For the past three years, Coverings has presented an Installation Design Showcase that demonstrates the mission of the event — to bring together the tile and stone industries, showing how these materials can transform both our living spaces and our world. The Showcase includes three different room settings that have been designed and are put together over the duration of the show. This year, one of the designers chosen for the challenge was Foreman Rogers, Senior Project Designer at tvsdesign in Atlanta, GA, who fit the bill with a hotel guestroom creation.

To begin the challenge, the chosen designers were given a 10- x 20-foot space to fill with their tile and/or stone designs. Installation began before the show, and continued for its duration. One day into construction, the show begins and turns the build into a demonstration for attendees of the convention. Throughout the installation, the installers and designs were present to answer questions. 

"It was great to show designers that you can use tile anywhere, even in bedrooms," said Foreman Rogers, Senior Project Designer at tvdesign

Realizing the design

Having to design for this unique setting, Rogers had a variety of decisions to make before finalizing his design. With a background in hospitality design, the designer wanted to build a guestroom out of tile to show how many applications it can be used for in the hospitality sector. “It can truly be the whole room or in parts, and really makes a statement,” he said. “It is sustainable because if you do [a tile] floor in a room, it is very easy to maintain and clean, and does not have to be replaced like carpet.”

Rogers already had a seed of inspiration planted after traveling to Bologna, Italy, to attend Cersaie, the annual ceramic tile exhibition, in Fall 2011. “What I wanted to make was a ‘fantasy guestroom’, showcasing everything I saw from Ceramics of Italy manufacturers,” he said, adding that he also found design inspiration in the angles that were used in the European designs. “They were using diagonals as an art; they were designing with dimensions. It was all about the angles, really showing it as an art form — as objects. We tried to get as much ‘bang for the buck’ in the constraints of space, with the angles and the tile selection.” 

With a visual inventory of ideas and a collection of Italian tile samples, the finalization of the design had to begin. “We had four schemes going, and then it came down to availability,” said Rogers. “A lot of tile was seen in Italy, but was not in production yet. We narrowed it down to two schemes — warm and gray.”

Ultimately, the driving force of the room became a specific tile. The design incorporated a material referred to as “City” by Lea, and it uses a relief map of Milan, Italy, to create its unique look. This tile was placed above the bed, and it shaped the design of the room. “I loved it because it makes a beautiful pattern from afar, and then as you approach it and rub your hand across it, you make out the map,” said Rogers. “From there, we found other manufacturers that had tiles to complement.”

In total, a variety of glass and ceramic tile from six different manufacturers were utilized in the hotel guestroom. In addition to the “City” Collection by Lea, 12- x 12-inch tiles from “System N” by Marazzi and “Fashion” by Emil Ceramica clad the walls. Also, 19- x 49-cm pieces of “Marble Hill” by Naxos were employed in the design. Creating a point of interest on the floor, tiles from the “Millighrie” Collection by Coem were cut down and placed in a chevron pattern.

Teaming up for the installation

In the spirit of the Coverings mission, the challenge brought together two worlds, the designer and the installer, and taught Rogers a thing or two. As a designer, Rogers had never experienced working directly with an installer. Typically, because he is involved with large hospitality projects, he works with a general contractor. With this four-day installation, Rogers witnessed the David Allen Co., the project’s installer, and his team, pull together a room from his design.

“This was the first time ever that I got to work directly with the installer,” he said. “There is a true artistry in how it is done. They have to be certified by the Ceramic Tile Education and have a National Tile Contractor Association (NTCA) Five Star Recognition. They are all fantastic. It was very complicated — lots of cuts, patterns, angles, and everything was a mitered edge.”

With such a small time constraint, it was most important that the whole crew worked as a team. “We were all players, we knew each other and it really was a team effort to get the room together,” explained Rogers. “It really was down to the wire. The installation started on Sunday and was finished by the close of the show on Wednesday.”

Given the time constraints and the unique parameters of the project, Rogers can say that the whole project is a success. The installation was complete, the attendees of the Coverings show were able to observe and learn about the installation and the project was well received. “I think the goal was to have something different than a bath or kitchen, and we did just that,” said the designer. “It was great to show designers that you can use tile anywhere, even in bedrooms. It was also great to work hand-in-hand with the installer as well. We do not get that luxury in commercial building very often.”