There is a story, probably apocryphal, that when architects were designing Apple’s new Cupertino headquarters, Steve Jobs spent a few minutes looking at the blueprints before telling the architects to go away and make the building half a foot longer. “Half a foot? How on earth will that make a difference?” they implored, knowing it would entail redrawing the entire design. The reason: Jobs had his eye on a specific tile for the floor, and he didn’t want to have to cut one in half to make them fit.
If Steve Jobs, at one time, the world’s leading perfectionist, loved tiles, then so should you. We can see the appeal: there are few ways to transform the character and feel of a space as quickly and comprehensively. Versatile, easy to install and hard-wearing, they are the unsung heroes of 21st century interior design, wrongfully sidelined in favour of exposed wood and the resurgence of deep carpets.
And while there’s no denying the rugged charm of exposed railway-sleeper floorboards, they’re in short supply, as well as being rather impractical for city living. Appalling sound-proofing makes them your neighbour’s worst nightmare, and they’re an unending source of splinters for pets and children. Tiles, meanwhile, can be hosed down after a trip to the seaside, gleaming and ready to welcome guests within minutes.
Geometric designs are particularly hot, complementing virtually any home with pleasingly repetitive patterns and a look that’s at once modern and classical.
We particularly love the 3D tiles from Domus, which are made from specially formulated, fibre reinforced concrete, are soft to the touch and are available in 24 colours; they are guaranteed to make a statement wall into a talking point.
Elsewhere, tile designer Daniel Ogassian’s Japanese Weave is a Brutalist fan’s dream, a grey, concrete mesh design that will add a sleek, masculine edge to any home.
So get out there and tile over your floors, walls and ceilings. Tile every available surface. Perhaps stop short of moving the walls to make them fit, though: we can’t all afford to be as pernickety as Steve Jobs.