February 2016, By Nicole Langelier
If you ask me there are some building materials that are simply timeless – and like marble and glass I believe that slate is one of them.
‘She’s mental!’ you may be saying to yourself – and it’s true – I do have my moments (especially after countless back to back 18 hour days of installing properties)… however I must say this is not one of them. Throughout my decades in design I have always loved natural slate – despite my ever-evolving style and changing tastes. I have always loved the texture, the variation, and the deep velvety colours it has to offer. I have loved its ability to hold in the heat or the cold, and I have loved its unapologetic perfect imperfections. Slate is not just your great-great grandpa’s building material – it has significantly matured over the centuries and has had a contemporary facelift to boot.
Traditionally slate was used extensively across Europe and America as a roofing tile. It not only was (and still is) really beautiful, it is also virtually non permeable and therefore a great water repellent. Slate was often and is still often used as floor tiles both inside and out, but now a day it’s not exclusively reserved for country style and farmhouse properties.
Slate tiles these days are available in many shapes and sizes and that includes the ultra contemporary. If you are an outside of the box thinker (like I am) you can also contemporize a traditional slate tile by the pattern in which you lay it and the grout colour you chose. If you like taking a risk but are reluctant to throw all caution to the wind in one go, a traditional slate floor with a crazy wall tile/ colour/ paper may be the choice for you. A slate floor is not only practical – but it looks, feels and IS a solid foundation –it is grounding and it brings you’re space down to earth.
Slate is not only a great material but also a great colour(s). I love a deep moody hue – the greys, the indigos, and the eggplants – it’s a dark rainbow. Slate has depth and it has character. Slate is the new black – actually the new ‘charcoal’ – ‘Charcoal’ everything from sofas to carpets to wall colour is sooo 2015. Mark my words. ‘Slate’ is the new ‘It’ colour, but has always been an ‘it’ material as far as I’m concerned.
Give it a go. If not in a tile than why not a wall colour – or if you just aren’t feeling that gutsy you can always try some bed linen or a scatter cushion.