What does a 19th-century creative dynamo—a designer, but also a poet and environmentalist, to name but a few interests—have to do with a chic new collection of tiles? Quite a bit, it turns out. William Morris founded the iconic Morris & Co, known for their extensive library of rich, memorable patterns inspired by the English countryside. Today, those patterns—originally intended for use on ceilings—have found a new life nearly a century and a half later, as part of The Tile Shop’s creative new collaboration with the brand.
“The classic and artistic designs from William Morris made us excited to partner with them,” says Kirsten Froelich, The Tile Shop’s director of design. “We started with one of our favorite Morris & Co. wallpapers—Pure Net Ceiling—and slightly adjusted the pattern and colors to work on tiles. The Pure Net tiles have a charming vintage look and are versatile, made from porcelain to be installed on both walls and floors.” Available in three shades—linen porcelain, cloud grey, and black ink, from lightest to darkest—the tiles have a patina to them, with a lightly faded appearance that delivers an almost vintage sensibility.
And though the Pure Net Ceiling pattern is a throwback to centuries past, it can still work seamlessly with more current designs. “The beauty of the nature-inspired designs is that they can be paired with modern or traditional interiors,” says Jessica Clayworth, lead designer for Morris & Co. “You can use them in a maximalist way, with pattern upon pattern, or keep it simple and have the one design being the feature. I think this is what makes them timeless—their naturalistic pattern shapes make them a seamless design to use.”
Alongside the launch of the Pure Net Ceiling pattern, the collaboration resulted in another new product, the Hawkdale Collection. This line of subway tiles has a handmade look and comes in four shades—ranging from chalk to ink—designed to coordinate effortlessly with Pure Net Ceiling. “The Hawkdale subway tile is a perfect partner to the design that helps coordinate any room,” Clayworth says. And all these pieces can stand on their own or blend together, depending on the design needs of the particular space. “They can be paired easily with most colors to either be the showstopper of the room or help complement existing patterns,” she says.
Whether in coordination with each other or used alone, these pieces demonstrate the timeless appeal of William Morris’s original intricate, richly detailed work. As the old mantra goes, “good taste never goes out of style,” showing just how enduring the classics truly are.
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Shown at the top: The Hawkdale collection. All images courtesy of The Tile Shop