Category Archives: natural stone

Creative Artistry of Ceramic Tile: An Inspirational Trip To Spain

tile of spain top photoI have just returned from a trip to Spain and am super excited and inspired! Invited by Tile of Spain USA to visit the Cevisama trade show and experience the culture of tile in this marvelous country, I have so much to share! Tile is in the DNA of the culture! From the architectural landmarks to the public park benches to the family run tile factories, you feel it everywhere, and it is inspiring to say the least.

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First, let me thank the Tile of Spain, a part of the Spanish trade commission for their hospitality during this incredible opportunity. The trip was a design and architectural enthusiast’s dream…….. and oh! the food culture they shared with us! Some highlights included Paella cooking on an open fire, local wines, fresh produce, cheeses and breads turned into bite size tapas and a fusion meal that was foodie heaven!spanish food

 

The show was an eye opener. Although I have specified tile for countless jobs, I gained a valuable understanding of the quality, process and applications. Ryan Fasan, Technical Consultant for Tile of Spain USA and @tile_trends on social media, guided us though the booths pointing out various new trends and explaining manufacturing process, applications and generally good things to know.

spain trade show

Digital printing is revolutionizing the tile industry. The process is impressive to watch as we saw during a trip to the Rocersa Ceramica factory. The resulting patterns that truly imitate wood and natural stone, some toned in colors not found in nature but resulting in amazing design possibilities are astounding.

factory tour

Digital printing opens all sorts of possibilities for creating tile murals and patterns, ranging from comic book scenes and post cards to replications of old school patterns and new geometrics. The possibilities are endless and the commitment of the tile industry to foster student design competitions is also notable. The innovative patterns inspired by textiles were inspirational. The tile is at home in any room and creates a beautiful and durable wall covering for commercial, hospitality and residential use. Here are a few of my favorites…..

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setting spain tile show spain tile 2Also notable are the textures that play with the light. Simple white takes on an intriguing and sophisticated look with the velvety and linen like textures. Show trends certainly included texture and a modern element in design referred to as brutalism at the show press conference. A look we call modern industrial among other names here in the states. Also notable is a new “timeless”. The tiles we need to create something that works with lifestyle and architecture will not “date” to a specific trend in time. Yes, trends are trends, but the design options these collections offer goes beyond time with a look and quality I love working with.

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Another innovative use of all the new technology is the addition of formed tile steps and stunning exterior pavers. Notable when making transitions.

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I hope you have enjoyed the photos and the inspiration and encourage all design enthusiasts to check out #tileofspain18 and #cevisama18 on instagram for more inspirational photos from our group.

Show pictures taken at Cevisama, tiles by Natucer, Tau, Ceracasa, Argenta, Saloni, Cevica, Rocersa, Roca, Gespania, Estidio Ceramico, Vives Ceramica, Peronda, Keraben Grupo, Equipe, Dune, Aparici, Ibero Porcelanico

Once again I say thank you Tile of Spain for this mind expanding trip and I cannot help but share a few more pics of the amazing architecture!

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spain 28Toni :)

“Digging” Natural Stone

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White Cherokee natural stone island counter from Georgia Marble.

Over the years, I have had mixed feelings about surfaces. The look is all important but durability, longevity and performance have always been key when making selections for clients. On the emotional side, there is also environmental impact to consider. There was a time when I favored man made materials because of quarrying desecrating the planet. A few years ago I visited the quarry of Georgia Marble, operated by Polycor, and found out how wrong I really was! The process is simple and clean. There are no toxic agents and the best part was seeing new life that had come to the quarry in the form shrubbery, trees, birds and animals that were truly flourishing there. This was a truly thrilling personal discovery! The beauty and feel of natural stone cannot be imitated and the feel good quarry moment, emotional reaction I had makes it easy to specify the real deal. There are so many varieties of natural stone, each with it’s unique features that can be researched. MIA+BSI, marble-institute.com the website of the Natural Stone Institute is a great resource for stone research to find the stone that is right for your project. Choosing stone that is less porous for heavily used surfaces like kitchen and bath counters is fairly simple and there are so many to choose from. Proper maintenance is also key to keeping the surface beautiful and there are also a variety of good products on the market for that as well. Natural stone can also be integrated into home designs with wall panels, mosaic tile, flooring and furnishings. Marble cocktail tables have always been a classic favorite of mine. Organic modernism is a style I have embraced. It incorporates simple lines, metal, and the beauty of wood and stone. properly curated, it is an elevated casual look for easy living with an air of sophistication and authenticity.

Whether your look is classic timeless elegance or organic modernism, or anything in between, natural stone adds that special “je ne sais quoi”. Here are a few of my latest loves for incorporating the sophistication and durability of natural stone into home design.

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Natural Stone tables from ANNA by RABLABS make a beauteous statement.

Natural stone from Artistic Tile makes a beautiful accent wall in any room.

Natural stone from Artistic Tile makes a beautiful accent wall in any room.

 

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From Williams and Sonoma ~ marble wine chiller

Natural stone and metal water jet tile from Studium maker an incredible Art Deco statement in this NYC bath.

Natural stone and metal water jet tile from Studium make an incredible Art Deco statement in this NYC bath.

Custom book matched marble shower~ Centre Island, NY, September 23, 2015: --- Interior designer Toni Sabatino worked her magic and created this beautiful living space at this Centre Island home on Long Island. © Audrey C. Tiernan

Custom book matched marble shower~ Centre Island, NY, September 23, 2015: — Interior designer Toni Sabatino worked her magic and created this beautiful living space at this Centre Island home on Long Island. © Audrey C. Tiernan

Marble cheese board from Peters of Kensington (petersofkensington.com.au)

Marble cheese board from Peters of Kensington (petersofkensington.com.au)

Stone fireplace accent wall is simple and chic.

Stone fireplace accent wall is simple and chic.

White marble table lamp from Fine Art Lamps.

White marble table lamp from Fine Art Lamps.

I hope you are inspired to take a look at where natural stone fits into your decor!

-Toni :)