Using tiles in interior design

tiles and interior design

Using tiles in interior design

Tiles have come a long way in recent years, with retro tile designs in particular making a comeback in the modern contemporary home. With the popularity of tiles increasing, I wanted to weigh in with my thoughts as an interior designer, on what works and what you should be considering for your own spaces where you may choose to include tiles. Today we’ll explore materials, colours, shapes and textures to bring your tiles to life in your space, which will stand the test of time. 


tiles interior design bathroomAuthentic materials

I have to admit that I am not a big fan of porcelain or ceramic tiles (although I will accommodate a client’s request), but I will also admit that some are of much higher quality than they used to be, and are a more cost-effective option. But for me, I much prefer to use authentic materials for tiles such as marble, granite, quartzite. 

When I consider designing the space, I start first with slabs of stone, considering the material that I would like to use. Calacatta marble? Works wonderfully with browns/greys/taupe tones. Carrara marble? Possesses a timeless elegance. We are fortunate to work with a handpicked selection of suppliers here in Sydney that provide exceptional product ranges. 

When working with authentic materials such as natural stone, don’t forget that these sorts of materials require sealing. I suggest always sealing natural stone as this will offer some level of protection from staining, but I do enjoy watching them age naturally and beautifully with time. On the other hand, you don’t need to worry about sealing or treating ceramic tiles.



retro tile designsDesigning tiles with patterns

There is always an element of fun when designing with patterned tiles; how would I break the patterns up. Let me give you an example – if the flooring is hexagon black and white tiles, then you could mirror this in the shower tiles with tiny little hexagons. Tiles are an opportunity to really get creative. 

Or consider using the same material or tile, but using different patterns to create a different look and feel, whilst maintaining a cohesive design element.  I believe interior design is centred around creating a cohesive design throughout the home.


bathroom interior design


The bathroom, the centre of the tiling world

When I think of tiles, my mind automatically thinks of a bathroom (I personally am a lover of classical bathrooms). I prefer to have tiles only in wet areas of the bathroom (a slab on the floors maybe), and the rest of the walls will be painted. 

Tiles are a great way to create a feature of the shower. Use an impactful colour, size or texture to create that unique space, and then tie this into the wall above your vanity (even using a contrasting colour, but same style), or make a feature of the vanity wall itself. 

But you do need to remember that the tile is often the colour element of your bathroom, so you need to consider and choose very carefully. 


floor tiles interior designFinally, flooring

We can’t discuss tiles without mentioning floor tiles. In Australia, floor tiles are particularly popular as a result of the warmer climate and you’ll find them throughout the home, not just in a kitchen or bathroom. If I am designing a living area or bedroom that has tiled flooring I will add a proportionate rug, as without one the acoustics of a space can become very loud. 

Tiles can be used to create the illusion of space in a room. For smaller spaces, consider using bigger tiles and it will create a feeling of more space (this is great for a small bathroom, ensuite or laundry room for example). Using tiles inside of the home and the same tiles outside (for example on the balcony or patio), you can create an even bigger space if the floor is continuous. Simply open the doors to increase the ratio of your room. 


Well I hope that you have taken some inspiration from my blog today. If you are interested in working with me to redesign your home or work with you to design a new home, please reach out online and contact us, we’d love to hear from you. 

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