“It’s funny to call patterned tile a trend,” says Devon Tobin of Denver’s Duet Design Group, who designed this kitchen. “It’s Eastern-inspired design—travel to Morocco, Vietnam, Bali, Spain, and it’s everywhere—but we’re catching on in the United States.”
For good reason. Painted or stamped tiles are durable, and they bring color, texture, and life to just about any space, from entryways and kitchen backsplashes to powder room floors. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t rules to consider. Of utmost importance is evaluating a space in terms of its era and scale. A midcentury modern home can take a strong, geometric look, while a more traditional home might call for a lighter fleur-de-lis aesthetic.
Inside Stories by Duet Design Group, an à la carte design service that Tobin co-owns with partner Miranda Cullen, consulted on this kitchen in Old Country Club. Tobin recommended the bold Palazzo porcelain tile by StonePeak Ceramics in order to balance the weight of the original window casings and the black lower cabinets. “It’s clearly the impact in the space,” she says. “In larger spaces this tile could be busy; in small spaces, it’s appreciated.”
Our four favorite tiles right now.
Devon Tobin of Duet Design Group gives us her best advice for choosing the right tile material for your space.
Patterned cement is incredibly durable and eye-catching, but it must be sealed upon installation and again every couple of years. As an alternative, pattern-matched ceramic or porcelain tiles (like those pictured) don’t need to be sealed, and they’re equally durable. Bonus: Ceramic and porcelain can be very affordable.