Many people are afraid to experiment with colorful tile, since you have to live with it a lot longer than a paint job. But ceramic or glass tile generally appears deeper, richer, and more saturated than a painted surface. If you're embarking on a renovation, consider using a colored tile that you really love. Most likely, it will be the stand-out element in your kitchen or bathroom.

To inspire you, we've rounded up a selection of photos from real homes—no catalog images here! For a deeper look inside each space, click through the links below.

1 Cathy's Contemporary Reflection of Nature
2 Jason and John's Hyper Saturated Home
3 Family Friendly Austin ModHouse
4 Family Friendly Austin ModHouse
5 Misty's Bright and Colorful Cottage

6 Archana's Eastern Sun
7 Plug-In House by Pierluigi Molteni
8 Lorena and Esteban's Modern Yet Folsky Abode
9 Catherine and Robin's Earthy Modern Airie
10 Chris and Heather's Happy, Hippy Haven

Photos: Cathy / Apartment Therapy Color Contest 2009 (1), Jill Slater (2), Misty Adair (3, 4), Adrienne Breaux (5), Archana (6), Sarah Coffey (7), Lorena Siminovich (8), Leah (9), Kyle Freeman (10)