2016 interior design update: Top trends in tiles

National Tiles lists out the Top Trends in tiling for 2016, especially for the benefit of those working on interior design and renovation jobs.

1. Rustic Chic 

Best expressed through exposed brick wall designs, Rustic Chic will continue to be popular for living spaces, bedrooms and even bathrooms in 2016. Brick look tiles can be used instead of real bricks to create a stylish loft-inspired environment, or elements representing country living can be incorporated within the home or workplace. National Tiles’ Chicago Brick range is a rustic European tile that can be used to achieve this look.

2. A Touch of Luxury

Classic and luxurious will be a key trend in 2016 for bathroom and kitchen renovations to achieve a timeless vibe. National Tiles’ Moroccan Lantern range renders an old world charm and sophistication – add accessories and furnishings complementing this elegant style to continue the luxurious theme.

3. Sophisticated Scales

An increasingly popular range due to their unique shape and dramatic charm, fish scale tiles can fill any space from kitchens to bathrooms and restaurant bars. Particularly suitable for bathrooms, or to enhance water features due to their whimsical mermaid-style scales, National Tiles’ Fan Tiles are a sophisticated scale-inspired range suitable for wall applications.

4. Stay Glossy

Traditional white gloss rectangular tiles are a classic favourite for their clean, simple and neutral vibe. A simple white gloss tile can enhance the space with a feature colour that complements the decor theme. A glossy finish is also a great choice when tiling the kitchen, bathroom or laundry for both added style and ease of cleaning.

5. Embrace Patterns

Patterned tiles are set to take over floors and walls in a big way during 2016, particularly styles such as National Tiles’ Exagon and Modena ranges. Patterned tiles are a great way to bring life to smaller spaces, whether it’s a bathroom feature wall, kitchen splashback or flooring in wet areas.

6. Terrific Timber

Timber look tiles will continue to be a crowd favourite as an alternative to wooden floors for their ability to bring warmth to a space without the hassles of maintenance associated with real timber floors. Timber look tiles can also be applied to walls to achieve a luxurious yet rustic environment – particularly in bathrooms, bedrooms, living rooms and laundries. National Tiles’ natural Taiga tile range has a linear chromatic design that evokes an unspoiled natural setting in any contemporary interior.

7. Splash Some Colour

This year’s trends also indicate a preference for bright colours over neutral shades. Bright coloured tiles are going to be popular for kitchen splashbacks or feature walls in 2016. One can simply choose a single bright colour, or mosaic a selection of colours for greater impact, with National Tiles offering endless tile colours to suit specific tastes and budgets.

8. Get Geometric

Used for centuries to enhance the mood, tone and texture of a living space, geometric shapes and patterns such as those from National Tiles’ Teakwood hexagon mosaic tiles are available in a stone finish and are suitable for creating a subtle or bold feature within a room. A geometric tile is a contemporary design element inspired by European bathroom styles.

9. Classic Marble 

Marble inspired accents to achieve high-end design outcomes on a budget will be a popular trend in 2016. A marble feature wall is a stunning way to bring class and sophistication into the home without the hefty price tag of actual marble. National Tiles’ Carrara White Marble Hexagon Mosaics are a great way to achieve a beautiful natural feature in new builds or renovations.

Image: Timber look tiles will continue to be a crowd favourite as an alternative to wooden floors


Article Ported on May 1st on architectureanddesign.com

Is L.A.’s housing market really as unaffordable as it seems?

The average asking price for a home in some of Los Angeles’ most recognizable communities ranges from $269 per square foot in Boyle Heights to $1,118 per square foot in Malibu.

Based on these averages, one might reasonably expect that a 1,000-square-foot residence in Boyle Heights would cost about $269,000, while a similarly sized one in Malibu would go for $1,118,000. If you’re a prospective home buyer looking for affordable housing, it would seem reasonable, staring at these numbers, to steer as far clear of Malibu as possible in your search.

But is that the right approach?

We often hear about how unaffordable the L.A. housing market is. When we look at the average cost of a home in an area like Venice, the Southland’s reputation for being hopelessly unaffordable certainly appears justified. Stories of bidding wars pushing up prices in once-affordable neighborhoods like Highland Park often discourage prospective buyers from even trying to purchase a home.

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The reality, however, is that while many neighborhoods may seem out of reach based on price averages, those numbers don’t tell the whole story. The range of prices behind these averages can vary significantly — meaning affordable properties are available in areas where many might never think to look.

Los Angeles housing price ranges by neighborhood as compiled by real estate data provider NeighborhoodX.
Los Angeles housing price ranges by neighborhood as compiled by real estate data provider NeighborhoodX. (NeighborhoodX)

For example, while Boyle Heights has the lowest average asking price of the areas we analyzed, the prices within the neighborhood range significantly from $188 per square foot to $524 per square foot. On a per-square-foot basis, the most expensive listing in Boyle Heights is pricier than the most affordable properties in Beverly Hills ($474), Bel Air ($403) and Santa Monica ($423).

Conversely, there are neighborhoods where the average listing price is more expensive than that of Boyle Heights, but with a greater price range. In other words, these neighborhoods have properties than are more affordable than the lowest priced properties in Boyle Heights. Deals can be found in Mount Washington (as low as $155 per square foot), El Sereno ($163), East Los Angeles ($173) and Hollywood ($186) that are all cheaper than the lowest priced property in Boyle Heights ($188).

This holds true for the upper end of the Los Angeles neighborhoods, too.

For example, while the average listing price in Beverly Hills is $1,089 per square foot, it ranges from $474 to $3,206. To put this in context, the most affordable listing in Beverly Hills ($474) is less expensive than the average listing in Eagle Rock ($499). Similarly, the most expensive listing in Los Feliz ($1,030) is still more affordable than the average listing in Bel Air ($1,080).

In short, while data can help in the search for a residence or investment property, the right kind of data is even more useful. At any time, neighborhood averages can be skewed higher by new development or lower by foreclosures — and this can steer buyers away from certain neighborhoods.

Instead of simply flooding a neighborhood like Boyle Heights because it appears to be the most reasonably priced — and in doing so helping to create bidding wars — Angelenos might be better served by expanding their searches beyond what might appear to be possible at first glance.

Looking at the range behind the neighborhood averages can help buyers recognize that there are often some relative bargains even in some of Los Angeles’ most affluent neighborhoods.

Article by : Constantine A. Valhouli published in the LA times on May 5th 2016