Handmade or hand-selected, we're proud to support exquisite craftsmanship and specialist skills. Join us as we sit down with artisans, curators and designers in our Meet The Designer series.
Floor and wall tiles have the power to transform an interior scheme, and are a great way to imbue a space with personality, whether you’re looking to create a feature wall or are completely redoing the floor of a room. We spoke with the team behind Claybrook Studio to learn more about how they’re creating a range of tiles for modern homes and to see what exciting plans they have for the future.
How did Claybrook begin?
Claybrook was founded by the former directors of Fired Earth, a well-known high street interiors business. Following the turnaround of the business and its sale to new American owners in 2016 we decided the time was right to go it alone. With £4m equity backing from a far east interiors brand, we launched Claybrook Studio in April 2018. Our online shop, free samples and free delivery are aimed to make life easy for our clients.
Is there a story behind the name?
Our equity partner has a long history in the far east as a supplier of engineering and interior design products. They are family with a truly delightful vacation home just off the beach in Cape town. This gracious living space seemed to encapsulate everything we felt our new products should be; stylish, design led and practical. This sanctuary from modern life with a smell of beach and sea is called Claybrook.
Tell us about your range of products.
We have started with a debut collection of floor and wall tiles using the expertise gained over many years in the industry. Our Creative Director is Rob Whitaker who was at the helm of the design and product selection at Fired Earth for many years. He has a great team here at Claybrook who know how to find stunning products at great prices. We aim to provide tile solutions both to homeowners and specifiers on larger projects.
What is the inspiration behind your debut collection?
We are constantly on the lookout for pretty and bold designs that we feel are charming enough to make the grade at Claybrook. This is informed by an absorption in current decorating moods in the UK, but also from keeping a close eye on developments in the US and wider Europe. We felt our customers would be design savvy with busy lives and looking for quality, but tiles that don’t cost the Earth.
“Some of the tiles are quirky and will add life and pizzazz through pattern and colour, whilst others are quiter and will be the anchor to a scheme rather than the main event.”
You use a variety of materials and colours. What has informed your designs?
We have worked closely with our address book of makers, artisans and larger producers to source and produce tile that feels referential to classic design but not overly reverential. Some of them are therefore quirky and will add life and pizzazz through pattern and colour, whilst others are quieter and will be the anchor to a scheme rather than the main event.
The use of materials both in homes and commercial applications changes over time. For example, 25 years ago, an authentic looking terracotta floor for kitchens and conservatories was considered new and chic, then 15 years ago travertine flooring from Turkey or Italy was a must-have. The care and attention demanded by these floors can be time consuming. Clients in 2018 prefer porcelain or glazed floors and walls that require little post installation care. This idea of ease of use has been at the heart of our sourcing at Claybrook. There is still room for natural stone at a great price point, and so we have selected some really enchanting pieces for the collection.
We also buy with the knowledge that our customer is well travelled and fully aware of the options in material and finish seen around the world. They naturally want to replicate some of these fresh and exciting finishes in their own home. Our job is to find a well-priced and gorgeous looking selection that fits the criteria. This applies to commercial specifiers too. We have a dedicated team in London who are experienced in meeting the demands of designers, architects and the trade.
East Haven Penny Round Mosaic tiles provide a simple yet elegant backdrop in a bathroom scheme. £13.33 each, Claybrook Studio.
Can you tell us about your showroom in London?
We chose Shoreditch for its convenience to both homeowners and the trade, and its long history of being at the heart of the fashion and creative worlds. It’s a two floor space with the ground floor showcasing our core collection available to everyone. This will be shown off by the building itself with soaring ceilings and a gallery feel with huge white walls and bronze staircase leading to the basement. This is also a large area designed to accommodate the trade with a huge samples area, meeting room and more displays.
What exciting developments can we expect to see from Claybrook in the next year?
Over the next few months we will be launching our engineered wood flooring collections of planks and beautiful parquet. This will be an exciting addition to our product portfolio. Over time we will expand further to offer a wider collection of product for hotels, high end residential and domestic spaces. Watch this space!
We would like to thank the team behind Claybrook Studio for taking the time to talk to Warehouse Home. For more information on Claybrook Studio, visit their website.
With a lightly textured matt finish, Gandino Monza tiles create the look of cement and form a sleek feature wall. From £8.03 each, Claybrook Studio.