Ultimate Combinations: Patterns & Plain

It’s true to say that the most successful decorating schemes are a mixture of several ideas – a room that is all one colour, or all one shiny texture, or patterned throughout, is likely either to cause a headache or boredom. A mixture of at least two elements, such as smooth and textured surfaces, plain painted and patterned wallpapered walls, or plain wall tiles and textured or patterned floor tiles is probably going to be far more successful, and of course, allows further exploration of patterned or plain, colourful, or monochrome elements in future decorating schemes.

Olde-Worlde Rustic Looks

Our Esenzia Fenice patterned ceramic wall tiles have a gorgeous, ageless patterned finish that would live very happily in a modern bathroom as well as a rustic kitchen. There are two Esenzia pattern options, Fenice as shown and Gondola, alongside six plains, which still have a subtle element of distressed ‘pattern’ and come in Grey, White, Leaf, Blue, Cream and Rose. A combination of these patterns and plains would be a very clever choice.

Classic Patterns

Small geometric patterns, such as those in our Marrakech range are a good choice to add a spark of interest to otherwise low-key schemes; add a splash of colour by painting the exterior of an old-fashioned bath tub (use oil or acrylic eggshell finish for the best results, sanding down with a very fine grade paper first and using a primer if you get back to bare metal). Wood-effect tiles, such as our Driftwood textured planks, add a  sense of texture to a scheme such as this, but intrinsically it’s a ‘plain’ scheme with just one striking element of pattern in the wall tiles.

Perfectly Plain

Ok, well we couldn’t resist showing you all this wonderfully plain, understated kitchen. Ivory cabinets, and a modular porcelain tile, Bowers Rock Matt White, provides a neutral, subtle background for this kitchen-dining space. But…it could do with a little spark of colour we think, so for an ultimate combination, we’re suggesting the addition of one or two practical rugs. Keep on reading for our colourful combination suggestions!

Rugged Combinations

Happily, each of our three suggestions here are outdoor rugs in handwoven recycled polypropylene, from Cuckooland. So not only are they super-hardwearing they would be a great option for a kitchen, being easy to keep clean, especially if they’re deployed around pets and youngsters! From left; Chittagong in Black;  Fab Hab Santa-Fe in Teal; and Fab Hab Lhasa in Orange & Violet. A great zippy whizz of colour and texture to put a spring in your step this season…

A Combination of Four

Pattern combinations can sometimes look a bit ‘trying too hard’ or (whisper it), ‘garish’. However, we are totally in love and awe of this room design, using four different tiles – three subdued patterns for the walls, and a plain for the floor. All from our stunning Velvet collection; proof that patterns can look ultra-perfect.

Centrepiece Style

This tile design is a fantastic achievement… swapping around the centrepiece ‘square’ for wall and floor, but using the same intricately patterned Sintra porcelain tiles, throughout. There are over twenty individual designs, supplied in a random selection in each box. So each floor or wall will truly have a bespoke, individual appearance. Top Tip: Remember to choose tiles that are equal depth if you’re mixing different ranges, to make installation straightforward.


Inspired by our previous mentions of patterned rugs, if you don’t wish to go down the rug route to get pattern onto the floor, consider a section of rug-esque patterned tiles instead – such as our  Andalucia tiles. Available in boxes of 14, with a random selection of the 24 different patterns available.  Take a deep breath and plunge into a world of colour and pattern!

And Finally…

We couldn’t resist making some wallpaper and panel suggestions to add pattern to plain flooring. Three recent favourites (it could easily have been 30!) are here for you to ponder upon: From left; Deep Sea wallpaper, featuring beautifully drawn deep sea creatures – and there’s also matching fabric available too – all from Wilful Ink; Centre; Wisteria in Coral wallpaper from Woodchip & Magnolia – how pretty is this? And, how gorgeous does it lookk teamed with marble tiles (try our Marble Vein Polished Porcelain) and vintage furniture; Right; This is a very different pattern from the type of designs we normally look at, but how fabulous is this, it’s the Geode  mural from Wallsauce. Balance the look with a plainer choice for flooring – try our Huntsville Oak luxury vinyl tiles for a similar look.

And remember to send us any shots of your ultimate combinations – hit us up @TileMountainUK or tag us on Instagram with your pics!

You might also enjoy these posts on the Tile Mountain blog…

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Eye-Popping Feature Floors To Create a Fantastic Focal Point

How To Add Texture To A Roomscape

Linda has worked as a freelance interiors writer and blogger for many years; she has written for most of the major home and design magazines, including KBB Magazine, Grand Designs, Homes & Gardens, House Beautiful, Period Homes and Good Homes. She made the break and moved from London back to her home town of Shrewsbury three years ago and has just finished renovating her house. She also works in an interior design studio, produces copy for brochures and website, tries to tame her garden, aims to finish all the home furnishing projects she has on the go … and loves walking.