Deco Lab: Surface Deep

Panasonic Showroom by Vo Trong Nghia Architects

Delve into the world of supreme surface design where your walls and floors define each area of your home. Experiment with exposed natural brick, striking handcrafted tiles and materials that focus on individuality and functionality. These are our top choices and trends…


Juxtapose rough and textured surfaces with the smooth sheen of marble, for kitchen spaces with ageless character that require minimal decor.

From top: Peter’s House in Denmark by Studio David Thulstrup, Morris Chair by GamFratesi, Casa Roc in Barcelona by Nook Architects

Patterned tiles can be found in retro floral designs or classic styles. Get clever with smaller tiles – a simple rotation will create a new, bespoke arrangement.


The living room needs to cater for a variety of moments, from hosting friends or relaxing with a good read. Stick to neutral and welcoming surfaces that suit any occasion.

From top: Home Couture for Spotti Milano by Studio Peppe, Interior fireplace clad with bespoke tiles by Karak Tiles

Maximize space by layering a variety of materials, for example, combine concrete screed floors with wooden wall panels and natural glass lighting.


The bathroom is the perfect room to confidently play with surfaces. Let nature’s materials guide your colour foundation, like pure stone and concrete, then take it to the next level by adding patterned handcrafted tiles.

From top: Bathroom by Cemcrete, Hamman for Rexa Design, House Rauch by Karak Tiles

Ensure your surfaces are durable and low maintenance which can manage residues and water. Choose granite over marble that stains easily.


Wooden wall paneling: Versefeld,
Wall paper application: Craig Ndlovo, 073 146 7399
Concrete flooring: Teracoat,
Tiling and painting: Projects by Patrick, 062 203 9089
Bespoke tiling: Southern Art Ceramics,
Cork surfacing: Corcoleum,


Then you may want to read Deco Lab: White Heat and DECO LAB : Keep It Clean

The 2017 Field Report is not about fleeting trends – its about quality and perfection, about bringing back traditional skills and craftsmanship. We speak to the visionaries, icons and experts who shape their unique, lasting and life-enhancing concepts for us to embrace through their designs, recipes, buildings and explorations. Pick up your copy today and tell us what you think on Twitter @Elle_Deco using #2017FieldReport.

More from Jessie Bell

Peter Prato: Our kind of man

We like to work with the best. It's kind of our thing....
Read More