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A water-jet tile-cutter can create intricate botanical patterns, like AKDO's "Sublime Bouquet Azurite with Talc and Ink" glass tile, shown here. Available at Decorative Materials. Image courtesy of Decorative Materials.

Tile Trend: Botanical Patterns

In the world of decorative tile, plant- and flower-inspired motifs are making a big comeback this spring—and we couldn’t be happier to see them.

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Just in time for spring, the botanical trend is abloom in the world of interior design—and nowhere more beautifully than in the realm of decorative tile.

“Things are shifting toward more organic shapes and fluid lines, and we’re seeing it embodied in the leaves and florals of botanical designs,” says Kirsten Schmit, marketing and product manager for tile specialist Decorative Materials, which has showrooms in Denver, Aspen, Vail, and Telluride. “It’s a true softening of the very graphic, angular patterns of last year and the year before.”

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Whimsical florals and bold, leafy fronds can make a big statement, but it’s a tough look to get right, Schmit cautions. Here, she shares a few tips for pulling it off with style:

Create a feature wall. Kitchen backsplashes and powder rooms are great places to incorporate the trend, Schmit says. Or, opt for a space you get up close and personal with every day, like your master bathroom’s shower. “I recently saw a botanical-patterned, stone-mosaic feature wall paired with white marble in a shower, and it was stunning,” Schmit says. “It’s a great place to push your boundaries if you don’t quite have the nerve to commit to a kitchen backsplash.”

Choose just one. Botanical patterns “work best on their own,” Schmit says, so choose one design you love and let it take center stage—and avoid pairing it with another soft-lined pattern. The room’s supporting design elements should speak softly in terms of texture.

Carefully consider color. “My biggest caution is to carefully consider your color palette,” Schmit says. If you are going bold with pattern, don’t add color that will steal the show. A natural fieldstone or white marble is a great place to start; a monochromatic palette will really let the pattern shine.

Keep it inside. It may be tempting to incorporate a botanical-patterned tile into an outdoor room, but Schmit says the unpredictable Colorado weather (with its frequent freeze-thaw cycles) isn’t friendly to outdoor tile. Always opt for function over fashion.

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View these and other botanical-patterned tiles in person at Decorative Materials’ Denver showroom, located at the Denver Design District; 595 S. Broadway, Suite 121E; 303-722-1333, decorativematerials.com

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