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Cloakroom decor ideas:
crazy tiling?

The one room in my house that has never been decorated is the downstairs loo. After five years, the excitement of even having a such a room is wearing off – a bit – and the hastily executed white wash – damage limitation rather than re-decoration (it was lime green and acid yellow when I moved in) is now flaking off.

The "smallest room in the house" feels like a good place in which to be bold with style, and get a bit experimental. But what to go for... maybe something like this?

These tiles have just gone on display under the banner of Pulsate; a collaborative installation by renowned landscape and architectural designer Lily Jencks and the Franco American architect, Nathanael Dorent. It's an unusual project – and essentially a commercial one, as it was commissioned by high-end tile retailer, Capitol Designer Studio for their Primrose Hill showroom. The brand wanted to shake up their display in a creative way – but they will also be hosting some interesting design talks in the new space (see below for details).

The idea was partly inspired by Op Art and Gestalt psychology – in this context playing with, as Lily explains, “how you perceive distances and shapes; and make sense of space".

See left for an instantly recognisable, classic Gestalt image – it's about individual parts having their own characteristics within the whole or, in layman's terms: seeing two unique images within what initially appears to be just one.

Says Nathanael:  “We decided to use tiles in one size with four colours. It's just a simple herringbone pattern, but we've applied it in three dimensions to create something really eye-popping."

"To get the really vivid exciting pattern," adds Lily, "we go from dark to light to dark in a gradient, like a pulsating wave, which is where the name comes from.” Right, the Bridget 'Mother of Op Art' Riley work, Movement in Squares, illustrates the same approach.

It might all just be too discombobulating for the downstairs loo, but I like the idea of doing something that would completely wow you and mess with your spatial perception as you opened the door. These exact tiles are out of the cloakroom budget, but I shall keep you posted as to how the idea filters into reality.

Meanwhile, if you can get to north London and want to check out the showroom in person, it officially launches this Thursday and remains in situ until October. And the special events being hosted in-store include: Using Pattern and Colour in Tiles and Paint, hosted by Mark Williams of Capitol Designer Studios and Rishi Subeathar of eco paint company, eic√≥. 18 April 6-8pm and Pulsating Form, an evening of talks from designers and artists featuring Lily Jencks, Nick Hornby, Sinta Tantra, Megan Burke and Grania Loughnan. 16 May 6.30-8.30pm. To secure a place email: 020 7243 4731.
Capitol Designer Studio 42 Chalcot Road London NW1 8LS Opening hours: Thursday-Saturday 10am-5pm Monday-Wednesday: by appointment

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