We catch up with interiors writer Hayley Gilbert, who had a look at the new Ca’ Pietra by Optimum Stone showroom before anyone else…
I recently had the opportunity to visit the new Ca’ Pietra by Optimum Stone showroom in Hampshire’s Hartley Wintney and trust me, I am not exaggerating when I say it is the place to go for all your tile and stone inspiration.
I’ve been an interiors journalist for 24 years now (gasp) and currently write for a range of leading home interest magazines including Good Homes, EKBB, KBB, The English Home and Your Home, as well as being a Contributing Editor to RealHomes.com. I’ve been really lucky to see so many beautiful things over the years and when a company does something well, it certainly stands out.
I love Ca’ Pietra as a brand anyway and adore flicking through its brochures and look books. You’ll often find me poring over the web pages for ideas and inspiration for colours, materials and unusual ways of using tiles. Upon entering the new showroom, I was blown away by the instant impact of its layout, design, huge selection of stone and tile and the vast choice of colours, patterns and prints. I didn’t know where to look first!
As you enter the space, you’re greeted on the left hand side by a series of Tile Inspiration open shelving. This is a fantastic way of displaying and showcasing the various trends and different shades and shapes that are available. On the right, an entire wall is clad with various designs, each with its own pulling power. You’ll see recent favourites such as Lily Pad alongside loads of new designs including Colour Pop, Navajo and Brompton. A large kitchen island in an on-trend deep blue finish provides the perfect perch for sitting and chatting through your project with Ca’ Pietra’s experts. If you look down, the flooring is finished with various plank and stone solutions too. If you weren’t sure about laying herringbone or a vibrant decorative tile before, you’ll soon change your mind when you see how stunning it looks underfoot.
Moving through the showroom, you’re treated to smaller, individual roomsets and styled areas that allow you to envisage what your tiles could look like in a real life kitchen or bathroom setting. It’s so helpful and really brings the tiles to life. There’s even a roll-top tub and a stone sculptural bath that take centre stage against a backdrop of hexagonal, mosaic and marble.
You’ll also find heaps of ideas for your outdoor space, too. Whether it’s a terrace, pool, patio or just a bit of paving, there are plenty of real stone solutions that can complement a classic or contemporary design. Check out the samples up close, feel the quality and don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice, as the team are super friendly and always on hand. I came away with so many new ideas for my humble Hampshire house, which I’ve slowly been doing up over the past few years. The only question is, how do you choose from so many fabulous products?