Tile by Style: A New Era for Victorian Kitchen Tile
Look familiar? If you love the Painted Ladies, you’re bound to love Victorian style. A few weeks ago we went over the virtues of Victorian style and how to incorporate it into your bathroom tile installation and redesign (for a comprehensive overview of Victorian design, read the full story here). Now, we’re giving the Victorian kitchen a chance to shine. First, let’s cover the basics of Victorian design:
How to Spot It: A flat facade with ornate woodwork and ornamentation. Steep rooflines and circular towers. Decorative windows. High ceilings. Fireplaces in every room. Elaborate molding. Wainscotting. Ceiling tiles.
Materials Used: Wood. Ornate textiles in drapery, upholstery, and rugs. Tile. Marble.
Color Palette: Rich palettes in greens, golden browns, reds, and blues. Bold colors to distinguish entertaining rooms like the dining room or the library.
Telltale signs of a truly Victorian kitchen are elaborate molding and glass-paned hutches filled with china. Today, it’s taken on fresh face as updated designs accommodate new appliances and modern-day living. Another way to bring Victorian kitchens up to speed with the 21st century? Fresh, beautiful tile.
If your cabinetry has a slight patina or has more of a traditional air, the kitchen might be best served by a fresh white tile installation to keep it from getting bogged down by the style’s elaborate ornamentation. Consider a backsplash with recessed shelving above your stovetop with a contrasting pattern like diamond or herringbone--it adds subtle depth while offering extra storage for kitchen utensils and seasoning.
Tile color shown: White Wash
Image: Carla Aston Designed
Brick color shown: Galaxy
The white subway tile offers a fresh balance to this modern Victorian kitchen’s dark and glamorous aesthetic.
Image: Apartment Therapy
Tile with Open Shelving
Exposing a wall of tile behind open shelving lends a more casual and airy atmosphere to Victorian style. The eclectic look of this Victorian kitchen is anchored by a soft, off-white wall of subway tile.
Image: Jessica Helgerson Interior Design
If you’re a lover of color, don’t hesitate in incorporating a swath of colorful tile to your backsplash. These renovated kitchens designed by eco+historical feature fun and fresh subway tile that stands out against crisp white cabinetry while still hinting at their Victorian roots.
Tile shown: 3 x 6 in Kelp; Design: Eco + Historical Homes - Josh Mogal
Tile shown: 3 x 6 in Caribbean; Image: Open Homes Photography; Design: Eco + Historical Homes - Josh Mogal
Tin and molded ceiling tiles were commonplace in Victorian homes to catch and diffuse smoke produced by gaslights. Although electricity has eliminated the need for them, Victorian ceiling tiles are still coveted for their decorative appeal. Echo the look with one of our Handpainted tiles and install it across your backsplash and behind your stovetop.
Handpainted pattern shown: Valencia in the Neutral Motif
Handpainted pattern shown: Kabuki Sphere in the Dark Motif
Victorian-style flooring may be one of the most distinctive (and underlooked) elements of Victorian design. Bridging the gap between contemporary and traditional, Victorian-inspired tile can have an unforgettable impact on your kitchen floor.
Herringbone & Parquet
Herringbone and parquet arrangements can add a hint of pattern and vintage-inspired distinction to your space. This kitchen features a herringbone pattern in wood--however, it can be easily translated into tile while offering a lasting, water-resistant surface that withstands heavy foot traffic.
Image: Dust Jacket
Geometric designs will occasionally lay the foundation for a Victorian home. These striking tile patterns steal the show and elevate the look of this modern-day Victorian kitchen.
Image: House & Home
Handpainted pattern shown: Kasbah Trellis in the Cool Motif
You’ll also often find hexagonal tile arrangements in traditional Victorian kitchens. Also known as honeycomb, its comeback in recent years has given it a chic new flavor.
Image: Old House Online
If done right, checkers can add a chic graphic element to your kitchen without looking like it came out of the pages of Alice in Wonderland. Paired with traditional cabinetry, it can elevate a Victorian kitchen from passé to posh.
Image: Dust Jacket