Our Story

Our Story

Committed to exceptional materials and fine craftsmanship, the Bert & May name is synonymous with a raw yet refined aesthetic that underpins our entire collection.

Our story started in Spain in 2004, when Bert & May founder Lee Thornley left London to set up a reclaimed tile company in Andalusia. Just four years later, Lee opened his award-winning boutique hotel, Casa La Siesta, in Cadiz. As a result of his painstaking work on the interior of this sensitively restored country house, Lee found that he had a natural talent for sourcing reclaimed materials and rare antique fittings. He also discovered that this architectural salvage was much sought after by interior architects and designers and from here, a new project was born.


Bert in Spain

Our story started in Spain in 2004, when Bert & May founder Lee Thornley was building a boutique hotel, Casa La Siesta in Andalusia.

Lee meets Juanma

What began as an online venture selling reclaimed materials took on a new life in 2010 when Lee met Juanma, owner of a small family business that had specialised in making artisan encaustic tiles using traditional handmade techniques.

Bert & May Launch

Lee found people who shared his passion for antique and handmade tiles and materials in the UK, and so Bert & May was born.

First Showroom

Lee made the decision to open a showroom in East London. A hidden gem, our showroom on Vyner St was a warehouse on the canal in East London and showcased our full collection.

Lots Rd Opens

Our flagship showroom in Chelsea Design Quarter opens.

Bert & May x Soho House

Collaboration with Soho House, where we design bespoke tiles for three Soho House locations; Berlin, Redchurch St and Dean St.

York Showroom Opens

Our head office in York opens.