Home decorating with ceramic tiles is expected in the kitchen and bathroom, but what about implementing the European tradition of using tiles throughout the home?
Consider the decorating potential for ceramic tiles in the entry or foyer, a living or family room, the dining room, a sunroom, of course the fireplace and even an interior staircase can all be beautifully furnished with tiles.
The beauty of ceramic tiles provide limitless design possibilities, has the ability to link rooms together or to distinguish one room from the next, suggesting an old world feel or something more modern.
Made from natural materials, tiles are durable, non allergenic, they don’t absorb pollutants, dust or mold and are easy to maintain.
They can also be an advantage in hot climates because they are cool.
The entry way or foyer extends a sense of welcome into the home and is the first impression of what lies within.
The use of tiles in this area is a good choice and an opportunity to make a statement that can carry decorative weight because there usually is little in the way of furnishings.
The entrance to the home will get a lot of use so tile needs to be slip resistant and stand up to heavy foot traffic.
Unglazed terra cotta, quarry, porcelain and glazed tiles that mimic stone are choices to consider but an unglazed terra cotta or porous stones need to be sealed for safety and ease of maintaining.
Set the tile close together with minimal grout lines.
A colorful mural on the wall is another use of tiles for in the foyer that could be a fabulous focal point that greets one into the home.
The floor is most often where you see home decorating with ceramic tiles. Look at the interiors of the Spanish, Italian and southern France for design inspiration.
Home decorating with ceramic tiles in the living spaces of the home can be formal or casual. Marble tends to be more formal, while terra cottas can be casual country or give a French flavor.
Use in the family room makes for easy care and a nice transition from the kitchen. (Generally family rooms are in close proximity to the kitchen)
A mellow hue of an unglazed tile or the easy care, glazed tiles’ flow beautifully in an open floor plan and can make is a nice backdrop for area rugs.
Lay tiles at an angle, or in a pattern like a herringbone to give variation to the floor without changing colors.
The tile won't fade or reveal where the furniture was placed, but hard surfaces exaggerate noise, so you will want to offset the noise factor with soft furnishings such as draperies’, area rugs and of course your upholstery.
The dining room tends to be company space so a tile floor here is one way to be creative and do something different.
A “tiled” area rug, a border framing the table area or bright inserts scattered in the field.
A stylish tile with subtle changes in pattern, shape and scale differentiates the dining area from the other rooms of the home and helps to define the space.
An opportunity to feature tiles with a traditional flavor is to use a row at chair rail height, or place a decorative row above the molding for a contrast.
The placement can be adjusted according to the size of the tile. Tiled wainscoting lends a dramatic finishing flair to dining rooms, and the use of tiles inside display niches.
Fireplaces are a common place for decorative tile work and offer a wide range of decorative possibilities to be distinctive.
The facing or the surround of the fireplace is often decorated with tiles as well as the hearth, whether it is raised or flush with the floor.
The hearth is tiled to be durable enough to withstand scrapes from the fireplace tools and logs should they drop.
The tile is impervious to the heat from the fireplace and easy to clean.
A sunroom generally has windows on at least three sides that are open to light and views so using tiles here would be a comfortable choice. They are water resistant and fade proof and again very durable with the foot traffic coming in from the outdoors.
In a hot climate you can use a lighter and brighter tile, but probably want to stay away from going completely with a solid white, which would be harder to keep clean.
In the chiller regions a warmer unglazed tile will gather the sun's warmth.
Tiles add a presence of grandeur on interior staircases taking its cue from the floor below.
On the tread (where your foot lands) should be slip resistant with an unglazed tile or one with a gritty texture.
Risers on the other hand offer unlimited design possibilities because durability is not an issue. You could be more decorative and vary the pattern from riser to riser with different tiles or theme, linked by a common color.
Home decorating with ceramic tiles around doors, built in window seats and highlighting the windows frames, but keep the drapery treatment to a minimum.
When used as baseboards the result is both eye catching and dramatic. If the baseboard continues the same as the floor, it will give the illusion of space.