Scandinavian design is having a moment, and we’ve witnessed one trend in particular make its way across the Atlantic: square subway tile. A staple in Swedish homes for both bathroom walls and kitchen backsplashes, the look is very friendly on the wallet and is a minimalist’s dream tile. It may be a budget staple in European Nordic homes, but stateside, it’s cropping up in the coolest spaces, from hotels and restaurants to luxury apartments. Paired with dark grout, pretty soap bottles, brass fixtures, and luxe bathrobes, these tiles will be all over Pinterest soon. If our predictions are correct, they may even replace subway tiles as the budget backsplash of choice. Keep scrolling for our favorite square-tiled rooms.
Combine with Dark Grout
Pictured here as a built-in shelf styled with pretty bath products and luxe towels, this square ceramic tile is combined with a thicker-than-normal dark grout, giving it an edgy, urban look.
These builder-grade white ceramic tiles can be purchased for as low as $1 per square foot.
Tile the Whole Wall
Since many bathrooms in old European buildings are very small, it’s customary to tile the entire walls and have an open shower. With a wet room concept, you could almost attempt your own sauna.
Try a Half Wall
This bathroom features a half-tiled wall with an elegant double-black border. The black-and-white motif is repeated in the floors and in the chic, stitched satin hotel bathrobe hanging by the door. We call this instant sophistication.
Use Color Sparingly
In this bathroom, another half wall is accented with a black border and paired with a black hexagonal-tile floor. The styling is kept simple, with only a few yellow accents to add a pop of color.
Do a Half Backsplash
Half backsplashes might seem weird, but keep an open mind. In this colorful kitchen, the four simple sconces positioned above the backsplash make the height look intentional.
Use Open Shelving
Square subway tiles pair great with open shelves. Antique silver platters and terra-cotta pots bring warmth and history to this minimalistic kitchen.
Combine Tile with Wallpaper
While you wouldn’t necessarily imagine pairing a minimalistic white ceramic tile with ornate floral wallpaper, we think it works particularly well in this old-meets-new kitchen. The tile is stretched to the ceiling on one side and stops midway by a wood picture railing on the other.
A floor-to-ceiling wall of white ceramic tile frames the views of the adjacent home office in this Scandinavian kitchen. The mix of vintage, antique, and modern accents gives the rooms a lived-in feel.
Accent with Black
Hello, black appliances! The glazed ceramic tiles and warm black and brass accents soften up this kitchen. We especially love the dusty pink accents thrown into the mix.
Add a Border
In another kitchen, the tiled backsplash is lined with a thin brass border, adding a dash of elegance to the space. The saddle leather pulls and blackened cabinets also add to the chic factor.