We've had a lot of renovation projects over the last six months, which means we've collected a LOT of tile samples! Now, this is super fun because we get to pull lots of options, narrow down, try different combinations out, and just, you know, play! BUT—only a FEW of our many samples find their way into our projects. How sad for the rest!
SO—today I'm rounding up 10 fun tile designs to help you get inspired for your next project! And, of course, because I ALSO have many beautiful rug samples lying around the studio, those will make an appearance too. Here we go!
1) Geometric For The Win
First up, we have a beautiful light blue glass geometric backsplash and the classic white gloss hex tile. I love a good juxtaposition of styles, so I've paired these with a traditional Turkish style rug. I so adore this layering of styles—more modern geometric patterns with the softer organic shapes of the traditional rug...it's just so good! So don't be afraid to mix your styles. Great applications for both these tile designs would be: backsplash, accent wall, bathroom walls, shower niche, or other places where you might use a tile accent on the wall. These aren't, however, rated for floors.
2) Classic Meets Concrete
Next up, I'm pairing a S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G classic deco wall tile with a modern concrete-look floor tile. The floor tile (which is actually half the size it would be...the full one wouldn't fit in the shipping box LOL) is a 12 x 25-inch concrete-look ceramic tile, and the wall tile is classic marble. I love how these complement each other, and the pair doesn't scream modern or traditional. I paired these with a beautiful hand-knotted Persian style rug with warm reds, browns, and a little pop of teal. Going with neutral tones in your tile allows you space to play with color in your accessories! Also, these would both look GREAT paired with warm wood tones either in the same space, or an adjacent room.
Both these tile selections can be used on either a floor or a wall, as well as in wet or dry applications. We've speced this marble tile for a shower surround, as well as a kitchen backsplash, and the cement-look tile would be great for bathroom, laundry, or kitchen floors, or even a cool modern tile surround.
3) A Penny [Tile] for Your Thoughts?
Friends. I have been LOVING a good penny tile lately. Also, they come in almost any color you can think of, and I find them extremely versatile! You could go retro—we're currently doing a master bath (see our update on the Alger Heights Bungalow) with black penny tile floor and white picket shower, complete with teal vanity. OR, go classic! As in our Fitzgerald Condo Project, which boasts a clawfoot tub, marble counters, and beautiful classic chrome fixtures (see tub below).
These are also an opportunity to go rogue and create your own tile patterns - pop out some colors, fill in with others, and voila! You've got a beautiful custom mosaic.
Other applications for penny tile: foyer or entry tile, fireplace surround or hearth, backsplashes...honestly, a penny tile is good for just about any application!
4) Marble + Subway Tile = Happiness
I feel like there's nothing more to say here. Small-scale marble subway tile, white quartz countertops, warm wood floors, and a vintage-inspired rug are ALWAYS a recipe for a beautiful space. Pop in a few plants, and you have my ideal palette!
5) Marble-look Porcelain in Herringbone Design
Enter the marble-look herringbone entryway...siiiiiiigh. I so envy this client and her snazzy new downtown condo foyer!
While this entry LOOKS like marble, it's actually porcelain. Similar to quartz, ceramic, and other humanmade materials, the technology is such that you can get almost any LOOK on a porcelain tile—for instance, a natural stone look, like granite or marble. They simply print it on! Now, not all manufacturers are created equal, and some totally nail the look, while others feel very fake. You'll know what I'm talking about when you see it. BUT, the great thing about porcelain is that it's way less expensive than marble, gives you the same design impact, and, it's WAY easier to maintain.
SO, below, you'll see the beginnings of our tile entryway in our Fitzgerald Condo Project. We parid the tile with a mid-toned warmer grout, and you can see that it butts up to a beautiful warm wood floor. We intentionally chose a tile with both warm and cool tones so that it would tie together our many different design elements.
This tile would be awesome as a backsplash, either herringbone, brick set, or stacked; it'd be awesome in a shower, bathroom floors, a fireplace surround...really, this one is also super versatile. It can go just about anywhere in your house!
6) Monochromatic Chevron + Cement Grey Hex
I simply adore this tile combo. Actually, we're using everything in this little vignette—aside from the rug—in our upcoming Ada Laundry Room project. The marble chevron deco tile will be the backsplash and run halfway up the walls. The hex is our floor tile, both paired with the just-slightly-veined white countertops and blue and off-white cabinets. It's going to be DE--licious.
As for other applications, the chevron deco tile is definitely meant for walls, not floors, but I could see this in so many places! You could do a whole wall to make a major impact, or just a thin strip for a subtly detail.
7) Let's Get Funky
You might notice a LOT of blue/grey/greige/white tones in the tile I've been showing—guilty! You know me, always playing in the neutral zone. However, the reasoning is mainly because most of these were pulled for the same project, so while it DOES in fact speak to my love of neutrals, that wasn't necessarily intentional. I digress...next up, we take our pattern to the next level! This marble deco tile is almost psychedelic, and if you can imagine a whole shower wall/kitchen backsplash of this baby—OOOH! SO good. Personally, when I use a very busy pattern, I like to pair it with something way less busy. This same just-slightly-veined white quartz countertop would look LOVELY with this deco tile, as well as a simple not-to-varied-in-color wood floor. HOWEVER, I'd STILL pair it with a funky patterned vintage-inspired rug, like so, because the pattern is wayyyy different and in a completely different scale. They don't fight. Rather, they have a pleasant conversation!
7) Monochromatic Skinny Picket Tile
So it's hard to tell in the photo, but this particular tile comes in matte and glossy, and within each color choice, there are something like 14 different slight variations the color, which makes for a STUNNING installation. I haven't had the opportunity to use them yet, but I'm holding out for my day!! These are intended for wall installation and could be used as a backsplash, shower surround, or accent walls in a variety of spaces. Stick with white for a play on the classic, or choose a color for something with a little more mood.
8) Updated Play on an Arabesque Tile
Here's another tile pulled from our Fitzgerald Condo Remodel Project. We used marble patterns a LOT in this space, but since we didn't want it to feel like overkill, we made sure the application was very different in each usage. The counters are larger laps with long, singular veins; the entry is the herringbone application we touched on in #5 of this post, and the fireplace is a much smaller scale wave-like pattern. We wanted to lay it vertical to feel almost like a play on an arabesque, and because the surface of the fireplace was quite skinny on the sides, you get more pattern repeats, rather than just one or two if we were to have laid it horizontally. It also draws your eye right up and makes the fireplace feel taller.
9) Another, Different Picket Tile
This combo is another that we are using in a current project, the Ada Kitchen Remodel. Here, we have a wider white glossy picket tile that we will be laying vertically as the kitchen backsplash. Our counters on this one, rather than being pure white, are more of a glossy blue-grey tone, which will play SUPER well with our SW Smokey Blue cabinets. Our island is a warm wood tone, and the floors are a bright natural oak. This rug will be beneath the eat-in kitchen table, and we're using gold accents for the cabinet hardware.
You'll notice that this palette is a healthy mix of warm AND cool tones. I often see people go ALL cool tones or ALL warm tones, which can lead to a space feeling either cold and stark, or sweltering and intrusive. Bring in a combo of both warm and cool tones, and you'll find your space feel delightfully balanced!
10) Modern Play on Classic Subway
Lastly, a simple grayscale tile combo for you. White subway tile is a no-brainer and works in about a million design applications. What I love about this one is that you might be able to tell that the surface is slightly imperfect, and so are the edges. This tile, while machine-made, is designed to look like a handmade tile, and it makes for a BEAUTIFUL effect when installed! Pair this subway tile with something a little funky, like a cement-look hex tile, or something a little more subtle, like the larger format square or rectangle cement-look tile.
Pair this combo with a funky textured wool rug in the same monochromatic color story, and DANG, your space will be ROCKIN.
The Wrap Up
As designers, we come across WAY more beautiful pieces, creative objects, and fun applications for material than we will ever be able to use on projects, so THANK YOU for this fun opportunity to showcase some of the pieces we haven't used yet!
Remember, when you see those final photos of project, you're seeing the last iteration in a series of many, many iterations. It's all about the creative process! You've gotta play, and be okay with creating a combo that maybe doesn't work out, and know that eventually, you'll come up with an interesting combination that you would never have thought of without going through the process.
SO, now that you have 10 new awesome tile design ideas, you're ready to get started brainstorming your next project. Happy designing!
Work With Lauren Figueroa Interior Design
LFID is a full-service interior design firm based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We work with clients throughout west and southeast Michigan, and pride ourselves on creating bespoke, people-centered spaces—because after all, people are what this life is all about! If you have a project on the horizon, get started by telling us a little about your vision here.