Hunting for rare antique tiles

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Rare tiles are sourced from old country kitchens, bathrooms, courtyards and hallways from all over the world

The Design Hunter’s mantra is to support unique local makers – Australian boutique businesses that are creating world-class products.

Jatana Interiors is one of those inspiring creative businesses that combine a high end product with a passion for timeless design, specialising in rare antique floor and wall tiles from around the world.

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Jatana Interior’s studio is in scenic Federal, NSW

Based in Federal, roughly a 25 minute drive west of Byron Bay, Sonya Marsh is the founder/director/bookkeeper and tile hunter extraordinaire.

She has carefully salvaged antique tiles from old country kitchens, bathrooms, courtyards and hallways from far-flung locations. Plus, she also designs her own range of reproduction floor tiles.

We posed some tough questions to find out what inspires this dedicated tile forager.

TDH: What colours are you attracted to at the moment?

SM: The colours I am attracted to at the moment can’t be narrowed down as I am a lover of colour, however, I do have a range of navy/white designs on the way. I suppose you can never really go wrong with black/white or grey and white (which I also love), but for me this also applies to navy and white! I know there is a sway towards pastels currently and I do have some soft tones in my tile range but right now I am loving blue and white.

TDH: What has been your favourite vintage tile find?

SM: My favourite vintage tile find is one that has just been installed at a new establishment called The Farm which is about to open in Byron Bay. It is the Tangier design and has the most stunning soft jade green and patina that I have seen. It is almost 100 years old, was salvaged from an old building and travelled a long way before it arrived in my warehouse. I love sourcing these amazing designs that carry so much history and character.

TDH: Your tiles have graced some amazing interiors and commercial fit outs. Is there a project that is close to your heart? Why?

SM: My tiles have been used in many establishments to date. Probably one of my favourites is The Grounds Of Alexandria in Sydney. I love the history of this building and love the ways the tiles have been used in many spaces including table tops/the florist/a private eating indoor area/and in the small farm within The Grounds.It is definitely one of my favourite projects and not to mention the atmosphere they have created and the hustle and bustle making it an experience to visit.

TDH: What’s your process or key ingredients that help you create?

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Jatana Interior tiles have been used in many cafe and restaurant fit outs

SM: My process or key ingredients would probably start off with a mood I am in (this would then influence the colour combination) in conjunction with a space I visualise and what design would suit the space. I am always thinking of where a design would work so I am not just looking at the pattern I am seeing it belong somewhere.

TDH: And finally what are your top five tips (there may be more) for a successful small business?

SM:

  • Be personal
  • Be personable
  • Be involved in everyone’s projects and know what they are doing
  • Giving each client the time where the job is tiny or huge
  • Working with clients needs and being there for them with suggestions/advise but not telling them what they should/should not do
  • Keeping it real!
  • Keeping it boutique!

Purchase Jatana Interior tiles through The Design Hunter studio. For more information contact us.

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