Tile Inspiration


I was helping a friend with her kitchen redesign the other day and as she showed me the samples for her cupboards, worktops and splashbacks and asked me to advise on floor tiles, it occurred to me that without the injection of some colour or pattern, it was just a collection of surfaces.


Very beautiful surfaces admittedly and in beautiful colours – chalky whites, soft blues and dark greys to pull it all together. But it was all essentially hard surfaces. She wanted to know whether to have dark or grey floor tiles. I suggested wooden floorboards to bring a bit of warmth into the room and to vary the materials used.


These days a kitchen is about so much more than preparing a meal and if, as many people do, it’s going to be extended so there is room for a chair, a sofa, and possibly a television as well, then it needs something to bring it all together and turn it into a room rather just a cooking space.


So there I was spinning away at the gym, and clearly not concentrating on pedalling as fast as I should be, when I remembered cement tiles. These would be perfect for her as she had a problem with a leak (twice) and is reluctant to have wood in a kitchen again.


I sent her several links and suggested that using a dramatic patterned floor would bring the whole room together and really give it some personality and a wow factor. And she agreed! Which was lucky.

These tiles are sold by Castelnau, which has a huge collection of porcelain, ceramic and stone tiles and has made me realise that there are definitely not enough tiles in my house. Another thing to add to the list. The patterned ones are made in Exeter by Original Style, who supply the rest to their retailers.

For more cement tile inspiration see my Pinterest board


Tags : tiles
Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.


  1. Drool re: the images – especially the first one. Buuuuut, I’m with you on the wood floor for the kitchen.

  2. I deal with tiles for my job – and love the versatility and beauty of tiles. You can literally paint pictures in colour, texture, light and shape with tiles. The tile designs above are unique and gorgeous.

  3. Paint it, stain it, wax it or varnish it, but wood every time in the kitchen. Hard surfaces are a killer on the feet, and nothing survives being dropped! (you have a chance with wood)

  4. Having just come back from Fez -tile capital of the world – I can only say a tile is a fine thing.

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