Designers praise Nicky Hilton’s entryway decor - 'it has a timeless elegance' that's a perfect first impression

Checked floor is a style that has continued to stand the test of time. Here designers let us in on the secret to its enduring elegance

Nicky HIlton
(Image credit: Alamy)

Nicky Hilton (or Nicky Rothschild as she's sometimes referred to by her married name) is known for her sense of classic elegance - and her taste in interiors is no different. The socialite, fashion designer and model took to her Instagram recently to debut a beautiful floral swing dress and it is clear Nicky is not just a fan of the classics in her sartorial choices, but in her interior design decisions as she posed with a traditional chequered tiled floor underfoot. 

The post, which garnered over 27 thousand likes, features Nicky’s entryway flooring which has been tiled in a checked pattern in black and white marble squares, akin to those commonly found in Victorian townhouses in historic British cities. This flooring immediately evokes a sense of grandeur we come to expect from a Hilton sister and yet it is still a timeless classic designers come back to.

Founder of Arsight, Artem Kropovinsky says ‘the black and white checked pattern embodies an ageless elegance. Its stark contrast, paired with the luxurious touch of veiny marble, offers a design balance that resists fleeting trends.'

Kropovinsky goes on to explain why a celebrity like Nicky may opt for a more established style. The designer tells us ‘traditional floor styles, like the chequered design, represent a harmonious blend of time-honored sophistication and modern versatility, making them an appealing choice for diverse interiors.’ 

A large entryway with a large staircase and black and white checkerboard flooring

Checked floors are a timeless entryway classic

(Image credit: Tollgard studios)

Zara Khan of Zara Khan Interior Design in San Luis Obispo points out the signs that Nicky favours a traditional style in her interior more generally. ‘If you look at the other elements in her home, for example the casing (baseboard and crown) details, she is drawn to traditional elements and to keep it cohesive, the checker tile floor is a great choice,’ Khan explains. 

It is also true that checker flooring stands the test of time as it adds a considerable amount of visual value to a space. ‘It's like a fine wine that never goes out of style,’ says Madison Popper, Founder of Chill Casa. ‘It is clear Nicky's house has timeless elegance to it, that deserves these traditional floors to exude it. Visually, these checked tile floors, make quite the statement. They add a bold pattern and contrast that really sets the stage.’

Kropovinsky concurs. He says ‘the diagonal orientation of the tiles introduces a sense of movement and directionality, guiding one's gaze across the room’ and highlights how ‘the marble's organic texture further adds depth and warmth, preventing a flat or monotonous appearance.’ 

The tile size is key

Dining area with round table and banquette seating ad chequered floor

Checked flooring can also work in kitchens and dining areas

(Image credit: Sarah Solis)

Chequered floor like Nicky’s is an investment, but if you’re looking to take the plunge, first take note of our designers’ invaluable advice. Kropovinsky highlights that there are several factors involved in choosing tiled floor like this. He says: ‘Key considerations include the type of tile (porcelain, ceramic, or marble) for durability, the finish (glossy or matte) for desired ambiance, tile size for visual impact, grout color to either blend or contrast, and choosing a reputable vendor to ensure quality and longevity.’

Khan also has a recommendation in the way of shape and color of your tile. ‘I recommend using 12" x 12" tiles,’ the designer says. ‘If the tiles are too small it ends up looking busy and if they are too big, you can lose the impact of the pattern. I also think the black marble can be substituted for a light grey or cream color tile if you want a more neutral look, but are attracted to the classic pattern.’

Pink console on checkerboard floor

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

Like Popper says, chequered tile floor makes a statement so it is important to choose the furniture you pair with it wisely, especially if you are installing it in your entryway - the space offering your guests that all-important first impression of your home. Kropovinsky’s advice is to ‘opt for furniture in neutral, solid colors to allow the floor to shine as the main attraction.' He also says 'when considering rugs, subtle patterns or solid shades complement without overshadowing the floor. Meanwhile, metallic accessories, such as bronze or gold, can provide shimmering nuances, enriching the overall design.’

The simplest piece of advice to follow when looking into chequered tile flooring is to lean into the statement it creates. Let the floor do the talking, it’s a classic for a reason. 

Katie is a freelance lifestyle writer who has recently finished an MA in Magazine Journalism at City, University of London. Before writing for Livingetc, Katie has gained bylines with The Caterer and The Telegraph and has interned at several lifestyle magazines including Grazia and Red. When not scrolling through Pinterest for interior design inspiration, Katie can be found writing about women's issues, trying out new beauty trends for her blog or seeing a West End show.