Author Archive

Not Your Mama’s Marble..

October 28th, 2022 | Blog

While marble is synonymous with grand, storied luxury and it’s been used in palaces, museums and many other famous buildings and institutions that go back centuries, we are seeing creative ways of using marble that give it a more modern, updated feel. Home designers and architects have been embracing a dazzling range of colorful, boldy veined marbles in their creations not only in the kitchen but in all corners of the home and we are loving all of the innovative uses of all variations of marble.

A Checkerboard Floor in Brown and Black Marble – breaking away from the traditional Grey & White

From the bold and colorful Calacatta Viola in it’s purple or burgundy veining to green and blue marbles, it becomes a statement on its own and is well beyond what you’ve been used to seeing when it comes to marble over the last couple of decades. From textured marble to innovative ways to use the material that haven’t been done before, we are going to take you through the latest marble trends.

One of the biggest trends in marble is “fluted” and dimensional stone – whether on a fireplace surround or a bathroom vanity, it’s texture is what makes this stone so special. While it can have a modern vibe to it, we also see it working well with classic design mixed in.



We are loving the idea of trimming out walls and archways with marble – it’s such a beautiful look and a clean finish no matter what your design aesthetic is – it works!

Ever seen a marble trimmed mirror? Well you have now – they are so pretty and can bring the whole room together.

If your budget allows, stone tubs are a great addition to your special bathroom. They are being made in all sorts of stone materials and shapes, and again whether your style is traditional or modern or somewhere in between, there is an option for you.



Another trend we are just loving is a curved marble backsplash – both in the kitchen and in the bathroom – it sounds boring but the way they can create almost any shape really brings interest to the space.

Marble has been a part of kitchen design for as long as one can remember – but some of the newer uses of the material including marble hoods, full backsplashes with shelves, and using colored marble on islands all make for spectacular kitchen design.



Floating vanities made from bold marble or just a thick marble slab top are another big trend and they are stunning. We love how they create a statement piece all on their own.

Last but not least, we cannot ignore the design of a good marble staircase – so many ways to bring an entire house together by utilizing this as show-stopping centerpiece of your home.


These bold, creative ways to incorporate marble into your home bring a stunning and updated feel to any space regardless of design aesthetic. Don’t be afraid to take a risk and remember, this isn’t your Mama’s marble!

Getting Cozy – The ABC’s of Cottage Core Design

September 8th, 2022 | Blog

 Move over “Modern Farmhouse” — “CottageCore”Design is the newest aesthetic to take over the design world.   A little bit rustic, a little bit romantic, and a whole lot of charm–it combines French Vintage, Shabby Chic and rustic elements to create light, bright, airy spaces that are inspired by nature.  Think cheerful and overgrown English gardens, wood and antique furniture and weathered natural elements, along with smaller, less open spaces to create a cozy, warm and inviting design that makes you want to never leave!

Historically this design was typical of smaller cottages that wanted to appear more spacious. Nooks and crannies are common in cottage design, both to offer space-saving storage as well as perches to sit and relax. 

Farmhouse style tends to be very white and washed out with a lot of grey color palettes.  CottageCore design replaces that with soft pastels and neutral, earthy shades. You might want to stick to neutrals throughout, with warm-toned walls and furniture, or add color by painting cabinets in pretty shades of pale pink, blue or green. 

calming+pastel+aestheic
Calming Neutrals with Pastels Create a Modern Cottage Design

In terms of tile as it relates to Cottage Design, while white is the foundation of this aesthetic, it’s combined with lots of pastel and nature inspired colors mixed in — Light neutrals, soft pinks, blues and greens, and sepia tones all set the mood for the tile in a rustic cottage look.

Another key aspect to Cottage style is the use of patterns – floral, plaids, stripes – and we encourage you to utilize them all, and all together!  When it comes to pairing patterns there aren’t any set rules, so choose whatever speaks to you and makes your space feel cozy. You can easily work in new patterns with accessories and upholstered furniture, or really go for it with tile or wallpaper – or both!

Personally, and go figure, we’re partial to incorporating florals through tile. Using handpainted Terracottas, porcelain patterned tiles or hexagon/penny round mosaics to create amazing floral options in any space. You can then add more patterns or colors through wallpaper or paint.

Here are some plaid tile installations that are so fun. If keeping it neutral, add in pops of color through accents like hand towels, artwork etc.

Below are some beautiful examples of Cottage Style Design – kitchens, bathrooms, and entryways which all give you a better idea of the overall look and feel – and how to mix and match styles, colors and textures.

Because there are so many design asthetics combined to create this look – there are many ways to acheive the Cottage Core Design. As long as you include a neutral color pallet mixed with warm saturated tones, a mix of cozy and very comfortable old and new furnishings and accessories, and bring natural elements in like wood shelving, beams, and/or pops of antique furniture, you’re going to achieve the look. Add in the right finishes and textiles and it’s a perfectly imperfect!

Swimmingly Stunning Pool House Ideas

May 6th, 2022 | Blog

Summer is going to be here in a hot second (pun intended) so what better way to get excited for our favorite time of year than to find inspiration from some beautiful pool houses. While not all of us are lucky enough to have a pool or a pool house, it’s fun to dream.

A great pool house will make your home feel like you’ve escaped to a fabulous resort for vacation. Complete with an unobstructed view to the pool itself, a space for relaxing, an entertainment area, a well thought out bathroom and maybe even a kitchen — it’s easy to never want to leave the pool house!

No matter what your design asthetic is there is a great way to design a stunning space for friends and family while keeping it practical for how you plan to use the space. For this article, we focused on the interior design — we know there are so many gorgeous exterior designs to choose from too – but we’ll save that for another day.

One of the most important things to consider when creating your pool house is the flooring – guests will be coming into this space with wet feet, bringing water with them. You want a floor that is slip resistant and holds up well to the moisture being tracked in. We’ve helped design pool houses laid with stained concrete, stone, terracotta and wood look luxury vinyls. All of these are great options that will help avoid injury and look good at the same time.

The pool house bathroom can be a fun area to be a little daring – from patterned floors to a great wallpaper. Practicallity should also be considered by using materials that will hold up during the winter months and to the wear and tear the space will take on when it is in use. The best pool houses remember to supply plenty of towels, suntan lotions and potions, and good toiletries for your guests to use — just like your favorite hotel. Another great addition to the pool house bath if space allows would be a urinal for all the boys and men in your life — avoids the cleaning of the floor around the toilet and with wet feet could be a real life saver.

We see all sorts of creatively themed pool houses from beachy to rustic, and creative ways to make the space a guest house as well as the pool house from murphy beds to lofts and bunk rooms. We are also seeing lots of smart storage spaces including repurposing old lockers. Use of indoor/outdoor fabrics and rugs help maintain the furniture, and as mentioned above, smart choices for flooring keep moisture issues and slipping injuries at bay.

 

Whether you’re thinking about building a pool house or just dreaming of what to do when you win the lottery, we thought these rooms would inspire and get you fired up for a great summer – enjoy!

Powder Room POW!

March 15th, 2022 | Blog

We call it a powder room, but you might also refer to it as a half bath or guest bathroom. Either way, it’s a smaller space that typically houses only a sink and toilet on the first floor of a home —no shower and no bathtub—and often has little to no natural light. It’s the one bathroom that most visitors to your home are going to use, and since it’s a space anyone who comes over is likely to see, it should be as special and stylish as it is convenient and functional.

The Powder Room has an interesting history. In Europe in the 1700s the most fashionable thing you could possess, aside from your wardrobe, was a nicely powdered wig. Because of the importance of fashion, in high society wigs became one of the most important parts not only your daily dress, but also of your social life. They were so important that separate rooms were devoted to the act of powdering one’s wig. These powder rooms then became an important part of maintaining one’s social standing. Later, when indoor plumbing later became common, the name stuck and thus, today’s Powder Room.

Being a small space, the Powder Room lends itself to be a great area to take a design risk – be bold and make a statement; It’s an area in your home where you can get out of your comfort zone and do something you’d never imagine yourself doing.

wig+image 18th Century Powder Room
 

While wallpaper is a great option to add that splash of color or a more wild design element, adding tile to the mix can make it even more special. Let’s take a look at ways to use tile in your powder room to make it your own unique space.

One area to focus on in this small space is the floor. A Powder Room floor can be more complex or bold in design without it being overwhelming, as is often the case in larger floor spaces. Whether it’s a pattern tile or a color you might not normally use, your Powder floor can become a focal point of the room.

 

You’ve also got a limited amount of wall space in your Powder Room, so use it wisely. You can tile the walls of a Powder using colored tiles you may be afraid to use in your main bathrooms. Or you may want to take a risk and use a bold or interesting pattern that you’d never consider in other spaces. Laying the tile on a single wall as a feature, most commonly the vanity or toilet wall is also a great way to make the space feel special and bring a focus to a certain area of the room.

 

Using tile as a wainscot on the bottom half of the walls is also a great way to bring in an interesting feature to the room. A traditional subway wainscot is always beautiful, or there are fun large formats, florals or pattern tile that almost make it feel like a wallpaper.

Feeling Moody? The Powder Room is a great place to play into a dramatic design element – it’s small enough that it won’t matter if it’s dark – it suits the space well – and who doesn’t love a moody Powder Room?

 

If moody isn’t right for you, what about color – there is nothing more fun than a cheery, bright Powder Room for your guests to enjoy. Again, using a mix of tile and wallpaper in these types of rooms works great – or just let the tile speak for itself.

No matter what route you take, just remember that it’s likely the one space in your entire house that you can step out of your comfort zone, and do something really different from your typical design style. Everytime you walk into your Powder Room you’ll be so happy you took a risk and trusted yourself to try something new.

A PENNY (Tile) FOR YOUR THOUGHTS

February 5th, 2022 | Blog

We LOVE Penny tile because it can be an inexpensive material that is very customizable, and is very popular beyond the typical use on a bathroom floor. Its flexibility in design can give any project a high end feel — the options are endless and can work with so many different design aesthetics.

If you’re not already familiar, these are circular tiles roughly the size of real pennies.  They were popular in homes across the country in the early 20th century which is why you’ll often spot them in historic homes, or in homes where people are trying to create a vintage feel.  Many home owners use colorful patterns or black and white designs to bring that vintage feel into their spaces.

That doesn’t mean this tile style only works if you’re going for a retro feel, though. Choosing a single color of penny tile can deliver a clean, minimalist look.

On the other end of the spectrum, choosing a range of colored penny tiles and arranging them in interesting patterns delivers a powerful punch to any space.

With the popularity of penny tiles comes a new variety of materials beyond your typical ceramic – we are seeing marble, glass and metal versions which all give a different look and feel to a room.

Using penny tiles in todays design aesthetic includes any wall or floor in the bathroom – or if you are really adventurous putting penny tiles on every surface in the bathroom from floor to ceiling! Beyond the bathroom, we are seeing penny tiles used in creative appilcations as an accent or a wainscot, kitchen backsplashes, fireplace surrounds, stair treads and more. The flexibility of the mesh mounted backing also allows for creating some dramatic looks playing off the curves of the space.

A fun way to utilize penny tiles that has also been trending is creating fun words or phrases out of penny tiles. Often seen in bathrooms, entry ways, laundry rooms, dog showers or fireplace hearths; it’s a unique and artistic way to express yourself and the vibe of your home.

Whether it’s marble, ceramic, glass or metal, we’ve shown that the penny tile is a great option for basically any space in your house. Your installer will appreciate the easy installation of these mesh mounted sheets, and in the case of ceramic or porcelain versions, you get a high end look for not a lot of pennies….the other kind!

kitchen+backsplash+bold+white+and+black

Fall 2021 Tile Trends

October 27th, 2021 | Blog

Pumkin spice lattes aren’t the only sign that Fall is upon us – the colorful leaves and the cooler temperatures remind us that we are officially into Fall. With the change of season it feels like a good time to look at some of the most recent tile and interior design trends we are seeing. From the movement away from greys in the kitchen (and everywhere) to the updated version of a warm neutral, to the explosion in the popularity of green tile and cabinetry and beyond, we’ve got a few great things happening that we’d love to share.

Green With Envy: While we started seeing green as an option for kitchen cabinetry about a year or so ago, but now we’d say it’s official – Green is the new Grey or White. Cabinetry colors that range from shades of sage to bolder and darker greens are now common place, often using brass fixtures to highlight the beautiful tones. It’s a great way to bring the outdoors in, and when used correctly, it is stunning. We are seeing the same for green tiles – kitchen backsplashes in soft greens are another big trend right now.

Green continues to be a popular choice in bathrooms as well – from accent walls and wainscoting to shower walls, it brings a bit of drama and moodiness to any space while still bringing that feeling of nature inside the room.

 

A Hidden Gem: The popularity of Onyx and Agate slabs has exploded off of vision boards and into real life application on shower walls and other areas. We are seeing these stones used for bar backsplashes and special feature walls throughout the home. The adoration for these stones has lead to Porcelains made to look like both Onyx and Agate. Coming in large formats like 24×48, 67×124 and other options, the porcelains give you an amazingly close to perfect look for a fraction of the cost of the full slabs.

Warming Things Up: Warm, earthy colors are back! Those that are in-the-know have been predicting this trend for years, and we are finally seeing mainstream design embracing the resurgence of beige. The shift to warmer colors isn’t an exact revival of the yellow hued beiges of the past (thankfully!) – today’s preferred warm tones have a greige or taupe undertone, which provides a more elegant, timeless aesthetic. Seamlessly complimenting a variety of styles, these hues provide a sense of calm in any space. Mixing textures and materials can add depth and dimension bringing some additional interest to your neutral space. Textures really help reinforce the organic feel most designers are envisioning when incorporating warmth into their projects.

Flower Power! The 70’s are back, people! Bold, colorful large format floral tiles that give a feeling of wallpaper are a huge trend right now. From super high end to mid and low priced options, you have a “bouquet” of options when it comes to patterns, colors, textures and finishes.

Design Trend: Checkerboard Floors – What’s Old is New Again!

September 10th, 2021 | Blog

Black and White Checkerboard pattern tile, typically set in a diamond pattern, is most commonly known as a “Harlequin” Pattern in design circles and has been around forever — literally. The pattern has been noted to date back as early as 1500 B.C., and has been found on relics, artifacts and even Egyptian Hieroglyphics. The Harlequin pattern has been a staple throughout Europe for centuries, most notably on the landing of the Queens staircase at Versailles (shown here below). Ironically, what is old is new again, as there has been no slow down in the patterns popularity today. We are seeing the checkerboard pattern used in both formal and casual applications as it offers an unexpected chic elegance that can transform almost any room into timeless spaces.

The most common material used in the formal, classic version of the Harlequin pattern is a mix of Nero Marquina and Carrara Marbles set in a diamond pattern, which gives a beautiful sense of formality and grandeur. There are many examples of this classic pattern lending itself to more modern homes in hallways, formal foyers/entryways, kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms and pantries – as you can see, it works well in all spaces.

From formality came an entirely new mid Century movement for the Checkerboard pattern — a version made from linoleum found in diners and kitchens around the U.S. for many years. Today’s diners will typically replicate the checkerboard look for a more authentic old school diner feel.

The checkerboard pattern has morphed into a style spectrum that no longer limits us to either super formal looks or kitchy designs. It now spans from elegant and sophisticated bold statements to more soft versions in new/different color pallets, and materials such as porcelain, cement and even painted wood options.

If you find checkered floors as charming as we do, yet crave a more subtle take on the style, create a spin on the classic by utilizing one of these more subtle colors such as the natural greys and whites, tan and whites or mix with warm woods and metals in your furniture, cabinetry finishes and fixtures.

Perfectly Imperfect – Zellige Tile’s Current “Moment” is a Movement

May 15th, 2021 | Blog

You might not know the name (yet), but you’ve seen them: zellige tiles are quite the trend right now — we’ve seen them pop up everywhere we’ve looked over the last year or so, our Instagram feeds are filled with pictures of them, and their appeal is both in their handmade appearance and their “perfectly imperfect” character.

cool+small+kitchen+backsplash

Ironically, one of the biggest tile trends of the past year isn’t new — in fact, it’s older than subway tile (and that’s really old)! Zellige tile dates back to 10th-century Morocco, and in its purest, most authentic form is unfortunately a bit of a dying art. Tiles are hand-shaped, dried, fired, and then hand-glazed, ensuring no two will be alike. Grout lines tend to be minimal, and a typical zellige is square or rectangle in shape and neutral in color. But lately, color has been a huge part of the zellige movement, with moody jewel tones and our favorite blush tones paving the way in a range of applications. Interesting tile lays like an offset vertical stack or a running bond give zellige an even cooler look. We thought it would be fun to give zellige it’s moment here on the blog, and show you some of the many ways it’s being used and how beautiful it can be.

Since zellige started mostly in the neutrals, lets start there. Pale zellige tiles bring depth to a space and can create a soothing, calm yet sophisticated feel to any space despite their old world look and feel. Used in the bath, kitchen or even on a fireplace, the white zellige is a stunning yet simple design element in any space.

Pairing Zellige with a contrasting material lends itself to a rich, textural narrative. This massive shower below is lined in wall-to-wall zellige tiles, while the tub is surrounded by marble that bleeds from the backsplash to the floor. It has virtually no color, yet it has layers of texture and tone.

Marble and Zellige are a great combination in any space.

The trend in zellige towards jewel tones like emerald green and blue tones makes for dramatic or moody spaces. Using the zellige on every surface — for instance the shower walls, shower floor and bath floor makes for a high impact punch of color.

We cannot help but show a few blush colored zellige applications. We will never grow tired of this color and in zellige it’s beyond beautiful. Colors like the jewel tones above and the blush pinks below really show the beauty in zellige’s variation from tile to tile. If a tile claims to be zellige, and it doesn’t have major variation in hue, tone and texture, along with imperfections in the tiles, it’s not real zellige. Remember, perfectly imperfect!

Fireplace surrounds are another space ideal for zellige. A unique firing process makes zellige tiles super resilient and therefore is a perfect selection for around a fireplace surround and/or hearth.

Zellige can be used on floors as well. We love the idea of bringing those vibrant colors onto the floor, and of course, a herringbone pattern makes for a stunning installation.

Handmade Zellige is special — the time and effort the craftsman put into making these miniature pieces of art means long lead times of 8-10 weeks before you’ll see them at your doorstep. It’s worth the wait, but if you don’t have the time or the budget, many manufacturers are getting into the game and making ceramic “Zellige-esque” looking tiles that are a pretty decent substitute and achieve a fairly similar look to the real thing.

Let the sunshine in with Yellow Zellige tiles!

We love that zellige is a design darling right now, and we think it’s here to stay!

A Moody Black Zellige Kitchen – super cool!

So Fresh and So Clean Clean” Laundry Room Inspiration

April 2nd, 2021 | Blog

A few weeks ago I saw this pink laundry room pictured above on my Instagram feed and I cannot get it out of my head – it is the sweetest, pinkest, dreamiest, most feminine laundry room I have ever seen. Everything about it is amazing – and it was so clearly created specifically for the owner of that home. I was beyond jealous because I have to lug laundry down to my basement, to an unfinished space that is, well, just gross. I started to think about how so many of us use this room probably more than any other, yet it’s basically at the bottom of the barrel for creating a special space designed just for you — until recently.

We spend our days in the showroom helping people design their dream spaces, including laundry rooms, and so we thought that we would share a few to inspire all of us to create laundry spaces that are functional, beautiful and that make you happy.

To keep with the pink theme of my dream laundry room going, we wanted to share a few other more feminine laundry spaces as pink is definitely back in terms of tile choices and wallpaper – and it seems quite popular for laundry spaces these days a well. Look at that pink cheetah wallpaper!!

We find so many of our clients are looking for an updated and fresh room that serves as a smart and functional space for doing laundry. From double washers and dryers to built-in drying racks and sliding drawer flat lay racks (dreamy!), these rooms hit the mark in both design and performance. Some are even adding a work space in the laundry room and why not – if the room allows, it’s a good place to add a desk and computer for a quiet home office.

It wouldn’t be a post about laundry rooms without talking about our pups. The laundry room has become the perfect spot to add in dog baths and/or dog sleeping areas. It’s an excuse to have fun and get creative with the space from large industrial tubs to cool built in dog beds.

Light, bright and airy laundry rooms are quite popular – and from my own experience of doing laundry in a dungeon, I live for these beautiful, serene rooms — maybe I wouldn’t mind doing laundry so much if I could do it in one of these spaces!

Last but not least are those who go bold and colorful – whether its using wallpaper or a pattern tile, these laundry rooms certainly make it a bright and cheery place for doing a no fun chore like laundry!

So many options, and such great inspiration for your future dream laundry room!

PANTRY PARTY

February 11th, 2021 | Blog
It’s official: The walk-in Butler’s pantry is the newest darling of builders and designers. What is the difference between a walk-in pantry and a Butler’s Pantry, you ask? A butler’s pantry is essentially a supersized version of the walk-in pantry. Where many walk-in pantries are more like a small storage closet, butler’s pantries are generally a small room that features cabinets and countertops, sometimes sinks and dishwashers, and they expand your kitchen storage space tremendously. Typically located just off the kitchen, they serve as the perfect area for dining and entertaining prep. Butler’s pantries were once used to store, count, and polish silver, china, and large serving dishes, while an actual butler would keep the pantry under lock and key to protect the family heirlooms!
Candy Anyone?
 

We are seeing concepts that are customized specifically to the needs and interests of each client – whether your style is traditional, modern or somewhere in between, there’s a pantry design for you. We’re going to share some of our favorite concepts that we’ve either helped create, or have been inspired by, and if we help give you some ideas for your dream Butler’s Pantry, all the better.

You are able to get creative with tile selections in the pantry as well – bringing in pattern, color and/or texture based on the materials in the kitchen. Some are choosing to go a little bit more bold in the pantry as it’s being seen as another space to do something a little different than you would in your kitchen space.

Ladder Ladder on the Wall: Sliding ladders that swoop around the entire space are ingenous and a great way to use the full height of cabinetry for storage with easy access no matter what your height is. We have seen metal ladders for a streamlined look or wood ladders to warm the space – either way they are a great way to reach anything and everything and add a cool design element at the same time.

Wine Not? No need for a wine cellar in the lower level, walk no further than from the kitchen into your pantry for your wine storage needs. From full on wine cellars to smaller but substantial wine refigeration systems, the pantry is being used in place of or in addition to an official wine cellar.

Secret Hideaway: Today’s pantry really helps you de-clutter your kitchen. Whether you are an avid home cook in need or organization for all your gourmet ingredients, or just don’t want your basic appliance out on your kitchen counters – the Butler’s pantry is the place to go. Larger coffee stations are being placed in the pantry along with your mix master, toaster and smaller drink refrigerators for waters and sodas, not to mention your cook book collection, special dishes and/or glassware, and so much more; designers are having fun staging these spaces utilizing all that normally takes up space in the kitchen itself.

Command Central: 2020 was the year of being at home, and families were all fighting for space to do homework, participate in conference calls, or just have some peace and quiet. Utilizing the Butler’s pantry as a work/study from home space is a great option as it is typically closed off behind a door of some sort giving family members privacy to focus on work or studies.

Double Duty: Loving the laundry/pantry combo! Practial yet with a twist of fun – bright colored cabinets with patterened floor tiles – a great place to mix it up and get a little more bold with your choices.

Lastly, these are just a few that wowed us for their fanciful beauty…. whatever your needs are, there’s a Butler’s Pantry for you – and if you don’t have the room to create a full extra room, builders can get really creative to build a custom pantry closet for you that can meet your needs. Happy Pantrying!