Many of us dream about spending time in an idyllic sun-drenched location with sand between our toes, the breeze in our hair and no appointments to rush to, except perhaps for a seat at the bar or a nice massage. The Cote d’Azur and Italian Riviera are an extended line of coast, running from Cannes through Menton in the South of France, and into beautiful Tuscany for a length of perhaps 300 miles in total. Benefitting from hours of sunshine a day, the regions are synonymous with relaxed and easy living, colourfully painted towns, scenic views, and beautiful food. The homes here are characteristically a mix of influences from historic interiors with a storied past that incorporate period furniture and art, to more relaxed interiors courtesy of natural fibres and snug blankets.
The scene here, with lush planted succulents and wall-hung woven decoration utilises a porcelain for the floor that replicates natural clay to create just this sense of casual living. Terracotta is a fantastic way to add an authentic element when decorating with this look in mind. These hexagon tiles are reclaimed from Serbia and shaped to create this beautiful floor of varied tones, although they could work equally well on a wall too. The corner of a pretty kitchen pictured has used one of our distinctive and practical porcelain tiles for the wall to form this beautiful kaleidoscopic motif in warm tones.
Colour is everything to getting the look right for channelling a little bit of Mediterranean chic. For example, cobalt blue is a great shade to give your project a jolt, without it looking too forced or obviously beachy but still evoking sun-drenched rooms and warmer climes.
This intense blue also works brilliantly partnered with warm chocolate browns or mushroom-like greige, or paired with caramel, apricot or terracotta hues. The two colours seem to be opposites but complement each other beautifully, especially teamed with crisp or creamy whites. Wall and floor tiles can, alongside paint, be a great way to introduce brown shades to your refurbishment without it becoming too dark.
The scheme pictured with the blue bench seating utilises our Semaphore porcelain in the Bahama colourway, showing how effective decorative tile in a deeper colourway can enhance and elevate the scheme, alongside the use of shades from the Claybrook Colour paint collection. Although the UK doesn’t have the sunniest or hottest weather, these hues and materials still feel perfectly at home, as many of us have older or characterful properties in which colour and pattern thrive. However, the look can also add a little depth and visual interest to newer properties, without it becoming a pastiche or too obvious a theme.
Our new Williamsburg tile collection has visual and tactile interest, and can be laid in myriad ways depending on the look required. Glazed tiles are ideal in bathrooms and kitchens too, adding not just style but a surface that’s wipeable and hard wearing, alongside having longevity in terms of design. It’s easy to create eye-catching chequerboard designs, by simply using two differing colours of the tiles alternately. Likewise, stripes can be made by laying lines of tiles in vertical bands or strips in two or even three shades. For a style that evokes the décor seen in higher-end hotels in the region, the Encaustic tiles seen here work brilliantly, adding pattern and colour alongside design vivacity to get the look of a fresh and inspiring place.
Blues and browns; who knew they could form such a wonderful partnership?