June 30, 2022
Victorian tiles evoke the spirit of another era. The style is easily recognisable and remains popular to this very day for both walls and floors. This article provides advice on how best to feature Victorian tiles in more contemporary interior décor. It also examines the most popular designs and explains how to use them effectively in various rooms of the house.
The Victorian era, named after Queen Victoria, encompasses the years she reigned as monarch of the United Kingdom and Ireland, from 1837 to 1901. The common approach to interior design in this era was “more is more“. The Victorians loved to fill every available square inch of their living rooms with furnishings, fabrics and decorative objects. This was a reflection of status and extremely desirable.
The furniture of the Victorian home was generally timber with carved embellishments. Wall coverings were inspired by natural motifs, soft furnishings were abundant, and flooring featured geometric motifs. The colour scheme was sombre and conditioned by the technology of the time.
The architects of the mid-19th Century were obsessed with the gothic-style churches and castles of the medieval era. Floral motifs and complex geometric patterns were all the rage for interior designers. This, coupled with the availability of mass-manufactured tiles, resulted in four popular designs for Victorian tiles:
Floral motifs in bright, strong tones are inspired by natural plants and flowers.
Monochrome, hard-wearing tiles are mostly used in areas that require resistance to wear and tear.
Monochrome or highly coloured patterns can be featured in homes and public buildings.
Geometric-shaped tiles can be laid homogeneously or organised into more complex patterns.
Even today, the Victorian aesthetic is a much admired historical look. All things Victorian are in great demand when it comes to real estate and interior design. Gothic style, cottage core and even steampunk are terms we see in the latest magazine articles, all directly inspired by the Victorians. This is also true for tiles, a finish that continues to inspire the UK home décor to this day. This article examines how we can get the Victorian look with floor and wall tiles within different areas of the home.
▶ Get the look
Our Victorian mosaic collection will transform any space into a haven of peace and relaxation.
Above all else, the Victorians were practical and they recognised the advantages of tiles for floors. Nevertheless, even the most basic room in the home was provided with a flooring tile that had a decorative element. For reception areas, such as halls and entrance areas, the entire floor often had a bespoke decorative layout. Almost like a carpet of tiles with a recurring motif and elaborate border tile details.
For the Victorians, the hallway tiles started outside the house. The pathway from the street to the entrance porch (or setback) was considered an important transition zone. Encaustic tiles laid in a geometric pattern were typically laid within a strip to form a path, with lawn or planting on either side. The great advantage of the tiled hallway is the easy maintenance and extreme resistance to wear and tear. To get the look there are two infallible options:
The indoor bathroom was popularised during the Victorian era. That’s the reason we tend to associate Victorian floor tiles with bathrooms. The classic choice was black and white chequerboard which might be turned to 45 degrees to create a more visually dynamic look.
Here are some ideas for Victorian-style floors and walls:
▶ Want to learn more? Discover how to create a Victorian-style bathroom.
Nowadays, incorporating a traditional or country look into a contemporary kitchen is trendier than ever. One of the reasons is our newfound interest in wholesome foods. These tips and ideas will help incorporate Victorian-inspired charm into your kitchen décor.
▶ Get the look
Our Craft tile collection features geometric motifs and patterns inspired by old hydraulic tiles, with the primary colours being blue, yellow, and white.
Because the Victorian period spans over 60 years there are several shifts in fashionable colours during that time period.
Consequently, to recreate the authentic Victorian tile patterns we recommend choosing these rich tones. Colours like deep greens, dark blues and gorgeous crimson wines and reds are, therefore, recommended.
However, the simple monochrome combination of black and white deserves special mention. The Victorians were masters of an overstatement, so even a simple combination of black and white could be transformed into something highly decorative in their hands.
As well as the classic chequerboard pattern, geometric pattern tiles in black and white were also popular. Therefore, the sizes and shapes of black and white tiles were contrasted to create eye-catching floor and wall pattern designs. For instance, feature borders surrounding a geometric pattern of black and white tiles were a simple but highly effective decorative resource. Similarly, the square white metro tile on the walls of functional spaces was a practical and aesthetic solution to hygiene considerations.
▶ Get the look
The geometric shapes and glossy finish of the Deco Marmi collection visually lighten the space.