When building a new house or starting a major renovation, the thing I hear most from my clients is… I don’t want it to look boring. But, adding interest with trendy accent tiles is just going to make your house look dated. Here’s one more reason to skip accent tiles altogether.
There is a new answer that I have come up with recently when clients ask me about the finishes for their renovation or new house. I want to save you from spending money later to undo some of the choices you are making right now for your house. This article provides one more reason you should skip accent tiles altogether.
Here’s how it usually goes. You show me your backsplash tile or countertop for your bathroom and then say:
“I’m worried that it’s boring.”
It’s the pitfall that many designers (including me until I was in my 647th consultation) as well as homeowners fall into when they are choosing tiles and that is this:
Interesting = Trendy
Here are a couple of bathrooms (below) that used the same tile throughout. This is much better than trying to coordinate three different accent tiles in one space. Boring now equals timeless later.
How long will you love your accent tile?
The shelf life of an interesting backsplash is about five years. I have never been in a house with trendy backsplash tile that is more than five years old and had anyone tell me they still love it.
I’m serious. Take this accent tile (below). See the green and yellow-beige undertones in the tiles? Until the day you renovate a bathroom with tiles like this, these will be the colours of your walls. Are you ready for that commitment?
So when people say to me, “Maria, subway tile has got to be dated now, right?”
My answer is, “No.”
Do you have to choose a subway tile? No. Choose anything simple and neutral. And while it might still look boring to you before it’s installed, trust me, you will thank me later when you have the flexibility to change colours around it without being stuck with the colours in your tile.
Hey wait, I just thought of something else.
Everyone asks me for neutral walls or neutral furniture but then when it comes to tile, something that is permanently stuck to your bathroom or backsplash FOREVER, you suddenly decide it has to be interesting. Hmmmm.
Show me a trendy and interesting backsplash tile or accent for your shower surround and my response, “Be prepared to hate it very soon after you have it installed.”
I know this sounds like tough love, but take it from someone who’s consulted on hundreds of bathrooms.
There are pretty ways to incorporate accent tiles into your fixed finishes (like above) but getting the look right usually takes perhaps more than you’ll want to spend or the expert eye of an interior designer. Magazine worthy looks cannot be easily copied.
So in general, it’s best to stick to the simple plan. Tread carefully into the accent tile section… go ahead, take a look. And then… run for the hills.
Want more of my colour guidance?
If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, try one of my eDesign packages.
To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large painted samples!
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