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Date published: June 06 2017

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The use of tiles enables you to express a whole new level of creativity

Ceramic tiles are one of the oldest and most generally employed forms of architectural decoration.

All over Britain in the 19th Century, factories were popping up everywhere to bring colour and shine to exteriors and interiors alike. It was a sign of affordable splendour and many buildings were not complete without these adornments. We can still see fine examples of lustrous glazed tiles, by Stoke-On-Trent’s H.E Smith and Johnstons, in London’s underground stations and exteriors of public houses where discerning builders appreciated their value.

But, soon the fashion for tiles faded. When concrete came into play, the demand for tiles ebbed and people began to be collectors of tiles rather than use them within interior design. Until now. Over the past five years, a comeback is evident and revival sees a thirst for colour and pattern to create ‘art’ within interiors.

Tiles enable you to express a whole new level of creativity. We are rising from a minimalist time when people have played it safe and I think the trend is to be more willing to push boundaries with colour and experiment.

We have always been asked about ‘calming colours’ with tiles, especially for bathrooms but the appetite for colour as well as fine glaze treatments has returned. Visual richness of tiles inspired and produced in the Mediterranean allow the bolder tones and designs to integrate into our homes. It also brings with it an influence of a lifestyle, which many adore, which is why the trend for strong motifs, geometric pattern and Moroccan inspired designs are popular. It is about having fun rather then being a little too serious.

Using organic materials such as wood, slate, marble and concrete, is one of the trends we note for tiles this year. You can create an amazing statement with metallic mosaic wall tiles and I think we are going to see more demand for mosaics in classic and modern spaces. Also, at present there is a strong call for hand-painted emblems and intricate floral patterns that are Japanese inspired - tiles featuring birds, butterflies and embossed with motifs in gold or platinum are very much ‘on-trend’.

The rise of the wet-room, colourful splash backs, pretty fire surrounds and the importance of kitchens with ‘focal points’ makes the demand for tiles continuous. Designers continue to add truly beautiful ideas and colourful, artful installations with the use of tiles for both practical, beautiful and lasting results.

Designer: Sarah Watson

Author: Sarah Watson

Company: Balineum

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