8 Must Have Fireclay Tile Colors For Midwest Modern Interior Design
Updated: Nov 7, 2019
If you have a home remodeling or commercial interior design project in mind, keep reading (or scrolling- this a good scroll-worthy post) for the 8 colors you must have from Fireclay Tile to achieve the luxe charm of Midwest Modern interior design. Here you will get the perfect colors, inspiration, a style board for each color, and install pics. This a great start for your modern interior design or home remodeling project.
In case you missed it, I was chosen by Fireclay Tile to curate a new sample pack of glass tiles. It's called Midwest Modern (obviously!) and it's amazing. Midwest Modern is bright, it's bold, it's charming, it's innovative, it's practical, it's gritty, it's weird shit your grandma might have in her house. It's all those glorious things that make up this fantastic region and it's people. Check out Fireclay's blog post about the Midwest Modern glass tile picks and you can order the sample pack there as well :)
While the glass tiles are are beautiful and perfect for any modern interior design undertaking or commercial interior deisgn, they are very uniform and have a limited number of sizes. That's why I also curated 8 amazing colors that embody Midwest Modern interior design in ceramic tile. Fireclay Tile has tons of color and shape offerings in the ceramic tile. Besides the variation in patterns that you can get using the different shapes, the tile is very textural. The glazing technique creates a variation which makes every piece unique.
If you’re getting ready to dive into a design project with modern style, you’ll want it to be well-designed, on-budget, and beautiful. Even if you have an unlimited budget, no one wants to throw money out the window. My Valuable Secrets is a checklist for you as you go to ensure your project stays on budget. Or you can contact me directly if you're not quite sure where to begin.
Midwest Modern Interior Design Colors
Ok- here are the embodiment of Midwest Modern in ceramic tile colors from Fireclay Tile: (left to right)
NOTEWORTHY- Fireclay Tile will send you up to 5 free samples of their tile. So if you see something here that interests you, order a sample. Holding their tile in your hands is totally worth it.
I know many of you are scrollers, not readers (me!) This post is especially easy to scroll through and get a feel for Midwest Modern interior design and how you might want to think about using it in your next home remodel or commercial interior design.
A weirdly spelled way of saying the richest, prettiest yellow around. I was inspired by the vintage dishware that you find at lakeside air bnbs or at your aunt's house at Christmas.
I was inspired by the corn fields that occupy a vast portion of the Midwest during the summer. Our house is surrounded on 3 sides with 12 foot tall stalks when corn turns up in the crop rotation. It's one of the coolest temporary fences around. If you stand close to the corn fields and listen, it sounds like whispering. Whispering corn fields are cool during the day but super creepy at night.
I idea of corn as a fence is what made me select "picket" by Fireclay Tile as my favorite shape for Tuolomne Meadows. It's not your average ceramic tile shape but at the same time is very familiar. It would be great for either a Midwest Modern interior design or commercial interior design
Midwest Modern Interior Design || Tuolomne Meadows
In the spirit of inspiration, here is the great start to a midwest modern interior design project: living room, dining room, sitting room or entry. I also love this scheme for a commercial interior design: office lobby, coffee shop, or upscale restaurant. Yellow tile mixed with the darkest greenest teal, cool blue, black and white lacy pattern and a unique pop of purple.
vintage illustration: unknown
I love yellow. It's just so happy! There are 2 examples below of Tuolomne Yellow tile. They happen to be used in bathrooms and they both also happen to have blue as the accent color. Blue and yellow are a classic color combo. And even thought these examples are bathrooms, I love using yellow tile in kitchens, sunrooms, dining rooms and living rooms. Really, I love using tile in any space. They are typically relegated to high traffic areas but more and more they are being used in more "unusual" spots. So don't be afraid to do something different and do something cool :)
A fitting name since everyone in the Midwest seems to grow tomatoes. Whether you have a bunch of plants in your garden or one pot on your porch. You or someone you love grows tomatoes.
But there's more to a good Midwest Modern red than just tomatoes. It's vernacular architecture and street art. It's sunset on a brick building in Cincinnati. It's modern takes on the classic afghan. And it's definitely bold. And it's all inspiring, whether it's high end architecture or high end interiors or re-imagined strip malls and retail spaces.
And who can't help but fall in love with all the barns and covered bridges scattered throughout the Midwest.
And of course Midwestern cities. Detroit, Cincinnati, Minneapolis/ St Paul, Chicago, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, etc. So much grit, perseverance, art, and progress with an equally matched amount of hospitality, charm, and nostalgia.
Street art seems to a be a love it or hate it type of thing but I love it. Art is art. Art as a concept can never be bad.
I think the backbone nature of this bold red makes me gravitate towards a traditional 2x6 brick shape from Fireclay Tile for this color. It's a building block for a Midwest Modern interior design or commercial interior design project. .
Midwest Modern Interior Design || Tomato Red
In the spirit of inspiration, here is the great start to a midwest modern home remodeling: living room, sunroom, or entry. I could also see this Fireclay Tile color used in commercial interior design in a hotel lobby, art museum, or restaurant. Red tile mixed with primary color glory, plus botanicals, plus stripes, plus textural chair & luxury lighting.
Red tile tends to be associated with kitchens and food. On that note, I think it can easily journey into the dining room. Think tiled wainscot or tile accent wall or in a formal dining room, a tiled fireplace surround. This tile would work in many home remodeling projects.
I also like red in a bathroom, in a limited amount and balanced with bright white and other accents.
And of course there is the classic red in a restaurant or kitchen. I'm sure it's out there somewhere but red is supposed to be a hunger trigger and that's why you see it in so many fast food restaurants. But I don't think it has to be delegated to the fast food realm.
I have been trying to find installation pics of all my color choices and persimmon is the winner for the color I cannot find. It's also the winner for the color many designers want to use, which isn't surprising. It's warm with a bit of a pink tint without being PINK. It's the perfect warm neutral and works well with other saturated warm colors or in contrast with cool colors.
I was inspired to choose this color because it reminds me of the perfect hipster filter as a color. It's got that hint of sunset, slightly aged feel to it. Like this photo, which is so perfect (corn!) but it's basking in a wash of a warm, pinkish-orange light.
Yep, persimmon is the color of a certain kind of light in the Midwest. It's the hipster glow but without the douche-y connotations.
Persimmon is perfect for a business. It's reminiscent of a worn brick facade and it's glaze gives it depth while the shapes keep it contemporary.
It's perfect for a home. It's the perfect neutral backdrop for any room in the house.
Persimmon is that ethereal part of the Midwest Modern color palette that changes in different light and in different surroundings.
For Persimmon, I chose the mini star & cross shape. It gives this fun neutral some pattern and texture and the star and cross reminds me of a knitting pattern.
Midwest Modern Interior Design || Persimmon
Since there are no photos of this tile installed, here's the start to my design for a midwest modern room! I absolutely love this palette. Persimmon by Fireclay Tile is the perfect backdrop for any Midwest Modern interior design project or home remodeling. As for commercial interior design, this palette would be PERFECT for a retail space. Primary colors mixed with jewel tones and the most fun pheasant wallpaper! LOVE.
velvet pillows: custom
glass chicken: unknown
Hunter green definitely came out of inspiration from nature. So much greenery in the Midwest. Fields, plains, and forests. And hunter green happens everywhere. I love that the Fireclay Tile Hunter Green is really, really dark and it's matte. It definitely reminds me of the shadowed areas of gardens and grasses.
It's the fields and grass before a storm. Like a dark emerald...
Hunter green are the pine forests of the northern Midwest, like this one that so beautifully sets off this Richard Meier house that sits overlooking Lake Michigan. Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of Meier's work. I like looking at it but it's just so sterile. I feel like you have to be a robot to live here; everything is so white and pristine. It even looks a bit like a factory. (not that I wouldn't live here!) But what I'm getting at is I think it's the hunter green of landscape that really make this house stand out.
Hunter Green is also found in the depths of Grandma's flower garden. Lilies of the Valley are such a classic to me. Everywhere I've lived, there has been a patch of them. The flowers are short-lived but the dark green leaves stick around all summer and make the most lush dark green.
Hunter Green is also the color of the grass in the shade at the height of summer. Right before August hits and things start to brown and dry out. So cool and inviting, you can practically smell the grass clippings!
And of course, my favorite: ferns. Is it because they look so prehistoric? Or because there are so many different kinds? I don't know but I love them. Garden ferns, forest ferns, even swamp ferns. They all harbor hunter green.
My favorite Fireclay Tile shape for Hunter Green is the Chaine Homme. Otherwise known as an 'H'. It's a unique pattern and reminds me a bit of the weave of a special fabric. Which is appropriate because you could say, if you were sorta lame, that the hunter green of the Midwestern landscape weaves through the region as well as in micro-regions within parks and backyards.
Midwest Modern Interior Design || Hunter Green
The fact that my inspiration came from nature is perhaps why my style board for Hunter Green is the basis for a Midwest Modern sun porch or garden structure. I could also see this as the basis for the commercial interior design of a country club or pool house. I love the balance of light and dark in this palette. Jewel tones & primary colors- yes!
Here is a gorgeous master bath using the Fireclay Tile Hunter Green:
Loch Ness is the color most inspired by grit, innovation, manufacturing, and, most importantly revitalization. In recent years, it seems these remnants of industry are either being razed for new ventures or re-purposed.
Loch Ness is also reminiscent of mid-winter grays
Loch Ness is all the gray city tones of the city of Detroit and the Detroit River. Definitely a gritty city in the midst of a hard fought and won re-invigoration of commerce and design.
The shores of the Great Lakes are littered with inspirational shades of Loch Ness. We all know Loch means "lake" so it's very appropriate.
Chicago. Another fantastic midwest city. Loch Ness is reminds me of the day to day streetscape and infrastructure.
I love all the shapes and I really, really love the Fireclay Tile Loch Ness color tile but I had to go with the classic for this one: 2x6 brick. It's so classic. You can't go wrong with it and you can use it stacked or the traditional running bond brick pattern.
Midwest Modern Interior Design || Loch Ness
You may have thought that my gray inspiration pics for Loch Ness were just that: gray. But check out this style board for a midwest modern interior design. It would be the perfect living room. This is another palette that would work especially well in commercial interior design as an upscale lobby. Nothing drab about it! Layers, textures, and color- oh my!
The install pics of Fireclay Tile Loch Ness are so fantastic! It's a bit of a color changer and has either blues or greens, depending on the light and the surroundings. Loch Ness is the perfect moody neutral to use in modern homes and contemporary house design.
Being a residential architect in Michigan, I am lucky to be surrounded by the Great Lakes, not to mention a gazillion inland lakes. We have our fair share of sand dunes. Lake Michigan in particular has some of the most beautiful sand dunes. I love the Sand Dune color from Fireclay Tile. It's not stark white but it's not beige either.
Just look at our beautiful sand dunes. They are the white sand beaches that you see on postcards.
And how cool are these sand formations from when dry sand blows away from wet sand areas.
Sand Dune from Fireclay Tile is also the base color for many midwestern cities because of the high amount of local limestone used in construction.
I also think Sand Dune is one of the shades found in birch bark. And who doesn't love a birch tree?
There something about the Fireclay Tile kite shape that made me think of a grain of sand. Really most grains of sand are kind of just ragged blobs but still. I like the pattern this shape makes and it's got a nice, subtle decorative edge if you wanted to leave it raw on one side. It also has a sort of crackle glaze that gives the tile itself a nice depth & texture.
Midwest Modern Interior Design || Sand Dune
Sand Dune is just so evocative of a lakeside beach that I couldn't resist doing a vignette of a beach side terrace. Whether you're on the beach or not, this style board is perfect for a midwest modern interior design project or home remodeling. This is another one that would also work really well for a commercial interior design project of a pool house or country club patio.
Here's a couple install pics of Sand Dune, both are courtesy of Fireclay Clay. I love this floor in the Chaine Homme. Has a really nice vintage feel but with a contemporary pattern.
This backsplash install gives a good idea of the color variation. It's very subtle and so pretty.
Blue is my favorite color. And I love so many of the blues from Fireclay Tile but I chose 2 that absolutely speak to me of lake and sky. The first one is Blue Velvet. I love this shade of blue, it's so transitional. It's typically not a permanent color; it's a color that only happens under certain conditions...
It's the color of a moonlit sky as well as the color of the water on that same night.
It's also the color of the clouds and water during a sunset during those fleeting moments right before the sun is completely down.
And here is a my favorite transitioning dark blue; when a storm is brewing. The sky gets this intense dark blue and everything on land gets this kind of vibrant clarity. The contrast is striking!
I mean, just look at this! It's so unbelievably beautiful. Definitely on my list of Midwest defining moments.
It's also no surprise that our Great Lakes produce rocks with an array of blue hues. Commonly known as Leland blue stones, they run the range of blues.
For Blue Velvet, I chose Picket Fence from Fireclay Tile. This pattern is so strong and has a slightly woven feel- I really, really like this one. So many options with this in a midwest modern interior design project or in a commercial interior design project.
Midwest Modern Interior Design || Blue Velvet
I was thinking of Blue Velvet as a wainscot in a particularly bright & lively office space. Color theory has blue as a relaxing color. So I used punchy, more energetic blues with a sprinkle of bright red and citrine. The perfect start for a non-stressful, productive work space.
Blue Velvet is a lovely matte glaze tile and looks so pretty when installed. It's classic and timeless.
A playful plaid here with other blues. Love it! Nobody said you can't get creative with tile.
This is an inspo pic from Fireclay. It's virtually the exact same shade as Blue Velvet and shows how perfect it is in contemporary home design. This look could easily be produced with the various shapes available from Fireclay Tile.
And here it is: the favorite of my two blue choices- Adriatic Sea. I am in LOVE with this color. It's another classic midwestern water and sky hue. It's not primary blue and it's not teal. It's this wonderful, perfectly balanced medium blue. I want to use this blue everywhere; a Midwest Modern interior design or a commercial interior design.
I lived in Chicago for 2 years and this picture of Chicago is a perfect example of a perfect, sunny midwestern sky (and lake!).
Look at the color of this lake and its surrounding!
Adriatic Sea is also inspired by the door on this modern farmhouse and the gorgeous summer sky.
Even in winter, the sky and water can be sooooo blue. And this blue & white combination is such a timeless palette.
Not to mention blue & green. You really can't go wrong.
The above photo of Lake Michigan is exactly why I picked Wave for the tile shape to go with Adriatic Sea. It's got movement and is another one that looks good if you run the pattern vertically.
Midwest Modern Interior Design || Adriatic Sea
Adriatic Sea is such a great color. It could be used anywhere, in any room. But something about a bedroom sounded so lovely to me. Here's a style board for the start of some Midwest Modern interior design for the perfect bedroom.
No surprise that install pics of Adriatic Sea will just make you lust after it even more. It's a stunning color.
This bathroom is so modern and elegant. I like how it's really modern but you get a sprinkle of granny chic with the crystal chandelier with the ceiling fixture.
And this one is so striking. All black with a blue floor. Black & blue for the win!
And you know if Justina Blakeney used Adriatic Sea in her bathroom that this color is the shit! Look at those arched niches- perfect example of how Fireclay Tile works with you to get all the finishing touches just right. Believe me, you don't get that kind of tile customization from any old tile company. Try them out for your next Midwest Modern interior design or commercial interior design. Fireclay Tile has lots of examples of both on their website.
Here's the classic blue and white color combo. As far as I know, this is not a functioning fireplace so please be aware that you need special firebrick for a working fireplace but if you've got a non-functioning fireplace (which is pretty common in older homes), what a cool idea to give it some life. This is what I would consider a thoughtful detail. I did a recent post all about thoughtful details and why everyone loves them.
Such a popular bathroom color! I love the juxtaposition of the brick with the patterned floor. And the clawfoot tub really completes this classic and elegant bathroom.
And there you have it. All the perfect colors to get some Midwest Modern interior design into your home or business. If you want help getting these perfect colors into your home or business or if you just want to tell me what color is your favorite, I would love to hear from you- send me an email!