Hand-painted tiles are the ultimate kitsch design feature - here's how to make them feel trendy

Creating a characterful look has never been easier with this simple addition

Ca Pietra blue handpainted tiles in kitchen
(Image credit: Marlborough Tiles)

Hand-painted tiles are a traditional style that dates back centuries, but they're having a resurgence in home decor thanks to the latest trend for kitsch design that is everywhere in 2024. 

From 'kitschens' to traditional bathroom ideas, many homeowners resort to handcrafted, unique pieces to make their spaces feel a bit different from the norm. Many of us strive to create a home that feels lived-in, warm and inviting, and hand-painted tiles are the ultimate unique touch that will give your kitchen or bathroom a bespoke Mediterranean-inspired look.  

'As homeowners, we’re craving homes with individuality and hand painted motifs deliver this,' Grazzie Wilson, head of creative at Ca’ Pietra advises. 'Look to find ones that have been designed by artists as this is where the bolder and more interesting designs are to be found.' These ideas will give you plenty of inspiration on where to look...

Lisa Dawson utility room with Ca Pietra pink tiles

(Image credit: Lisa Dawson)

How to style hand-painted tiles

Hand-painted tiles certainly became synonymous with a certain 'dated' look but the style has evolved from farmyard animal motifs. There are now so many chic styles in trendy colourways that will make your bathroom tile ideas or kitchen tile ideas feel brand new. 

'Our hand-painted ceramic wall tiles bring a sense of true individuality to the home. After all, they are literal works of art - each stroke painted by hand onto raw glaze using the traditional Majolica technique, and then individually signed by the artist who painted it,' says Jamie Robb, the Owner of Marlborough Tiles.

'They are popular as they add personality and character and you can select individual tiles for your bathroom, kitchen or fireplace surround, or make a statement at the heart of the home with a range cooker panel.'

1. Spruce up a backsplash

Ca Pietra blue handpainted tiles in kitchen

(Image credit: Ca Pietra)

There's no better way to add joy to a cooking area than with a swathe of hand-painted tiles behind a hob. A splashback is an essential part of a functional kitchen as it'll protect walls from food spills, so why not turn something practical into a standout design feature?

You can tile up the entire wall or keep it to a few tiles tall depending on how much you want to draw the eye (and how much money you want to spend). Hand-painted tiles tend to be slightly more expensive due to the craft that goes into them, so creating a checkered design on a splashback idea will allow you to dip your toe into the trend. 

2. Go bold with flooring

Ca Pietra pink tiled bathroom floor

(Image credit: Ca Pietra)

Flooring is a great opportunity to make a statement. In small spaces that you want to feel more expansive, keeping the walls light and instead adding pattern to a floor will help to make a room feel airier.  

Whether it's a cloakroom or family bathroom, adding a touch of character to a space you use day in, day out will make it much more enjoyable to spend time in. Bathroom tile trends for 2024 lean towards whimsical and geometric patterns, making hand-painted tiles an ideal choice. 

3. Ease in with a border

Ca Pietra handpainted tiles on border in bathroom

(Image credit: Ca Pietra)

If statement tiles aren't quite your style, hand-painted tiles make the perfect border design. Keeping the majority of the tiles neutral or colour-blocked then adding a strip of tiles with a motif along the top will add a touch of character to an aesthetic. 

You can also get creative with the lay pattern - this bathroom scheme from Ca Pietra has turned the hand-painted tiles on their side to form a diamond format. It adds even more dimension to a relatively simple look.  

Our favourite hand-painted tiles

Which style takes your fancy?

Holly Cockburn
Content Editor

After starting out her journey at Future as a Features Editor on Top Ten Reviews, Holly is now a Content Editor at Ideal Home, writing about the best interior ideas and news. At Top Ten Reviews, she focussed on TikTok viral cleaning hacks as well as how to take care of investment purchases such as lawn mowers, washing machines and vacuum cleaners. Prior to this, Holly was apart of the editorial team at Howdens which sparked her interest in interior design, and more specifically, kitchens (Shaker is her favourite!).