Category Archives: tile

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.

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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 :)

My Fascination With Running Water

9190_pc_mosaicWhile on a recent trip to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, I became infatuated with all the cascading waterfalls in the huge atria that make the place a landmark destination. I realized how inspired I am by running water.  I really love the sound it makes and the shiny reflective movement.

I try to find some way to honor that sensuous sound and soothing feel when I do a bath design so incorporating the Styledrain from California Faucets is a natural. The options for a simple tile-in square that let’s the water cascade in from all sides to “stylish” square covers with artistic patterns really enhance the look of a shower.

A few of my current projects incorporate these interesting pieces as it is truly the attention to detail that make a project special. I am also a proponent of using dual drains when implementing curbless showers for easy access universal design. A square piece below the main shower head and a linear one at the shower threshold. The linear drains are a great looking way to transition floor tile and keep any stray water from cascading into the rest of the bathroom.

Good looks and good sense all around. I encourage you to give the drain a second thought when planning your next bath remodel so here is a link to these award winning drain designs.

Until next time….


Happy Spring!

green glass bath 3Living in New York with all the snow that we’ve had, I really welcome the coming of spring. The simple beauty of fresh green foliage just makes you feel good.
This windowless bathroom needed that feel good vibe so green glass tile was chosen to simulate the soothing beauty of nature and the feel of the outdoors.
Happy first day of spring!
TONI SABATINO 516-972-5455

houzz interior design ideas

Inspiration….. when to go custom……..

waterjet custom tile
I love texture and I love shine…….I am looking forward to posting about this kitchen renovation project when it is done but just had to offer a peek of what is in store……
This custom waterjet glass tile created by Ray Bernard of Finishing Touches in Huntington, NY, is just what we needed to put this kitchen over the top. Sure there are all sorts of inlays and herringbones to do in a backsplash but this art deco inspired glass pattern is clean, shiny and truly out of the ordinary….


TONI SABATINO 516-972-5455