One of the most popular blog posts I’ve ever written was on subway or metro tiles and it’s safe to say they’re pretty much everywhere, in every cool store, cafe or lifestyle interior. But somehow the more I see them, the more I like them and it seems many other stylists, designers and homeowners feel the same.
Here’s my round up of the ten best ways to approach Subway Style for 2014-15:
Interior stylists and designers are adding quirky style to plain white metro tiles, especially in bathrooms, with the use of highly patterned and often quite quirky wallpaper:
The Scandinavian look is huge for Spring Summer 2014 and the feel can easily be fed into bathrooms and kitchens with the use of pale timber, geometric patterning, retro furniture and cool utilitarian accents:
The heavy industrial trend is slowly developing with warmer, vintage styling such as mirrors, lighting and taps, especially in brass, gold and copper. This lends a luxurious metallic feel to tiles which can sometimes feel a little stark, and is relatively inexpensive to achieve if you’re an avid charity shop, flea market or EBay fan:
Smaller subway tiles are popping up on Pinterest and in style magazines, and I also saw some fab ones at a Manchester restaurant recently. They look equally as good used in a vintage or contemporary context:
Blackboards and blackboard paint have been popular for a while now, especially in cafe culture, but why not try them juxtaposed with subway tiles to give a fun and practical feel to a family kitchen?
A SPLASH OF COLOUR
Colour popping can give a fabulous lift to a room and this look works particularly well with a white kitchen and when the chosen colour is carefully placed to create a visual wow, like the plinth and lighting below. Sticking to plain white tiles but using accent colours also means a room is easy to update each year.
FLOOR TO CEILING
Subway tiles can look stunning when used floor to ceiling as in the images below and I really like the use of huge feature shelving in kitchens – be careful when drilling with this one.
On a practical level, remember bathroom steam & kitchen oils will get high level tiles dirtier than painted walls so be prepared for lots of stepladder polishing. I know this from rental experience!
WONDERFUL WITH WHITE MARBLE
You surely haven’t missed the obsession many interioristas have with white marble and it’s sophisticated, sumptuously elegant finish. A marble worktop or basin top works gorgeously with white metros or you can use white marble subway tiles, sparingly if you’re on a budget or liberally if you’re lucky enough not to be. Even just a few sprinkled in as an accent splashback can give an elegant life to a scheme:
Framing is a newish trend coming to the fore and is featuring in our renovation of Moregeous Mansions. I love the way it works with subway tiles.
Of course if you don’t want to use actual tiles for style, practicality or cost reasons, you could always pretend as in this rather fabulous Warsaw cafe pinned by @totmac, or the stunning Metro tile wallpaper:
PS Fancy a good tip from a tile specialist on keeping them clean too? – HERE