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Ground Rules

Nov 9, 2017 | Design and Decor, Featured

Creating interest underfoot lays the foundation for a successful decor scheme

Tiles in a bedroom may seem counterintuitive, but this sensational application shows how impactful they can be: These hand-made tiles with their retroinspired pattern in shades of blue were designed by Fernando and Humberto Campana for Bisazza’s Cementiles range ( Perhaps best suited to a summer home where cold isn’t an issue, it’s got a really laid-back, low maintenance feel.


01 Black-and-white is always a classic look, but by adding in a third colour you can take it up a notch. In this hallway, designer Sarah Lavoine ( has incorporated a taupe shade, which elevates the effect. Note the pattern too: a riff on chequerboard, but more interesting.

02 The classic herringbone pattern, so perennially successful in period-parquet and country-chic brick applications, looks more up to date when in a pale blonde wood. This hallway by Oggie Flooring
( achieves a simple yet sophisticated effect courtesy of the border around the pattern.

03 This more dramatic take on a black-and-white floor by Devon & Devon (, using its Elite Mosaic range, plays with scale and shape for effect. Instead of uniformly sized squares in each colour, the darker marble accents are circular and much smaller, linking the cream squares in a grid. This gives the floor a much more expansive feel.


“Giving classic patterns and textures a slight twist makes them feel fresh again”

04 Three-dimensional rugs add interest in a low-key way. Understated in terms of colour but incredibly intricate are The Rug Company’s ( pieces, works of art that have been painstakingly cut into patterns to create depth underfoot.

05 The hexagon is a dynamic shape to use in a bathroom, considering this is one of the spaces
in a home that is often quite spare. The interesting effect adds interest. Amp it up further, as Nord House ( did, by combining hexagonal tiles with others in a different shape – here, a regular metro tile – for even greater impact.


06 Reminiscent of cobbled streets but with a more practical bent, these pebbled tiles are just the thing to add quaintness to a small garden. The surface is more user-friendly than cobblestones but
still organic enough to give it charm.


07 Terrazzo is enjoying a major revival. The surface comes in varying degrees of roughness and a variety of colours. Some applications are wild and retro-inspired, as seen here in a space by Dzek ( where a chunky nougat-like pattern has been used on the floor and the splashback for continuity.

08 A low-key terrazzo-inspired application will work for a wider variety of homes. Take inspiration from architect studio Cera Stribley ( and the way they’ve used the textured look of the surface to add depth to what is otherwise a minimal space.


09 Patterned tiles in a courtyard can help make a space that would otherwise be quite stark feel furnished. Here, a seventies-inspired design by Tom Dixon for Bisazza ( is the perfect foil for a mix of industrial and mid-century furniture.

10 Oversized tiles in large outdoor spaces are a good way to create balance and scale. The colour is key: Enrico Daffonchio ( has used a really deep charcoal here, which grounds the look, and also offsets the greens of the grass and trees beautifully.

11 Rugs give outdoor spaces a living room feel. Consider layering rug, picnic-blanket style, for an informal and dynamic effect. Hertex Fabrics ( has a large range of rugs designed for the outdoors.

Credits: Text: Julia Freemantle, Photographs: Roswell & McLean, Peter Krasilnikoff, Emily Bartlett, Antartica Estudio, Bureaux, Supplied

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