Expanding the residential design palette
From contemporary to traditional, stone and tile products are being utilized in creative ways for all styles of residential design. And it is apparent that designs are not limited to one type of material. Textures, colors and sizes as well as a mixing of mediums are all critical components in designing for homes these days. Homeowners have become more savvy and are looking to be inspired, and the abundant supply of stone and tile collections on today’s market opens the doors for numerous possibilities.
Moreover, the innovative stone and tile products now available are not just restricted to interior design. Many residential interiors transition to the outdoors. Backyards are becoming much more elaborate and considered an extension of the inside. High-end materials, including granite countertops, are being used to dress up outdoor kitchens and entertainment areas. No longer are just patios the standard for exterior design.
Inspired by the beach
Such was the case for a condominium within The Palace at Trump Grande in Sunny Isles, FL. The residential space exudes a “contemporary chic” style by making use of an assortment of stone and tile throughout its interior design. With expansive floor-to-ceiling glass windows showcasing ocean views, a neutral-colored palette for the floors and walls contributes to an open and airy living space.
While the stainless steel and glass bridge walkway to the master bedroom above the main living area creates somewhat of an industrial feel, it is balanced by a blend of stone and tile products. These elements were utilized with various textures to enhance the richness and depth of the interior design.
A floor-to-ceiling accent wall was created in the entry with random-sized pieces of quartzite, supplied by Coverings Etc. of Miami, FL. The rough-cut pieces are a contrast to the smooth finish of 24- x 36-inch Nova crosscut travertine floor tiles that flow throughout the space.
In the kitchen, Giallo Topazio granite from Brazil was selected for the countertops and backsplash. The material was supplied by Trading Places Resources Corp. of Dania Beach, FL. “All the stones were picked for their tone and visual texture,” explained the designer.
The golden hues of the granite countertops and large center island - along with the dark-colored cabinets - bring a feeling of warmth, while the stainless steel appliances and additional cabinets faced with glass add a modern element to the kitchen. Overall, the combination of materials provides a sense of elegance.
As an accent, 1- x 1-inch turquoise glass mosaic tiles clad the shower wall. The brilliant shade of the mosaics matches the colors of the ocean - which can be seen from the large picture window.
According to the designer, it took three years from design to construction to complete the condominium project. “The homeowners were pretty involved,” he said. “We presented them with our ideas, and they gave their blessing to what we proposed.”
Stone was also extravagantly used throughout a home near Greensboro, NC - creating a posh living atmosphere for a bachelor. Areas such as the kitchen and master bath feature extensive use of granite, which was a key component in achieving a sleek sophisticated interior design.
According to Malavé, the homeowner worked closely with the company’s in-house design associates to select just the right material for the residential design. “He had a photo from a magazine of something similar that gave us the concept,” explained Malavé. “We took it from there.”
Additionally, Absolute Black granite was employed for the kitchen floor. The 18- x 18-inch stone tiles were combined with hardwood to form a grid-patterned floor design, which stimulates visual interest in the space.
“The kitchen floor was very challenging,” said Malavé. The unevenness of the wood made it a very difficult job to get right. We got together with a flooring company and explained the importance for the wood to be all level.”
Rounding out the kitchen design, 4- x 4-inch tumbled Noce travertine tiles make up the backsplash. The warm tones of the stone complement the wood and granite and further enhance the richness of the room.
In the master bath, slabs of Giallo Renoir granite from Brazil comprise the floor, shower, tub and vanity top. The material, which was quarried and fabricated by Cajugram Granitos e Marmores do Brasil Ltda of Espirito Santo, Brazil, is all bookmatched.
“The homeowner and I spent a great deal of time selecting the slabs for the bathroom,” said Malavé. “He knew what he wanted. He wanted slabs and he wanted them all bookmatched. It made it a pleasure to work with him.”
A luxury backyard
Malavé also collaborated with Cajugram on an outdoor kitchen project for an upscale home also in the Greensboro, NC, area. Nearly 150 square feet - three slabs - of Emerald Blue granite, which is known in the U.S. as Blue Barracuda, was used to create a large patio bar area.
“It’s a huge outdoor entertainment area,” said Malavé. “All the appliances are Viking.” The base of the bar is made of concrete and wrapped in rough-cut pieces of natural stone. The Blue Barracuda countertop features a chiseled edge detail, which matches the texture of the stone base. All of the slab countertops were bookmatched, according to Malavé.
“This was a repeat customer,” explained Malavé. “He is fantastic to work with.”
Students from the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture illustrated how ceramic tile can meet criteria for both aesthetics and function with the recently built “Taliesin Mod.Fab” project - a 500-square-foot dwelling that serves as a one-bedroom apartment on the campus of Taliesin West. It will be used to house visiting faculty, lecturers and architects.
The bedroom, which has a floor made of tile from the Italian manufacturer Edilcuoughi, is separated by an outdoor breezeway from the rest of the interior spaces. A garden wall with integrated solar panels provides privacy to the bedroom and power to the unit.
“One thing about Frank Lloyd Wright is that every space is separated,” explained Butler. “Not only did we want the building to be sustainable, but we wanted to leave the site better then when we came.”
The modular home also features passive and active environmental control systems such as natural ventilation and lighting, water catchment and a gray water re-use system. The ceramic tile flooring that is carried throughout the interior space not only provides a contemporary style, but the tiles are also positioned to capture solar heat and to release it during the chilly desert nights. “Every move that we make in such a small space really counts,” said Butler.
Visual interest is added in the bathroom with bright yellow textured tiles that are employed for a wall and floor in the shower. Additionally, the other shower wall is made of the same tile but in white. The material was supplied by the Italian tile manufacturer Etrutria Design.
“The bathroom has a reversed skylight looking down,” said Butler. “The tile really beautifies the space. It gives it a feeling of luxury.”
According to the design team, “Mod.Fab” can be either plugged into utilities or “unplugged” - thereby making it self-sufficient if desired.