As part of our new Colour Stories series,Bert & May’s Brand Director and Colour Expert Ruth Webber explains the processes behind our palette and takes a closer look at one of our signature shades: pink.
At Bert & May we are complete devotees of colour. It is at the heart of everything we do, and we’re incredibly proud of the shades that we use. Each one is a crucial part of our brand DNA and created by us using techniques we know will provide the look our customers love.
We’ve worked hard to develop a single underlying palette that provides plenty of choice, but there’s one thing that remains constant throughout - each colour possesses the chalky qualities and muted tones we’re known for.
Natural pigments are mixed with cement, sand, and marble to create our soft signature colours
To achieve this look, we mix a blend of natural pigments, cement, sand, and marble to produce a fine, loose powder with a semi-transparent nature that gives our cement tiles their signature ‘washed out’ look. It’s also responsible for that ‘perfectly imperfect’ finish - while we keep hold of our colour recipes, each time a new batch is made there will always be a slight difference due to the nature of the process.
Not every two colours in our collection will go together but when linked with a third or fourth, the pairings just feel right. Alternatively, you can keep to one pigment and play with the different shades derived from it. Whatever you choose, there’s a natural flow and a cohesive look that’s carefully considered but not contrived.
Part of my role as Brand Director and Colour Expert is to maintain that cohesive look, as well developing and introducing new products and materials to our collections, and fundamentally this always starts with a colour. This process is always driven by an emotional feeling and never trend led - we strive to create products that are timeless.
On a personal level, I’ve always been obsessed with weaving colour into every aspect of my life. Initially this wasn’t a conscious decision, but the older I’ve become the more I’ve realised it was always about creating a sense of cohesion, which in turn made a for a space to feel comfortable in.
I really believe that colour is emotive, mood enhancing and supports wellbeing, and as such the colours you bring into your home are just as important as the pieces of furniture and the layout. This ethos runs through everything we do at Bert & May, and our commitment to creating colours that complement our clients’ lifestyles is unwavering. With this in mind, we’ve decided to take an in-depth look at the key colours that make up our palette and share the ways we feel they work best so you can get the most out of your chosen shades. First up, it’s pink.
Whilst pink is a popular colour choice in many contemporary spaces, it has long been present in architecture and home interiors. Historical buildings like these in the oldest part of Madrid showcase the beautiful palette that has influenced our style - very pale tones of orange, pink and yellow, beautifully soft and bathed in Spanish sunshine. Spanish culture is a huge influence on our style, it’s also where we make most of our tiles and where Bert & May was founded, so it made sense to tie it all together with colours informed by the landscape.
Our palette of pinks takes inspiration from the sun-soaked streets of Madrid and Barcelona
A full spectrum of pinks: (left to right) Leather, Cherry, Rose, Blush, Mandarin
We’re also influenced by modern structures such as La Muralla Roja (‘the red walls’), a 1970s housing estate designed by Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill. This fortress-like structure of geometric shapes features bold red tones in varying saturations that we love.
Seeing the pink on-mass and in such defined shapes is a visual treat, but also incredibly calming. This has directly influenced our pink Modernist collection, where we’ve used striking shapes in soft pastel shades to produce a subtle take on contemporary design.
We love the bold red tones of La Muralla Roja in Calpe, Alicante. Image credits Sebastian Veiss, via Pinterest.
My favourite way with our pinks is to layer the different shades, like a gradient paint colour chart, and create a colour story in a space before adding accent colours or texture (such as natural wood pieces or striking furniture) for definition.
Image Landscape Lodge. Interiors by Louise Curnuck.
The muted tones of our pinks and all our pastel tones are so liveable, we suggest they can be used almost anywhere. They translate across the changing seasons in the UK and will always offer warmth and a sense of calm that’s perfect for everyday living. As a result, we now see them as like one of our neutrals.
I also love it when someone goes all-out and covers a whole room in pink. It’s playful in a sophisticated way and just totally embraces you.
From plain-meets-patterned to mix-and-match shades, these spaces all feature perfectly judged hits of pink
Pattern and pink go hand-in-hand, with the softer end of the pink spectrum a good choice for tiles featuring bolder designs - striking, geometric patterns in soft rosy tones strike a perfect balance, while gently blushing reclaimed tiles add a soft warmth that’s hard to beat. These three looks showcase how pink can lend itself to pattern in very different ways:
Our Alalpardo, Pradena and Bolonia tiles show how versatile pink patterns can be.
Whether you choose to go all-out or simply add a hint of pink to a special space, you’ll get so much out of this endlessly flexible colour.
If you’d like to explore the collection in full, click here.
Have you created a pink Bert & May look you love? We’d love to see it. Tag us on Instagram or use the hashtag #bertandmaycolourstories