As published in New Homes & Land Magazine
I simply cannot stop thinking about Japan. Having only recently returned from a wild and immersive 10-day trip, my emotions are high and I’m craving another taste of the bustling metropolis that is Tokyo.
But the more I think about it, it’s not the 7-Eleven chicken katsu sandwiches I religiously ate every day that’s left a lasting impression on me, but the sheer beauty of the architecture framing the cities. I would find myself stopping every 10 metres to take pictures of izakaya’s or apartment buildings covered in quaint coloured tiles and contrasting grout. This is when I realised I was in tile heaven and could bring this design insight back home.
Now, conveniently enough, we have seen an emergence of Japanese inspired tiles and design features filter through our collections over the last six months. This trend has been plastered over the Instagram and Pinterest mood boards our clients present to us and we cannot get enough of it.
Minimalist in texture and aesthetics, the Japanese inspired interiors we are seeing can only be described by the natural shift from the ever-popular Scandinavian approach to design. While both exercising a minimalist approach to creating functional spaces, the Japanese interpretation places greater importance on nature with rich colour palettes used to provide warmth. Think dark stained timber with accents of black and deep hues of red and green.
Japanese design places heavy focus on enhancing the personal experience within a space – it must be simple, comfortable and timeless to fit any environment. As well as this, the Japanese have an appreciation for craftsmanship and ancient methods of design and construction. With the Japanese-inspired tiles currently on the market, it is easy to see manufacturers carefully make these considerations, as the designs maximise the imperfections of the material.
Porcelain finger-look tiles are arguably the most popular design. Taking inspiration from ancient Raku pottery, the glazed mosaics offer variegated tones of a natural earthy palette. Some are textured with undulated surfaces and others flat and matte for a more modern interpretation of the ancient design. For the Zen space, the unique Kuroyaki range takes inspiration from the traditional Japanese method of preserving timber beams by charring the external surface. Tactile and visually beautiful, this collection fuses dark natural tones with decorative accents of Sakura, bamboo and Koi. You really only need to travel as far as our showroom to immerse yourself in the beauty of Japanese design – although I wouldn’t mind a one way flight to Tokyo right about now.
*As published in GT Magazine 4th May 2019
There is no denying the overwhelming sense of pressure one can face in the light of designing a new home or simple renovation. And I use the word ‘simple’ very lightly, because let’s face it, no project is ever simple. Whether you’re building your dream home or flipping a house to sell, the prospect of designing these spaces can be scary especially if you feel you have no design sense. We see this a lot in our showroom, so don’t ever feel like you’re the only one trying to decide between a matte or gloss subway tile for your kitchen splashback. This. Is. Normal.
Questions that generally arise sound something like this: “What is everyone doing with bathrooms these days?” “Is matte black tapware going to go out of fashion?” “What would you do?” “HELP me. I don’t know what I want.”
Okay the last one wasn’t really a question but it’s probably the most common phrase we hear throughout the showroom. And I’m here to tell you that you do in fact know what you want, you might just not know how to apply that knowledge. Read on to see my tips to beat the designer block (no qualifications required).
SHOW ME YOUR (P)INTEREST
We are a society of tech-savvy people and with the world’s best interior designers at our fingertips, we can build mood boards to help inspire our projects at any given time. Apps like Pinterest and Instagram are great tools to save and collate images that speak to us and our eye for design (yes, you have this too).
These wonderful mood boards also act as the key to your style and personality. As you’re scrolling, pinning and saving these images, you might not realise but you are subconsciously finding the direction your project will go. Colours, textures, tiles and styles of tapware will pop up in these images and the one aspect linking all these together is most likely staring you right in the eye. It could be that timber vanity, a terrazzo floor or herringbone pattern that just catches your attention. If you start seeing this kind of repetition popping up then you’re on the right track.
Dare I say it...you have inadvertently established your design style!
ELIMINATE THE HATE
Why is it that we can identify the things we don’t like in a heartbeat, but seriously struggle with working out the things we love? I do believe this is a good trait to have as it makes the process of elimination easy. Once you can identify the styles or design aspects you are not keen on, you can solely focus on the vision you wish to recreate.
PICK THE BEST OF THE REST
Knowing what you don’t like also means you need to know what you do like. But this doesn’t mean that everything you like has to be in your space and this, I think, is a common misconception people have when it comes to designing a home. I for one, love many different styles and eras of design that it makes me sick at the thought of the day I have to design my own home. How will I possibly choose!? Who knows...but what I do know is that I have to stick to my gut and choose the elements that will not only complement my personality but the entire feel of the home. For example, I wouldn’t put the grandeur black and gold Art Deco inspired tiles I’m obsessed with in my quaint coastal home. It’s like tea and milk, they just shouldn’t go together.
Beating the designer block can be challenging, however I hope I have made it a little easier for you. At the essence of everything, you cannot lose sight of the end goal. Know your style and don’t try to cram every single detail into the one space. Sometimes less is more and most times this is what you will find will work better than anything else. Plus, you’ll know what you love if you keep checking back at your Pinterest boards.
Geelong Tiles & Bathware
As featured is Kitchens & Bathrooms Quarterly Vol. 25 No. 4
Product Details as supplied by Geelong Tiles & Bathware:
BASIN Victoria + Albert IOS with custom black gloss finish
BATH Victoria + Albert IOS with gloss black bespoke finish
SHOWER Faucet Strommen Pegasi dual gooseneck
TAPS Faucet Strommen Pegasi
WALL TILES GTB 100 x 200 matt white subway
FLOOR TILES Black Beauty Décor
TOILET SUITE Caroma Urbane Cleanflush wall-faced
ACCESSORIES Faucet Strommen Pegasi
With so many kitchen and bathroom tapware ranges on the market, it is hard for people to choose the perfect one. My advice is don't be scared to choose something different. People often question is matte black still in or is this going to date? Often if you are choosing pieces for your own style and home, you connect with a particular look and colour. Go with your instinct and have fun with these pieces. Kitchen mixer and bathroom taps can really bring life and character to the room.
Many suppliers are offering a number of special finishes in tapware that are growing in popularity. The obvious matte black is being closely followed by, brushed chrome, gunmetal, nickel, antique brass and rose gold. Over the last month we have been forecasting what is next to come, and the most recent trade fare confirmed that coloured tapware ins't going anywhere but forward.
There are some amazing and innovative new ranges soon to be realeased. These custom colours and two tones options are really going to let individuals and designers express themselves and their ideas, creating unique looking rooms.
So if you are in the market for new tapware, be sure to visit us and let us show you all the new options we have and lets create your ideal look.
GT&B are delighted to exclusively showcase the amazing new tapware range designed by the ever so talented Jamie-Lee Jones. In an industry where we are constantly chasing a new trend and look we often look for those products that stand out from the rest and have a great story behind them. We had the pleasure of meeting this enthusiastic and fun loving designer. Her range is sleek and confident. Perfect pieces to suit a modern and minimal styled home.
"With design in her blood, a home that could only be described as an art studio, and an ambition to express to the world her passion Jamie J has endeavored on her own path to bring you satisfying designs captured through emerging trends she has seen arise worldwide." This range of designer tapware has flare and a modern youthful feeling. Perfect for a new modern home. Be sure to explore these great pieces on her website and in our showroom.
If you are a lover of all things design and home, its ok to admit you may watch shows like "The Block" and the "Home Lifestyle" channel. I must say, if there ever was a series of "The Block" I would have liked to be on, it would have been this current one. What a fantastic building to be working with, full of rich detail and history. An architect and designers dream project, I really want the contestants to get their heads around my favourite period of design, Art Deco. Their challenge is to bring this old Art Deco heritage building back to its former glory integrating a modern twist for the buyers. What a buzz. There are so many ways to translate this superb movement. It was one of the most exciting decorative styles of the century, and is still referenced through contemporary geometric designs.
Art Deco was a movement recognised by its rich bold colours and simple geometric designs. Shortly after the end of WWI, the French art movement inspired optimism, and brought forth a new energy. I want to showcase some of the stunning design features from this time in history before I delve into the modern fusion with this style.
I have come across a few images of spaces where they have cleverly incorporated facets of the Art Deco style in an eclectic way. Many people these days tend to have an eclectic style because we have so many wonderful periods that have past before us which we can draw from. The next 3 images are quite different in approach, they show a good starting point for integrating a past style in a modern way. This is a great example of how you can translate the Art Deco style in so many ways to suit your taste.
In a current world where homewares are on everyones wish list with a plethora of black, white & gold at your finger tips, it is a great time to be referencing the Art Deco period and introduce some of this bold and confident design detail in your homes. It doesn't mean you have to make everything in a room from that period. It could mean choosing a rug with a deco style print, a lamp, a painting or even an architrave. Have some fun with it, dont be so literal. I have put together 2 small story boards that inspired me when I was looking into the modern Art Deco approach. One is a darker take on the period and one is a bit more glam. I love black, so I'm sure you know which one I love. Whichever you prefer, the options are there. Hope you enjoy them and get inspired.
Our own sense of character and style. All the things we like through music, colour, smell, sound and touch mould us as a person.
So when designing our own house you can see how everyones style and home can vary so much. It is our job at GT&B to make sure we have all of the possibilities available to our customers that will suit every design style and taste for new home builders and renovators.
It is no simple feat as there is a plethora of items to choose from. However our design team rise to the challenge every season to pick out the best and latest products for our clients.
With so much at our disposal from our Australian and suppliers abroad there is no limitation. This season we have sourced some exceptional new pieces. There is a real move into the textures that are on tiles at the moment. The mainstream ranges are still prodominently matt and gloss but as you delve into our exclusive european ranges you will see many tactile and intriguing new tiles. We have a huge range of hand made tiles in various shapes and colour that make for fantastic feature walls. There are many rustic and worn looking tiles that are great for a rich feel and wonderful for cleaning as they disguise every bit of dust and crumb. These tiles come in subway format, hexagon, diamond, large format and even in a rustic timber look. The newest texture kid on the block is the every stunning brick look tiles. Superb in texture and colour, there is no shortage of the possibilities with these new wonders. To accommodate for everyones taste there are so many different finishes and sizes to work in with from federation period homes to modern Scadinavian styles. Our design pick of the month has to be our large format back tiles in the matt black and the white. Not to mention their extraordinary feature tiles that are like no other tile on the market today. If a feature is what you are looking for, this is a range not to miss out on.
Do your self a favour and visit our showroom and simply have a look at the thousands of beautiful tiles there are on offer. Every tile is unique as you are, the right one will stand out to you. Tiles are a main factor of every home, so don’t rush into your tile choice, take time to look around and explore the wonderful options that are available to you and that make you smile. Visit the design team at Geelong Tiles & Bathware ….. prepare to be inspired
Mel Skoko - Designer
So here goes....
my passion in life is design, art, travel, fashion & family. Inspired by all things around me I would like to share my experiences with you to spark your creative flare inside. I live and breathe design and through this forum I hope to inspire you to discover the wonderful world of creativity & imagination.