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How to Create the Ultimate Urban Garden Using Porcelain Tiles

Porcelain tiles are not just for flooring and walls inside the home or, indeed, paving outside the home. They are ideal for creating patios, paths, steps, slopes, water features and feature walls for your ultimate urban garden retreat. Their advantages over natural stone tiles notwithstanding, Porcel-Thin’s concrete look tiles and metallic porcelain tiles will add urban chic to your urban space.

An example of a contemporary urban garden photographed by Jodie Johnson

An example of a contemporary urban garden photographed by Jodie Johnson

Urban panache

When considering style, “urban” is often used to describe something a little edgy, born of the street that reflects lifestyle and individuality. This means that city-life has a bearing on urban fashion and anything goes – it is all about breaking boundaries and creating a fusion of colour, style and attitude. The same can be said for both interior design and garden design.

To date, urban décor style has had a harder, industrial focus but towards the end of 2016 this style began to evolve and now combines softer palettes and lines with the more traditional utilitarian trend. This makes it even more accessible for the garden, and for uniting your interior style outside, and vice versa.

Cemento concrete effect porcelain tiles in Piedra colour used for a chic sun terrace

Urban style for the home and garden now welcomes a blend of concrete floors and galvanised steel fittings with exposed beams and colour – the more opulent the space, the more refined the urban chic. Unique finds and less traditionally homely objects are carefully chosen and featured as decorative pieces and the overall look is about space and air. Essentially, it is about using what is around you to inspire your styling.

Urban placement

This brings us onto location. You can of course have an urban style garden in an urban space – that is to say a town or city. Often, those who live and work in busy, noisy built up areas are crying out for some tranquillity and the garden is one area that this can be achieved, even in central London, with some clever landscaping design and planting.

Issues such as noise, privacy and pollution can be combated with some wily urban planting and the use of carefully placed concrete look tiles, such as our Cemento Structured Concrete Tiles or our Tosca Concrete tiles. While both options offer excellent non-slip, long-lasting all-weather paving for outside spaces, they are also a great resource when creating feature walls and other areas of visual interest.

Porcel-Thin Cemento concrete effect tiles used as exterior paving and cladding for this modern urban house

At this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, award-winning garden designer and Gardener's World presenter Adam Frost was waxing lyrical about the virtues of concrete tiles when highlighting their use in The Linklaters Garden for Maggie’s, “A secluded, calming and private space that gives beauty and respite for those suffering from cancer”. Adam commented on how the materials used play a major part in how a garden comes together:

"Concrete is a material that I really love. I think some people are fearful of actually using it and think, you know, 'brutalist architecture' and of it being 'grey and cold’ but here you can see how the grey of the concrete can bring out the grey of the garden”.

He continued by saying how the concrete – which had been crushed to make gravel, polished to create a reflective surface off which light could bounce and create shadows, and had been treated with acid for a texturally different “eaten” surface – really sets off the purples and pinks of the flowers used in the gold medal winning garden.

Adam reinforced that the use of white or metallic porcelain tiles, such as our Lisbon Off-White Metallic Tiles, would create the illusion of space in smaller urban gardens while sticking with the strictly urban styling. What is more, he suggested leaving a small gap when placing natural materials side by side to allow room for them to expand and contract, the same goes when edging a porcelain tile path or wall with wood or natural stone for a contrasting effect.

Adam finished by stating: “Concrete is going to be about for a little while, big-time!

Lisbon Off-White metallic porcelain tile by Porcel-Thin

Urban porcelain tiles

Porcel-Thin agrees with the hot-shot horticulturist. Concrete and the simple sophistication it lends to urban styling, inside and outside your home is a real winner. Will you be creating an urban garden in your urban space this summer? Check out the wealth of porcelain tiles that will help your landscaping project achieve that edge here


Ray Smith

31st May 2017

An example of a contemporary urban tiled garden photographed by Jodie Johnson