Renovating your kitchen or bathroom? Ask me a question….

March 30th, 2019 | By Carlene ...

We recently worked with Amber Tiles to share our tips on how to plan a bathroom renovation and below we’ve answered some questions about how to apply tiles to the bathroom and kitchen which you might find helpful if you’re about to embark on your own renovation/build. And in the spirit of giving, I wanted to give the opportunity to ask some more specific questions about bathroom and kitchen renovations so hit me up in the comments section below and I’ll share the answers here and on IG stories so that everyone can benefit.





Q: What makes a tile a feature tile?
A: A tile feature is a design statement piece that will often act as the hero in a space. It’s generally in contrast to the other materials used. This might be a patterned floor tile or mosaic splashback, for instance. A feature tile shouldn’t be confused with a feature wall.


Q: How do you work with the rest of the design and dimensions of the
living/kitchen area?

A: We always work up a floorplan/layout first and then make our hard surface and colour selections, fixtures and fixings. Coming up with the most effective floorplan means trouble shooting and working out what it is you need in the space before playing around with a few options. When it comes to the look and feel, I seek out a lot of inspiration from Pinterest, Instagram and Magazines to gauge what it is I’m drawn to and to help narrow down my choices.





Q: What ways can you make tiles pop?
A: You can make tiles pop via colour or if using a small tile or mosaic and by contrasting the grout to the tile, thereby highlighting the pattern. There is also a big variety of moroccan inspired printed tiles on the market which I particularly love in classic style homes. Opting for a colour is another way to create impact. There are some beautiful coloured options of tiles in store at the moment from cobalt blue to sage or emerald green and even some dusty pinks. Scrolling Pinterest is an ideal way to see how colour can be applied well (and not well, which is key).






Q: How does the size of a tile affect aesthetics?

A: We utilise small tiles to add pattern and interest to a bathroom. I especially love pattern on the floor whether it’s a herringbone mosaic, a penny round or a french laid travertine…… Larger tiles create a cleaner, more streamline look but avoid using too large tiles because you’ll end up with too many awkward cuts. I like to see a combination of large and small tiles in a space for the sake of creating interest.


Q: Should you play it safe or make a bold statement?

A: I don’t think playing it safe is very fulfilling but making a statement should also be about educated execution. You can make a statement without just by creating a functional, considered and well executed space that will stand the test of time.







Q: What do you need to consider in terms of colour, grout, texture and pattern, natural light etc?

A: Your tile should always be sampled in the space before making a final decision because  tile colours look different in different lights etc. A contrasting grout colour should only be used with small tiles like subways or mosaics where your intention is to highlight a pattern, otherwise do your best to match your grout colour to your tile colour.





Q: What kind of tile looks won’t date?

A: Natural stones such as marble, terrazzo and travertine are timeless and good quality tiles always stand the test of time, both in durability and as a look. A classic brick-laid subway tile is also a timeless choice in any context. I also think patterned Moroccan tiles laid on the floor will show longevity as a trend, whereas they may grow tiresome applied to the wall.


Q: Can you add anything else about tiles for this area that you think people should know?

A: When it comes to your floor surfaces you don’t need to limit yourself to one material. For example, you may want to define your kitchen space with a statement floor tile but use timber flooring throughout the rest of your house. There are some excellent examples of this, done well. Also, when choosing tiles think about how you live. For instance, gloss white tiles on the floor are always going to show dirt and be generally hard work so unless you love to clean opt for something that will withstand living. After all, that’s what our home is for.


Remember, this is your opportunity to ask some more specific bathroom and kitchen renovation questions so hit me up in the comments.


This post is supported by Amber Tiles.

Images by Mindi Cooke.


Carlene xx


  • Jen Aburrow

    March 30, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    Hi Carlene , i am about to renovate my kitchen . I have the plan but keep switching up on color. My budget is small as is my kitchen so am keeping to all laminated products. We are nor sure if we are selling or going to use it for a rental so am trying to go neutral.I love industrial ,rustic , black,white, wood and cement …. so its a battle between head, heart and budget. walls are white, floor a dark wood …. what would you go ? thanks Jen

    • cedarsuede@admin

      March 30, 2019 at 6:02 pm

      You can’t go wrong with black laminate cabinets and white stone bench top. If budget prevents a stone bench, Laminex offer some great laminate tips. You might like to incorporate some timber with a timber island bench. You can also save on opting for cupboards instead of drawers.

  • Maddy

    March 30, 2019 at 8:19 pm

    Hi Carlene,
    We have just started the beginning of a kitchen and bathroom Reno! Getting lots of inspiration from your amazing designs. My partner and I love the tiles you used in the kids bathroom on the Queenslander Reno, we know they are from Burleigh tiles however we would love to know the specific style name or number! Thanks, Maddy

    • cedarsuede@admin

      April 2, 2019 at 11:24 am

      Are you Gold Coast locals? If you take the image into store they’ll definitely be able to help you. I can’t remember the style name unfortunately. They are a beautiful tile though so I would chat to them.

  • Meredith

    March 30, 2019 at 8:45 pm

    We have a large laundry room that has a seperate toilet room in it. We would like to renovate the laundry to incorporate a shower but are having trouble finding insp images of laundries with a shower in it.
    I can’t work out how it will look having a shower next to a long bench with the washing machine dryer underneath and the sink etc on it. Would a glass screen look good alongside the bench or run the bench into the shower to make a shelf and then do a half glass screen from that up (if that makes sense!!) would love your advice please!

    • cedarsuede@admin

      April 2, 2019 at 11:21 am

      It’s difficult to say without seeing the scale of the space but I think if you’re going to have a shower in the laundry it’s best to do a tiled wall like in our main bathroom here – If it’s a small space and your worries a solid wall would close it in then yes, as you say, do a half height nib wall and glass screen on top. Hope that helps.

  • Jen Aburrow

    March 31, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    Thank you for your reply and you are bang on…. i had been looking at the black [ with white cement benchtop] but the anti fingerprint is pushing up the budget 🙁 i am loving the navy blue kitchens at the moment but wondering if they are a fad too…..

    • cedarsuede@admin

      April 2, 2019 at 11:17 am

      I think blue kitchens will have some longevity especially a good rich navy. You can’t really go wrong with navy.

  • Brigitte

    April 2, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    Carlene, what are your thoughts on mirrored splash backs in kitchens? We do not have overheads planned for our new kitchen along one wall, wondering what to do in this space. A modern home with timber veneer kitchen and light concrete tops.

    • cedarsuede@admin

      April 2, 2019 at 12:13 pm

      Mirrored splash backs are effective for opening up what what might be a small space. Just consider what the mirror might be reflecting. I would opt for a smoked mirror if you go this option. Mirror can be high maintenance in a kitchen if near a sink or stove so something to consider. I love a window splash back if that’s an option and you have the opportunity to bring in some greenery. A simple brick-laid subway tile is also a winner for a timeless look that provides interest and pattern to a wall.

  • Mikahl Tierney

    April 30, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    Carlene, firstly thanks for your time! I am building a new bathroom and love what you have done with the enclosed shower ‘room’ with the white cloud square mosaics. I have by the looks the same sort of area- a 3m width shower area along the end of the bathroom. We have concreted the floor but not allowed to concrete the shower base and i love how you’ve run the mosaic down onto the floor also. My first question is-what is the height of your bathroom, is it 2.7m? I’m worried if my ceiling is lower than yours, this beautiful steel enclosure would look wrong. Secondly, what colour grout did you use and are the floor and walls hard work with all of that grout? Thanks so much for your time:)

    • cedarsuede@admin

      May 2, 2019 at 4:44 pm

      Hi there,

      I think our ceiling height is 3m but I don’t think a lower height should be a problem for you. The grout is a mid grey colour (one of the Mapei colours). I really enjoy the mosaic underfoot and bI only need to clean the grout that gets wet so it’s quite low maintenance.

  • Amy

    May 29, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    We are renovating our downs stairs area to make the space work better, which will mean moving our kitchen location.. I just don’t no where to begin with kitchen design and finishes? Our 1980s house needs a functional area and kitchen and STORAGE – and have got a floor plan just don’t no where to go from here? Many thanks

    • cedarsuede@admin

      May 30, 2019 at 10:07 am

      A floor plan is a very good start. It’s half the battle. Start by choosing some describing words for how you want your laundry to look and feel and then start pinning on Pinterest. You’ll start to see a theme occur which will keep you on track in selecting product. “classic” “Modern” “Eclectic” “mid century” and be open to colour……

  • Gabrielle

    August 8, 2019 at 2:51 am

    Love the tips thank you! We’re bathroom renovating and I’m so torn which way to go?! Super neutral and classic – white/grey/timber, or add a Moroccan feature floor and keep the rest neutral. Also, our bathroom is long and skinny – only 1.8 across. We’re going to do a back to wall bath, with a double shower in front behind similar wall to wall doors. Any tips on narrow bathrooms and the do’s and donuts?

    • cedarsuede@admin

      August 15, 2019 at 12:01 pm

      Hi Gabrielle,

      I like a patterned tile and I like to see them remain on the floor rather than taken up walls. You could always do a nice simple VJ on the walls for some texture and do a simple subway in the shower only.

  • chandu

    February 28, 2020 at 10:58 pm

    Thanks for sharing information, It helped me to understand more about the bathroom accessories. i can imagine how my bathroom will look like, after reading your thoughts, and the process which I sould follow, Bathroom accessories adds lot of beauty in the interior of house, whether it is basins, toilet, shower or Tapware . Every accessory makes a huge impact. and When you are looking for bathroom accessories warehouse, you always wanted quality, variety, style & comfort. And the leading supplier for bathroom accessories in Perth is Tuck Plumbing Fixtures, They have their showroom in Osborne Park in perth

  • carpenters Queenstown

    September 25, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    This is a brilliant post, thank you for sharing about renovating kitchen bathroom ask question. We always tend to change something or the other in our house, thanks for this great advice.

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