If you're investing in a custom home design, you can indulge your love of old architecture by recreating an old house completely -- you mimic the cool architectural features outside, but you get all the benefits of a custom new home that fits your desires on the inside. If you're hoping to highlight the era the home was modeled after, you can combine modern design elements with classic, timeless features. One of the ways to do this is through authentic, custom tile designs for your bathrooms, walkway and kitchen.
Move Away From Monochromatic
Victorian designs sought to make tile designs a focal point of the room. Therefore, a simple square tile in a single color will not convey the charm of a Victorian design. Instead, choose two or three complementary colors to make a consistent, patterned design. Common period colors for tiles included black, cream, rose pink, deep green, rusty brown, blue, and taupe. Multi-colored tile designs were quite common, so limiting yourself to two colors will convey a more simple, laid back style -- which was also common for narrow spaces that couldn't support a more formal, elaborate design. Three or four colors are better for open spaces like grand foyers or outdoor patio spaces, although checkerboard patterns were also quite common for garden spaces as well.
The Victorian entry and your modern kitchen space support these patterns. Common designs feature a border of smaller, cut tiles, with a focal point of tiles that care cut into triangular and rectangular shapes to makes stars, boxes, squares encased with triangles, and running borders that crisscross through the design. These tiles are not not cut into small pieces to make the stars and shapes -- rather, true Victorian tiles are encaustic with the design built into each square piece. Early Victorian designs were more elaborate. Moving into the Edwardian period, tile designs became more masculine with fewer frills and simple geometric patterns. Talk to your custom home builder about sourcing authentic tiles.
Make Room For Tiny Tile
For bathrooms, the large tile designs were passed over in favor of small tiles that could be set into mosaic designs. Typical tile shapes included hexagons, penny tiles (circular tiles about the size of a penny), basket-weave tiles, or small square tiles with diamond corners. To add interest to the floor, different colors of the same shape could be set in a specific design. For example, it was common to see black hexagons tiles laid in a white background to make small flower shapes in the floor. For more elaborate designs, these tiny tiles could form flowers, circles, stripes, and leaves to mimic a printed rug.
Bring A Splash To The Backsplash
Bringing historical flair to a kitchen space can be a challenge. During Victorian times, the kitchen was not a community living space, but a community working space. However, modern home designs respect the kitchen as the focal point of the home, central to entertaining. With your custom home design, you can try to integrate the older design features into a central space. For example, you can tile the backsplash using the same small-tile techniques as the bathroom, or you can highlight the Victorian kitchen as the true workspace it was meant to be by making a more utilitarian design with simple, square tiles or subway tiles in a single color. With the frills in the other areas of the home, the Victorian kitchen was all about efficacy in work and meal preparation, a stark contrast to the beautifully crafted tile designs and woodwork in other parts of the home.
For more ideas on how to authentically finish your Victorian-style home, contact a custom home builder, such as those at Cornerstone Contracting, who can help you celebrate a by-gone era with your new house.