Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Once Upon a Tile...

There once was a Kitchen and Bath Designer who loved color, art and handmade tile. She was reading through Martha Stewart’s May 2010 Living Magazine and discovered a wonderful article about a historic home in Malibu, California called The Adamson House, which is famous for its lavish use of artisan ceramic tile used throughout the home and surrounding property.

The article, titled “Once Upon a Tile” by Susan Heeger, immediately piqued my interest with a giant photo of a tiled front entryway that was painted to resemble a Persian-style rug. Designed by William Handley of Malibu Potteries, the tiles even have hand-painted fringe and look convincingly 3-dimensional! Pick up Martha Stewart’s May Living issue to read more about this home and its wonderful tile and history. The Adamson House also has a website with more photos and information: www.adamsonhouse.org

Image from AdamsonHouse.org
While the author didn’t write about the kitchen in the article, I found a great photo on the home’s website, and guess what color the main tile is?  Turquoise!  Which is not only my own favorite color, but also Pantone’s Color of the Year.  See my February Color Blog for more about all things Turquoise.  The other dominant color in this kitchen is persimmon, and the black accents surrounding these colors really make them POP!  The kitchen and adjoining dining room are a blend of strong Art Deco and Spanish Colonial Revival elements.  I love the tile clock and decorative ceramic tile vent over the stove.  Both were stock items in the Malibu Potteries collection.
Image from AdamsonHouse.org
Speaking of tile, I will be giving a brief presentation on “Art Tile in the Kitchen” at 1:00 on both Saturday, May 14th and Sunday, May 15th at Clay Squared to Infinity during Art-A-Whirl. A variety of handmade tiles from local artists will be on display and you’ll learn how to incorporate tile into your next project! Carri Carlson, of Array Kitchen and Bath will be giving a talk on “Art Tile in the Bathroom” at 3:00 on both days as well.

Tips from the Pros: In the May issue of Midwest Home Magazine, local interior designers and home stylists share some of their best tips for designing a “wow” space of your own. In the issue and on the magazine’s website, you can get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the spaces these designers and stylists call home. They really do practice what they preach!

1. Keep Your Eyes Open
Always be on the lookout for great deals and interesting pieces. Even if you don’t have a specific use for that end table or rug right away, you’ll find a way to incorporate them into your d├ęcor somehow.

2. Play With Color
These stylists love what colorful accessories and artwork can do to breathe new life into a space. Need a quick pick-me-up? Try a new color of paint on the walls!

3. Think Outside the Box
A bookend can be painted and hung on a wall. Two tray tables together can make a coffee table. Silk scarves can be refashioned into accent pillows. Giving a room a totally new look may be easier and more affordable than you think when you shop your own home!

4. Mix it Up
Don’t be afraid to mix and layer patterns! Just be mindful of scale when doing so. Large patterns can be balanced with those of a smaller-scale, and bold designs are complimented with the more subtle.

5. Speaking of Scales...
Furniture in a store will likely look smaller than it will actually look in your home, so be sure to measure the piece first, then go home and mark its dimensions on the floor where you plan to place it. Make sure it doesn’t overpower other furniture in the room.

6. Don’t Forget Texture
Texture in a room exudes luxury. Rooms need a mix of materials, like wool, leather, linen, silk, stone, metal and wood. If you focus on creating an interesting, layered look with texture, you don’t need a lot of color.

7. Start a Collection
Multiples make an impact. Whether you enjoy trolling antique shops for something specific or you gather interesting trinkets from your travels, displaying items you have a fondness for adds richness and an element of your personality to your space.

8. Tell a Story
While some homeowners are uncomfortable displaying personal mementos and photographs, others proudly display their personal family artifacts for the world to see. One designer featured in the magazine’s story can tell a story about each one of the pieces adorning his bookshelves and tablescapes. He enjoys surrounding himself with meaningful objects and things that bring to mind loved ones and happy memories.

9. Don’t Buy Disposable
Lesson of the day: You don’t need lots of “stuff” if you invest in good pieces. Buy your candleholders and accessories at Ikea and Target and your sofas and chairs at a quality furniture store. That doesn’t mean you still can’t get a good deal, however. These designers are regulars at the weekend Room & Board outlet and at neighborhood estate sales.

10. Edit, Edit, Edit
Reveal a room’s layers and interesting items over time, not all at once. Limit the number of items that tell the world who you are. Think about occasionally switching things up – move a few objects to a different room and rotate in some new pieces every once in awhile.

11. Express Yourself
Don’t be afraid to let your true colors show. The designers featured in this article allow their homes to say exactly who they are, with their eclectic juxtapositions of antiques, collectables and personal artifacts. According to one designer, “Better to mix your styles with gusto than to be timid.”

12. Don’t Be Afraid!
Lastly, it’s your home and sanctuary. Don’t be afraid to play, experiment and mix it up now and again!