Jan 18, 2013 | Post by: mnanda001 1 Comments

The Story Behind Tin Ceiling Tiles

Recently, I’ve been working with a client with an old-world Tuscan design story.  Like many clients she wants updates to add some personality and warmth to their space.  One of my  client’s asks was to add accessories to her kitchen without breaking the bank.   Specifically, she wanted something decorative, yet safe by the stovetop without re-doing or adding to the existing tile work.  The challenge was presented and I was excited!

One of my favorite design elements are tin ceiling tiles.  They’re affordable, add warmth, texture and personality to a space.

In the late 19th and early 20th century tin ceilings were introduced to North America as an affordable alternative to the exquisite plasterwork used in European homes. They gained popularity in the late 1800s as Americans sought sophisticated interior design. Durable, lightweight and fireproof, tin ceilings were appealing to home and business owners alike as a functionally attractive design element that was readily available.    (Source:  For you history buffs check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tin_ceiling)

Tin tiles come in all different tones, textures and designs.  They can be painted and they can have different shapes or be cut into different shapes.  Tin tiles can be used in ceilings, backsplash, magnetic boards, tables etc…. In addition, tin tiles can be incorporated in different styles of design from old world traditional settings to modern settings to shabby chic settings.  I love their adaptability and the sense of comfort they bring to a space.

In my many shopping adventures I came across this old framed out tin ceiling tile that had a great patina to it.  I thought it would be a good solution to my client’s kitchen.


Certainly, there are many vendors and manufacturers out there where you can purchase new tin ceiling tile, but I love to re-purpose and thinking about the story behind this old tin ceiling tile’s previous life is always fun.

Having said that, here’s the tin tile in it’s new home. (Note: While shopping with the client a week later she opted for a different design than the original one I found that’s pictured above.)   This was the perfect decorative detail that’s fun and inexpensive that any of us can do!  It has a lot of personality and no doubt people will inquire about this piece when they’re gathered by the stove stirring and tasting the yummy pot of spagetti sauce.

(Photos taken by me during one of our working sessions.)

Below  are just a handful of other visuals of ceiling tin tiles that inspire me.   Do they inspire you?  Can you envision tin tiles in your home?

Until next time…

~ M

One Comment to The Story Behind Tin Ceiling Tiles

  1. Maggie Adams
    January 18, 2013 1:11 pm

    Looks great! Love that tile above the stove!

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