigo Ceramic Wall And Floor Tile in a running bond pattern on the floor of her bold kitchen and throughout her ground floor living area, including this entry space. The striped pattern gives just the right amount of visual interest without competing with the bold wallpaper. “I love this tile: It reminded me of seersucker,” says Luckett, who is a self-described “textile girl.”
Give a bathroom a jolt of fun with a mini backsplash
In this bathroom adjoining a child’s room, a tiled backsplash between the mirror and sink vanity was both a strategic choice for maintenance and a clever way to add a punch of pattern to the space. Kelli Vogelgesang, the co-owner and head designer for West Bay Homes, a real estate development company in the west metro area of Minneapolis-St. Paul, wanted some playful elements for the kids (our ikat-inspired Shadow Black Ceramic Wall Tile and metal light fixtures shaped like butterflies), but she kept them sophisticated to feel like the rest of the house.
Start your design with a focal point floor
“Tile is always my starting point. It’s the first item I select for a home, and it sets the tone,” says Julie Howard, the head designer for Timber Trails, a development company in Western Springs, Illinois. “I tend to work backwards in my design approach by drawing inspiration from items that are the final touches,” she says. Case in point: The Aylin Black Porcelain Floor And Wall Tile in this basement bathroom helped set the tone for the entire house.
Try a playful tile in a hardworking space
“To me, a laundry room should be fun,” says Howard of her choice of the Ikat Black Porcelain Wall And Floor Tile. “It’s nice to design a laundry room that makes you smile when you enter,” she says. A mostly white tile was a smart choice for this basement laundry room because it brightens the space from below, allowing the black tile backsplash not to feel too heavy.
Create a spa-like feeling in a master suite
In a bathroom with a grand scale, you need a tile with a strong-but-simple pattern to ground the space, says Vogelgesang, who likes a large-scale tile, like the 20×20-inch Ikat Black Porcelain Wall And Floor Tile. “I prefer to have the grout disappear, especially when I am using larger format tile.” White walls, shower surround, and the luxe tub temper the bold pattern and the black frame of the windows add definition while picking up on the color of the tile.
Create a color block effect with tile
When Hello Kitchen, a company that provides “recipes for renovation” for kitchens and bathrooms, was commissioned to design a little girl’s bathroom, the company’s founder Erin Hanrahn immediately knew she wanted to go with a blush color. “The color of the tile was perfect and we loved the tiny detailing in the pattern,” she says of the two-color raised-glaze pattern on our Sketch Soft Pink Ceramic Wall And Floor Tile “We were going for a solid effect, so we wanted to have tight grout joints and make it disappear,” she says.
Use an oversize tile for a clean, modern look
Here’s another idea to steal from Hanrahan: Installing large-format tiles for the shower walls. “The stacked pattern offers a cleaner, more modern look,“ says Hanrahan, who cleverly used the 13×13-inch Sketch tiles inside the shower’s shampoo boxes to eliminate any grout lines inside the enclosures. A square showerhead complements the graphic tile installation.
Photos: Sophie Epton Photography
Add softness to a bathroom with textured tile
If you crave a calm, organic look, look for tiles with a hand-hewn look. In our founder Annie Selke’s bathroom our Artisanal Cream Ceramic Wall Tiles are installed in a grid just like a conventional 6×6 square, but a closer examination reveals the crackle finish that lends a welcome softness in a space filled with hard surfaces. Natural stone tile underfoot enhances the organic-modern look.
Define your palette with tile
In another example of tile setting the tone, the Aylin Blue Porcelain Floor and Wall Tiles set the stage for the bold navy cabinets in this home bar space, also designed by Timber Trails’s Howard. Here the navy paint and white tile backsplash are pulled from the palette of the Aylin tile.
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