Can you create cool modern tile designs on a budget?

May 17, 2012 at 4:20 pm 3 comments

I’m here to say yes!  Cool modern tile design on a budget is achievable.

Take this for example:

I recently had the opportunity to spend a weekend at a cool mid-century hotel right in my own town.

photo credit Destination360

The Santa Cruz Dream Inn has been a local institution since the  early 1960’s and was recently purchased and renovated by the Joie de Vivre hotels corporation.  You can get the whole scoop here.

 Being the huge fan of mid-century design that I am, I was loving all of the colorful modern touches everywhere I looked.

The lobby with its color-blocked carpet and beachy cool style sets the tone to let you know that the sand and boardwalk are just steps away.

When you are in the room, with its soft palette and color-blocked curtains (Are you sensing a theme here?) you become instantly relaxed by the sound of waves washing up on the sand right outside.

photo credit Orbitz

We were in one of the tower rooms on the 5th floor. From this vantage point, looking outside to a wide expanse of water,  you can imagine yourself to be anywhere:  Malibu, the South of France, an Ocean liner or in our case 15 minutes from home but seemingly a world away.

The décor had plenty of interesting elements, like this cool green lamp that I’m coveting.

And being a tile person, you know I was most intrigued by the bathroom. This is where the budget conscious tile design was hanging out. They used mad popular color-blocking to maximum effect with a combination of 2” and 4” ceramic tiles in a lively mix of bright white, yellow and orange along with a 2” matte taupe/gray  tile on the floors.  So good and so economical at the same time with big design impact!  Feast upon it for yourself:

This is ordinary ceramic tile in standard square sizes. The type of tile you may even be able to find in your local big box hardware store. Nevertheless when installed in this way it becomes artful and perfectly befitting the modern, mid-century setting.  You can achieve this modern color-blocked design with just about any tile manufacturer’s lowest priced tile, such as our own Brio® glass mosaic collection

Our stylish weekend was topped off by a  full moon over the Santa Cruz harbor and we had the perfect vantage point from which to view it in all its glory:

What’s not to love about that?  I’ll be back Dream Inn- stay dreamy!

You may also like the tile and color-blocking in this related post. Or this one

Modwalls is making tile modern with colorful and unique designs that are in stock and available for purchase online 24/7 at

Entry filed under: Bathroom Tile, Buying Tile Online, ceramic tile, color, Color-Blocked Tile Designs, commercial tile, Design, How To Select Tile, Mid Century Modern, Modern Tile Design on a Budget. Tags: , , , , , , .

Inspired By… Things that make you go MMM…

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Rebecca Lonergan

Founder and Creative Director of Modwalls Tile Company. Since 2005 Rebecca has been designing Fresh Tile in Colors You Crave. Shop Online at

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