Ever heard of the Pinterest Rabbit Hole? It’s where good intentions lead you astray; what begins as a quick five minutes suddenly undergoes a chain reaction. And before you know it, the Sunday roast is indefinitely postponed – there’s just too much action to be had. You began with bathrooms, got sidetracked by splashbacks and finished on feature walls.
If that sounds familiar don’t worry – you’re in good company. You see, when it comes to finding inspiration for our homes we live in a land of plenty. Houzz, Instagram and Pinterest are daily design rituals for many of us; then there’s more traditional options such as magazines and our favourite blogs. But with literally billions of photos out there, finding your dream style can feel a little overwhelming – ‘inspiration overload’ we like to call it.
So, how do you handle this dangerous and deadly beast? Well, we’ve got just the trick – a little dose of retail therapy!
The thing is, as well as being pretty therapeutic, shopping can be a treasure trove of style inspiration. Our favourite fashion brands have their fingers on the pulse when it comes to what’s hot and what’s not, so they’re a great place to look for tile inspiration. But if you’re not ready to pound the pavements just yet then worry not; we’ve rounded upon ten of the best-dressed high-street brands below.
Apple – ‘modern minimalism’
Let’s face it – a list of the best-dressed brands wouldn’t be a list of the best-dressed brands without Apple. Their iconic, carefully-crafted stores are a masterpiece in minimalism and there’s a familiar theme from city to city – white walls, floor-to-ceiling windows, large-format stone flooring and warm oak benches. For a similar clean and modern style, look towards large format tiles such as Cemento Light Grey.
Did you know – Apple’s late founder, Steve Jobs, personally handpicked the rare sandstone tiles for the stores’ floors.
Ted Baker – ‘quirky individualism’
Whereas Apple’s stores have a uniform style, you can guarantee that no two Ted Baker shops are ever alike. Like the clothes that bear the label, the stores are a healthy mixture of fun and fashion – there’s magnificent attention to detail, absolute quality and little quirks. They’re tailored to reflect both their immediate surrounds and Ted’s British personality – so whereas you might find exotic patchwork tiles on a staircase in their Istanbul store; on a different continent you’ll find classic crackled wall tiles finished in British racing green. Eclectic and Individual, in other words.
Zara – ‘Spanish sophistication’
When it comes to fast fashion, it seems Zara have got things sewn up pretty well. Their unique model defies normal conventional wisdom – it takes just 15 days for a new line to be designed and hit the hangers. And like the clothes themselves, Zara’s stores are stylish and sophisticated. There’s no room for fuddy-duddyness here; we’re talking lots of sleek gloss black, white and cream that sit back and let the clothes do the talking. Which they do a lot of – last year Zara sold over X dresses alone!
Give your home a similar Spanish style with our range of polished porcelain tiles. They’ll incredibly hard-wearing and will stand up to daily wear and tear with the minimum of fuss.
Did you know – Zara have over 5000 stores worldwide
All Saints – ‘raw appeal’
There seems to be a love/hate relationship with All Saints – many swear by the brand, while others just walk on by. Or they would, after gawping at the brand’s trademark window displays – rows upon rows of antique Singer sewing machines. And although there’s no sitting in the middle when it comes to All Saints and the fashion fence, you can’t help but be impressed by their store interiors.
Dark, brooding and unconventional, there’s a mood of ‘decant decay and distressed glamour’ according to the designers behind the look. As they say, the devil is in the detail and in this case, there’s plenty to be inspired by – reclaimed timber floors, exposed brickwork, industrial lighting and metal chairs make for an arresting sight. To recreate the part vampire/vintage/gothic look at home, marry distressed Life wood effect tiles with Brix Red wall tiles and add some well-chosen antique accessories.
Did you know – Rumour has it that All Saints import their Singer machines from India
& Other Stories – ‘funky fashionistas’
& Other Stories has become an immediate hit with stylish shoppers since it’s launch just four years ago. But considering they’re the next big thing to hit the high streets, their stores have quite a minimal, low-key vibe.
Not the we’re complaining, we think they’re a lesson in the art of simplicity – think polished concrete floors, bare walls, and theatre lighting that let’s the gorgeous clothes take the limelight. In fact, it all feels like you’re backstage at a boutique label launch, rather than a high-street store owned by one of the world’s biggest retailers. A lot of love has clearly gone into the whole show – give your home some of the same with Concept Grey.
Jack Wills – ‘fabulously British’
The go-to place for that playful preppy look, Jack Wills is the epitome of ‘fabulously British’ design and its stores are a labour of love. They’re an eclectic cocktail of heritage and tradition, mixed with a healthy dollop of irreverence – so say hello to snooker tables, Chesterfield Sofas and sepia-tinged photographs.
It all makes for a style that’s both independent yet re-assuringly familiar – part country house, part pub, part god-knows-what, as the Jack Wills team source individual items to dress up each store. Get the look at home with our black and white Victorian tiles and scour your local flea markets for those little added touches – the more irreverent the better!
Did you know – The Jack Wills store in Chichester is quite possibly the most beautiful shop in Britain; a handsome Georgian house that once served as the local council offices.
Neal’s Yard – ‘warm and organic’
Renowned for it’s organic health and beauty products, it’s almost impossible to walk past Neal’s Yard without popping in. It’s not only the delightful fragrance wafting in the air that grabs your attention; the elegant interiors are a invitation for weary shoppers looking for a refuge from the busting streets.
Eye-catching blue bottles of lotions and potions are displayed against timber floors and tiled walls that can warm up even the chilliest day. It’s a look that’s part old school apothecary shop, part contemporary gallery and it’s just perfect for a brand looking to portray an honest, wholesome image.
Did you know – There’s substance behind the style – Neal’s Yard is consistently ranked as one of the top ethical retailers around.
Mamas & Papas and The White Company – ‘timeless elegance’
What unites these two high-street stalwarts, so seemingly different on paper? Contemporary stores with an easy timeless style, that’s what.
And when you think about it, it actually makes sense. The choice of neutral tones and natural materials in both stores conveys a feeling of peace and calm, vital for both new-parents and deep-sleepers alike. It’s a cosy, homely vibe that’s remarkably easy to re-create at home – we think pared back colours work just about anywhere. Just pick one of our wood effect tiles for your floor (we’d recommend Woodwork Beige) and match to a grey, taupe or mushroom crackled tile on your wall.
Did you know – Originally a husband and wife team, Mamas and Papas imported their first pram from Italy in 1978
Lush – ‘fresh-smelling fun’
As a purveyor of brilliant bath bombs and super-fragrant soaps, it’s only natural that Lush stores scrub up well. Their latest concept is no exception – recycled timbers, exposed brickwork and simple white wall tiles sit back and let the vibrant products do the talking. It’s a masterclass in how to make a space feel fun and fresh, yet timeless and sustainable at the same time. Perfect for a brand that’s well-known for it’s environmentally friendly credentials.
Get the look at home by combining Elements White wall tiles with Concept White or Amsterdam Castano floor tiles. Finish your room off reclaimed furniture, bold antique accessories and of course, that all-important blackboard.
Selfridges – ‘accessible luxury’
Hands up, who doesn’t love a mooch around Selfridges? In their own words, a visit to their department stores is ‘shopping, but not as we know it’. We’re inclined to agree – we don’t drool over the floors in every department store. But then, not every store has extravagant marble floors like this. And this.
The founder of the epyomous store, Harry Selfridge, knew that there’s only one way to go when it comes to extravagant luxury – marble, and lots of it. But here’s the good news – to get the look at home you don’t need to break the bank. Our Italia Calacatta and Imperial Marfil tiles will give you all the polished goodness of natural stone without the hefty price tag.
Did you know – Given their iconic window displays, it’s no surprise that Selfridges was one of the first stores to dress their windows. Previously, shopkeepers would just stand outside and try to lure customers in!