Friday, March 25, 2011

The Latest & Greatest in Coverings

I did not attend Coverings 2011, the premier trade show for all tile, stone and other innovative covering materials. I did, however, get a fantastic update at the Decorative Materials showroom in the Denver Design District last night as part of the National Kitchen and Bath Association meeting. The knowledgeable staff at Decorative Materials gave us an overview of the trends and very innovative new materials and techniques coming in tile, glass, and stone. I’m happy to share them with you here and I can’t wait to use them in the right design project. Many of these tiles are so innovative that they call out for a use beyond the kitchen and bathrooms. How about an entryway or dining room? I hope you will find as much inspiration in these posts as I found at the meeting. A quick overview of hot items in Interior Design Coverings:
  • Dimension, Geometry and Texture
  • Larger format tiles (think 12″x24″ or 18″x36″)
  • Glass slabs
  • Large Patterns
  • Water jet cut stone and glass
  • Rectangle and plank formats
Today I’m going to focus on Dimension Geometry and Texture, with examples from Artistic Tile. Enjoy!
Created by an Italian artisan, Ambra is inspired by the fundamental elements of nature – Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Hand-crafted, the sculptural, three-dimensional stone tile was designed with an undulating pattern using an original finishing technique that gives Ambra the appearance of two separate stones by combining matte vs. polished finishes.

Jardin collection embodies realistic renderings of organics within nature with elegant, dimensional patterns that interlock and repeat for a seamless installation on an interior wall. The intricate designs in ceramic are highlighted with hand-painted detail to accent the dimensions. Each pattern is available in a variety of color ways blending soft, warm earth tones.

Ziva Inspired by nature, Ziva is a sculptural, three-dimensional stone tile designed with an undulating pattern that gives Ziva its unique appearance. Each tile is hand carved and uses a combination of a polished and a honed finish.

Stay tuned for posts on the other tile trends next week. Do these inspire you? How would you like to use some of these tile and stone products in an Interior Design Project? Share your ideas and creativity!

Beautiful Habitat: Interior Design & Decoration

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Favorite Things - Coco Tiles

I recently came across this very cool environmentally friendly product for numerous interior design and furniture applications: Coco Tiles.  These tiles are from Kirei, a company specializing in environmentally friendly and green building materials.

The Coco Tiles are made from reclaimed coconut shells, low-VOC resins, and sustainably harvested wood backer. And they are simply beautiful; creating texture and movement in a room! They can be used as decorative 12″x12″ tiles or 48″ x48″ panels and both vertically and horizontally.

Although they look very textural, they can be smooth to the touch. The tiles can be ordered as unfilled or filled in with a lacquer to make a polished surface, suitable for wet areas.

About Kirei: “Pronounced ‘Key-ray’, Kirei is the Japanese character signifying ‘beautiful’ or ‘clean’. We have chosen Kirei as the name for our company to reflect our dedication to the principals of
elegant, sustainable design”.
“Our goal is continual introduction of new materials while improving our production and business practices to be as low-impact and sustainable as possible.”

Want to see them locally? Visit Ellie’s Eco Home Store in Boulder, CO.

Beautiful Habitat: Interior Design & Decoration

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ombre Wood Furniture

Ombre: n. A French term meaning “shaded.” Usually a multicolored stripe, with colors graduating from light to dark. The color effect is woven into the fabric. Generally produced by arranging different tones in the warp.
Ombre is no stranger to the Design world. We’ve seen Ombre in textiles for fashion and interiors over the last several years.

Now, the clever designers at J. Robert Scott have found a way to add Ombre to wood. With four different Ombre shades, the J. Robert Scott team “has translated a dreamy impression of shades and gradients to wood veneer. The proprietary finishing technique results in furnishings which are truly one-of-a-kind. Each piece is an original artistic expression, and as individual as a fingerprint”
Above is the Cabriole Cabinet in Ombre Storm.

Beautiful Habitat: Interior Design & Decoration

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Small Changes Can Make Big Happys

I’ve recently made some small functional changes around my home and, although I knew they would make life feel better, I didn’t realize how happy they’d actually make me. While I don’t normally blog about me and my home, I think many people can relate to this story and draw inspiration from it. Allow me to be your case study for no longer settling for the little things that annoy you around your home!

Change #1: The Shower Head
About 2 months ago, we changed out the shower head. The old shower head had terrible water pressure and was a little leaky. It had gotten worse over time until a shower felt like this…

After one particularly low pressure and unpleasant shower, I had had enough and marched myself to the bathroom showroom. After about $100 in an upgraded shower head and 5 minutes of labor, my next shower felt like this…

I’m not exaggerating. It was wonderful. The new shower head made me ridiculously happy.  The actual change is really more like this…

Change #2: Sofa Cushions
The current sofa is something we purchased prior to my embarking on the design gig. It’s before I had access to all the lovely showrooms and manufacturers that I now bring to my clients. It’s from a well-known retail store. While it looks nice and has a well chosen fabric, the quality is not of the highest caliber, particularly the cushions along the back of the sofa. Below is a cushion insert. It is a just bag of loose fiber-fill. The result was a cushion that drooped and looked sloppy and, more importantly, was unsupportive and uncomfortable.

For $200, I had new inserts made for the sofa back by an upholstery supply company. These are made as a good sofa should be – with a supportive upholstery foam, envelope-wrapped in a down or fiber-fill.

This little change has made me love the sofa all over again. The cushions now sit upright and look tailored and the proper back support makes it comfortable.

The shower and the sofa were two little things that annoyed me a little bit each day. Those little annoyances start to build until you are no longer enjoying your home. And your home is the one place in this world you should never be annoyed, but should find pure joy, peace and relaxation.  For $300 I was able to resolve these nit-picky items and fall in love with my bath room and family room again. These small changes have given me big happys in my home again.

What’s bugging you in your home? I encourage you to change it. It can enhance your life and your daily routine. And if I can help you with those changes, you know where to reach me.

Beautiful Habitat: Interior Design & Decoration


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