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History Always Repeats

25 February 2018

2017 was definitely the year where the 3D cube pattern challenged the ultra popular hexagon for the title of the most on-trend geometric shape. This stunning cuboid pattern, also known as the rhombille tile, tumbling blocks, reversible cube and the dice lattice, has been trending in contemporary interior design in all areas; from fabric patterns, dishware, wall art and tiles, since around 2013. But did you know that actually the 3D cube has been trending in tiles for around 2000 years!!!!!


3d Cube mosaics from Pompeii circa  2nd Century BC. Image source: 2013


Roman craftsmen are thought to have originally created the 3D cube design around 200BC. Archaeological finds discovered 3D cube mosaics adorned the pavements and floors of the ruined city of Pompeii, including the Villa of the Faun which is considered to have been the most opulent and largest residential home of its time. 3D cube mosaic floors were also found in an ancient residential ruin on the Greek Island of Delos, one of the most sacred, historical and mythological sites in Greece.

Delos cube mosaic. Somewhere between 133 and 88BC. Image source:


Since these earliest times the striking cuboid pattern has frequently appeared throughout subsequent millennia in both parquetry and tiled flooring, walls, quilting and interior detailing in the most opulent of homes, castles and churches; with notable revivals during the Renaissance, Baroque and Victorian eras.

Renaissance 3d cube floor, 500 years ago. Source: 2017


In modern history it was most prominent during the 1930’s and 1990s in more middleclass dwellings and apartments and again now in the 2010’s where it has become a must-have for the most trendy of restaurants, cafes and residences. 2016  (Image credit: Royal Roulotte)


So if you think the 3D cube pattern is for you but are worried about it dating or being too “On Trend”, never fear, it’s been around at least 2000 years and is unlikely to fade from the interior design scene for a while yet.


To view the 3D cube pattern tiles available at The Tile Depot:


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