Back to the future

Coco Chanel, arguably the greatest style guru of all time had this to say: “Fashion changes. Style endures.”

Homeware fashions and trends are no different. Some ideas trend, but last a season. Like Ultra Violet, whose garish screech lasted for a short while only (and we are still giving thanks for her quick exit). Others keep trending. Keep coming back. Patchwork tiles, for example. And mosaics, which keep on reinventing themselves. Both looks had their origins in ancient history, popped back on the horizon in the 19th century, and then again in the mid-20th century. Lo and behold, they’re reimagined, absolutely gorgeous, and back for good. Centro Viena really own the decorative patchwork look, while Global Stone have taken mosaics to the next level.

XXL tiles.

Large format tiles – also called slabs – have been around for at least a decade. About two years ago, they became popular, and for jolly good reason. XXL tiles offer the extraordinary opportunity to rock two aesthetics at the same time: the austere architectural vibe, and the look of luxurious elegance: both timeless styles. I mean, what could be more elegant than a sweep of glamorously veined marble across a floor or wall. The real thing will cost an arm and a leg … and crack and damage over time, but Italtile’s huge range of marble-finish porcelain tiles will put on the ritz far more affordably, and offer an easy-to-maintain and long-lasting surface.

Marvel Pro – Atlas Concorde

All Italtile’s larger format tiles make the most of any space, large or small, and offer rectified edges, which results in minimal grout lines and an almost seamless finish. Go big and glam with long and slender Barkwood, marble-ous, delicately veined Marvel Pro Grey Fleury or Calacatta Extra, magnificent stone-look Klif, Super-textural Spazio with its unique flecked finish, earthspirational Ritual with authentic clay tones, or the muscular, mighty 1200×1200 cement-look Baltimore in a wide range of finishes (including slip-resistant), sizes and tones. Oh, and for big industrial minimalism, go with Steeltech. The XXL list is endless, so you are bound to find the perfect finish to translate the trend into your living space.

The Victorian bathroom.

“To live like royalty”. Yes, well, dream on… in a Victorian bathroom. Aah, the yearning for a bygone era of swishing skirts, beribboned parasols, horse-drawn carriages and upper class English Heritage. Thanks, Downton Abbey, for bringing back the past.

The ultra-feminine Victorian trend is here to stay. Decorative, stately, opulent, the look really comes to life in the bathroom. Italtile’s sighworthy Victoria and Albert baths are The Last Word in reimagined retro upper class tubs. Take their Pembroke bath, for example: named after the birthplace of an ancient English monarch. It truly evokes that regal elegance we love to love when we watch British monarchy on TV. Then finish off your Vogue-torian bathroom with Italtile’s beautifully crafted Heritage accessory range, guaranteed for a lifetime of right royal style.

The checkerboard look. Black and White forever.

The monochrome look has always had a seat on The Popularity Bus, but over the past couple of years, the black and white checkerboard has made an even bigger comeback. In bathrooms, kitchens or entrance halls, the black and white look will always be with us, rather like The Little Black Dress. Dress it up with glamorous contemporary décor finishes… or down, with Provençal chabby chic, or anything and everything in between, including the opulent Victorian look.

Add timeless elegance to a kitchen backsplash or smarten up your pool area with Global Stone’s large black hexagonal with white inset mosaics. A classic kitchen cries out for a black and white floor, and the Silk Anthracite and Silk Blanco pair up like Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith to turn your floor into a contemporary classic masterpiece. Then there’s decorative Pavimento Bulgary, for a dynamic, decorative patchwork spin on the monochrome trend.

Silk Blanco Matt Tiles

Then of course, you can embrace your dark side and break up the monochrome with contrasting black elements in an all-white room. Oh… where to start with the list of black beauties. How about a Cotto Thantara Black Counter Top basin, or a deeply delicious black and white Victoria and Albert Terrassa double-ended freestanding bath, or glintingly black Hexagon Enviro Glass mini mosaics. Then, you could add divine little dabs of matt black to your white bathroom with the velvety black Dominus Omega Black accessories. In the kitchen, add drama with a chrome and black rubber Move Sink Mixer from Nobili.

Winding your way through the myriad trends out there can put the untrained trend hunter into a bit of a froth. Fret not, friend. Come into your nearest Italtile, arm yourself with a delish @craftcoffeesa signature blend cappuccino, and have a talk with one of Italtile’s interior design qualified sales advisers.

In the end, here’s the best advice: fantasize about a fashion fad by all means, but the wise stylist will invest in a look that’s there for the long term and add fashionable, seasonal touches to refresh it every now and then.