10 texture and colour tips, inspired by a tile expert's home

A creative director and his partner chose beautiful elements to turn ordinary into extraordinary, showing what's achievable when using simple materials well

A modern kitchen with American-style refrigerator, island with encaustic tile detail, wooden bar stools and dining table, and black splashback
(Image credit: Future PLC /)

Colour, print and texture envelope this extended three-bedroom house in Poppleton, Yorkshire. Owned by the founder of a successful tile company and his husband, the property is peppered with bold motifs, calming colours and natural materials to create a comforting sanctuary for the family.

With tween daughters and two dogs, the space needed to retain a familiar feel, but was in need of a contemporary upgrade suitable for this working couple.

1. Wood-clad walls create a dramatic effect

A modern traditional living room scheme with wood panel wall decor, two cream accent chairs and black wood-burning stove

(Image credit: Future PLC / Beth Davis / Simon Bevan)

‘Line’ tiles create an oversized, graphic surround to make more of a feature of the woodburner.

‘The ground-floor open-plan kitchen/dining/living space faces the garden, so is incredibly bright, with plenty of natural light that bounces off the white-painted ceiling. This space also features sleek Fifties-style cocktail chairs and wood detailing on the walls, which adds warmth, depth, and texture. A woodburner brings this area together and makes it feel intimate and inviting.’ explains the homeowner.

Buy the key pieces: Stovax Studio Air 2 freestanding woodburner, £2,899.99, flames.co.uk. Grid Line tiles, £157.50 sq m, Bert & May. Loha rug, from £450, Floor Story.

2. Skylights add invaluable daylight

A white, modern open-plan kitchen with skylights and pendant light fixtures

(Image credit: Future PLC / Beth Davis / Simon Bevan)

'A shabby lean-to at the back of the house was demolished to make way for a double-storey extension, which incorporates the open-plan kitchen/ dining/living area. Again, with the focus on allowing as much natural light into the space as we could, we opted for sleek skylights that sit neatly in the kitchen side return, allowing the sun to stream in gently and brighten the space.' 

Buy the key pieces: Larger Soprano pendant lights in concrete, £86 each, Pooky.

3. A central island makes a statement

A modern kitchen with American-style refrigerator, island with encaustic tile detail, wooden bar stools and dining table, and black splashback

(Image credit: Future PLC / Beth Davis / Simon Bevan)

'We wanted the kitchen, as with the rest of the house, to feel relaxed and inviting, and we also wanted it to be functional. The central island is very much the focal point of this space. It’s clad in tiles that create a graphic pattern to really pull you in.’

Buy the key pieces: Island clad in Hexagonal Split tiles in Pearl & Brighton Stone, £219.24sq m, Bert & May. Nerd for Muuto bar stools, £445 each, Chaplins.

4. The right undertones modernise white paint

A white kitchen with herringbone-style wooden floor, wooden kitchen dining table, white tiled kitchen island, statement lighting fixture and navy splashback

(Image credit: Future PLC / Beth Davis / Simon Bevan)

'We used a pure-white paint colour for the kitchen so that the space would reflect as much light as possible, both natural and electric. The colour is perfect for a modern, open feel, and the natural yellow and green undertones make it comforting and contemporary. The light fitting above the dining table ties into the colour scheme, adding character without being obtrusive.’

Buy the key pieces: Walls painted in Charterhouse No4 matt emulsion, £55.50 for 2.5ltr, Mylands. Wishbone chairs, £480 each, The Conran Shop. Try the Dar Lighting Alana 6 pendant, £89, Fenwick.

5. Deep shades give the snug a warm feel 

A snug with black Crittall-style framed doors, fluted wood detail around woodburning-stove, blue rug, wooden cabinetry and blue velvet curtain window treatment decor

(Image credit: Future PLC / Beth Davis / Simon Bevan)

Floor-to-ceiling wooden panelling ensures the fireplace is the central focus.

'Separated by the open-plan living space by Crittall doors, our main living room/snug is warm and cosy. I wanted to create a bold space that wasn’t overwhelming but was somewhere to relax and unwind. The paint on the walls is a deep, cocooning colour that’s enhanced by the light that streams through the windows. It makes our rich teal velvet sofa really pop.’

A snug with purple-brown wall paint, black framed wall art, navy velvet curtains and velvet sofa with pouffe

(Image credit: Future PLC / Beth Davis / Simon Bevan)

Buy the key pieces: Walls painted in Purple Brown absolute matt emulsion, £52 for 2.5ltr, Little Greene. Scott sofa, from £1,250, Made. Sofia footstool, £450, Soho Home.

6. A dark scheme is grown-up and sexy

A dark bathroom scheme with black hexagonal tiles, oblong mirror, black matt basin, and-brass showerhead

(Image credit: Future PLC / Beth Davis / Simon Bevan)

The brass fittings really stand out against the backdrop of the inky-coloured tiles in this black bathroom design.

‘The main bathroom is moody and sultry, with striking hexagonal wall tiles that continue seamlessly into the shower. The dark colour scheme is incredibly captivating and feels luxurious, but it also makes a statement, which is what I really love about it.’

Buy the key pieces: Hexagonal tiles in Old Iron Black, £2.64 each, Bert & May. Round concrete basin, £730, The Poured Project. I Catini oval box mirror by Cielo, £1,528, West One Bathrooms.

7. Deep green paint gives a calming effect

A bedroom with dark green wall paint decor, bench at end of bed, bed with blue throw and dark brown wooden table with indoor houseplant in planter

(Image credit: Future PLC / Beth Davis / Simon Bevan)

'With its earthy colour palette, the main bedroom feels revitalising, but also tranquil. We used a very deep, dark green paint on the walls to provide an atmospheric backdrop that felt sophisticated, and chevron wood flooring to complement the green and create an enticing natural scheme.’

Buy the key pieces: Walls painted in Market Green No38 marble matt emulsion, £55.50 for 2.5ltr, Mylands.

8. Tiles make a great bedroom feature wall

A luxury bedroom with cream and green arch tile decor, bed, denim blue lampshade, wood and white bedside table and black framed art

(Image credit: Future PLC / Beth Davis / Simon Bevan)

'We really considered what would be luxurious and indulgent, and used green arch tiles to create an accent wall in this bedroom, which looks like something you might find in a boutique hotel. The tiles have an Andalucian feel, which is where the Bert & May story started, on a trip there in 2010, when I met the owner of a family-run local factory making traditional encaustic tiles. That was the spark!’

Buy the key pieces: Livingetc Arch tiles, £8.82 each, Bert & May. Deco marble bedside table, £249, Atkin & Thyme, is similar.

9. We wanted a luxurious escape from the house

A modern traditional home office garden room with black light fixtures, wood wall panel decor, olive green leather accent chair with wooden legs, tan leather desk chair and off-white and green floor tiles with triangular motif

(Image credit: Future PLC / Beth Davis / Simon Bevan)

The textured timber cladding on the walls feels rustic and inviting, as does the reclaimed timber desk.

'Sitting neatly at the bottom of the garden, our standalone home office space is a Study Box, which we designed in collaboration with architects Box 9 Design Ltd. We wanted it to be a little hideaway but also somewhere to really settle down and work. Inside, mid-century furniture and floor tiles give the space its contemporary feel.’

Buy the key pieces: Drake wooden retro-style adjustable task lamp, £100.24, Universal Lighting, is similar. Try Gallery Direct Neyland Heritage occasional chair, £520, Olivia’s.

10. Our garden room fits in seamlessly

A wooden garden room with cream upholstered chair and Crittal-style black framed doors

(Image credit: Future PLC / Beth Davis / Simon Bevan)

‘The wooden exterior of the office space works in harmony with the garden, while the sleek black door frames and modern outdoor furniture on the exterior deck provide a contemporary edge. It’s a pleasure to work in here and it fits in really well with the surroundings.'

Buy the key pieces: Study Box, from £27,500, Bert & May.

Millie Hurst
Senior Content Editor

Millie Hurst was Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home from 2020-2022, and is now Section Editor at Homes & Gardens. Before stepping into the world of interiors, she worked as a Senior SEO Editor for News UK in both London and New York. You can usually find her looking up trending terms and finding real-life budget makeovers our readers love. Millie came up with the website's daily dupes article which gives readers ways to curate a stylish home for less.