Bert & May, creators of handmade artisan tiles, has had a busy ten years, and 2023 is no exception. What began in 2004 as a business selling reclaimed Andalusian tiles has transformed into a lifestyle brand that is quick to evolve but remains true to its Mediterranean roots. “We’ve come a long way since Bert & May first began,” founder Lee Thornley says. “But even with all the collaborations, launches, and growth, our core values and authentic look remain at the heart of what we do.”
The first Bert & May showroom opened in a canal-side warehouse in East London in 2016. Their flagship showroom in Chelsea’s Design Quarter followed shortly after in 2017, and the Head Office showroom in York in 2020. This month, Bert & May has just opened its first outpost in New York City at Incolour, a color studio and showroom at 100 Lafayette Street in Chinatown run by the interior designer Martin Kesselman. “We want customers to meet with Martin and get excited about the opportunities they have to be creative with a unique tile which no one else will have,” Lee says.
Alongside the new opening, Bert & May celebrate their 10th year with two new ranges: Striped, a timeless addition to its signature collection of patterned tiles, and—this month—Marbled, a contemporary new design featuring a painterly, marbled surface.
Part of Bert & May’s collection of encaustic tiles, the Striped collection is handmade in the brand’s factory in Spain by fourth-generation artisans. The tiles are made from crushed marble using traditional tile-making methods for extra strength and a long-lasting finish.
“We have always believed tiles are the perfect way to introduce pattern and personality to a space,” Lee explains. “My favorite thing about our new Striped collection is that they can be tessellated in a multitude of ways to create unique and personalized designs. The choice of color can also dramatically affect how they look. We love encouraging our customers to be
confident with color and pattern, and the different widths and custom colors of the new Striped tiles gives people a chance to put their own twist on a classic.”
In direct contrast to the ordered geometry of the Striped collection is Marbled, an organic design which looks effortless but has historically been a difficult finish to achieve with encaustic tiles. Distinct from Bert & May’s classic marble tile range, the dynamic design is hand-poured to achieve a mottled, cloud-like texture that will add texture to more minimal interiors.
Nel Theakston, designer at Bert & May’s Chelsea studio, says, “The dream would be to see these on a kitchen floor with natural wood or stainless steel cabinet fronts. Marbled can also be combined with our plain tiles to create a checkerboard design with a bit of texture for a design that feels inspiring and unexpected.”
For more, head to Bert & May.
And for further tile inspiration, see:
- Particular Tile: Terra-cotta Tiles from Colorado that Help the Environment (For Real)
- Trend Alert: Checkerboard Tiles
- DIY Idea: Tiny Tiled Backsplashes That Pack a Punch