Spotlight

BERT & MAY X CONRAN

22nd September 2017

This year, as we’ve been looking at moving, every property we’ve seriously considered has sent me into redesign mode. Kitchens, bathrooms, flooring… my head has been full of ideas for different types of spaces, and one of the design features I’ve kept coming back to again and again is geometric tiling.

So this new collaboration between Bert & May and The Conran Shop was bound to catch my eye. Designed by The Conran Shop and created by Bert & May’s skilled makers, the collection – which is currently showcased at Bert & May’s east London showroom on Vyner Street during London Design Festival (until 24th September) – features six designs in three complementary colourways.

The exclusive motifs are based on three geometric elements that can be combined to create boundless patterns, while the soft palette is inspired by the hues present in modernist architecture. The tiles can be combined with their inverse colourways or with any other tile in the range to create a bespoke installation, and can be used indoors or out, either on the floor or on your walls.

Bert & May x The Conran Shop Curve and Inverse Curve tile in Grey

Rosie Stonham, designer at The Conran Shop, says this of the new designs: “This collection is influenced by Sir Terence Conran’s design philosophy of ‘Plain, Simple, Useful’ to achieve modern, timeless designs. Each tile features one of the most simplifed elements of geometry: the curve, the line and the square. Available in inverted colours, the collection uses negative and positive space to create various patterns or personalised installations.

The range is comprised of three distinct colourways: a warm combination of natural grey tones, a soft sage green – offset by nude pink – and a powdery interpretation of our signature Conran blue.”

Bert & May x The Conran Shop Square and Inverse Square tiles in Blue

I’ve been an admirer of Bert & May for some time now. Officially launched in 2013, the company began as an online venture in 2010 when founder Lee Thornley met the owner of a small family business that had specialised in making artisan encaustic tiles using traditional handmade techniques, and the pair started making their own vintage-inspired designs.

Three years on the company rebranded and was officially launched as Bert & May, and has since evolved into a specialist supplier of handmade artisan tiles, engineered wood, natural pigment paints, and most recently, furniture, bathroom fittings and kitchens.

Bert & May x The Conran Shop Mid Stripe and Low Stripe tile in Green

Personally, I’d be hard pressed to decide on which tile to choose here, but I really love the simplicity of the Mid and Low Stripe combination above, and the beautiful lines of the Curve and Inverse Curve tiles (second photo). And this subtle green with blush pink combo is also an unexpected favourite for me – I say this as someone whose default would be for grey, but this green is beautiful. Which would you choose?

Bert & May x The Conran Shop Curve and Inverse Curve tile in Blue

The new collection will be available to purchase in-store and online at The Conran Shop and Bert & May, including the new Bert & May shop on Lotts Road in London. Crafted by artisan tile makers using traditional methods and natural pigments, the handmade tiles will retail at £5.76 per tile/£144 per square metre for plain tiles, and £7.68 per tile/£192 per square metre for patterned tiles.

Bert & May x The Conran Shop Square, Mid Stripe and Low Stripe tiles in Grey

All photography from The Conran Shop/Bert & May.

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