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Tile by Style: A New Era for Victorian Kitchen Tile

By Pearl

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.

Victorian Kitchen

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.

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.

Colorful Backsplashes

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.

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.


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.

Love this look? Order free tile samples now. 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.