This issue of Contemporary Stone & Tile Design includes our annual focus on Kitchen and Bath design, which begins on page 24. It’s been said before, but kitchens continue to remain a popular gathering space in a home, and bathrooms are often looked at as a haven — associated with serenity and a spa-like feel. For these reasons, homeowners are looking for materials that can reflect their personal taste and offer the comfort that they desire. It seems that stone and tile continue to rank high on the list of preferred materials when designing these spaces.

I enjoy putting this feature together every year because we always receive a diverse group of projects. The same holds true for this edition. In particular, it was fun for me to work with tile designer Anna Marie Fanelli of Floor & Décor, who had the opportunity to design three bathrooms for DIY Network series “Rev. Run’s Renovation,” which follows Joseph Ward Simmons — otherwise known as Rev. Run from the rap group Run DMC — and his family, as they renovate their six-bedroom, eight-bathroom home.

Fanelli considered the personal interest and style of each child when selecting the porcelain tile and stone for each bathroom. It demonstrates that a specific product can create just the right atmosphere. Rev. Run’s youngest child, and only daughter, has a bedroom with a castle theme, so the designer wanted to design her bathroom to feel like a jewel box. She chose Mother of Pearl tile to achieve the effect. “It will make her feel like a princess every day,” said Fanelli. “When I was finished, Miley kissed me and said, ‘Thank you so much for my jewel box.’ What better compliment is there?”

And while stone and tile remain a mainstay in home design, quartz continues to expand its scope in design. Quartz manufacturers are adding more colors to their product lines, and the material is often used for countertops in both residential and commercial applications.

An example of this is the Lowell-Steven Football Facility at Arizona University. (Story begins on page 14.) White Zeus Silestone was employed for each elevator lobby as well as many countertops throughout the facility. The designer, Karen McCallum, chose the material based on her own personal experience. “I know people are always scared to use white,” she said. “There are a lot of white countertops in this facility, but from my own personal experience, I know you can get anything out of the Silestone. I felt comfortable with it.”

A full roundup of quartz products starts on page 22 of this issue of Contemporary Stone & Tile Design. In addition to more colors, these products are being manufactured to replicate the aesthetic of marble and granite, and technology is allowing for very authentic looking textures and veining.