In my quest to create a ‘Modern Mountain Cabin’ in the Scandinavian style I’ve searched hard for materials that both Brian and I love that make sense for the house. Brian loved pebbles more than me, but i liked them (and I’m a wonderful wife) so I made it happen. But, WOOD is one in which we both love and know is appropriate for a mountain house. The problem is that wood in a bathroom can be tricky (unless it’s a powder). Sure you can build a custom vanity out of wood, or put it on the walls and ceiling and yes, some people have wood flooring, but there are some drawbacks to those (namely beautiful wood is expensive and even with sealing I don’t trust it completely). What’s a solution? As I was researching and shopping I was SHOCKED to find myself attracted to wood style motif tiles – you heard that right – TILES INSPIRED BY WOOD or what we are calling “wood inspired tiles”.
That last phrase generally conjures up wood printed porcelain tiles, like the below but that is NOT what I’m talking about.
Wood on walls that ‘pretends’ to be tile but fail in looking the part is another story (and yes, I’ll be addressing it because the porcelain wood category has upped its game in a shocking way and I can’t wait to ask you about it).
What I’m talking about is ‘wood inspired tile’.
There are some, like the below that give the feeling of ‘cabin’ while being a material that is definitely not trying to be ‘wood’.
I’m attracted to it, but its too bright and playful for this house.
It can often go in a direction that gets a bit ‘funky’, like below.
But when done in a certain way I can see how it can work in our ‘Modern Mountain Cabin’.
What I’m more considering for this home is what you see below – tile that gives the texture and warmth of wood, but in a way that feels modern and fresh.
Now, will that ‘modern and fresh’ feel dated in a few years? THEREIN LIES THE QUESTION.
It’s almost like it was stamped with a wood grain texture instead of printed with the color/pattern.
That above and below are beautiful in my mind and if they were white, why wouldn’t I love that?
We are constantly trying to do something new and editorial but in a timeless way. GOOD LUCK. We need to take risks, but not hate them in a few years. HA.
The below also comes in white (it’s brand new so no great product photography yet). And if I liked brown I would LOVE this, but I think it’s more successful in white because it’s definitely not trying to be wood.
Here’s what it looks like in real life. The below tiles are what I’m actually considering for the mountain house. They evoke ‘wood’ without trying to emulate it. They have a beautiful texture but are subtle in pattern.
They are all tiles that can go in the shower surround, floor or wall and they are handmade so they don’t look or feel cheap.
This one from Cle can be oriented either way and because it’s a cement tile I’d likely use it on walls or backsplash but pair it with some brass, black, blues or green then I’m pretty excited.
It’s a little playful, but modern and in a ‘Scandinavian cabin’ sort of way – but references the mountains.
The Ann Sacks tile, above was the first that made me excited/question the idea. It’s so pretty and simple in person. If that were in a shower surround I would be all over it (in it).
But historically we are taught to avoid things that are trying to be “natural”. It could be gimmicky, feel forced or try-hard. But when done simply, subtley and in a high end, handcrafted way then do we still let our snobbery make the call?
If someone proposed this idea to me without showing me samples I would be like ‘oh hell no, sister’, which is why we got the samples and took the above pics here in the studio. Seeing the real version really helps and when you see them and they are beautiful it makes you think. Could this be the ‘wood’ element that we need? Could this evoke ‘cabin’ in a modern way? Could we take the risk but pair it with other finishes that compliment it in a way that feels timeless?
Below are the ones that I am into and actually considering. For our house I’d likely do the lighter versions, mostly because I apparently am unable to do dark spaces.
But the question is up to you. Can THESE wood inspired tiles be cool? Not just any. I realize the idea is questionable but one of my favorite things to do in life is play devil’s advocate and challenge the status quo. If the world is against wood printed tile, I get that. But is there a version, like these, that is actually beautiful and does the job we need in a simpler way?
Please let me know your thoughts below including whether you think it could work or not.
Wood you consider this tile?
I ‘wood’….. I ‘wood’ not.
I Design, You Decide
Thank you for doing your daily design duty.
Your vote has my vote 🙂
Now enter to win
A five-night stay at the cabin this summer (with some blackout dates, of course, because our family uses it) with $1,000 towards travel expenses (if you live driving distance then it’s just fun money, or if you live internationally then we will cover up to $1,000 of your expenses. So, all the international readers please feel free to participate and enter as well). We’ll make it a dream trip! Including cocktails out on the lake with me.
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Update: Check out all of The Mountain House REVEALS here: The Kids’ Bedroom | The Kitchen | The Kitchen Organization | The Kitchen Appliances | The Powder Bath | The Living Room | The Downstairs Guest Suite | The Loft | The Hall Bath | The Upstairs Guest Bath | The Dining Room | The Family Room