Interview with GoodHomes Magazine Editor Karen

Rob Maltman, the Tile Guru, caught up with Good Homes Magazine editor Karen Walker at the Ideal Home Show at Christmas where we sponsored the Good Homes Room Sets! Here’s the interview…



RM – Hi, I’m Rob and I’m sitting in the Ideal Home Show at Christmas, and I am joined by Karen Walker, the editor of Good Homes Magazine. Karen, thank you very much for taking time on what is an increasingly busy day for you

KW – Very busy day today, first opening day of the show, I am Karen Walker – Good Homes Editor, and yes, today is a very busy day, Rob!

RM – And today is only the first day of what – 4 more?

KW – 5 days of the show, so busy, so get yourself ready for Christmas

RM – How are you finding the show so far?

KW – So far I am really impressed with the show, it’s always a busy show, everyone loves Christmas and they want to come to the Christmas show for ideas and roomset ideas, decorations, latest trends

RM – Which is exactly what they do with Good Homes Magazine

KW – Exactly what we do, we like to inspire people, we like to give ideas which is exactly what these room sets are all about

RM – Which is a perfect Segway to going on about them, we have 3 room sets here, 3 very, very different room sets. Let’s start with the folklore living room, what was the thought process, the concept and everything behind that room?


The folklore living room


Above: Pressed Patina Steel Tiles 


KW – Well Folklore, has really been inspired by love of Scandi, it’s never going to go out of fashion, Scandi Prints – everything scandi, people love Scandi because it’s really easy and it’s timeless.

RM – Is scandi something that is more of a Christmassy thing? Does it popularise at Christmas, or is it something for all year round?

KW – I think the colours of scandi. the bright red, the eucalyptus green, and what we did this year was start with a focal point, the big red statement sofa, which is absolute gorgeous, and we built our scheme around it.

RM – One of the big things in that room as well is the stove and the tiling around that, how did that come about?

KW – everyone loves a fire in winter, warm up a room. What we went for is very clean lined stove, so what we did was to bring in some texture, its a very modern looking stove, so what I wanted, I love your delft tiles they to me epitomise what a classic scheme should be, but we updated it with the modern stove.
So what we did was lay the flooring, to provide a body for the hearth, then we went up the back of the stove and edged it with that gorgeous brass trim


Above: Pressed Patina Steel Tiles 


RM – The beauty of the tiles as well is, with the wood burner and stove around it, the tiles will protect against the heat as well, so it is a double whammy of both looking great and being functional – which I am sure is something that is asked loads.

KW – Yeah, we are not only asked to give advice on style, it is also practical aspects as well. Hence why I think we then chose the copper style tiles, which I love. Big, large scale tiles so makes good use of the floor space

RM – is Metallic a big trend coming in? Because we spoke about the scandi – does that fit in with that or does it fit in with the natural theme? How big is metallic?

KW – I think Metallics are still having a big resurgence, I mean the copper looks, the brass looks – for me they add a smooth edge to a room, you can mix and match textures such as the flooring, such as the wall tiles, such as faux fur – it gives a sophist acted edge

RM – A contrast as well, if you have fur and then – for want of a better word – harsh metallic it’s a contrast that works

KW – and its not going out of fashion, we have been at the spring/summer shows as well and it’s still big, its still there so don’t get rid of your copper and brass accessories! It’s still big!

RM – You can see that in bathrooms. People are going back to copper taps and copper things. Moving on from metal, in our other room we have got the gold and marble effect. Now gold is again having a massive resurgence, for what was once considered relatively cheesy, is now really decadent


Precious Metals Dining Room



KW – Really sophisticated. That room particularly, what I love about it is the blue walls, they are really dramatic and not for the faint hearted

RM – Oh no – it’s vibrant!

KW – what we have done is, because of the light colour of the marble flooring, we have been able to contrast it with those amazing walls, and what we have also chose with the flooring, I think it has a dance floor feel, with its gloss and matt finishes together

RM – Such an easy thing to achieve – the two strips of gloss and matt together, yet is doesn’t really happen that often. Could that be something that, for example could be seen on walls or on a kitchen?



KW – I am sure you could, I am sure you could do it as a splashback using the gloss and the matt tiles, and what I am seeing more and more is the trim, on everything, on skirting boards, on fire surrounds, splashbacks…

RM – even on the bed behind us there, on the shelf

KW – There we go.


Modern Ski Lodge Bedroom



RM – And to this room then, Scandi influenced

KW – Cosy Ski lodge

RM – The interesting thing for me is that this is a tiled wall and a tiled floor, in a bedroom. Ordinarily in a bedroom you don’t think tiles.

KW – No you don’t, but I think these tiles particularly are very warming, and I think in a bedroom people want to go for cosy, comfort sanctuary – and I think these give you that. It’s a move away from carpet for me, these give you that contemporary feel but with the warmth that you want in a bedroom.



RM – and you can have underfloor heating

KW – indeed – or you just add one of these rugs! – And then you contrast it with the most amazing wall tiles

RM – Beautiful aren’t they

KW – Yes

RM – a lot of people I have spoke to have said, I can’t believe these are tiles, they genuinely think its wood. Wood is one of those things that, correct me if I am wrong, is never going out of fashion

KW – No. The natural rustic feel in this room is perfect for me, and also what oi love about it is there’s a lot of texture in this room. The flooring: texture, the bed: texture definition. This is a very flat room but we have added definition with the wall by building out, its clever display space



RM – there is a uniqueness as well – each room is a very unique personal room, even if you had these tiles, this rug etc. you still couldn’t replicate this without putting your own personal stamp on it

KW – Exactly

RM – and I am assuming that this is an important part of what we are doing

Kw – its all about individuality, all of our homes are individual to us and our personalities and that’s what we have tried to achieve here, we have created three unique looks for the visitors coming here to the show

RM – what is your favourite room and why

KW – I think this is probably my favourite room, just because I absolutely love the mixed materials in this room, I love the different textures, I love the definition that we have created, and I love the tiles. And I think this is also a really easy look to achieve, it’s not asking you to completely make over your interiors, you can bring in a few elements, you can bring in the silvers, you can bring the rustic natural look

RM – That’s what wood does, that wood there you could match with a gold trim, or a brass trim or blue or anything. Everything goes well with wood. and if you tile that wall and 2/3 years down the line you decide to change colours, the tiled wall will still stand, still be as good and then you can adapt that, change the whole room around that, and still keep that there

KW – and also for the readers and visitors to the show, wood as you say goes with any decorating style whether you are looking to go modern, whether you are classic, scandi – it works



RM – and wood effect tiles don’t need the treatment that natural wood needs

KW – Bonus

RM – I just want to say thank you very much for letting us be a part of this today, it has been an absolute joy being here for the last few days, but I am exhausted so I don’t know how you are going to do it!

KW – Yeah – lots of coffee I think! But I also want to thank you Rob, want to thank Walls and Floors. The variety and the quality and especially your customer service. We go on your website and it’s easy to navigate; the photography is amazing, great ideas. Our working relationship, you can see where and how you can use these in the rooms

RM – absolutely – and right back at you. The relationship we have with Good Homes magazine, you can see it all over our social media, we are always tagging you in to things. It’s lovely to work with you and see the tiles that are more than just a tile. It becomes a room set, it becomes a home

KW – It becomes a lifestyle

RM – Exactly and we have to work together to achieve that, so thank you

KW – thank you



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