Metro tiles were first used in the 1900’s where, as the name suggests, they were used in subways, underground and metro stations from New York to London and Paris. Designs are often made of mainly flat white tiles with coloured tiles accenting the architecture within the stations. The gloss finish of the traditional metro tile made it easy to clean and had a brightening effect which was desirable for the underground stations.
Victoria Albert Museum
V&A Metro tiles are inspired by the Victoria Albert Museum based in London. The museum was founded by Prince Albert in 1852 and moved to it’s current building in 1857. Today the museum displays many exhibitions from fine art to pop culture. It’s first exhibition displayed the yield of British manufacturing and even had famous visitors such as Charles Darwin and Charles Dickens.
The interior of the museum unfolds into a manifestation of opulence. Rich and jewel like colours are used in conjunction with elaborate patterns and gold accents. Light ricochets from room to room through sublime archways. When you consider the museum was founded by a Victorian Prince you can easily imagine how this museum was created with the goal to impress.
The V&A Metro tiles allow you to add this sense of grandeur to any space in your home. They are available in blue, peacock, greys and shades of white and have a bevelled edge and high gloss finish.
Over the last few years the popularity of this rectangular tile has increased and continues to rise as more people than ever are seeking the ‘Metro retro’ look in their homes. The Metro tile could be considered ‘the little black dress’ of the tile world which never goes out of fashion due to its versatile and adaptable nature. It is a popular tile choice for kitchens, bathrooms and fireplaces but can be incorporated almost anywhere in the house.
Over recent years Metro tiles have developed to incorporate more recent trends in interior design. This marble effect Metro tile (above) has a bevelled edge a and high gloss finish. It looks beautiful in bathrooms and the marble effect will give any bathroom a spa like feel especially when partnered with a natural colour pallet.
At the other end of the spectrum we have a flat matt white metro tile (below) which has been laid in a herringbone pattern to create a new quirky take on the classic white metro tile. Black grout has been used to make an effective feature out of the herringbone pattern. Similar designs could be translated into other projects throughout the house other than the kitchen, such as cloak rooms and fireplaces.