In our last article we explored the colour black. We learned how it projects a sense of elegance, sophistication, confidence, and power, while simultaneously exuding a cosy, intimate feel. This week we’ll take the exploration one step forward, and examine what happens when we juxtapose this tone with the equally timeless colour white.
In recent years there’s been an increasing trend in interior design to combine contrasting materials and colours. The most classic contrast of all is black and white. To appreciate the sophistication, and indeed sexiness of this juxtaposition, just close your eyes and visualise a slightly menacing James Bond ordering a vodka martini. Now that’s what I call a classic look.
This timeless black and white combination has, in recent years, become very popular in both bathroom and kitchen design. Whereas style gurus, such as my modest self, refer to these marvellous designs as “elegant Victorian” and “timeless chequerboard”, some in the trade have fashioned somewhat earthier, and certainly catchier, descriptions. They're overheard referring to “tuxedo bathroom” and “tuxedo kitchen” designs.
The tuxedo kitchen kicks off, at floor level, with timeless black and white floor tiles. These chequered tiles are beautiful in their simplicity, ooze elegance and old-style charm, and are guaranteed to never fall out of fashion. Their matt finish ensures a warm, cosy feel that is ideal for homes.
Stark colour contrasts work superbly in sleek kitchen designs, often with a combination of both black and white cabinets. The use of black cabinets at a lower level, and only white at the higher level, is a technique frequently applied in tuxedo kitchen design as it provides an airy, more spacious look.
A further paradigm often employed in tuxedo kitchens, to give an even more spacious and timeless feel, is to eliminate the use of upper cupboards completely, using open wooden shelving and overhangs in their place.
Does anything shine and sparkle more brilliantly than the tuxedo fitted Mr. Bond staring down his adversary, in a game of blackjack at the Casino Royale? Countless surveys have demonstrated that this James Bond look is the look both women and men desire the most. Quite simply, the contrast of black and white is devastatingly attractive. And it’s a style that is making an increasing appearance in our bathrooms. Many of us will be attracted to the classic Victorian look below:
Photo credit: Gürkan Myczko
This timeless Victorian feel can be easily achieved in your home by interchanging our black tiles and white tiles in the classic chessboard style above. Or if you wish to add a more creative note to the Victorian look, why not alternate the tiles in a more personal design as illustrated below:
These black and white tiles are both elegant and functional, and are the perfect solution for those seeking a matt bathroom floor tile. The smaller than normal 33 x 33 cm size guarantees versatility and makes it the perfect tile to project elegance and sophistication in smaller, tighter bathrooms.
Our Marquinia and Carrara tiles, on the other hand, are marble effect tiles that have been carefully designed to accurately replicate the fabulous marbles quarried in the Basque and Tuscany regions respectively. At 45 x 45cm, these black and white floor tiles are an ideal size for fitting in any room. These two seamlessly conspire to achieve that Victorian look that has adorned houses, mansions, palaces, and castles for hundreds of years. This luxurious look, which projects both class and exclusivity, can be realised at incredibly accessible prices at Tile Devil.
However, there are many among us that are reticent about tuxedo designs in our bathrooms, fearing that such a design would leave the space too cold and unwelcoming. For most of us, our bathrooms are where we begin and end our day. It’s one of the few places in life where we can step out of the hustle and bustle of the world into a (hopefully!) private space, and take a few minutes of much needed me-time. Our bathroom is a safe space for us to let both our hair and our pants down, to relax back into soothing, reviving bubbles after a stressful day. And we all need such a significant space in our homes to be warm and welcoming.
This too can be achieved in tuxedo bathrooms without resorting to other colours. Through the use of warm lighting, natural materials such as wood, and warm tones and textures in the choice of towels and other bathroom accessories, we can achieve such a look. Interspersing glossy with matt tile finishes completes the look. You certainly couldn’t accuse the below black and white design of being too dark, cold or uninviting.
Licence to Thrill
So if you’re seeking a license to thrill – to thrill all those who will walk into your stylish, sophisticated home. And if you wish your visitors to be shaken, not stirred, by your sexy, elegant interior design, then an investment in the above tuxedo styles will certainly be worth every moneypenny.
By The Tile Monk.
About The Author
The Tile Monk lives a simple life devoted completely to tile worship. He meditates on tiles, about tiles. He no longer lays tiles; that’s for his younger apprentices. You cannot follow him on Twitter or Facebook, as his time on this earth is dedicated solely to the contemplation of tiles, and occasional blogposts.