Subway tile may have originated in the New York underground, but Homepolish designer Shannon Tate assures us that it belongs in our above-ground kitchens and bathrooms too.
Bright, happy kitchens and bathrooms just make you feel good, amirite? So how can you make a beautiful, classy space without breaking the bank? You’ve got to work the “low to luxe factor.” What’s that you ask? Here’s what I mean… you know how in your wardrobe, there are inexpensive staples that carry you through, like Levis, or a simple t-shirt? The magic of these pieces is when they’re paired with some killer shoes, a designer purse, or some amazing jewelry. We somehow create this ingenious and endearing balance of low & luxe.
When talking about kitchen or bath renovations, because they are often accompanied by a hefty price tag, we need to find these same type of pieces to carry us through. Stylish, simple, timeless staples to layer the luxury on top of. One of my favorite go-to’s is the classic white subway tile. Originating in New York (bet you could have guessed that from the name), it’s now a recognizable upward-trending design piece.
First, let’s take a look at a couple bathrooms. Let’s face it… city bathrooms, in particular, can be tiny and dungeon-like. And who wants to bathe in a dungeon? A light color palette and subway tile can take it from dingy dungeon to a little piece of heaven. Additionally, wood accents and plants add more life to the space.
The white grout with white tile creates a white-on-white look for this Silver Lake family home that will stay light and bright. Even though the windows are high and frosted, light bounces off easily from the walls.
In the same home, subway tile was the go-to wallcovering for the kitchen area as well, not just the bathroom. The white tile provides a clean backdrop for all of the other colors running throughout the space from wooden countertops, artwork, poppy accessories, and rich textured rugs.
Subway tile with contrasting grout along with white cabinetry, wood accents, and industrial lighting create a timeless beauty in this La Habra Heights kitchen. The contrasting grout is especially helpful in kitchens since you won’t notice stains, spills, or discoloration over time.
Beyond aesthetics, subway tile is an affordable option when you have a lot of surface area to cover. It also simultaneously makes a space seem larger and airier, as with this Chicago redesigned home.
Despite its humble beginnings, subway tile will elevate your bath or kitchen (or both!) without breaking the bank.