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Classic Tile for Your Southwestern Style

Adobe Evening Southwestern Style

If you are ready to redo the tile in your home, and you love the look of traditional floor patterns along with Southwestern-inspired tile, you may think you have to choose one or the other.

Here’s some great news, o inspired home redecorator: as HeyThereHome.com notes (1), when decorating and choosing accents like tile, you do not have to be all matchy-matchy. In fact, some of the best and most gorgeous interiors mix styles and colors, and the same can be true for you and your tile selections.

As for tips on how to combine classic tile patterns with a definite dash of Southwest, consider the following ideas:

Take the Traditional Look and Add Touches of Southwest

When looking at traditional tile patterns, you might notice that they share a number of characteristics in common. For example, they are typically a neutral or muted color, and they are usually laid out in a classic pattern like a grid or a mosaic. They are also made from materials that have been used in classic tile designs for some time—this includes terracotta and stone. Now that you understand some of the similarities found in classic tiles, it’s easy to see how you can add in a Southwest flair. For instance, you could use Southwestern tiles as accents pieces here and there in the traditional layout—since Southwest tiles often come vivid and bold colors, they will easily complement a tan or white pattern. If you are working on creating classic bathroom floor tile patterns, imagine a floor covered with tan terracotta tiles with turquoise and vivid red glass accent tiles every foot or so—the “touch of Southwest” will really go well with the lighter colors.

Use the 80/20 Rule

When choosing tiles for your bathroom, kitchen or other living spaces, keeping the 80/20 rule in mind will help you achieve a great look that doesn’t have both styles fighting for dominance. Think of your two different tile styles as a main character and a supporting one; in each room, either classic tile or Southwest tile will take the main role, with the other style handling the supporting  job. In the case of the two types of tile styles, you could choose Southwestern tiles for the majority of your backsplash in your kitchen. Since it’s a relatively small space, it won’t look too overwhelming to have bright patterns and a range of colors on the wall. But to add in a 20% touch of classic, you could include a plain white tile here and there in the backsplash to break up the colors a bit. To add more of a classic look, arrange all of the tiles in a stylish grid pattern—this will help elongate and fill up the backsplash area very nicely.

Use Mismatched Southwestern Tile as the Focal Point

If you have visited with a Southwest artisan and have purchased a small stack of gorgeous tiles in a variety of colors, patterns, and materials, you can celebrate their differences by making them the focal point of your tiling project. Rather than try to find other Southwest tiles that match, celebrate the different hues and shades by making them the star of your kitchen or bathroom floor or countertops. Surround each unique tile with classic choices in lighter tones to let each Southwest tile pop, and you will effectively highlight your collection of funky and mismatched tiles in a way that looks amazing.

Check out how to incorporate tile into your bathroom here.