Seville was the first stop on our trip to Spain and Italy. We stayed right in the downtown core in a lovely boutique hotel that served afternoon tea and a lovely buffet breakfast each morning.
Back home, I have walked into so many homes where there is an elaborately ornate staircase design that often looks totally out of place. Now I know where the design was inspired. And it fits right in here. Along with the tile after one of my followers on Instagram noted “There’s no subway tile Maria”.
So that’s what inspired this post. Which was easy to write because I took so many photos of all the tile work.
I know many of you, who are longtime readers, might fall off your chair or drop your morning coffee but here is where decorative tile has a place:
This was a doorway in the reception area of the hotel:
Here’s the staircase (below):
The first night, we had dinner in a nearby restaurant. I liked the way the muted red encaustic tile related to the bricks on the same wall (below):
And it also worked well with the black and white tile floors:
This was the backsplash tile in the breakfast room, back in the hotel (below):
This was the floor in the Seville Cathedral nearby (below):
Then we toured the Real Alcazar of Seville, castle and gardens. Gorgeous tiles everywhere (below):
When does this kind of tile work back home? In context with a Spanish/Mediterranean style home, with an exterior that possibly looks like this:
An entry staircase with iron railings ornate or not (below):
Wood beamed ceilings, ornate, spanish style pendants, black, arched windows, all belong in a house with this colourful tile (below):
You could also design a terra cotta floor with a turquoise kitchen (below):
In this Spanish kitchen with the beams in the ceiling and curved plaster hood fan, I could even live with the blue backsplash because it’s been repeated in the plates and tile underneath the window.
Perhaps your styling might look like this with the Spanish style wall sconce as well:
In a Spanish style home, your powder room could look like this (below). Notice the arched doorway and perfect light fixture.
I love this fireplace design (below). So classic and timeless. Again, notice the beams and the arched french doors. The beautiful outdoor fireplace too with the iron gate.
It’s rare that I think a black leather sofa looks good but here in this more neutral ‘Spanish inspired’ living room, it works. Because there’s not too much black to make it heavy and masculine (below):
What I have seen all too often is people will go on a trip to Europe and fall in love with a particular style and when they get home they start adding these random design elements that in no way work with the existing style of their home.
That’s where random arches that have no place suddenly appear, or the busy, ornate staircase railing I mentioned at the beginning of this post or random rows of tile on a staircase kick that in no way belongs.
Decorative tile has a place. And that place is definitely not as a random strip in your kitchen backsplash or shower surround.
At least if you’re going to introduce accent tile, go big or go home, (like the bathroom image above) but don’t just install bits and pieces of it. Decorative tile is like a strong wall colour. If you’ve decided to paint a room red, go for it, don’t just paint it on a single wall, that rarely works.
Related post: A New Way to Design Accent Tile: Ceramic Architecture
Here are a couple more images once we arrived in Barcelona:
Here I am sitting outside at dinner in a Tapas restaurant in Seville:
The sidewalks in Seville were mostly concrete in a hex shape! Isn’t that incredible? You can see it behind me too in the photo above.
Hexagonal concrete tile in Seville
You’ll notice white walls are big in Spanish design. If this is the stye of your home and you need to choose the right white, download my ebook, White is Complicated; A Decorators Guide to Choosing the Right White, here. Or take advantage of our eDesign services here, to find your perfect paint colour.
We fly into Naples tomorrow and our first stop on our Amalfi Coast tour is Capri Island! I can’t wait, follow along on my Insta stories here.
Do you like Spanish style design?