Sydney designers of all disciplines are enjoying a resurgence in popularity of encaustic tiles. The lovely handmade patterns are starting to feature on kitchen splashbacks and floors, in bathrooms and outdoors as well. Stylists on Instagram are loving this trend as are we at Think Outside Gardens.
They are not the traditional patterns such as tessellated tiles often used in traditional federation bathrooms and verandah floors but rather a new wave of designs using patterned tiles in a modern context with modern materials like marble and caesarstone.
There's nothing new about this style though. The look has always been around and is particularly prevalent in Moorish and Mediterranean architecture – Think the courtyard gardens of Spain and patios of the Greek Islands.
Sydney based Interior designer Justine Hugh-Jones has used encaustic tiles on quiet a few of her recent projects, both as splashbacks and floors for bathrooms and laundries,
In line with both Architects and Interior Designers, Landscape Architects have also started featuring these tiles externally as was recently seen at The Australian Garden Show in Sydney.
The key to effective use is restraint. To make these tiles work either as a floor or feature wall in the garden, the rest of the materials and design should be simple, preferably neutral colours so that the tiles stand out. Too many feature elements will conflict . Think strong simple and elegant. Care must be taken when applying these tiles to external situations as they have varying degrees of slip resistance.
There are few quality suppliers of encaustic tiles in Sydney/NSW, Bourkeshire Interiors next to Bourke Street Bakery Surry Hills has a gorgeous selection, Jatana Interiors offers original antique and reproduction tiles and has always been popular . My favourite handmade tiles though, come from Morocco via Onsite tiles in Paddington. Popham Design have a lovely range of subtle ‘chalk/milk washed' look tiles in various patterns ranging from Moroccan to simple hexagonal and diamond shapes.
We hope you love them as much as we do and watch this space for upcoming Think Outside Gardens that feature these tiles!