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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.

Mock up of bathroom with Design Pool pattern Tinson Tile printed on vinyl flooring.
Pattern Tinson Tile

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.

Mockup of kitchen with Design Pool pattern Harborview Tile printed on wallpaper for backsplash.
Pattern Harborview Tile

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.

Mockup of hotel bathroom with Design Pool pattern Hexagon Diamond Tile printed on wallpaper.
Pattern Hexagon Diamond Tile

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.

Mockup of kitchen with Design Pool pattern Penny Tile printed on wallpaper.
Pattern Penny Tile

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.

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Kristin Crane

Kristin Crane has designed jacquard designs for the home furnishing and residential jobber market for many years, with mills in the US and in China. Today, she writes about pattern and design trends for Design Pool from her home in Providence, Rhode Island. When not writing about fabric, she can be found weaving in her home studio or hiking along the Rhode Island coast.


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