Renovation Station

April 29, 2021


Although we are not surprised, one of the many ‘changing world’ phenomena of COVID 2020 and early 2021 has been the uptick in home remodelling. Home renovation projects across the board have kept many imaginations occupied, according to world press.

Here in the Rep of SA, the Mail & Guardian* noted an increase in bathroom tiling and general household upliftment, as folk spent more time at home literally staring, day after day, all day, at areas that could do with a little TLC. And, seeing as the interest rates lowered, and travel plans were put on hold, a bunch of rainy day savings were rechannelled into the reimagining of living spaces.

It’s May 2021, and COVID’s not going anywhere (along with many of those overseas flights). If you’re visualising a home reno, make May your springboard into a world of reimagining and doing. We can’t wait to help you make your décor dreams come true. Plus, our #FindYourFab promo is still hot and happening, with up to 40% off luxury looks. { }

Fab Promo

Whether you’re looking at a fabulous mini-lift, like a kitchen splashback refresh, or new kitchen countertops; a room reno, like a super-duper new bathroom look; or a total redo, like a second floor or an extension... or a garden cottage retreat on vacant land behind your house (exciting), our design-certified consultants are qualified to help you through the process, from mood board, to colour palette, to style choice, to product selection, and installation.

Stop languishing and start living beautifully! Let the remodel begin, baby. But first, have a read of our thought starters and imagination igniters.

Homework Spaces. Lots of noise around this topic, as we all had to clear a space in our leisure places to set up work stations. We saw the rise of the Cloffice – walk-in closets and built in cupboards being transformed into miniature home offices. (It’s a thing, google it!) We saw innovative ideas like smart pull-down wall-mounted desks in quiet corners. We’re prepared to bet that even when the COVID clouds clear, we’ll still be performing a lot of our work tasks from home; and with this in mind, it’s a bright idea to consider creating a permanent workspace.

You’ll find a gazillion ‘how-to’ articles on the topic, but we like the calm and very cool approach taken by Evette Annandale. Evette is an extraordinary Interior Design professional and teacher who has also partnered with Italtile in the recent past to coach marketing students in the art, science and philosophy of office design. You’ll find her on IG @annandaledesign


Open Plan Goes Broken Plan. Building on the creation of a private work nook, is the concept of broken plan. This aims to keep an element of privacy about the home, as well as a specific use for each area. Broken plan design – if designed mindfully – will retain a sense of openness, while offering more in the way of secluded nooks. While open plan living employs colours and texture and lighting to delineate spaces, broken plan design incorporates structural elements like half-walls, dividing shelves, different levels, screens, glass walls and even mezzanines. 

Keep it Green. COVID has not only changed our health practices, it has also shifted our wellness paradigms. Creating mindful paths into the future has us engaging with  more circular economies – recycling, community upliftment, sustainable materials – and that includes interrogating the provenance of the products you purchase. Where does it come from? What is it made of? Is it biodegradable or reusable? When it comes to incorporating green solutions into your reno or remodel – Italtile is a wise choice. Read about our LiveGreen ethos.

Indoor/Outdoor Living. We are blessed with a pretty magnificent climate, all things considered, and we are fresh air fiends. If you are looking at renovating an old house, you may find it was constructed according to European ideals which were created to keep the climate OUT!  Open things up a little with shaded patios leading off main rooms, great big picture windows, sliding doors. Create a seamless inside outside flow by allowing the same tiles to run from your outdoor area into your living areas. For example, our beautiful Barn Wood Grey is an outside/inside stunner.


Mediterranean Magic. Add some Olé to The Great Outdoors. Connect to the far-off destinations you dream of – Greece, Portugal, Spain, the Italian Riviera – with Vita Sole Mix Luc, our vibrant talavera/majolica-look mosaic tiles. These feisty and utterly fabulous tiles will create a fiesta on feature walls, or across steps and floors. The decorative Vita range is from Ceramica Sant’Agostino, pioneers in sustainable design and manufacture, who fly an EcoQuality flag.

Sanctuary. Now that everything happens at home, a quiet oasis in no longer a nice-to-have; it’s become essential. A bathroom remodel is on the cards? Hooray we say (in hushed tones). This is your opportunity to curate a truly calming sanctuary. Start by creating the canvas. Whether your mood board features the simple, monastic vibes of concrete minimalism, or the luxe glamour of marble, or the rustic chic of worn woods, or the evocative 18th century French farmhouse look of honeyed stone, or those crisp, clean cut, urban subway feels, our porcelain tile portfolio is diverse enough to take you wherever your dreams go. ( )

All the Bathroom Bliss. Once you’ve chosen your peaceful palette from our simply enormous tile collection, start to piece together the bathroom furniture. Vanities, storage solutions, shelving, mirrors, taps, sanware, accessories, handheld or fixed showers, screens, heated towel rails. And tubs. Oh, the tubs. Even if you’re not going large, a new piece of bathroom furniture or shiny new accessories can create a quick and painless facelift. Browse our bathroom bliss here: ( )


The Matt Black Mood. Gloss is glam, but matt black is a whole mood. Seriously on trend, the deep darks are doing it in every living space. Matt black accessories, for example, can really add instant modernity to an older bathroom. Our newest Semplice Chiara is a range of Beautifully Simple Bathroomware (available in matt black and chrome finishes), that offers affordable luxury with a modern, rounded aesthetic and pared-down, practical good looks.

Keep it Dark. 2021 is calling all darker colours. Richer, deeper hues are happening.

Deep purples, forest greens, blacker berries, midnight blues, charcoals. We’ve heard them being called Moody Hues, and we’re in the front of the queue for velvety, richly comforting colourways. For the cautious, why not dip a toe in the dark with fabrics, rugs, or a painted feature wall? But for those prepared to go boldly into a more masculine tone poem, may we direct you to our utterly knockout Charcoals. Tiles with that brooding, muscular charisma designed to knock a girl off her feet.

High-class Quirk. Quirk is an incredibly exciting décor concept. Proceed with caution and always ask for our advice before bungee jumping into this head rush of a design aesthetic. It takes a powerful personality, but we know our Italstylers, and we reckon you’ve got the panache and joie de vivre to pull off adventurous, bold and outspoken décor.

Quirk in interior design can mean zigging when everyone else is zagging. Going against the grain and expressing your beautiful self. If you follow InStyle, you’ll know Emily Henderson, a famous Los Angeles design maven. She has a thing for checks. “Oh, like old kitchen curtains?” you ask. Well, no. In the words of Emily Henderson herself: “All of a sudden, I am seeing large-scale diamond patterned flooring. My favourite (and seemingly most popular version) is when the diamonds are painted onto wood flooring. I know it sounds a little wild, but it feels rustic yet refined and is still in the vein of the eclectic English granny trend (as we like to call it) that exploded this year. I personally love it when the diamonds are blue or white, which, if you know me, is no shock at all.”

So, why not riff on her example? Install black and white tiles in a diamond pattern rather than the traditional chessboard layout, with Silk Anthracite and Silk Blanco.


This is an ecochic choice, because you’re selecting black and white tiles with green hearts.)

Another idea. Put even more personality into Subway tiles by laying them in a herringbone pattern.

Hey, here’s another thought. Why not mix your tile textures? We’re thinking concrete and wood. A greige screed feel surround along the perimeter of a living room, something like our Spazio Gris... accompanied by a ’filler’ of gorgeous, lush Moda Vinile, our new age contemporary vinyl. You choose your wood look hue to go as warm or as cool as you like. We say marry the warmer woods with the cooler concrete.

Then there’s marble and wood. Right at the top of the cool/warm pyramid. How about this for a kitchen goal: our authentically veined Angelo Straturio (less 11% right now while stocks last) singing hymns on your kitchen counters and island, with  Maryland Haya (less 20% while stocks last) creating beautiful harmonies on the floor.

Patterned tiles dance beautifully with plain tiles. That meh greige staircase between meh greige walls? Apply patchwork to those stairs. Instant movement and story. We’ve so much choice here. Consider Intarsi Elite with its heady mix of cool marble and a medley of wood look tones all pulled into a 3D design. Then there’s the vintage vibes of our Retro Patchwork Matt Glazed EcoTec tiles (now on promo!) Or the monochrome delights of Hidra Great Anthracite.


Another quirky idea is creating the sense of a patterned ‘rug’ with patchwork tiles in a small area of a living space.

Interior design-certified sales assistants. We ensure that our sales assistants stay up to date with design and décor trends, with regular training, thanks to Melanie Ewing and the Chapters Academy. A recently completed home renovation House Peterson – is a beautiful example of how one of our youngest, newest sales assistants helped create magic, from the selection of tiles and finishes, to the installation. 

Professional Installation. When you purchase Italtile style, you are making a sizeable investment in luxury. Special things need special treatment to ensure their longevity and your peace of mind. For lasting joy and delight, never DIY, and rather don’t use a service suggested by a friend. Speak to us about Italtile’s Professional Installation Service. We have selected and trained teams to install our high spec tiles, taps, sanware and bathroom furniture and fittings using our top quality adhesives and grouts, all developed for specialist applications. Ask us for a no obligation quote: (link)

The Big Reno. A Checklist Before Lift-off. If you’re the brave soul ready to push the button on a big reno, read on:

-Start packing things and covering things ASAP. Pack precious items away in boxes, throw a sheet over bigger items and scooch them out of the way.

-Empty all the shelves and walls. Make sure there are no frames, mirrors, or any display pieces in adjacent rooms; avoid breakages when work is being done in the next room. Overkill? We think not. You’ll regret not doing this if any hammerings or drillings shake up your walls and send your frames flying.

-Kitchen remodels: Move the fridge into another room. If you have a spacious garage, that’s the spot for it! Create a snack station in another room, with microwave, kettle, etc. Consider prepping and freezing meals ahead of time for easy meals during your remodel project. Now’s the time for the Weber… braai every night, and use paper plates. Easy peasy!

-Advise your neighbours that things are going to get pretty noisy and disruptive shortly. Also, advise your building people of any restrictions in your street in terms of parking, and any sensitivities your neighbours may have.

-If you have kids, let them know that there are going to be people around working on making your home look better than ever. As exciting as a building site may be for imaginative little minds, it is no place for children. Keep kiddies out!

-Cover or close vents if possible to minimise dust travelling through your home.

-Move any plants outside to ensure they are not damaged.

-Remodelling activities are tough on pets. Have you put a pet care plan in place? Consider doggy day care or a pet hotel.

-Double helpings of patience, people. You’re going to need a lot of it in the days to come. Expect delays, and be light on your feet for a change of plan – no matter how buttoned down your reno schedule may appear, there is ALWAYS a departure from the road you want to travel.

Just Ask. A reno of any size may send your blood pressure soaring, but it’s what we all trained for here at Italtile. And it’s what we love. Ask us the questions. Bring us the mood boards. We’re your Renovation Station, and we can’t wait to be of assistance. Let’s make your renovation the beginning of even more beautiful living.