November 01, 2016

Bert and May: From Tiles to Trendsetting

When former barrister Lee Thornley moved to Spain and decided to set up a hotel in 2008, he scavenged local reclaimed tiles and stone to build it. The interior was so admired he started an online reclamation company to sell similar items, sourced from local sites around Cadiz. Thornley struggled to meet demand, and so eventually set up with a local tile factory to produce modern looking cement tiles with old fashioned production methods, resulting in a timeless, sophisticated rustic aesthetic. And thus Bert and May was born. By 2013 there was a London showroom and the business blossomed into a desirable lifestyle brand, offering a large selection of its tiles, flooring, kitchens, bathrooms and paints. The company has also produced a pre-fab kit home which is available in 3 sizes, which has been incredibly popular with rural hoteliers. There is also 1 available (2 more coming soon) houseboat for nightly hire in London. 'Bert's Barge' is moored in Hackney and requires a min 2 night stay. Occasionally they host supper parties on Thursday evening with a guest chef. See their website for details.


The company is now doing collaborations with other British brands, and current stock tiles designed by cult store Darkroom, who are doing a 'design takeover' of the barge this December. Furthermore, Bert and May are planning a collection of rugs and homewares with a similar aesthetic in 2017.

Bert and May kitchens and bathrooms have garnered a lot of press interest, looking stylish and individual whilst remaining practical and versatile. Kitchen doors come in brushed brass, painted ply, reclaimed timber or concrete. They also stock a range of kitchen fixtures, such as patinated taps and sink plugs. Quality is flawless, and the items feel sturdy and solid in hand.

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They also offer an interior design service, should you like to introduce any of their products into your home.

For more information about the company, click here, or alternatively, to discuss achieving a similar look in your home, call Kia Designs today for a free consultation.

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