Initially, I’m not sure that any of us really thought that the idea was anything more than a pipe dream. Within the Design team none of us had previously worked on a project of this magnitude – where would we start? Would It even be possible to make it work on tile? There are often many hurdles when working with ceramics, so there were many things to consider before we proposed the idea.
We presented a range of design ideas to the New Products Team and decided on two concepts to work on; Tropical Oasis - A tropical rainforest with an abundance of exotic flowers, plants and animals, and English Garden - A quaint countryside scene filled with British blooms and wildflower meadows. As the Biophilic trend is still going strong, we thought that both botanical themed concepts were perfect.
We started to think about how we wanted the murals to work. We wanted to make sure that the designs were versatile and could be used in several different ways. We were conscious of the fact that not all projects would be suited to a huge mural, so a big part of our planning process was making sure that the designs would translate well into smaller spaces too.
Then we got to the fun part – the design work! Every element featured has been created by hand; sketched out and then painted in watercolour or painstakingly created digitally on our iPads here in the Exeter Design Studio. The process consisted of (a lot) of; researching, drawing, painting, scanning, and artwork prepping, building up a collection of elements that we could then use to begin the big mural build. As we had never worked on a project like this before, it was a learning curve for us, but we absolutely loved the challenge and problem solving – which made it even more rewarding when we reached the point of having finalised murals!
Once we were ready to see the murals on tile, we then worked alongside our skilled production team, printing the design onto the tiles using the latest inkjet technology. Our high-quality inkjet printer has an incredible colour space, allowing us to achieve the bold, bright colours that feature in the murals.
Unlike traditional murals, that tend to be a stand-alone piece, our murals are designed to repeat infinitely. The design works in three parts; Panel A, B and C, each consisting of eight tiles. Together they make up the full twenty-four tile mural. The full mural repeats on both sides, so the longer your wall, the more panels you can add.
For a smaller area, a downstairs WC for example, you could choose your favourite panel of eight and use it as a small feature wall behind your basin. If you were working on a larger project, say a family bathroom with a freestanding bath, you could use three or four panels to create a statement. If you have a corner shower – you could use two panels wrapped around the corner to create a zoned area. We also considered the height variation between projects – the murals have been designed to work even if you take off the top and bottom tiles, so no need to worry if you have lower ceilings or wanted to use them above a built-in bath.
We are so excited to finally share this amazing project – seeing it tiled in our brand-new Exeter showroom was a proud moment for the New Products team, it's been an incredible effort from everybody involved. We hope you all have as much fun using them as we had designing them – we can’t wait to see how our customers have used them!
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