Using patterned tiles in home design is nothing new — it has long been an effective solution for adding character to any room in the house. But things have come a long way from the peel-and-stick linoleum options of our childhoods. The cement tiles used today feature bold patterns in a wide range of color schemes, making for focal points that can be as big or as small as you please. And don't just consider flooring as your only canvas. We've found 11 unexpected ways to use this clever detail everywhere, from your family room's fireplace to your backyard's outdoor bar. The hardest part will be picking the project you love most.
Put in a Patterned Backsplash
Ditch basic white subway tiles and opt for these blue-and-white ceramic ones for your backsplash instead. This modern kitchen from Style Me Pretty is a prime example of how to incorporate color into a neutral space: luxe finishes like the marble countertop and gold cabinet pulls help this kitchen feel balanced and complete.
Video of the Day
Accent Your Staircase With Tiled Risers
Using patterned cement tiles can get expensive fast, especially when you're covering a massive area. So rather than covering an entire room, pick a small spot — like the front risers on your stairs — to showcase the tiles. This look from Claire Zinnecker Design proves that sometimes less really is more.
Create a Focal Wall in the Bathroom
Give your bathroom a dose of character by creating a focal wall behind the mirror, as seen in this pick from Byrd Design. Since you'll only be tiling the top half of a wall, you'll be able to get a high-impact design without investing a ton of money. Make sure all of the other elements in the bathroom are simple to keep the focus on your handy work.
Dress Up an Overlooked Room in the House
Give an often overlooked room in the house, like the laundry room, a little extra TLC. Classy Clutter shows that a fun pop of color — like the perennially trendy millennial pink — can make this small room feel vibrant and welcoming.
Add Interest to Your Island
An all-white kitchen may come across as too sleek, but this dynamic design shared by Domino shows how to use herringbone tiles to give the look more definition. This space is all about balance: the gold tones of the pendant lights and barstools offer the perfect contrast to the stainless steel appliances, while the black faucet and cabinet pulls complement the tile's dark grout.
Update Your Fireplace
A fireplace is already a focal point in any room, so you might as well make the most of it. Take advantage of the minimal square footage and go with a patterned tile that will highlight your unique personal style. The turquoise, brown, and white design on this modern fireplace from Style Me Pretty is one you'll never have a problem incorporating into your decor.
Complement Your Cabinets
This tonal tiled look from Styled by Emily Henderson isn't for the faint of heart. Give your kitchen a bold makeover by choosing a patterned tile that complements the color of the cabinets. White countertops and gold hardware keep the design feeling fresh.
Make a Statement With Your Outdoor Bar
A backyard bar is already the central hub of any outdoor soiree, so you better make sure it looks the part. Take note of this graphic black-and-white pattern from Consort Design to garner immediate attention, which is balanced by the matching wood decking and bar top. Add a few simple barstools and you're ready to go.
Separate Spaces in an Open Floor Plan
Just because your place has an open floor plan doesn't mean that you can't jump on the tile trend. Follow the lead of designer Anna Piwonska and keep the edge of the tiles in line with the island — it makes the switch from bold pattern to rustic hardwood feel like a natural transition. Pro tip: pick a small-scale pattern to make a tight space feel bigger.
Create a Custom Landing on Your Stairs
You probably never thought twice about the small landing between the flights of stairs in your house — until now. Create a custom landing like this one from Sweet Baby Maya with a few tiles and a pot of greenery, and even this area can pack a stylish punch.
Tile Your Fireplace Hearth
If covering your entire fireplace in patterned tiles is a little too much for your minimalist style, consider tiling just the hearth like House of Jade Interiors. Since it's just a small area, you'll still get the added character without overwhelming your bare-bones aesthetic.