Hayley Atwell's contemporary take on a 1,000-year-old kitchen trend is Mission: Possible

The actress has taken a 10th century Moroccan staple and turned it on its head, and designers say the look has caught on

Hayley Atwell
(Image credit: GettyImages)

As Mission: Impossible 7 premiers this week, the eyes of Hollywood fall on its cast – co-led by Hayley Atwell. When it comes to her home, however, the actress, who plays the character of Grace, primarily resides far from SoCal's hills in her birth city, London. And it is in this British base that we spotted one of our favorite design trends: Zellige tiles

Hailing from Morocco from as early as the 10th century, Zellige tiles are certainly not a new trend – in fact, they have featured in homes for over a thousand years. However, as with all great traditions, these kitchen tiles continue to evolve to meet our ever-changing interior styles – and this is precisely the case with Hayley's turquoise backsplash.

The actress shared a glimpse inside the vibrant space that is adorned with turquoise Zellige tiles (you can buy similar Zellige tiles on Etsy) – which offer a contemporary twist on the classic. We think they're worth a closer look, and California-based designer Kristyn Harvey agrees. 

'The slightly imperfect, handmade look of Zellige tiles gives [the kitchen] a timelessness and versatility that are both accentuated by bright colors like green,' Kristyn says. 'As we've seen everywhere, this color is really having a moment, and I, personally, love the calming effect of this natural tone.'

Kristyn Harvey Interiors
Kristyn Harvey

Kristyn Harvey is the founder of Kristyn Harvey Interiors, a residential design firm specializing in home renovations and furnishings based in San Diego, California. Kristyn’s philosophy is to compose efficient home spaces that also feel like a breath of fresh air, and she is known for creating light-filled rooms filled with warm natural textures.

Hayley's turquoise tiles are a powerful inspiration and the perfect starting point for anyone looking to inject color into their kitchen. Though, as Kristyn explains, we don't need to stick to turquoise exclusively. Green, in all its varying tones, has a firm place among current kitchen trends – meaning it is hard to go wrong – whichever one we choose. 

'The beauty of green is that it ranges from delicate and soft to bold and gemstone-esque but will always remain earthy and natural,' she comments. 'While sage green and celadon remain popular, I've seen some stunning jewel-tone green bathroom and kitchen backsplashes.' 

But why do Zellige tiles specifically work so well in this hue? Kristyn explains that the secret is found in their rare aesthetic, which combines a rustic texture with a modern color trend.

Otto Tiles & Design

(Image credit: Otto Tiles & Design)

'Zellige tiles have been a staple trend for years with their slightly uneven textures and shapes [as seen in the kitchen above] that add warmth and uniqueness to a space,' Kristyn comments. 'They are especially popular for kitchen backsplashes because of their shimmer – working best when drenched in natural light. This creates different color variations on each tile that reflects beautifully around the room.'

And, of course, we owe a lot of the tiles' success to their 'slightly imperfect, handmade look' – offering 'a timelessness and versatility that is only accentuated further by bright colors like green.' 

It's impossible to go wrong,

For yet more perfect kitchen inspiration, we're looking to this book by expert Barbara Sallick below.

The Perfect Kitchen, Barbara Sallick | From $21.87 at Amazon

The Perfect Kitchen, Barbara Sallick | From $21.87 at Amazon
This bestselling book offers practical advice as well as hundreds of images to inspire your own remodel. It's a firm favorite among team H&G, and a quick flick through its pages will help you understand why. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.