A few tips to help you while shopping for tiles

Tiles….what size, colour, finish?? With the vast choice of tiles available today, selection can be quite a task. Bathrooms and kitchens primarily have seen an injection of new designs and materials recently.  So what’s new?

Technology has propelled tile design to another level. Methods such as digital printing and ink jet printing are transforming less expensive tiles like porcelain and ceramic and giving them looks of marble, limestone, granite, stone, and wood.

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Wood finish is gaining immense popularity, particularly petrified, aged and reclaimed wood finish. Manufacturers are pushing all boundaries in perfecting that look for example traditional hardwood planks and patterns like parquet and herringbone. This is fabulous for those of us who find authentic hard wood floors to maintain. Sizes available are huge and different widths and lengths can be mixed. Thus, providing you a wide range of choices for home interior designing and decoration.

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The industrial look is still a favourite with urban homes and look alike concrete slabs are now available in wall and floor tiles, providing a much quicker and cleaner installation.

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Current interior designing trends also show that the floor tile sizes are increasing to as much as 3’ x 6’, a less expensive alternative to traditional slabs of marble and fewer joints means less maintenance.

Glass tiles are a good option too, giving an eccentrically rich and bright look. Sizes range from 1” x 1” to 18” x18”. They have different shapes such as small round circles called “pennies”, mini, medium or large rectangles, mini, medium or large squares and sticks. They are smoothly non porous water tight and their super glossy finish reflects light giving a sense of space. When used sparingly, vivid glass tiles can provide exciting visual highlights to the interior design of your home and bathroom. Conversely, when covering an entire bathroom wall, glass tiles can create a luxurious spa-like atmosphere.

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3D and textured tiles in a predominantly monochromatic scheme are great for adding another dimension to an interior and perfect where pattern is a minimum.

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We also see the return of the classic ceramic subway tile in various glossy colours. These can look equally good in the traditional running or stacked method or even herringbone applied.

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Artisan tiles are also enjoying a revival these days too. Usually handmade with Moroccan or Spanish influence and a traditional pattern, these tiles can break up a block of colour by adding a depth of character. A very popular design is Arabesque, which is available in a variety of colour, size and finish and even a bevelled design.

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Every tile has its unique design factor and marrying it up with additional elements of interior design of a place doesn’t have to be so daunting. Just bear in mind your two basic considerations: design concept and budget. Happy tile shopping!

I hope this blog would have provided you some insight that would help you in shopping for tiles. If you would like to ask a question or want to share some thoughts of your own on this topic then please leave a comment below. Further, you can also contact me if you require an interior designer in Chandigarh or nearby locations.

My Visit To Europe’s Premier Interior Design Destination

DSC03642During a recent trip home to England, I made sure the Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, was very much on my itinerary this time. I had read about it several times, but never had the chance to visit. The Design Centre must be applauded for its efforts to bring together top interior design brands and their accessibility to all.

On a sunny afternoon in June, I made way to the Royal borough of Chelsea. Very posh! Having entered the lobby of the design centre, the first thing that struck me, was the building itself. Contemporary yet charming – the centre comprises of three circular structures flooded with natural light. Each is made up of four floors of boutiques and finished with an architectural glass and metal framed dome that opens to the London skies.DSC03643 DSC03641 DSC03618 I was met by Sue at the exclusive Design Club (members only) who then accompanied me on a tour of the centre. Home to the biggest and best names in interior design and decor, the one stop shop started with just 4 showrooms and has since gained immense popularity with designers and direct retail customers. Rental space is hard to come by these days as the centre boasts of a long waiting list.DSC03634 DSC03603 DSC03605 DSC03601 DSC03596Providing pure elegance and luxury, the 98 showrooms showcase over 500 of the world’s prestigious brands e.g. Armani/Casa, Ann Sacks, Fendi Casa, Illuminati Lighting, Romo, Victoria & Albert Baths, Tufenkian Artisan Carpets. Areas of decor include furniture, lighting, accessories, bathrooms, kitchens, carpets, yacht furniture, paint, hardware, outdoor furniture, tiles and wall coverings.DSC03625 DSC03626 DSC03627 DSC03629 DSC03621 DSC03616 DSC03615

The Centre even provides a Personal Shopping Service – tuning into your style and needs, the service can save time and help you make the right choices. To avoid the “needle in a haystack” syndrome, this is something I would highly recommend particularly in the soft furnishings category. Going through books and samples can be a very daunting task.

So, for those of you with a limitless budget or who are simply seeking inspiration on an interiors project, do include the Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour on your visit to England.

Colour trends for 2012

Pantone LLC, the global guru on colour has forecasted 9 palettes for home furnishings and interior design next year. Let’s check them out.

Nonchalance – a collection of colours expressing tranquility and relaxation. The mature grey, mauve and taupe blend effortlessly with the white, pink and blue.

Subtleties – a closeness between colour families that are either closely related or quietly complimentary.

Resilience – range of outdoor shades that work very well together.  A dash of flamingo adds an exotic touch to this otherwise organic grouping.

Indigo Effects – the blues are delicately brushed with strokes of maroon, mauve and moody grey.

Transcending Time – this palette speaks volumes of inspirations from the past which continue well into the future.

Back to Fuchsia – old and daring group of colours seeking attention.

Reflection – tones and tints that spark the imagination.

Nouveau Neons – these are not the neons of yesterday but instead a collection of energetic shades that bring a fresh change.

The Comics – a bubbling palette where cartoons come to life and hues that bring a smile and create the time to play.

My preference………………….. well, from a professional angle that all depends on the type of room I’m decorating and the client of course. From a personal point of view I do have four favorites.  Nonchalance, Resilience, Indigo Effects and Transcending Time.

Choosing a palette is easy but executing them is the challenge.

What’s your preference, (if any) and how would you implement those colours in a room?

(image source: pantone.com)