It is easy to forget, given the preponderance of concrete-effects, faux-woods and ever more sophisticated marble, limestone, sandstone, basalt and granite simulated stones on the market, that colour still has a fantastic and versatile role to play in contemporary tile design.
It may be true than in uncertain times – and with Trump, Brexit, Brazil, Venezuela, South Sudan, North Korea, Yemen, not to mention Donald Trump and IS, dominating the global news agenda, we’re certainly in a time of almost unprecedented political turmoil – home owners and interior designers retreat to safe, neutral tones.
But while greige, taupe and buttermilk are clearly the dominant palette in today’s homes, there is still plenty of scope for more vibrant, optimistic, hues: and for accent colours that celebrate life rather than withdraw from it.
Tile Addict has noted that on the colour front, sophisticated hues have moved centre stage. The paint company Behr has conveniently divided these fashion hues into three palettes: Confident, Composed and Comfortable.
Creative, social types are drawn to the Confident palette, defined by dusky blues, spicy reds and lime greens. These shades really pop and capture the viewer’s attention.
The Composed palette features earthy greens and taupes; drawing in traditionalists looking to create contemporary spaces.
The Comfortable range is all about pale pastels: soft pinks, blues and yellows that add restrained dynamism to even the smallest of spaces pop. The muted shades are ideal for those less assured in their use of colour, but who still aspire to make their first foray into accent colours.
Blues that recall the colours of the ocean are currently very hot. These beachy shades provide a sophisticated, outward looking accent.
Orange accents continue to pack a punch and are now being seen in saturated green spaces: bold, dramatic and, in the right hands, highly appealing.
Lime greens and lemon yellows are Marmite colours, but again, used with thought, suffuse spaces with a feeling of wellbeing.
And, for the more conservative home owner, one way to add impact to a traditional style is to use dark grey; relying texture to soften what can otherwise be a rather solemn shade.
Paired with black and white accessories, teal and aqua tones are the ideal way to enliven the modern, minimalist aesthetic. Of, if you are seeking a more calming look, the combination of taupe and earthy green will create a calming vibe redolent of summer.
Of course, accent tiles can also help draw out the subtle beauty of more masculine tiles. A gloss aqua tile adds allure and sophistication when set against dark wood-effect floor tiles. Accent hues can also have a distinctly feminine appeal; notable rose pink and dusky yellows, which can also accentuate a space’s natural light or energize a room’s muted grey or beige walls.
The rise of Scandinavian minimalism has altered what we consider to be “neutral colours.” A tile classic – stark black-and-white combinations – are back in force. However, the key trend is that, the new neutrals – greige being the standout – are getting warmer. Bohemian-inspired decor is now ushering in a new explosion of nuanced beiges, browns and creams.
At the same time there has been a revival in interest about the psychology of colour and how to use certain colours to inspire different moods, from joy to productivity. Savvy homeowners are now asking themselves what feelings existing paint colours represent: in 2017 paint is increasingly in psychoanalysis.
And, above all as Pantone has made clear, green is the defining colour of 2017. Tropical versions of green are leading the way, seen in everything from palm tree patterns to statement green furniture.
Interior designers are working hues from acidic lime green through to dramatic forest greens.
One of the UK’s most respective distributors, Mandarin, seemed a good place to look for these trends in actual tiles.
I’ll start with Palladio (above): a rectified porcelain range of Italian decorative, glazed tiles in traditional designs adapted for today’s stylish interiors. Each of the range’s four colours – black, grey, blue and brown – boasts bold, striking patterns that look equally spectacular on floors or walls. Smaller tiles are sold in sets of nine; the larger option in sets of four. Plain base tiles are available to complement the decors.
The Paintbox range’s name really says it all. This traditional gloss glazed selection of plain tiles has a broad and particularly well delivered colour palette. The tile, for wall use only, are non-rectified and come in 200 by 100 by 9mm and 400 by 100 by 9mm. The latter format is ideal for bringing the most out of Paintbox’s melange of beautiful glazed shades – both subtle to bold – that will complement almost any interior.
A new post by Joe Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, August 2017.