jatana interiors • tiles by sonya

place // Federal, New South Wales
colour // kikuyu green
sound // propeller seeds, imogen heap
word // preserve

Drive up from Byron Bay, into the Hinterland. Wind up the rainforest lined roads, and find yourself in a tiny village at the top. It's lush and green and welcoming.

Sonya answered our phone call and without more than a few minutes notice invited us into her home studio. A beautiful old shed housed boxes of antique and reproduction tiles, delightfully patterned. A grand old country home sat opposite the shed, where Sonya invited us in for tea with her some of her friends.

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Sonya opened up a world of beauty in that shed. Once you start to see the patterns, the colours, the shapes, you can't stop seeing them. You see opportunities lost in standard tiled bathrooms, and you start to long for more. For the elegantly faded Spanish farmhouse tiles. For the rustic Italian bath tiles. The South American antiques. And now you understand why Sonya tried to buy tiles for her home and never stopped.

Do you remember the first tiles you ever purchased, for your business or before you started? What did they look like?

The first tiles I purchased were some antique tiles from South America. They were tiles that I chose for my own two bathrooms and I could not get over how beautiful they were. I still can't! I look at them every day and can't even imagine the years of stories and history that these tiles hold.

This was basically how my business started! From there I purchased a few pallets of antique tiles and then started to also design my own for my reproduction tile range.

If you had to pick one shape or image on a tile that covered your entire floor, what would that shape or image be?

I like square tiles. I like the proportion of a square tile and of course I love pattern and colour.

I couldn't even give you the name of my favourite design as I have so many which is why my range is so large. I love brighter colours for spaces that need colour to uplift the mood and more neutral colours for a softer look. And of course black and white for something a little more dramatic and bold.

You told me that you’re personally involved with every client. What was the most unique space you had the privilege of working with?

Being personally involved with almost every client is a very important aspect of my business. I love being involved in the design consultancy which is where my passion lies as I love interiors and love creating a mood appropriate to the style of home/business where they end up! Of course the main objective is that the client is involved and happy with the outcome.

There have been many projects that I have had the privilege of working with so I would hate to have to narrow it down to one, however The Grounds of Alexandria and The Farm in Byron Bay are just a couple of my favourites. The tiles chosen for both these projects were just so perfect and the results so rewarding.

Head over to Sonya's website to see the blog post on The Grounds of Alexandria, where the two images above came from, or visit Three Blue Ducks restaurant at The Farm to see the gorgeous tiled setting of the bar and kitchen area.

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And the next time you're in Byron Bay, take that drive up into the Hinterland. Give Sonya a call, and have a cup of tea. Your bathroom, your kitchen, and your soul will thank you for it.


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