Design Trends: Modern Takes on Timeless Black + White Tile

Design Trends: Modern Takes on Timeless Black + White Tile

‘Timeless’ doesn’t have to mean ‘vintage’. A truly timeless design motif can be updated consistently and with dramatic effect. Like the “little black dress”, a truly iconic look can always be reinterpreted for modern times.

Recently, the official Peter Salerno Inc. Instagram account took a look at modern takes on another timeless design theme – black and white tile. We’d say black & white tile design is making a comeback in 2019, but it never really went anywhere.

Still, with every new design season comes a plethora of updated takes on one of the most classic motifs in custom kitchen and bath design. From trusted advisors like Houzz and House Beautiful to HGTV and Elle Decor, black and white tile ideas are everywhere. But as always, the first place we turn is the most award-winning custom kitchen and bath design firm of the 21st century.

Why does black and white tile design work? As Jessica Gordon Ryan, founder of Gimlet Marketing, wrote quite eloquently:

For those who struggle with color, this takes the guesswork out of the equation, without being colorless. For those who embrace color, it can always be added in with accessories. With black and white anything goes – it’s like the little black dress for the home!

The color pairing of black & white in home design is timeless, so what are today’s designers doing to make a classic idea become contemporary?

Like a science experiment, every classic design motif needs a “control” element. Here, the control is two-fold: the color (black and white) and the medium (tile).

From there, everything else is in play. Construction, shape, material, and artistic interpretation are what makes this season’s black and white tile options particularly memorable. 

Mixed media appears to be popular in this season’s black and white tile designs; we’re seeing stone and glass elements make their way into tile construction and overall design concepts. Geometric and mosaic patterns in tile design are very popular and provide a “retro” element to the design space. And single-color metallic additions (like bronze, silver and gold) add an element of heightened class and ‘dazzle’.

How do you feel about black and white tile in contemporary design? Let’s have a conversation; leave a comment below!

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