Design Spotlight: Reclaimed Inspiration
By Victoria Smith
Dec 20, 2022
For those who aren’t already familiar with the history of Bert & May, you may not know that we actually started out sourcing antique tiles in Spain to clean up and repurpose (read more about our story here).
Once we started sharing our finds, it quickly became apparent that their gentle colourways and beautiful heritage motifs were a big hit with the interiors market in the UK and beyond. Indeed, they proved so popular that our founder, Lee Thornley, decided it might be a good idea to start making his own...
Joining forces with Juanma, owner of a family run tile-making business in southern Spain, Lee launched Bert & May shortly afterwards, selling new tiles crafted using traditional artisan techniques and naturally pigmented colours to reflect the softly worn antique aesthetic he’d fallen in love with.
Ten years’ on, we’re proud to now offer a wide variety of products in a palette of curated colours inspired by our reclaimed finds. You’ll still see us regularly scouring the salvage yards of southern Spain in search of special one-offs to bring back to life, though - they’re where it all began after all…
Explore the projects below to see exactly why we think our reclaimed tiles are so special – and how they can be used to make a timeless design statement in any space.
Interior designer Cathy Emmins took on the refurbishment of a warehouse apartment in Whitechapel and used our reclaimed tiles as part of the project. “The tiles had a vintage feel that worked well – we wanted to do something in keeping with the property, something that didn’t look brand new or too manufactured or pristine...” she says. Explore the project here.
A set of our reclaimed tiles found their way to California where they look perfectly at home in a kitchen with serious wow-factor. “Once we set the colour palette, we were on the hunt for a statement kitchen tile that was completely unique,” says project designer Kirsten Blazek. “Being big fans of Bert & May it was one of the first places I looked, and I was very fortunate to find the tiles…” Check out the finished space here.
When Stef Burgon and Simon Hunt decided to transform a 16th century castle in Scotland into a luxury B&B, ensuring the interior décor was sympathetic to the building’s history while also appealing to design-savvy guests seeking style and comfort was essential. Click here to see why our reclaimed tiles were the perfect solution.