Miles of Tiles

As a designer working on new construction and remodel projects, I am always surrounded by tile. Miles and miles of tile. It is my job to not only to assist clients in selecting a tile that will be appropriate in their home but also relevant or on trend for the next ten to fifteen plus years. Thus being said, I am always on the search for the newest and most interesting never before seen tile. 

While still in design school, I toured a home on the AIA Austin homes tour and I distinctly remembered stepping into a study in which the floor had been laid with 12” x 12” leather tiles. Leather is a very durable product and I assumed this was an ok installation because this was not a high traffic area. I thought this was a beautiful design touch on the part of the designer/architect. 

I recently attended the reopening and newly remodeled tile showroom, American Tile. There, I was introduced to the company Stonepeak Ceramics and their tile was nothing short of pretty damn cool! 

Now, thanks to Stonepeak Ceramics, I can have “leather” tile anywhere I like with the added bonus of durability and easy maintenance: 

Touch Series

Also on the market, is a new technique of printing on ceramic or porcelain tile. Instead of rolling on a pattern onto the tile, the tile is now stamped via ink jet giving a the tile a more realistic appearance. Sometimes, I am even fooled by ceramic that looks exactly like travertine. What is really impressive is the Slate Series by Stonepeak Ceramic. Slate, which is a commonly used as flooring and roofing shingles is on avgerage more expensive than other natural flooring products. But with new advances in technology these visible difference between natural stone products and man made are becoming pretty blurry (in a good way)!

Can you tell which is the real slate???

Raja Series

Slate Series:

Ha, fooled ya!! 

Neither! Both are ceramic material AND 71% recycled material. I wish I had known of this ceramic “slate” earlier and I would of suggested installing it on the patio of the custom home I just completed designing. View the home here: Stephen F. Austin

I have one more tile trick up my sleeve and I’ll let you carry on. Can you guess what the flooring below is made of?? 

via Interceramic

NOPE, its not wood. It’s ceramic tiles made to look exactly like wood! The benefits to installing this look alike wood product is endless. Durable, inexpensive, easy to clean and will not warp with the ever changing climate in Austin. 

What’s not to like about all of these new ceramic products. Who’s ready for a new floor to dance across? 

Find me and my other interior design projects on my website:

It’s the little things…

I recently had the opportunity to remodel small powder bath and what a difference changing a few design elements can make. Unfortunately, I do not have a pre-remodel photo but imagine a icky laminate counter top, peach-hued porcelain mirror and red walls. After 15 years, it was time for an update. 

There are three areas in a house that should garner the most attention: Kitchen, Master Bath and Powder Bath. These areas add the most to resale value and where small design details can have the greatest impact. 

Bathroom remodel-after: 

Photography by: Brio Photography

Sources and Selections: 

Paint: Behr: Creek Bend 

I’ve been obsessed with gray for about 4 years nows and this color is really hitting the market in all areas of design. Warm or cool gray, you cannot go wrong. 

Countertop: Minas Black Soapstone from Dorado Soapstone 

Soapstone is an amazing natural solid surface and although it has been used in homes in the northeast for centuries and your highschool chemistry lab, it is just now gaining home installation popularity in this area of the country. 

Backsplash: Slate, 1 x 2 mix from Stone Solutions 

Always a classic and timeless choice. The client has this type of slate mosaic in other parts of the house. It just made sense to carry it though out the home and into the powder bath. 

New mirror and custom-made frame:

If you have an odd size space where a conventional store-bought mirror will not fit or is uninspiring, turn to custom. This is an easy and relatively inexpensive solution. You can purchase a custom frame from Michaels, Hobby Lobby or JoAnne Fabrics and have a glass company fit the frame with a mirror. It will give your space that extra added thought out detail. 



Antique botanical etching by Johann Wilhelm Weinmann, Hamburg, Germany


Antique etching “Digging for Bees” published by Thomas McLean, London, England

Hand towels:

When selecting new hand towels or linens, I like to pull colors from a detail in the room that has the most colors, like the bathroom tile. If in doubt use a contrasting color, like the cream accents found in the backsplash. 

A project for me big or small deserves equal attention and this powder bath proves that even the smallest room in the house can be a showpiece! 

Allison Jaffe

Award-winning ATX Interior Designer|Social Shaker|Community Pathfinder|Girl on a Mission

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