While working on renovations for the kitchen and bath rooms at the 38th Star House in Denver, I’ve been thinking a lot about tile. Here in Colorado, in the land of avid campers, people tend to keep things simple. They “even out” any bling in their home with more rustic elements. Sometimes an accent tile can enliven a kitchen, but homeowners usually don’t want super fancy bathrooms or bathroom tiles. So, following are some of my favorite style choices for tile in Colorado at the moment.
Six styles of tile I’m loving right now
The wood look – As you know from my last article on creating a bathroom oasis, I enjoy a clutter-free, zen-like experience in the bath. A great way to warm up the bath space while keeping the lines clean is to use tile that looks like wood.
Big and bold – Big, bold tile is on the rise, and it can be so useful for a small bathroom’s floor. It opens things up a bit more. While large-scale tile in a tiny space may seem counter-intuitive, this look actually gives any small bathroom a more modern feel and a cleaner look.
Mosaic accents – I like a nice mosaic in the bathroom floor or the shower floor. That’s a good place to have a busy tile. Ideally, the mosaic patterns are used as accents, not placed over a large area.
Terracotta – Like wood tiles, terracotta tiles have a nice, natural look to them. They’re making a big comeback this year and I welcome those natural earthy vibes.
Handmade – Tiles that are either handmade or have a handmade look are nice to have in a home. They feel more intimate, more personal than sleeker, more uniform designs. Just be careful that the end result is “handmade” but not “messy.”
The perfect patina – Again, tiles that look a bit distressed can provide a nice accent next to something with a truly polished look. It’s all about balance and proportion.
Some favorite colors for tile in 2021 and beyond
Pink – Light pink is having a huge moment right now, across all material platforms. We’re seeking warmth, comfort, safety, and serenity at home. So pink is a natural, soothing choice for anyone. Pink tiles come in an amazing array of shapes and look really fresh, chic, and modern when they feature geometric shapes or patterns.
Green – I love green, and it’s definitely a trend you’ll see coming to a room near you. If there are no windows to create optimal growing conditions for plants in a given space, green paint and green tiles provide an excellent way to invoke some more earthy hues and bring a more natural feel into the space. This is particularly useful in a windowless bathroom.
Black – Black is back in tile (especially in black-and-white patterns). My favorite black square tiles have a lot of texture to them. I like textured tiles in any color way, because of how textures catch the light. Black textured tiles are a simple way to add interest without committing to a pattern.
Special considerations for tile: availability, budget, timing, taste
Great tile can be hard to obtain. Tile seems like something you’d be able to find everywhere, but it can actually be quite hard to find exactly what you want. Today more than ever, it would be challenging for any manufacturer to be able to deliver all the options we see in design “inspo” photos worldwide.
Similarly, sometimes the product you love is on backorder or will take too much time to ship, given your project timeline. In these cases, you have to remain flexible. What is the overall look and feel you want? Can you reach it with another product?
So don’t be disheartened if you can’t find what you want. If it’s not available or is out of your budget, you can often find something to duplicate the “look” that is perhaps less expensive than your original choice. One of the best resources for this is TileBar. I love the Denver showroom.
And, of course, while trends are important to keep in mind, tile decisions are ultimately a matter of taste and personal preference. As a homeowner, you’re the one who will be living with the design decisions for years to come. Any trend you strongly dislike is a trend that is safe to ignore.
The current trend I plan to keep ignoring is terrazzo. I know, I know, terrazzo is “hot.” But it looks a bit too commercial to me. You’ll often find it in schools, offices, and banks — particularly those made or renovated in the 70s or 80s. My reaction to it is exactly, “Meh.” So while you’re likely to keep seeing articles about terrazzo for bathroom countertops and beyond, hold off unless you really love it. Think about what you want to be happy to live with and gaze upon, day after day.