A creative tile design can create a “wow” factor even in a small space. COURTESY STONEWORKS INC.

Have you ever flipped through a magazine and saw a photo of a kitchen or bath just jumped off the page? You might have thought, “Wow! Now that is something I’ve never seen before!”

We’ve been following the trends for decades now and what we’re seeing lately is a return to a phase of simplicity. The modern look that’s “in” right now is some variety of the clean and classic look, featuring a white or gray kitchen with corresponding color tones.

Don’t get us wrong, it’s a beautiful look! But what happened to the “art” behind design? Where’s the fun, the unexpected?

Social media and print publications love to share the latest trends with their readers. What we rarely see is what’s not trending – the works of art that come to life in a kitchen, bath or outdoor space. We’re calling this the “non-trend.”

Consider this “wandering tile” design photographed here. This kitchenette has been spiced up with alternating Walker Zanger tiles on the walls. The blue-patterned tiles provide that initial “wow” factor, then the gray tiles “wander” along the rest of the space for an unexpected twist.

The look all ties together with the kitchenette’s Viatera Lumina countertop.

Wall tile is popular in kitchens, but it’s mostly confined to just a backsplash area. This wandering tile look is a fun, outside-the-box design that really enhances this kitchen space.

Another non-trend is skipping traditional tile in a bath space and instead installing a full slab in its place. How about a shower wall that is a full slab of porcelain? Not only is it unexpected and beautiful, but a porcelain slab in your shower means your space is more hygienic and easier to maintain.

The point of sharing these outside-the-box designs is not to shame the traditional, but rather to inspire. Let’s not be afraid to design something different and have fun with creating spaces.

Find your inspiration and then get to work on it. Create a mood board and then work with a designer to make your vision come to life. But most importantly, remember to have fun with the process.

Now, it’s time to get creative!

Nicole Schultz is a local writer. For this article, she consulted with and interviewed design experts at StoneWorks Inc.