Maths Is Easy, Design Is Hard… But It Doesn’t Have To Be!

“When will I ever need algebra in the real world?!?”

This is a direct quote from my 14 year old self (I’m sure you too thought something similar!), I thought the same about trigonometry, geometry, long division & all things maths related.  But man was I wrong! Geometry and maths in general, play a huge role in the world of design, especially when it comes to tiles.

Math Is Easy Design Is Hard

Image via The Gordon City Campus

Getting into shape

Tiles themselves are individual geometric shapes – most commonly square or rectangular – laid out to form a whole design (basically the larger picture), be it a splashback or floor. You have most likely also seen some other geometric shapes of tiles available on the market also – hexagonal, circular and rhombus are some of your other options.

The shape of the tile helps determine the almost endless options of shapes and designs that can be made for the larger picture or overall design. The rhombus for example is a popular choice – or as my niece puts it, a rectangle that’s leaning on its side. By alternating the direction in which you lay the identical tiles can completely change the shape it forms. Then by throwing into the mix a few different colours and you’ll have a completely different look all again.


It’s all in the eye of the beholder.

Get into shape with this all white rhombus tile design…..the only question is which shape?  Do you see a star design? Cubes? Hexagons?


The use of three contrasting yet complimentary colours gives this space visual interest and enables a more varied colour palette and gives this more traditional home a more contemporary look.


No matter what the size or shape of the tile, the print or pattern on the tile provides the owner with an alternative pattern by arranging each tile in a different direction again. By combining two different individual tile designs, you can create a real feature and point of interest in the home.


Here are a few of my favourites.




This is the same simple tile design, but laying them in a different way provided a completely different look and feel.




Here we see a combination of circular tiles (penny rounds) and rectangles – not only does the colour of the tile provide contrast, but there is also a contrast of harsh lines and soft, fluid circles.







Your basic square or rectangle tile can be laid in a multitude of ways to create a traditional or contemporary look.


Full Pinterest board HERE


So whether you are into trend driven design, individual & unique design, or traditional design – the combination of geometry and tiles will help you to achieve the desired look.

Some geometric options available in store (luckily we can get the math & design right) – similar colour palettes but a very different look and feel to each design.


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About Paige Cahir

"Trend driven design looks good for a short time, but really great design stands the test of time" Architecture admirer. Lover of all things blue. Coffee table books are my heroin. Follow on Instagram @paigecahir

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