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Designer Spotlights

Designer Spotlight: Claire Thomas

By Kali |

Claire Thomas is a multi-hyphenate in the making. Starting out as an assistant food stylist and personal chef, Claire eventually started the popular blog Kitchy Kitchen to share her love for all things food and design. Fast forward to 2020, and she can now add director, writer, TV host, and designer to her resume. Discover all of Claire's favorite Fireclay Tile projects and get her design tips for creating a space that's truly you on today's Designer Spotlight! 

Meet Claire! 


Create your own colorful getaway with Claire's curated Sample Pack. Featuring 2x4 ceramic samples in City Lights, Taxi, Koi, Antique, Evergreen, Sea Glass, Rosemary, and Tusk.

Create your own colorful getaway with Claire's curated Sample Pack. Featuring 2x4 ceramic samples in City Lights, Taxi, Koi, Antique, Evergreen, Sea Glass, Rosemary, and Tusk


What made you choose the 8 colors in your palette? What do you like about these glazes?
I didn’t realize I had a specific color palette until I started working with Fireclay. I found myself gravitating toward the same tones, ones that had a lot of richness, depth, and that had a vintage feel—as if it came from a different time. Everything is based on telling a story, feeling transported, and colored tiles are an easy way to achieve that. 

Adorned in a bold, retro-inspired palette of Spruce Gloss, Sunflower, and Sorbet, this showstopping fireplace platform turns heads thanks to The Kitchy Kitchen's Claire Thomas' creative use of our Color-It! Tool.

Tile Shown: Harvest in Sorbet, Sunflower and Spruce Gloss // Image: Stephanie Todaro Photography   

I love that about color: you put different tones together and you know where you are and why you’re there. A great example of this is the bathroom at the Sweet Laurel Cottage. I really leaned into the richest color possible and the emerald just makes you think “Wow, this is a really special place.”

Bedecked from top to bottom, this lush bathroom's Evergreen Tile has us green with envy with its mesmerizing blend of hexagon tile floors, a herringbone shower, and an out-of-this-world tiled ceiling.

Tile Shown: 6" Hexagons in Evergreen

Why do you love tile? How do you like to use tile in your designs?
I love tile for so many reasons. I’m an incredibly aesthetics-first person and tiles are not only super aesthetically interesting, but durable. They’re really fun to play with and there are so many unexpected ways to utilize them other than on the usual bathroom floor or kitchen backsplash. The back patio at Oeste really exemplifies that. 

Made to entertain and inspire, this picture-perfect desert patio is colorfully clad with our true matte non-slip outdoor tiles checkered in warm earth tones.

Tile Shown: 4x8 in City Lights and Taxi

I was inspired by a rooftop deck in Marrakesh that I wanted to transport to the desert through an ocean of sunset toned tile. To expand on that, I measured the angle of my dad’s Eames Lounge chair—which is objectively the world’s most comfortable chair—and designed the floor to replicate that. Despite people’s doubts on how that would work with tile, Fireclay has never not worked and the sunset tones are so gorgeous. Anyone can go for something minimal, but I like to creates paces that take you on a ride of color and are a vacation for your eyes.

Made to entertain and inspire, this picture-perfect desert patio is colorfully clad with our true matte non-slip outdoor tiles checkered in warm earth tones.


Can you tell me a bit about yourself and how you got your start in design?
My grandfather and father both worked in production, so I grew up wanting to be a director. I’ve always loved storytelling and grew up with a deep obsession of the Hollywood Golden Age movie era. I was attentive to sets and how set and production design would inform a story. Once I started directing and working with production design to figure out who the characters were and where they lived--I always had to build a home. Design became much more of a focus when we moved into our first house. It was a real renovation project, which I was comfortable with because my mom had been really into that. 

Adorned in a bold, retro-inspired palette of Spruce Gloss, Sunflower, and Sorbet, this showstopping fireplace platform turns heads thanks to The Kitchy Kitchen's Claire Thomas' creative use of our Color-It! Tool.



I decided to try my hand more purposefully and that’s how the Kitchy Cabin came to be. It was the first time I reached out to Fireclay and I just threw everything I had into the cabin and it had such a positive response and a lot of press. It made me realize I might have something special. People are responding to my POV in design work.

Tile Shown: Harvest in SorbetSunflower and Spruce Gloss

After the Kitchy Cabin, I started working with close friends who’ve entrusted me to follow my vision of telling a very specific story in a space.

A multicolored parquet of Daisy and Sea Glass Tiles envolopes Claire Thomas's guest and master bathroom in her Kitchy Kitchen cabin.

Tile Shown: 3x9 Tiles in Daisy and Sea Glass // Image: Stephanie Todaro Photography

How would you describe your style?
My style is exactly like my personality, which is that I love too many things. You’re never going to see the same thing over and over again in my work. One of my biggest challenges of my entire career has been staying in one corner because I find so many things exciting and curious and I just go where my mind takes me. There’s always a new story to tell. 

Content creator Claire Thomas does fresh cottage style best, playfully pairing up golden and white bathroom tiles to create an inviting, suite escape.


When I work with clients, that’s the first thing I ask—“What story are we trying to tell?” When you figure that out, it’s easier to understand if a piece belongs in there or not.

Content creator Claire Thomas does fresh cottage style best, playfully pairing up golden and white bathroom tiles to create an inviting, suite escape.


What inspires you? Where do you look for design inspiration?
I’ve always been inspired by storytelling, which stems from my background in production. I especially love the classic Hollywood Golden Age Era and all of the amazing set designs. I really look to the past, which explains my lean toward vintage-inspired tones.

Content creator Claire Thomas does fresh cottage style best, playfully pairing up golden and white bathroom tiles to create an inviting, suite escape.

Tile Shown: 3x3 Tiles in Calcite and Haystack

What are your four best design tips?

1. Always think of spaces holistically.
Define the context before defining the space—meaning, don’t focus too much on loving individual things that may not work or harmonize in the story you’re trying to tell.

Here's her Zuhause project, where Claire used our tile in both bathrooms and the kitchen: 

Featuring a blend of 3x3's and 3x6's, this main bath's white bathroom tiles are a thoughtful alternative to classic subway tile.

Tile Shown:3x3 and 3x6 in Tusk

A tiled shower niche ingeniously functions as a focal point for this glazed thin brick guest bathroom, designed by Claire Thomas of The Kitchy Kitchen. Thick bands of grout lend the space an architectural feel.

Brick Shown: Elk 

Designed by Claire Thomas, this thoughtfully appointed kitchen's main feature is its organic-inspired thin brick backsplash with subtle green undertones.

Brick Shown: Elk 

2. Don’t be afraid to use color and have fun with patterns.

This is clear when you look at all of Claire's projects! 

Bedecked from top to bottom, this lush bathroom's Evergreen Tile has us green with envy with its mesmerizing blend of hexagon tile floors, a herringbone shower, and an out-of-this-world tiled ceiling.

Tile Shown: 2x6 and 6" Hexagons in Evergreen

A multicolored parquet of Daisy and Sea Glass Tiles envolopes Claire Thomas's guest and master bathroom in her Kitchy Kitchen cabin.

Tile Shown: 3x9 Tiles in Daisy and Sea Glass // Image: Stephanie Todaro Photography

Content creator Claire Thomas does fresh cottage style best, playfully pairing up golden and white bathroom tiles to create an inviting, suite escape.

Tile Shown: 3x3 Tiles in Calcite and Haystack

3. Find unexpected ways to use things. 
Like my tile example—backsplash and bathroom floors are great and make sense, but find unique, yet practical ways to use other materials.

Leave it to Claire Thomas of The Kitchy Kitchen to transform her laundry room into a delightful design retreat, highlighted by a customized Grange Tile backsplash in Sorbet, Sunflower, and Spruce Gloss using our Color-It! Tool.

Image: Stephanie Todaro Photography

Leave it to Claire Thomas of The Kitchy Kitchen to transform her laundry room into a delightful design retreat, highlighted by a customized Grange Tile backsplash in Sorbet, Sunflower, and Spruce Gloss using our Color-It! Tool.

Tile Shown: Grange in SorbetSunflowerSpruce Gloss and Daisy

4. Look to the past.
I promise, it’s a very exciting space.


Adorned in a bold, retro-inspired palette of Spruce Gloss, Sunflower, and Sorbet, this showstopping fireplace platform turns heads thanks to Clair's creative use of our Color-It! Tool.

Tile Shown: Harvest in SorbetSunflower and Spruce Gloss

Do you have a favorite project you’ve worked on with us?
They’re all like my children—I love them equally, but differently. But if I had to go with one right now, it’d be Oeste. It was the biggest pain-in-the-ass, but it gave me free rein so it was really a full expression of myself because I got to do whatever I wanted with it. Oeste is a shooting location, rental home, event space, and so much more, so it was really intended to be a visual vacation and it shows in the vibrancy of it. 

Made to entertain and inspire, this picture-perfect desert patio is colorfully clad with our true matte non-slip outdoor tiles checkered in warm earth tones.

Tile Shown: 4x8 in City Lights and Taxi

When I was starting to think about the patio, I got so many confused looks from contractors when I told them I wanted to transform the gray concrete and other base materials into a clean sweep of sunset tone tiles. But I pushed that vision and it looks great. It’s this gorgeous ride of color that makes you feel transported.

Made to entertain and inspire, this picture-perfect desert patio is colorfully clad with our true matte non-slip outdoor tiles checkered in warm earth tones.

Tile Shown: 4x8 in City Lights and Taxi

How has your business changed in 2020? How has your design process changed? How have you been staying inspired?
I’m still finding a lot of inspiration in watching old movies. It’s something I loved doing with my dad growing up. My design assistant, Emily, also shares a love for the Golden Age movie era, so I’ll end up taking photos of my TV screen and sending them over to her as reference. 

A whitewashed glazed thin brick fireplace surround creates a textured and understated display for Claire Thomas' collection of objects and lush greenery.
A whitewashed glazed thin brick fireplace surround creates a textured and understated display for Claire Thomas' collection of objects and lush greenery.

Brick Shown: Olympic

I’m also really into online auctions, which are a great way to lose your money quickly. I dig through those to find items I love and then can later research and find elsewhere. And of course, Pinterest is a bottomless pit of references.

Sweet Laurel Bakery's Claire Thomas is all ready to soak up cottage charm with a classic-inspired bathroom featuring warm white tile wainscoting and floor tile from our budget-friendly Foundations Collection.
Sweet Laurel Bakery's Claire Thomas is all ready to soak up cottage charm with a classic-inspired bathroom featuring warm white tile wainscoting and floor tile from our budget-friendly Foundations Collection.

Tile Shown: 4x4 Tiles in Tusk

Inspired by Claire's colorful style? Order your very own sample pack. Need some help? Simply call, chat or fill out our Design Assistance Form and one of our talented Design Consultants will get back to you shortly. 

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