Two weeks ago we took a visit to Versatile showroom in Navan, County Meath. There is a myriad of tiles and styles of tiles on show at this and indeed at any given tile show room. With this in mind, we thought we’d take a little look at tiles and find out why we use them, why they endure and remain so popular. It is also a great opportunity to look back at some of our favourite projects and showcase some of the beautiful tiles we have worked with.
Tiling is actually a very cost-effective way of making a statement, and for the most part is environmentally friendly. Tiles are hygienic and hypo-allergenic, hard wearing and water resistant.
Tiles are also a great way to achieve a seamless look and they come in a wide range of colours and styles. Overall, they are easy to clean and low-maintenance. These factors go a long way to explain the endurance and continued ubiquity of tiles.
There are five types of tile
Most common of these and the ones you are probably most familiar with are ceramic and porcelain.
Ceramic tiles are made from clay that has been permanently hardened by heat and often having a decorative glaze
Porcelain tile is a hard, fine-grained sonorous, nonporous, and usually translucent and white ceramic ware that consists essentially of kaolin, quartz and a feldspathic rock that is fired at a high temperature – also called hard-paste porcelain or true porcelain.
Natural Stone tiles are exactly that and can include slate, quartz and sandstone tiles.
Encaustic tiles are ceramic tiles in which the pattern or figure on the surface is not a product of the glaze but of different colours of clay. They are usually of two colours, but a tile may be composed of as many as six.
Glass tiles are pieces of glass formed into consistent shapes and are often used in mosaics.
In the photo above, beautiful emerald Equipe Evolution InMetro Victorian Green subway tiles, whose glistening concavities work splendidly surrounding the custom table inlaid with azure Mainzu ceramic tiles while a patchwork of patterned Vives ceramic tile completes the exquisite vision. We really do love tiles.
So here are two tile trends of 2019:
Slabs in bigger and more ostentatious marble patterns
New technology means new ways of using marble or marble substitutes and on scales not seen before. Remarkable new products and designs are emerging. Sizes are practically unlimited where once a tile 600mm x 300mm was considered large, they can now be made up to 3m x 1m in polished, matt, semi polished and anti-slip finishes.
Terrazzo in bold colours and sizes
Probably the fastest growing trend in tiling, terrazzo has taken the design world by storm. Not only used in tiling, terrazzo has appeared in in glassware, wallpaper and furniture. Terrazzo uses natural stones and materials consisting of embedded rock and concrete, and its use can literally be a piece of art in its own right.
So if you want to add class, art, beauty and sophistication to any design, then tiles in their many forms are most definitely the way to go.
Announcing the winner of best café design at the 2018 Restaurant and Bar Design Awards: The Pot Bellied Pig.
What a week that was. After a few intense and long days organising and executing a photoshoot at a recently completed London residence, we headed to the Restaurant and Bar Design Awards 2018 on Thursday evening. Our design for the Pot Bellied Pig was up for best café design in the UK/International category. We had been looking forward to the for many months having received news of the shortlist all the way back in June.
Front door entrance
Needless to say the Pot Bellied Pig has always been close to our hearts. Lema Murphy is one of those dream clients that we love to collaborate with at KLD. Lema was invested, creatively driven and open-minded to the possibilities. She had lived and worked in Melbourne after college and was really taken by how social their cafés were for groups and individuals alike. They catered for groups but also for the individual who would come and read the paper or gaze at their phone.
The two ‘before’ photos below give you an idea of the transformation that took place with the design. The space is long and narrow with limited light and had previously been an off-licence, so turning it into a restaurant where people would sit and spend time was indeed a challenge.
A large part of the brief was that the business would be focused on catering to the young, professional, brunch market so the design required a cool aesthetic with maximum capacity for covers, providing both takeaway and eat in options, as well as an outdoor area.
It was with this in mind that we set about the design for the Pot Bellied Pig. The main challenge was the small space and how to create multiple experiences within this space. The solution was clever zoning, identified by stark changes in materials and an innovative design installation of tubed lighting was designed by KLD for the front, initial entrance part of the café.
From the photographs, taken by best in the business Barbara Corsico, you will see we used a mix of tiles, brass, velvets, leather and lush planting which deliver interest and excitement throughout. Nature and greenery were drawn in to enhance the palette of pink and green. The building’s limited natural light and a long orientation demanded we add a lot of mirror in order to bounce light and reflect the space, giving the illusion of a wider frame to the café.
At the time of its opening we were thrilled to have such fantastic write ups in the Irish Times and countless blogs, with one describing it as “a swoonworthy addition to our Instagram feeds.” More recently, The Pot Bellied Pig also featured in the October 2018 edition of Architectural Digest Mexico.
And so to the awards in London at Kings Cross on Thursday 4 October 2015. Quite a surreal experience. Dedicated to the design of food and beverage spaces, they are now in their tenth year and globally recognised. This covers every imaginable hospitality space, from ships to airports, museums to burger vans, and from revered Michelin-starred establishments to the fleeting dynamism of pop-ups. I could hardly believe it when the Pot Bellied Pig was named the winner of best café design. It was such a strong category and our fellow nominees were design houses whose work spans the globe and who I truly admire. It was a huge deal to be even at the awards and be in such company and winning was a wonderful bonus.
It is a huge honour to win this award, I am also delighted for Lema, as the Pot Bellied Pig is her baby and it is wonderful that it has received this recognition. We are so very proud of this collaboration and look forward to many more daring, inventive, bold and brave restaurant designs.
Thank you to everyone involved in the design and build and thanks to the Restaurant and Bar Design Awards for the recognition.