Text by Holly Seng
Tile has been a design staple for centuries, and its balance of form and function ensure it’ll stick around for many more. Whimsical mosaic patterns create a design that steals the show, while an understated approach simply plays a supporting role. Easy to clean and super durable, tile is often used in kitchens and baths but can be utilized throughout the home. Below, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite cottage spaces that incorporate tile—with styles ranging from timeless to trendsetting, and everything in between.
Tried-and-true, white subway tile is a go-to option when it comes to kitchens. For a subtle shake-up, these homeowners selected a California variety with an undulated texture to add extra dimension when light hits it. See more of this Alabama kitchen.
Old Meets New
A deep green tile from Rookwood Pottery—a company whose products were often found in local homes during the ’20s and ’30s—ties in the historic roots of this 1925 English Tudor-style cottage. The colorful floor-to-ceiling subway tile meets its match in an eye-catching starburst light fixture that brings a contemporary touch to the room.
Rustic & Refined
Designer Jamie Elliott McPherson contrasts the smooth lines of this kitchen’s impressive cast-stone range hood with a hand-molded tile backsplash. Limited to the singular space, the textured tile keeps attention front and center, infusing the mountain aesthetic with European elegance.
Antique mirror tile pairs with black cabinetry, bringing a retro flair to this glamorous wet bar. The nickel finish of the undermount sink and cabinet hardware introduce vintage vibes.
Terra-cotta tiles salvaged from a farmhouse in the South of France are given new life as they adorn the fireplace, proving tile’s versatility beyond the kitchen and bath. See more of this charming cottage.
Mix & Match
Don’t be afraid to mix and match tile—especially when defining areas within a larger space. The more grout, the less slippery the area will be, so small hexagon-shaped tiles are ideal to serve as a shower floor. The bold blue-and-white square tiles throw in a signature pop of fun. Take a tour of this beach house.
Floating shelves provide necessary storage without hiding the hand-painted terra-cotta tiles that inject a splash of cheerful tones into this kitchen. “The kitchen is so simple, and I knew I wanted a little bit of navy and taupe and gray,” says homeowner Lisa Furey of the tile choice. See more of this modern lakeside farmhouse.
A Touch of Whimsy
A fresh and fanciful approach to a nature-inspired palette, oversize marble subway tiles in a rich sage green ground an ivy-inspired blue-and-white mosaic on the backsplash. Copper touches lend warmth to the soothing scheme. See more of this South Carolina home.