Vintage Tiles Collection, New in the Library
Our new Vintage Tiles collection is an homage to classic tile patterns. Kristen designed this collection to give interior designers an option to have the look of tile in spaces where they couldn’t install the real thing, whether because of budget restraints or cleaning requirements. Kristen created the illusion of authentic tile pieces by designing with subtle texture and shadow. Printed on vinyl flooring through our partner Graphic Image Flooring, these patterns look like tile floor but are not cold and hard underfoot. When printed on wallpaper, they can give the look of a tile backsplash. In either example, the materials can be wiped clean easily.
The inspiration for Vintage Tiles came from a wave of nostalgia.
This group of sixteen patterns began with Kristen remembering the tile patterns she was fascinated by as a child. Both her childhood home and that of her maternal grandparents had small tile patterns she would trace as a child. Patterns Harborview Tile and Tinson Tile are both based on patterns from those homes.
Other patterns were designed from a fascination with honeycomb structures. These structures have long inspired architects and designers for their visual and structural properties. Mathematicians eventually proved what bees knew all along: that a honeycomb structure, or honeycomb conjecture, allows for the minimal amount of material to be used to reach a minimal weight and minimal cost. Simply changing color in this structure can turn a simple honeycomb layout into seemingly endless pattern possibilities.
Diving into tile, particularly researching penny tiles, made us wonder about when we started using tile in home decor.
The history of using tiles in homes goes back to the Victorians. Around this time, two major things happened. First, indoor plumbing became accessible to most people. Second, scientists were making breakthroughs in understanding germs and how infections spread. As a result, people started using tile in bathrooms and kitchens to avoid infection. They wanted to have surfaces that were easy to scrub clean of germs.
Many of the early tile choices were known as penny tiles or penny rounds. These were sold as sheets and were easy to install. People also used individual hexagons in that efficient honeycomb. This solution had the advantage of being easy to replace individual tiles if needed, instead of redoing a whole area. With these small tiles came the opportunity to play with pattern. Changing one tile to another color suddenly gave a whole new look and people started creating patterns and borders.
Whatever you’re looking for in a tile pattern, there will be something to choose in our Vintage Tile collection. Use on floors, walls, or someplace surprising, like upholstery or acoustic panels. And when you do, be sure to tag us. We’d love to see how you’re using our patterns.