Nature and Nurture

October 1, 2020

How we humans create connection.

‘Nature or nurture?’. That’s the great question about the human condition: what makes us who we are as we grow up? And the answer comes back as - both. Nature AND nurture together, in all their mystery and magic, define us.

Did you notice how, during the time of hard lockdown, we longed to walk in a park, or along a beach, or get lost up a mountain? Did you notice how we’ve brought more and more green, growing things inside as a source of comfort and a reminder of our outdoorsiness? Pandemification (OK we made that word up) hasn’t been all bad; it raised awareness of our disconnect with nature. And it has encouraged us to create more connections.

And so, more and more, our homes become our nurturing spaces. Where we reconnect. We fill them with the things that bring us joy, comfort and soul nourishment. More and more, we are striving to create a connection with the natural world - bringing nature home. Indoor plants, apartments with vertical gardens, little veggie patches. We are turning our chlorinated and artificially blued pools into natural swimming ‘ponds’ (fabulous details about these glorious little ecosystems later). We’re installing grey water systems and Jo Jo tanks. We’re recycling. We’re cultivating indigenous, waterwise gardens that grow with the seasons, rather than water-greedy gardens that need to be pulled up and replanted in spring and autumn. 

We’re building living spaces that are centered around natural light, to reduce the use of electric lights. We’re loving natural fibres, textures and fabrics. We’re thinking solar and talking about ‘getting off the grid’. And, now that the lockdown is lifting,

We’re bringing home the treasures we find on our short journeys and walks: a porcupine quill, a handful of precious shells, tumbled sea glass.

This is the rise and rise of our nurturing natures. And of allowing and enabling nature to nurture us. This is a regenerative approach to life, rather than our grandparents’ more degenerative approach which never thought to look to the future, with harmful fossil fuels, everything throwaway, plastic, pollution, and just generally unsustainable choices. But we know better, so we do better. We examine our options. We read the package insert before popping pills. We examine the ingredients list on the cereal box. We understand that a healthy life begins with healthy ingredients. That involves self-care, care of others, care of environment in which we live.

Where does Italtile fit into all this? Right slap bang in the middle of it all. In step with the mindful curve, we are - along with you - making careful choices when it comes to fashion, style and trends. Understanding that buying local is the better option for our planet and our people. And, when choosing an imported product, we scrutinize the ethics of its journey from there to here. We actively seek out the things that allow us to offer you beautiful living and conscious experiences in harmony with the planet. It’s our LiveGreen mandate, and you can read more here: 

Live Green Banner

Greener gardens. When we talk about nurturing homes, we mean inside and outside. No matter how miniscule, the garden is a space in which we can make equally wise, sustainable choices. Vertical gardens are the glorious new garden phenomenon. Bee hotels are going into flowerbeds… find the kind makers here: … and owl houses are being installed in our garden trees to accommodate nature’s rat catchers (no more rat poison, please).

Hot trend alert: The Swimming Pool becomes the Swimming Pond!

We’ve dived head over heels in love with The Swimming Pond. Let nature go a little wild with some ingenuity and the help of a green designer. Reach out to our good friends over at and with their guidance, you’ll be able to transform your chemically blue pool. Go from wasteful weekly backwashing and pricey pool chemicals to the gradual development of a waterwise mini-ecosystem that creates a natural filtration process through the symbiosis of pond plants, gravels and small, water-loving (bug-chomping) creatures.

In summer, enjoy your version of a mountain pool, with swimming at one end and a flourishing wetland at the other end. In winter, feel nurtured and nourished by your own tiny wetland as a place of quiet contemplation. And while you’re planning your transformation, neaten up the pool edges with our pool copings and edgings. Get pond-ering! 

We found inspiration here: 

Pool Pond

Go into the woods. In line with this ‘nature-nurturing’, comes the massive wood-look tile trend. We offer a fabulous range of beautifully remastered wood looks in sustainably manufactured porcelain tiles as well as another huge trend: the latest vinyl wood look tiles (which have a soft feel underfoot to make them the ideal warm and inviting bedroom floor). Hands off the forests. Get your hands on our wood-look tiles instead, which are low maintenance and crafted to bring you years of pleasure. 

vinyl flooring

Nurturing sustainable partnerships. In pursuit of an ever more powerful LiveGreen ethos, we’ve formed partnerships with designers and manufacturers locally and internationally who subscribe to the same sustainable principles and push us to greener heights, too. 

Snaps to our interior designer besties Melanie Ewing of Chapters Interiors and Evette Annandale of Annandale Design, each of whom have developed mindful strategies around more natural living and working spaces designed to nurture their human inhabitants.

For more than half a century, we’ve worked with towering giants in the eco chic décor world. Internationally, Italian tile masters Ceramica Sant’Agostino and Atlas Concorde continue to astound us with their sustainable, authentic remastering of stone, wood and marble. Closer to home – well, on home turf, let’s be honest – we are inspired and awed by the ‘people, planet and purpose’ approach of Ceramic Industries. This is a tribe of sister companies at whose center sits the pursuit of carbon neutral tile and sanware manufacture… in harmony with the communities in which they operate. Green for many, many years, Ceramic Industries have recently taken their endeavors to the next nature-nurturing level with EcoTec: exciting new technology that creates slimmer, lighter, stronger tiles using less clay, less water, less fuel in firing and less fuel in transport.


Eco chic projects. Our residential Collab projects are sustainable in nature, from beachside family homes, to sustainable suburban renos  and bushveld retreats. Currently we are proud of our partnership with the building and finishing of Renishaw Hills, a retirement estate established inside a KZN conservancy area.

Italtile service. It’s in our nature to nurture. So we offer a 360 service that wraps around you, and extends all the way from our showroom floor to your door. Put us to the test. You’ll get our undivided attention, from interior design-certified sales consultants, a sample service, delivery and professional installation services, to the completed package: all of that wrapped up in our Residential Agent service. This is a highly personalized, bespoke service where your own Residential Agent helps you apply signature Italtile style to your new build or reno.

Here’s to the rise and rise of nurturing natures – yours and ours. Let us help you create connection and suggest ways to help you live a more naturally beautiful life.