Checkerboard Tile: Ultimate Style?

by Amitha Verma Interior Design, www.amithaverma.com

The traditional black and white ‘checkerboard’ floor is one that has been associated with old-world European interior design for decades. Lately I’ve been doing some research into this style, and I found that the practice of laying floor tiles in a checkerboard pattern actually dates back more than 2000 years! Apparently Romans and Egyptians both used this design, but for me, I think the most striking examples of black and white tiled floors come from the magnificent halls of Versailles in France. I spent 2 hours going through our photos looking for photo of my hubby and I on this very floor-but to no avail- darn those digital photos!

(Source: Knight Moves)

I like the idea of using black and white tiles in the entrance hall of a house – I think it creates a real sense of elegance and old-fashioned grandeur. See how the floor in this hall is a really good complement to the molding on the walls, the charming ottoman and table?

(Source: Haus & Home)

Checkerboard floors look good on the outside too. A veranda like this one is the perfect entrance to a really historic-looking grand old house. I love the white front door with the decorative transom just above it.

(Source: Veranda)

I have to admit, when it comes to using checkerboard tiles to create a really decadent, but slightly more modern look, I like using them in the kitchen. I’ve fallen in love with this almost edible kitchen which is decorated in shades of pink and chocolate, with a checked floor to match. The owner says she was inspired by French patisseries, chocolate, and Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. I say, yum!

(Source: House Beautiful)

I can’t resist showing you one adorable little detail from this kitchen – these pink and white striped tins with the names of French delicacies hand-lettered on them… I’m in love!

(Source: House Beautiful)

Of course the checkerboard look works in other settings too. A dining area is formal enough the carry off this look, especially when paired with extra-tall French windows and Louis XIV chairs.

(Source: House and Home)

I also really like this bathroom, which belongs to Paris-based designer Frederic Mechiche. The antique tub and the modern artwork really make the floor look ultra-chic.

(Source: PBC Style)

If you’re looking for high drama and classic appeal, this sophisticated contrast will last the test of time. Perhaps there’s room for this in my next project…

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