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For too long bathrooms, kitchens and utility rooms have had the exclusive interior design rights to tiles. That rule gets erased today – you can forget practicality, tiles are a smoking hot trend for the modern home with their own unique design direction. But how do you work tiles into every room? With a little imagination.
 
Go Minimal
Following on from the Danish-inspired Hygge trend, there is still a lot of love for the minimalist look – eradicating clutter to enhance the spaces in which we live.

Large format tiles are ideal for a minimalist home

Large format tiles are perfect for a minimalist-focused room, adding to the feeling of spaciousness. For the most-committed of minimalist, use a large format tile that is suitable as both a wall and floor covering to create one continuous look from floor to ceiling.

 
Faking It
There can be no denying how amazing wooden floors look. But they are also expensive, and require ongoing maintenance – which again can cost a lot of money. If you want the look of a real wooden floor, but none of the hassle, tiles are a great alternative. From the distressed effect to classic parquet, whatever finish you are looking for, there is a tile to suit and best of all, it requires little ongoing maintenance and only modest outlay.
 
Chipping Away
Chipboard is back. And it’s seriously sexy. The modern age version has seen this material come of age and anyone looking to achieve a contemporary look throughout their home would do well to consider a chipboard-inspired tile.

Chipboard-inspired tiles

Combining the industrial charm of exposed chipboard with the practicality of a porcelain tile, chipboard-inspired tiles are this summer’s hottest wall and floor covering. They are striking, attention-grabbing and speak volumes about the inhabitant’s style. If you’re not bold enough to cover an entire room in a chipboard-inspired tile, use it to define a practical workspace in the home, or simply add texture and interest to one specific area.
 
To Boldly Go
With the rise of bi-fold doors, our outdoor spaces really are becoming an integral part of the family home. And thanks to huge advances with baked porcelain tiles, you can enjoy continuous flooring from your home to your garden using the same floor tile.

No longer confined indoors, tiles add a wow factor to a patio

If you’re happy with carpet indoors but want decking with a difference, again a porcelain tile makes a really great choice. You can choose to replicate decking with a wood-inspired tile – without the need to apply decking stain or worry about the sun bleaching the wood – or even a tile with a subtle pattern similar to those found on a kitchen floor.
 
The new feature wall
It’s been more than a decade since feature walls first worked their way into our homes and hearts – now, they’re well overdue a revamp. The feature wall of 2017 is very much about texture, depth and a material difference – something that you simply can’t perfect when armed with only a roll of wallpaper and some adhesive.

For this, there is tiling. Current favourite combinations include high-shine brick style ceramic tiles in on-trend grey; and if that’s not attention-grabbing enough, there’s now grout in every colour of the rainbow, including shimmering golds, silvers and blacks.
Now tiles have well and truly broken out of their traditional realms, our homes may never be the same again. The versatility of effects, prints and materials tiling provides opens up a Pandora’s box for interior designers – just what may come over the course of the next 12 months is anyone’s guess, exciting times indeed.


 
Lesley Taylor is the author of 10 interior design books and has appeared on a range of network TV shows, including This Morning, giving inspirational advice on home styling. She lives in Wales where she is the Founder and Design Director of luxury interiors lifestyle store Taylors Etc. 
 
Lesley’s top tips for using tiles in non-traditional rooms:
  1. Start small with a tiled feature wall.
  2. Always check the product specification for any specific restrictions on your chosen tiles.
  3. Unless you are an amazing DIY-er, get a professional in to lay your new tiles.
  4. Be prepared for a small amount of maintenance, such as a quick clean, to keep your new tiles in top condition.
  5. If laying tiles outside, try to source some with an anti-slip finish.

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