Textured, three-dimensional tiles are breaking the mold

Forget dull, flat walls – designers are bringing ever more inventive and original texture to homes

Zaven’s vividly coloured ‘Rilievi’ range of tiles
‘3D Decor’ tiles by Zaven for Cedit, £129 each, Domus, domusgroup.com

We first admired the renaissance of 3D tiles last year at the opening of Harrod’s revamped Fresh Market Hall, where Cristina Celestino’s ‘Plumage’ design by Botteganove added glamorous texture. Since then, we’ve been treated to a growing number of innovative options, with the trend really making its mark during this year’s Milan Design Week at the ‘Perfect Darkness’ installation. Created by H+O (a collaboration between Josephine Akvama Hoffmeyer of Danish studio File Under Pop and Italian designer Elisa Ossino), the display showcased the possibilities available with tiles, presenting them as an exciting alternative to paint and wallpaper.

Cotto tiles
. ‘Biscuit’ tiles, by 41 Zero 42, £103 per square metre, Domus, domusgroup.com

When it comes to stretching the boundaries of this type of surface, few have done more than Finnish designer Jonas Lutz. For his surrealist ‘Guts’ tiles (below), he had to develop a new technique to create all of their bodily lumps and bumps. Lutz carved the shapes directly into plaster, then filled the cavity with liquid clay to make 20 different patterned moulds that all fit together to form a seamless pattern.

Guts tiles by Jonas Lutz
‘Guts’ tiles, price on application, Jonas Lutz, jonaslutz.com

‘The name comes from the texture, but also from the name of the tool I used, which in Dutch is called a guts,’ he says. ‘It creates the feeling that you are inside the belly of a giant being.’

‘Triangolo’ tiles, from £110.50 per square metre, H+O, hpluso.design
‘Triangolo’ tiles, from £110.50 per square metre, H+O, hpluso.design
3d tiles

Of course, the avant-garde Italians are also spearheading this architectural tile revival. Venice-based Zaven has designed the vividly coloured ‘Rilievi’ range, inspired by the work of artist and activist Nino Caruso during the 1960s and 70s, while Marazzi has launched the ‘Eclettica’ collection, with its tasteful wave and diamond shapes. Whatever your style, from geometric to gutsy, there’s a design that will give your walls a new dimension.

This article first appeared in the September 2019 issue of ELLE Decoration

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