More tumbling block inspiration

Posted on Sun, 23 Aug 2015 by KiM

I had the day off Friday so high on my priority list (aside from taking an elderly lady’s cat to the vet, because I apparently don’t have enough of my own cat problems) was going to get a sample of the tumbling block tile. When I saw it in the store again I immediately started having heart palpitations. And the second I lay the sample tiles on my floor, I knew they were the ones. I am so smitten with these damn tiles. I repainted the wainscoting with some samples of Parma Grey and Off black that Farrow & Ball provided me and I am sold on black (gloss though), and had husband hold up the roll of Amime I had and I know based on my last post alot of people aren’t really feeling this combo, but I think I have to go with my gut on this one. I really dig the European vibe this pairing gives, and think it is a bit more sophisticated and unexpected than my original choice. And I think this will make me happier in the long run.

I spotted this apartment yesterday on Living and thought it would be an appropriate post today. It is the summer home of an Italian family, a joint project of Studio CaSA and Margherita Serboli Arquitectura. This 97 sq m apartment located in Eixample, Barcelona is now bright and modern, with some original details maintained such as window frames and vaulted Catalan terra cotta ceiling (soooooo gorg!!). The cement tumbling block patterned tiles in the living and dining room are a really fun way to add pattern to the apartment and break up up the expanse of white in the open space. The pastel colours aren’t really my thing, but are really cute for a summer vacation pad. I would totally Airbnb this place. (Photos: Roberto Ruiz)

KiM says:

@jono – good idea. I just checked my colour deck and F&B doesn't really seem to have one. 🙁 Although they have other blacks like Black Blue and Railings…
@Axie – i definitively consider myself a crazy cat lady now!
Thanks y'all!


The combo you've chosen is unexpected in the best way possible! I'm really digging it.

Emmanuelle C. says:

I am totally with you on this one, go for it!

Betsy says:

The space that you feature is using that block material as the equivalent of an area rug with plenty of white around it.
Also it is much rawer and plain than the fine detailing of your foyer.

You may want to use this tile in the kitchen where there are only white cupboards, and it could serve
as a graphic focal point more appropriately.

Annie says:

I think you are right in going with your gut. The black between the wallpaper and the tiles works really well. Can't wait to see the end result!.

oh Holland says:

Is it wrong of me to question the combo of tumbling blocks tile with the crosshatch wallpaper? I like both elements, just not together — the geometric crispness of the tile doesn't play well with the paper's more casual, arbitrary design. Also, tumbling block graphics are so popular now Home Depot's selling a low cost version (they call it "Twenties Diamond") and I predict the pattern will soon be inescapable. Were this my place, I'd make that wallpaper the star and go with a simple striae tile that has longevity and combines well with many looks.

Dana D says:

Not to mess with your head (or your pocketbook) but are you familiar with Popham Design? The company was created by an amazing couple, based in Morocco, who design and make locally THE MOST amazing tile you've ever seen…

If you like the pastel house as inspiration, you've got to check out their spaces. They've been in US ELLE Decor twice in the last two years…

ombia says:

"Is it wrong of me to question the combo of tumbling blocks tile with the crosshatch wallpaper? I like both elements, just not together"


" I'd make that wallpaper the star and go with a simple striae tile that has longevity and combines well with many looks."

And yes again.

atma says:

Is it weird for me to be so invested in your faraway Internet-stranger house? I can't really comment on the tiles, because I don't get them. But the wood-part will be wonderful in black or a dark grey, the wallpaper is amazing and will really work well with the dark wood.

KiM says:

I had not heard of Popham Design. Lucky for me they don't have stockists in Canada 😉
I like this Amime wallpaper but not as a feature. The tile is the feature. If I wanted to make the wallpaper the feature I think I would have stuck with my original cement encaustic choice for the kitchen and plain tile in the foyer. This way though I get a subtle statement wallpaper AND a statement tile. I know some of you aren't really feeling my choices here but I'm really certain this is going to work….certain to a shockingly strong degree considering how I haven't been able to make up my mind. You're all going to have to trust me on this one. 🙂

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.
Required fields are indicated by *