Case Study: Making an Entrance
Case Study

Case Study: Making an Entrance

By Victoria Smith

Jun 22, 2021

The humble hallway is so often overlooked in the style stakes, but we think it’s time to refocus on what’s arguably one of the most important areas in the house. Not only are these flexible spaces incredibly useful, they’re also the first part of a home that you see, so it’s worth maximising potential from both a practical and interior design perspective.

Here are two stunning hallways that really deliver in terms of both form and function…

Full name: Emily Louise Rickard 

Occupation: Interior Designer and Stylist

Style and location of property: Semi-detached Victorian House in Bristol

Who lives there: Myself, my husband Daryl and my daughters Evie Belle, eight, and Orla who’s almost five.

How would you describe your interior style?
Bohemian, modern, and eclectic. I like to take inspiration from all the places in the world I've visited and lived. 

Tell us about your project…

When we were searching for a home, I had a really strong desire for a nice big hallway. Having lived in Brooklyn for six years in smaller apartments with tiny hallways, I wanted to be able create a sense of calm when you first step inside the home. This hallway was so perfect, and I knew it would be the first area we tackled.

Which Bert & May products did you use? 

I used reclaimed Spanish Aveiro tiles.

Why did you choose them?

I wanted to change the hallway tiles as soon as I moved in, as they were black and very uninviting. Instead of relaying traditional Victorian tiles, I loved the idea of playing on the old and reclaimed look with tiles that were still sympathetic to the style of the home but more 'us'.

What you think they add to the space?

They add the most beautiful sense of calm. When I saw them on the Bert & May website I loved them SO much, and they were actually my first purchase for this renovation - I knew that fabrics and paint colours could be built up around them in the scheme. I very much wanted to evoke a feeling of old Spain or old Italy when you walk in the house, so I worked with Pickleson Paint to create the perfect neutral to go with the tiles, and we named it Le Nozze Stone.

What led you to use Bert & May?

I love the selection of reclaimed tiles (even though I have my eye on some of the new encaustics for some upcoming projects!). I find Bert & May very easy to work with and always helpful.

Emily runs an interior design studio in Bristol - see - and also runs online courses on how to create your perfect pad at Follow her on Instagram at @emilyrickardstylist. Photo credits: Oliver Perrott.


Full name: Georgie Boyd 

Occupation: Café/bar owner 

Style and location of property: A Victorian apartment in Dorset 

Who lives there: Myself, my partner, and our nine-month-old daughter (and the dog!)

How would you describe your interior style?

It’s so hard to describe a particular style, and something I’ve tried to pinpoint many times! I like to create spaces that make you feel comfortable and safe, collecting items from markets, old family furniture or artwork from holidays - I think it’s important for homes to be personal, and tell a story, but to also evolve with you. They need a mix of straight lines and curves, textures and pattern, function and design. When I design or decorate a room, I focus on the hardware and floors, as if you get these bits right, you’ve created an easy start to build from. One of my favourite quotes from Patsy Stone is “One should never be the oldest thing in one’s house” which is something I follow in each room.  

Tell us about your project…

We moved from a tiny 17th century thatched cottage to this grand Victorian apartment. The hallway is almost the same size as the ground floor of our old cottage, so when moving in, we were a little overwhelmed as to what to do with the space! It did have a laminate floor, with metallic leaf wallpaper, which I felt didn’t showcase the space to its full potential. I wanted to do something striking, but also bear in mind the history of the house. I have admired dark interiors (which were in fact at their most popular in the Victorian era), for a while, and I knew this hall was a space that could take it. I really wanted to commit to the dark look by not only painting the walls, but all the woodwork too, as well as wallpapering the ceiling.

Which Bert & May products did you use?

We used the Bert & May black Alalpardo tile. 

Why did you choose them? 

I had been dreaming about using them for years and was so excited to finally have the opportunity to do so. A hallway is a functional space where you come and go, kick off dirty shoes/pick up coats etc, and I felt the monochrome had a utilitarian yet timeless look that was perfect for the use of space. 

What do you think they add to the space?

The Alalpardos add the perfect mix of authentic tiled flooring with a modern and clean touch. The floor obviously looks fantastic, but the warmth you get underfoot from encaustic tiles adds a cosy, homely feel. 

What led you to choose Bert & May?

Bert & May’s style and product is so unique compared to others on the market. I particularly love the Alalpardo tiles as there are so many ways to lay them to achieve different patterns. Until the tiles arrived, I didn’t know which way I was going to go and had days of laying out different patterns to decide. As they are handmade, there are very slight differences between the tiles, which gives an authentic feel and adds romance - I like knowing that they have been handcrafted and loved from production to fitting to living! 

See Georgie’s Instagram for more on her home renovations - @pippinandthetealdoor - and check out @thethirstybirdwimborne or to find out about her beautifully designed café and bar.



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