Indigenous UK

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Home Style Notes

Styling with pattern

If, like us, you’re a fan of muted tones and all things natural, pattern can seem a little daunting.  We love simplicity, calm and Scandi-styling, but recently we’ve become increasingly drawn to a more eclectic look… an injection of colour; a flamboyant floral or striking geometric to liven things up.

Pattern can breathe new life into an interior, adding colour, character and texture. And, it’s a fabulous way to stamp your own mark on a space, be it with a tentative cushion, a jolly ottoman or a statement tiled floor. There’s no right or wrong; you just have to let the room dictate to you and be guided by your space. Even happy clashing can work, as long as patterns have a chance to breath and you can create a sense of balance.

Consider colour

If you’re new to colour, sticking to two or three cohesive hues is a good starting point.  Patterns can then be chosen to complement and align with your colour palette. Create a physical mood board, including your favourite paints, tiles, fabric and textures, so that you can visualise everything together.  You might choose rich jewel colours for an opulent scheme; bright, uplifting shades or soft, gentle tones. A colour wheel is a really handy tool to see variations of a single tone for ‘monochromatic’ schemes, harmonious colours which sit side-by-side, complementary colours on opposite sides of the wheel and other combinations.

If you want to break away from a background base of beige on walls – but don’t want to inject too much colour – look out for the new neutrals; shades with warm, pink undertones, clay-coloured paints and hues with a touch of blue or green. 

Consider scale and space

When you’re choosing a pattern, scale is important. It might be large and bold, or more detailed. In a larger room, bold, intricate patterns can be used without overwhelming the space, but small-scale pattern can create a more intimate feel.  In small rooms, less busy designs tend to work best. Remember texture too; it’s a great way to introduce pattern and interest. Natural materials like rattan and reclaimed wood, along with wood and faux fur can be used to add further balance and depth.

As a rule of thumb, it’s best to stick with one showstopper anchor pattern, one medium and one small pattern and to break it up with solid colours, so that your eye has somewhere to land.  Pattern should also be balanced and used equally through the room, so that any one area doesn’t become lopsided.

Using patterned tiles in your scheme

Decorative floor and wall tiles are a fabulous way to introduce pattern throughout the home. You might want the tile to be the ‘hero’, for strong visual interest, or to create a feature to complement surrounding décor; perhaps a splashback or feature wall.  In either case, think about space, the light in the room and the overall look you want to achieve.  With patterned floor tiles, install them outwards from a focal point or the middle of your room, rather than starting at the wall; this will create symmetry. Kitchen islands and bar areas provide a nice opportunity for a splash of colour too and, if you tile their vertical surfaces, you can avoid muddy, scuffed walls.

There are endless pattern options with tiles – period, vintage and rustic; artisan hand-painted; patchwork encaustics; geometrics and floral motifs. There are also lots of different formats, like brick and subway-styles, herringbone and basketweave patterns, patchworks and thin, rectangular ‘kit kat’ designs. Some follow enduring trends, like checkboards and natural-effect stone and wood surfaces, whilst others bring something new, like increasingly popular vertical tile stacking and textured designs which add an extra dimension.

Our top picks - and new for 2024

If you’re looking to bring a wash of colour and texture to your walls, there are some lovely colour options within our Glazed Wall Tile Collection. Handmade from Spanish terracotta, these tiles are glazed by artisans and have a washed colour tone and high-gloss finish.  Uneven edges, an undulating surface and the occasional raised salt pop give them a wholesome, rustic feel.  Agua Marina – a delicate, light turquoise shade – and Azul Claro – a very pale sky blue – and two of our favourite tones.   If you love turquoise palettes, there’s also our Oxidised Copper Bath, with its striking blue/green patina layered over highly polished tin. A real show-stopper!

For subtle pattern on the floor, we love the vintage vibe of our Tuscan Decorative-effect Porcelain.   These patterned tiles create the look of a well-worn encaustic tile, in a mixture of faded blue, grey, browns and creams. We’ve also just introduced a range called Frame 15 – a collection of tiles with a strong Majolica influence. A gentle colour mix of blues, greys, beige and monochrome runs throughout the collection, which includes classic encaustic-style patterns, geometric designs and three plain tiles for borders.

If you want to bring pattern through texture, wood-effect porcelain tiles are a great option.  Our collection includes four colour tones which can be laid together to create the look of a traditional wood floor.  Being porcelain, these tiles are very practical and ideal for wet and busy areas, like kitchens, bathrooms, hallways and bootrooms.