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Don’t Be Scared! This New Tile Trend Is Both Classic And Surprisingly Fresh

“Jess…A trend? For a permanent finish??!” I know, I know. It sounds like a gut job in 10 years but hear me out. This isn’t a trend that feels or looks like “a trend” per se. I mean a stripe pattern is one of the most classic patterns of all time, right? So if you were to take a risk on a pattern, this would be it. Even Emily was HIGHLY considering using it for the farmhouse guest bath. What’s also pretty (read: extremely) great is that there are a ton of different ways to go about designing with it. Need some visual aid? Well, let me show you…

These bathrooms and the yellow bathroom above are the ones that were Em’s biggest inspiration for what she was thinking for the farmhouse house guest bath and I can see why. The hand-painted tiles in moody jewel tones are incredible and look almost vintage…perfect for the farmhouse. Plus they played around with the pattern. For the yellow bathroom, they played with orientation and did a variation of the stripe with that staggered border. Then for the green and red showers, the tiles are actually diamond-shaped but painted in a way that creates stripes when layed all together. It’s so visually interesting and yet wildly simple. Emily ultimately felt that this pattern was for a different style of home, not her minimal shaker farmhouse. Secretly she kinda regrets not going for it…would you have made the same decision??

design by david bentheim | photo by ngoc minh ngo | via house and garden

Here is another play on stripes because the pattern is also a herringbone! How cool does this look and how appropriate but fresh for a modern vintage bathroom design? There’s so much movement with the bolder color variation in the gold stripes but then the white stripes help to ground the design so it doesn’t look too busy.

Something super important to consider with this type of tile install is that unless the tile magical comes in sheets, the labor to individually place each of these tiles will cost you. I don’t want that to be a surprise! Talk to your tile installer before you get your heart too set on this design. Or maybe install it yourself!

I mean give me a break! How sweet is this bathroom?! The contrast between that floral wallpaper and the geometric stripes is so good. Plus that pencil trim tile really finishes it off beautifully. Oh and 10/10 for that tonal-colored baseboard. This bathroom is just FULL of personality but doesn’t look trendy. See what I’m talking about with this pattern? No need to worry about it going out of style.

If you’re someone who wants the best of worlds, a fun AND calming bathroom, may I suggest a pastel-colored stripe tile pattern? This bathroom is exactly that. The colors are soft and inviting but the pattern says “hey baby, I’ve got some personality too!” It also helps that the tile only goes up half of the wall. If it was the whole wall this would still have been an awesome bathroom but would have had a completely different look and feel. Keep that in mind along with pattern scale. Note that the square tiles on the floor are half the size of the ones on the wall. It’s a small detail that adds visual interest. Plus it’s just cool.

design by barlow and barlow | photo by kristin perers

This tile and pattern application feels a bit more modern than the ones above. Despite the vintage-inspired floral wallpaper, console sink vanity, and fixtures, the horizontal stripes in that skinny tile feel modern to me. It’s a fun play on mixing styles without going too hard. Can we also note the genius idea to put the shower knobs on the outside of the shower?? Not even a chance of getting wet before you want to. I love it so much.

design by india mahdavi | photo by vincent leroux | via architectural digest france

These next few rooms are more modern but with a ton of soul. Clearly, this is a very cool bathroom that leans o n modern side but has so much depth. The handmade tiles that are slightly imperfectly laid is what does it for me. They are a wonderful contrast to the other modern elements in the room. This could have easily been a neutral-toned, modern organic bathroom but instead, has all of those elements with a very fun twist. I think what we are seeing is the importance of color tone and texture. You can still add a fun pattern to your calm room if you choose the right color. This olive green is both vibrant and soothing.

I know I’ve already shown this kitchen in my plate post but how could I not include it?! It’s so fun and shows that stripes aren’t just for bathrooms. This is definitely a statement. But if you want something bold and fun that has lasting power this is an incredible option. Also, can we note that perfect archway and the accent pattern? Same tiles, just a slight twist!

design by jean-philippe demeyer | photo by miguel flores-vianna | via architectural digest

Same house, different room, different color, also amazing. Check out that tiles detail amount the window. So good!

Now we are only to the purely modern bathrooms. Get those tumbled tiled outta here! These two bathrooms are muted in tone and lovely. The tricolored stripes on the left would be so fun in a kid’s or guest bath. Then notice the play with tile scale on the wall and how the striped are spaced. There are only two kinds of tiles but the overall application is so fun.

Let the fun continue. I love that saturated green and black color mix! Oh and I also love how the grout lines don’t match up. I think that adds to the playfulness…the vaulted ceiling doesn’t hurt either. This is another great example of choosing to not tile from floor to ceiling around the entire room. They choose the perfect moment to do it. It makes that wall/ceiling moment feel special and avoids making the whole room feel too overwhelming.

Maybe you just want a striped accent? This is a bathroom in a hotel room so pattern risks like these are encouraged:) But honestly, I love it. All of the other design elements are super classic so the pop of color with the tile (and the blue wall) is such a small but impactful choice.

I think we all remember this bathroom by Natalie Papier from last year’s ORC. I mean what a stunner! Aside from choosing the most joyous yellow color maybe ever, the tile’s super large scale is what makes it fun and modern and even “cabana”. I’m sure because Natalie also only did stripes going from wall to wall in one direction, that it helps to visually elongate the room. A little visual trick if you will. This bathroom will always make me happy.

design by skout | photo by ryan garvin | via domino reno

Same idea but skinnier stripes! You really can’t go wrong with black and white tile and this pattern just makes the combo that much better. Also, I can’t get over how cool having lockers in a family home bathroom is.

So what are your thoughts? Do you think this is a “safe” pattern for longevity? Which is your favorite room? See you in the comments!

Love you, mean it.

Opening Image Credits: via Splendido Mare

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1 year ago

I saw a super pretty tiling this morning in an article about a house renovation in Brooklyn – they used 3 different sizes of the same tile (scroll down for the after of the bathroom):

1 year ago
Reply to  wally

Wally, that was a lovely bathroom, with the blue tile floor and the painting above the tub, thank you for sharing the link! 🙂

Sara Kozmo
1 year ago
Reply to  Deborah

Thank you

1 year ago
Reply to  wally

eye candy/bookmarking!
wally, so pretty/that color!
jess, this is an awesome collection! stripes are always a win 🙂

As soon as I saw the lead photograph, I was thinking of Natalie Papier’s bathroom and hoped you included it! Such a fun one!!!!
that lead picture btw is gorgeous. I can see why Emily considered it.
the Barlow and Barlow one with the super skinny tiles may be my favorite. Love those super skinny tiles.
that India madhavi one is so so good too!!!! Love the colors. It feels very zen in there.
the kitchen + bathroom in the jean-Philippe-Demeter house are both so good. Sigh. Pink stripes! And the fabric on that kitchen island!
the Robert McKinley shower is so calm. Even through the pattern is so fun, the colors are perfectly neutral, but not boring.
the don cantillo bathroom is awesome. Perfect for a kid bathroom, or adult, but fun for kids! The colors make me think of rugby for some weird reason.
this was a fun post. Now I want a striped bathroom.

1 year ago

Certain people are activated in a good way by bold stripes and patterns and certain people would find it jarring. I’m in the 2nd camp of wanting the volume turned down visually. I think that’s the more important consideration when thinking about longevity of a more permanent installation like tile. If you know you will always feel better in a visually “active” space, you would probably never tire of it. If not, you would need to think twice before going this direction. Also please edit the mistakes in this post.

Jen. (livelygracehome on Insta)
1 year ago

Locker room loo…. clearly my favorite!

1 year ago

Thanks for all the beautiful examples. My first thought was they’re pretty but not for me. But now, I’m sold especially the modern ones.

1 year ago

This post could have used some editing, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

🥰 Rusty
1 year ago

Mmmm?!? Nope. A reasonably hard nope, from me.🚫
Tiles are very permanent, unless you have money coming puta your ears.
There are more reasonable ways to incorporate stripes into your decor.

However, that a-maz-ing flower ceramic stool…. now that’s a Hell Yessss!!! 🤩

1 year ago
Reply to  🥰 Rusty

Yes, I agree Rusty, wallpaper (or hand painted) stripes not tile, though the subtle sandy pink tile in the Robert McKinley bath was lovely. I also love the Barlow and Barlow bath so whimsical and pretty, but NO to the stripped tile, I would have chosen a wainscot in the same color as the baseboard. Yes!! That ceramic flower stool caught my eye too!! 🙂

🥰 Rusty
1 year ago
Reply to  Jess Bunge

Or … a limitless bucket of money.

1 year ago

I came across a condo listing recently that had yellow striped ceramic tile (from the 80s maybe?). The listing claimed that the bathroom needed updating, but I loved it, personally. 🙂

1 year ago

Stripes can be bold but classic…. maybe a “safe” “trend”? lol

I feel like the neutral colors toned it down enough to go in any style house- but for many it’s a preference thing.

1 year ago

Very fun, although some are a little too high contrast for such small space. I love the modern ones with subtler tones, feels like a painting. This look lives or dies on the skill of your tile installer!

1 year ago

I actually really love this. If I walked into someone’s bathroom and it looked like this, I’d be like “These people are COOL.” 🙂

1 year ago

I think I’d do it in wallpaper or MAYBE black and white tile. I love tile and I’m a ceramic artist but I’m also risk averse!

🥰 Rusty
1 year ago
Reply to  Heidi

Or, sensible.

1 year ago

Oh dear God no

1 year ago

Gah! I have a bathroom to tile and I thought I had decided but now I’m thinking stripes. It’s for short-term accommodation so I do want something fun and wow and eye-catching (no-one’s having to live with it forever). I’d seen a few of these before and loved them. I’m thinking I might go bold!

1 year ago
Reply to  Penny

Do it! I always choose my short-term rentals based on how they’re designed, and if the owner has made bold/fun choices, it’s a done deal for me!

1 year ago

I thought I was going to not love this. But I was wrong ! I’m so into it! If I walked into someone’s house and they had any of these striped tiles I would be like “oh wow these people have style”. Even though it’s more permanent than painting or wallpaper, it feels refreshing to not take is so seriously.

1 year ago

I love love love stripes and wear them regularly….but these are a hard no from me. In a temporary finish yes, but not a permanent one.

1 year ago

The color combination of each tile is amazing! It just blew my minds. My favorite is the zebra crossing one.

Dorothy Lee
1 year ago

No, NO, no, nope, No, nope

Dorothy Lee
1 year ago

I design the kitchens and bathrooms in the houses my husband and I build and renovate. I choose the tile for the bathroom based on whether it would work if the buyer were pregnant and nauseous. Would that pattern help her or make her feel worse? Definitely not something one would learn in a design course but all our houses sell to happy customers.

1 year ago
Reply to  Dorothy Lee

This is such a good design principle for permanent finishes, even if you aren’t designing for someone else. My husband and I remodeled a kitchen and put in some wonderful but busy cement-look tiles that suited our minimalist-but-bold tendencies, thinking it was our forever home and no one needed to like the tiles other than us. Definitely not pregnant-and-nauseous-friendly, which is hilarious because at the time I was actually pregnant and nauseous! Welp, four months later we had a major life change and our house was on the market. While we ended up selling just fine (it was an amazing kitchen even if not to every taste), I bet those tiles cost us a few potential buyers. In our current remodel of our new house, we’re going much more neutral and bringing in trends and color through furniture, textiles, and accessories, which gives us and possible future owners more flexibility in the years to come. I do love the more neutral, modern interpretations of this trend, though.

1 year ago

I LOVE stripes. I won’t decorate with them. Wild patterns yes, stripes no. One time I reupholstered a camel back sofa in a wine and cream stripe. When people sat on it they looked like bugs stuck on a candy cane. Keep those stripes subtle!
It took me only a few days to find some sucker, I mean Lucky Person who wanted/needed a (free) sofa : )

1 year ago

Where can I find the striped diamond tiles in the studio wta striped showers?