2023 - Year In Review

 At the end of our 2022 Year in Review we referred to the COVID pandemic & the war in the Ukraine, observing that they “demonstrated how interconnected we all are”. Well, here we are, a year on; COVID has reemerged, Ukraine is still a war zone, and Gaza has become the latest conflict zone threatening world stability. But, and we stress the word “but”, it is not all doom and gloom. All around us there are seeds of hope, positivity and new beginnings taking root. There is much to be done, and still a long way to go, but the journey has begun.

Olde English Tiles, in its own small way, continues to look towards the future with optimism, and views its contribution to the communities in which it operates, with passion, professionalism and a sense of responsibility.

Here are a few examples of our values in action:

The Banya, Mullumbimby


Popular throughout northern Europe, banyas are an intrinsic part of Russian culture. Since ancient times these bathhouses have been considered not only a place of hygiene and relaxation, but an important bonding place, used by both sexes and all strata of society. 

Owner, Brenden Lawless, with his appreciation for old-world style, wanted to breathe new life into an old brick building, while preserving its 1920s structure. Combining raw brick, herringbone timber, leather, terrazzo, marble, mosaics and a sumptuous pink tessellated floor - Olde English Tiles' Marais pattern, under coffered ceilings and the Byron sun, 'The Banya' is a modern twist on the ancient bathhouse tradition - an immersive social, bathing and dining experience.

Dickerson Gallery, Woollahra


If you own an art gallery that represents some of Australia’s best known artists, then an eye for aesthetic excellence is crucial. If you own an art gallery on one of the most prestigious shopping strips in NSW, then every aspect of your business will be held to the very highest standards. Therefore, if you own an art gallery in Woollahra, you can’t afford to allow the roots of a nearby tree to compromise the integrity of the verandah tiles of your grand Victorian terrace. Afterall, in the world of Art, appearances are everything. 

Sam Dickerson, owner of the Dickerson Gallery, established in 1992, had undertaken a complete renovation, inside and out, of the Queen Street property, and contacted Olde EnglishTiles to be involved. Our brief was to repair and restore the large tessellated entrance hall, and exactly replicate the original tessellated pattern on the verandah - a modified version of our Leeds pattern, plus a custom border. Also, two fireplaces in the main gallery area required hearth tiles that continued the period feel: a Baby Windsor with Richmond border was chosen. 

This commitment to quality and beauty, married to a respect for the traditional and an active encouragement for the new, are values shared by the two companies - the Dickerson Gallery and Olde English Tiles. The results of this balanced approach are clear to see.

Dry Dock Hotel, Balmain


Established in 1857, the heritage listed Dry Dock Hotel is the oldest licensed pub in Balmain. The land on which it stands was part of a large grant to colonial surgeon Dr William Balmain made in 1800. By the mid 1860s, nearby Mort’s Dock was becoming heavily industrialised. It was as a result of this that the pub owes much of its early history, providing ‘refreshment’ & accommodation for the dock workers.

The Dry Dock has just been reopened after a year-long major revamp undertaken by owner James Ingram in conjunction with designer Bianca Isgro, of Studio Isgro. The fitout included aged brass, zinc, and steel strapping, in a nod to the old Mort docks, and, of course, Olde English’s hand-glazed emerald green wall tiles and French mosaic floor tiles in the two bars, the toilets, and throughout the kitchen, to reinforce the classic pub look.

Concealed Mosaic Bathroom in Paddington


The owners of this modest two-storey Victorian terrace in Paddington in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, approached architect Scott Weston tasking him with undertaking a basic refurbishment. What eventually transpired was something more maximalist - the total gutting of the building, and a radical reimagining of the interior spaces, including a concealed bathroom  - a narrow sliver of space given considerable visual impact by enveloping it - walls, floor & ceiling, in Winckelmans porcelain mosaics featuring the Gemstone Azurite pattern, part of our Tiled Curiosities collection, produced in collaboration with Scott Weston.

Victorian Terrace in Glebe


Architectural firm KDE Group recently approached us to restore the front path & verandah on a two storey Victorian terrace in Glebe, the final stage of a total restoration of the house undertaken by KDE. 

The brief was to create  something that was both classic and contemporary. The ‘classic’ was achieved by selecting the Manchester pattern paired with a special Norwood border featuring encaustic strips as well as encaustic diamonds, plus alternating blue & grey triangles. Carrara marble treads and edging add to the impression of classic grandeur. The ‘contemporary’ part of the equation was achieved by tweaking the colour palette - downplaying the traditional earthy tones and giving more prominence to grey and white. 

The success of the new pavements has generated quite a buzz in the area, with numerous locals stopping to admire the finished result. 

19th Century Cottage in South Yarra  


19th century bathrooms are often small, badly lit, pokey affairs that you wouldn’t want to spend more time in than necessary. But the bathroom of this late 19th century cottage in South Yarra has been transformed into a bright, vibrant, light-filled space thanks to a stylish reimagining by Melbourne designer Virginia Blue of Blue Fruit Design.

She has employed a sophisticated mosaic pattern, the ‘Gemstone’ design (part of the Designer Series by Scott Weston for Olde English Tiles) in shades of grey on the floor, which creates the illusion that the room is larger than it is. By skilfully reconfiguring the layout without actually increasing the footprint, she has created a bathroom that functions well and looks even better. The clients are so pleased with the result that they never want to leave. 

1912 Mid-Federation Cottage in Haberfield


The residents of Haberfield, a unique heritage suburb in Sydney’s inner west, take their restoration responsibilities very seriously. The 1st planned ‘garden suburb’ in Australia (1905-14), Haberfield expressed a philosophy that promoted urban unity, space and a connection with nature, with wide, tree-lined streets, and homes that were beautiful but modest, limited to one storey & built in the ‘Federation’ style. Consequently, restoration of one's home is viewed very differently in Haberfield than renovations in other suburbs, with more attention to the accuracy of structural & decorative details. 

No surprise then when we were contacted by the owners of this 1912, mid-Federation cottage, wishing to replicate ‘exactly’ the original mosaic pattern for the pathway & verandah of their home in the Stanton subdivision of Haberfield, where hexagonal mosaics were the norm for verandahs and front paths. Olde English Tiles was able to install the new verandah & path - no easy task considering its ‘ogee’ curve - which are exact replicas of the original 1912 pavements. 

Classic Federation Bungalow in Hurlstone Park


Everything about this classic Federation bungalow in Sydney's Hurlstone Park says 'original' & 'authentic' - from the slate roof with terracotta finials to the paint scheme & striped canvas verandah blinds. However, the owner felt that the winding concrete path left a lot to be desired.  

Our brief was to match the original verandah tiles: red octagon & oatmeal dots, with a coordinating Balmain border - a Federation staple. While the pattern was simple enough, the real challenge for our tilers was in dealing with the numerous curves that made up the pathway, including a hexagonal sandstone planter feature right in the middle of the path. But at Olde English Tiles we love a challenge. Not only did we manage to exceed the client's expectations, the path was completed in time for Christmas.

In addition to the aforementioned projects, here are a few more we wrapped up this year:

Modern_Monochrome_MosmanAnnandale tessellated pattern with Norwood border in Mosman, NSW
The_ManseFitzroy tessellated pattern with Norwood border in Woollahra, NSW
Marrickville_Mini_MarvelFitzroy tessellated pattern with Norwood border in Marrickville, NSW
Glory_Days_BondiInvert tessellated pattern in Glory Days, Bondi, NSW
Less_is_morePlain Hexagon mosaics with custom mosaic square border in Bowral, NSW
Something_Special_in_StanmorePaddington tessellated pattern with Norwood border in Stanmore, NSW
The_Terrace_House_With_ParmaGlasgow tessellated pattern with Norwood border in Woollahra, NSW
Federation_cottageOlde English 100 tessellated pattern with Norwood border in Ashbury, NSW

Bespoke Cast Tiles

This year also saw the release of our stunning new collection of Bespoke Cast Tiles. Manufactured in the United Kingdom, every tile is hand cast & hand painted.

The standard range can also be customised to the client's specifications, making these unique tiles the perfect choice for a wide range of commercial & hospitality spaces, including pubs, restaurants and bars. 


What's Ahead In 2024

Last year we expanded our highly successful Tapestry Mosaic range, and added a series of penny-round designs to our Classic Collection of mosaics. 

We kick off 2024 with the 1st tranche of a major new mosaic range, SUMMER - part of  The Seasons Collection of porcelain mosaics, with more ‘seasons’ to follow later in the year.

Inspired by the natural world and the profusion of colours that bloom at this time of the year, SUMMER is a celebration of everything great about Australia in the summertime. 

The Seasons Collection SUMMER story draws upon the large palette of 32 colours in our mosaic paintbox, and is available in four sizes & shapes and six colourways: Sea, Sky, Cloud, Sunshine, Dawn & Mist. There's something here for everyone & everywhere - from bathrooms to bars, pools to pubs. 

Browse the entire The Seasons SUMMER Collection


The Grand Design Collection, a combined encaustic/tessellated floor range will also be released in the 1st half of the year. It’s like nothing we’ve done before.  

And we have a few surprises in store, but you are just going to have to be patient and wait till the time is right, but be assured, it will be radically different.

Christmas Closure


Closed - 22 Dec
Return - 15th Jan 2024


Closed - 22 Dec
Return - 15th Jan 2024


Olde English Tiles management & staff would like to thank everybody who has supported us throughout the year.

We look forward to working with you in 2024.