Tile Ideas and Inspiration to Update Your 90s-Era Home

Achieving a 90s-Era Refresh with Sleek and Contemporary Tile Styles

While there can certainly be some charm in a salvageable 1905s-era bathroom when done right, the tile of the 90s feels, well, a bit tired. The decade is known for its earth tones, shiny brass, Tuscan beige, travertine golds and browns, honey oak, and more. Needless to say, it had its day and it’s time to move forward.

But just because 1990s-style tile isn’t quite timeless doesn’t mean an entire bathroom or kitchen needs to be demolished to the studs. A tile refresh in a clean and simple aesthetic can be just the antidote you need to modernize your home.

Pin this for easy reference!

 

Streamlined Tile Backsplashes

Graphic tile can be drop-dead gorgeous. But sometimes the most streamlined and simple visual approach feels the most contemporary in style – especially for a former 90s-era kitchen or bathroom backsplash. Plus, a style like a straightforward subway tile, for instance, is much more likely to feel timeless no matter how many decades go by. As long as you remember that less is more, you’ll be on the right path. After all, you want the rest of the space to shine, too. 

Cream catalina-style tile keeps this kitchen backsplash simple, yet adds a touch of a textured infusion to the space. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
Cream catalina-style tile keeps this kitchen backsplash simple, yet adds a touch of a textured infusion to the space. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)

RELATED: 5 Signs Your Home is Stuck in the 90s

A small and bright chevron tile pattern transforms this kitchen into an open and airy space while still providing a hint of excitement in its pattern. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
A small and bright chevron tile pattern transforms this kitchen into an open and airy space while still providing a hint of excitement in its pattern. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)

RELATED: Quartz vs. Granite, How to Choose the Right Countertop

Mirrored subway tile works double duty as this bathroom’s mirror and backsplash, keeping things classic, yet simultaneously visually interesting. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
Mirrored subway tile works double duty as this bathroom’s mirror and backsplash, keeping things classic, yet simultaneously visually interesting. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)

 

Unique Tiled Floors

While backsplash tiles are best in simple styles, there’s no reason you can’t have some trend-setting additions to your home. We love adding unique tiled floors here and there in a home to get an infusion of character. Not only is tile hardier and less prone to damage from water or excessive dirt and mud, but it’s also just plain fun. Be aware, though, that smaller spaces are the key to nailing these styles. Keep the bolder options to mudrooms or powder rooms so it doesn’t feel too overwhelming.

Graphic encaustic cement floor tile takes this basement bathroom up a notch and elevates its style in a modern and fresh way. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
Graphic encaustic cement floor tile takes this basement bathroom up a notch and elevates its style in a modern and fresh way. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)

RELATED: Wilds Overlook Bathroom & Basement Details

LVT (luxury vinyl tile) helps to protect this mudroom floor, easing any worries about water damage from wet and muddy shoes. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
LVT (luxury vinyl tile) helps to protect this mudroom floor, easing any worries about water damage from wet and muddy shoes. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)

RELATED: Insider Tips on Luxury Vinyl Flooring (LVT, LVP)

A stunning black and white graphic encaustic cement tile adds instant visual texture to this streamlined and beautiful bathroom. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
A stunning black and white graphic encaustic cement tile adds instant visual texture to this streamlined and beautiful bathroom. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)

RELATED: How Much Shiplap is Too Much?

Unexpected Tile Detailing 

Of course, one of the most exciting things about tile is that there are endless ways to incorporate it into your home. Shower niches, fireplaces, entryways, and more are all up for grabs. And with the extensive variety of styles out there – pebbled, penny, graphic, and more – you’re sure to find one that feels unique and totally up your alley. And since these unexpected pops of detail are located in less obtrusive spaces in your home, you can get as wild as you like. Just be sure to balance out the surrounding space with a calmer aesthetic to let that flash of personality come alive.

A gleaming marble mosaic fireplace creates a modern aesthetic in this living room that is hard to beat. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
A gleaming marble mosaic fireplace creates a modern aesthetic in this living room that is hard to beat. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
While this kitchen’s backsplash is simple in color palette and style, it still offers an unexpected flair thanks to the arabesque tile stove backsplash addition. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
While this kitchen’s backsplash is simple in color palette and style, it still offers an unexpected flair thanks to the arabesque tile stove backsplash addition. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
Surrounded by a classic subway tile pattern, this shower niche gets a style upgrade with a dose of a bold graphic encaustic cement tile. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
Surrounded by a classic subway tile pattern, this shower niche gets a style upgrade with a dose of a bold graphic encaustic cement tile. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)

Modern Shower Stalls

Skip the 90s all-over shower pan insert styles and go for modern vibes instead. Actual tile is the way to go to modernize your shower. And to make your life easier – both for cleaning and visual simplicity – we always recommend choosing a larger size tile for the shower stall walls. The calmness it will evoke will make you feel like you’ve gone to the spa every time you step inside its door.

Textured oversized shower tiles lend this shower stall a contemporary look that feels unique and interesting. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
Textured oversized shower tiles lend this shower stall a contemporary look that feels unique and interesting. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
With a little personality added via the pebble tile shower niche, this bathroom gets a dose of style that wows. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
With a little personality added via the pebble tile shower niche, this bathroom gets a dose of style that wows. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
By pairing together penny floor tile, oversized subway white tile, and a vibrant black mosaic shower niche, this bathroom is a modern marvel, indeed. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
By pairing together penny floor tile, oversized subway white tile, and a vibrant black mosaic shower niche, this bathroom is a modern marvel, indeed. (Interior Design by Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)

RELATED: Unlock You Design Style – Quiz

So, what are you waiting for? Get that pin button ready and start setting up your dream mood board. Because once you’ve got a modern-style tile in place, there’s no stopping your 90s remodel. It’s sure to be jaw-dropping in no time.

By Megan Johansson, Contributor to Carla Bast Design

12 Responses

  1. There are so many great ideas for how to use tile in this post, Carla. Thanks for the inspiration! I’m a real fan of penny tile, and I love how it looks in this last image of your work.

  2. Every image is so gorgeous that I just pinned and pinned Carla. Beautiful work on all these projects of yours while the mud room design is a love for me along with tons more in this post. Bravo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Carla Guide_whitecrop

Choose your paint colors with confidence

Hi I’m Carla

carla-bast-interior-designer-and-blogger

I’m glad you’re here! You are in the right place if you are feeling overwhelmed at the thought of embarking on a remodeling or interior design project. Living with and outdated 90s era home and don’t know where to start? I’ve helped families like yours update their home and create spaces that reflect what’s important to them for over 25 years.

Join me!

 

I’ve been honored to be featured in and receive awards from:

The Spruce

Apartment Therapy / Cubby

Houzz / Best of Service & Design

Minnesota Chapter ASID – First Place Award

MSP Magazine, Best Use of Color

Minneapolis Star Tribune

 

 

Mockup 5 tips for stress free

5 Tips for Stress Free Remodel

Don’t miss a thing!

Enter your email below to be the first to know about design posts, new products and tips for a more beautiful home.

More Posts We Think You'd Love

how to choose paint colors with confidence

Free Design Guide

5 Tips for a Stress Free Remodel

Get The FREE Guide

Ever wonder what your own personal interior design style is?

Unlock Your Unique Design Style

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.