ARLINGTON, VA -- Attendees of Coverings, the largest international tile and stone exhibition in North America, will view a brand new iteration to the 8th annual Coverings Installation Design Showcase (IDS) with leading designers and contractors sharing their creative talent to install tile in tiny houses on the show floor. The live-action demonstration and exhibit will feature three tiny homes being installed with tile over the course of the show by master installers, incorporating material from industry-leading tile and stone manufacturers. Coverings returns to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, from April 4th to 7th, 2017.

“The Installation Design Showcase is continually praised by show attendees for exemplifying design trends and the importance of proper installation techniques—it is a huge draw for trade professionals,” said Alena Capra, Coverings’ industry ambassador and alumna designer of the IDS program. “One of the best aspects of this year’s showcase is that the spaces will be actual houses, serving a purpose that will be appreciated well beyond the show dates.”

Adam Money, developer of Orlando Lakefront—the tiny homes community partnering with Coverings for the initiative—advised he plans to incorporate the spaces into a lakefront bed & breakfast. The three houses will be enjoyed by guests for years to come.

“Tile is incredibly versatile, and we’re delighted to help promote the material as something that can cover the floor—and all four walls—of a residential space,” said Money. “We think that even in a tiny home, Coverings attendees will see expansive opportunities for tile and stone.”

Design teams led by principles from The Georgia Pear Interiors, Kim Lewis Designs, and bluetreehome will be paired with installers who hold Five Star Recognition from the National Tile Contractors Association and certification from the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation to bring each design to life. John Cox, President of Cox Tile and technical consultant for the Installation Design Showcase, has helped with the collaboration between designers and installers. Materials sponsored by Ceramics of Italy, Crossville, Florim USA, Ardex, Laticrete and Mapei will be used for the project.

Here’s a preview of the three tiny homes:

West Michigan House

Lauren Figueroa of The Georgia Pear Interiors highlights a clean, sleek, and modern aesthetic in her tiny home. Figueroa’s design is inspired by the lobby of the newly renovated Waters Building in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a sprawling space with high ceilings and a large staircase.

“When designing for tiny spaces, every inch matters, and I would say the tile informed every decision as it was both our starting point and our inspiration for the design,” explained Figueroa.  

Her challenge was capturing the essence of the Waters Building within a tiny home of only 33 feet. Collaborating with installer Dan Welch of Welch Tile, Figueroa was able to incorporate tile in cool tones that mimics the gorgeous, large space of the Waters Building for her West Michigan house. The color choice was essential in her decision as she notes this type of hue recedes in the space to make the room feel larger. Incorporating tile from Florim USA, Figueroa achieved her goal of a modern design that allows the small space to feel spacious.

Retro Bungalow

Kim Lewis, founder of Kim Lewis Designs and former lead designer behind ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”, channels her colorful, whimsical, and eclectic style for the Palm Springs home. Using bright colors and mid-century inspired patterns, the space will reflect a bright and airy design that is often found in Palm Springs. Lewis will use modern tiles to express a vintage look, depicting a versatile style tile and stone products can achieve.

“Good design should engage all of our senses and transcend us to another time and place. Travel fuels my creativity, our ‘Retro Bungalow’ tiny home design was inspired by the colorful, desert city of Palm Springs,” notes Lewis. “Depth in color and graphic patterns of tile aligned with the theme, giving our tiny home a throwback vibe to the artistic desert oasis.”

The installation team from Visalia Ceramic Tile will work with vibrant, textured tile from Ceramics of Italy to bring the design to life.

The Vitruvian

Owner and principal designer at bluetreehome, Nikki Vega, was inspired by nature for her tiny home design.

“Vitruvius, an ancient architect, believed that architecture and design should essentially be an imitation of the proportion and geometric shapes found in nature. This naturally occurring proportion is known as the “golden section” and can be found everywhere from a flower to a pinecone. I have always been fascinated by this connection between aesthetics, mathematics, and nature so I have incorporated lines, shapes and proportions of the “golden section” into my design in various ways,” explains Vega.

Additional considerations of storage and comfort in the small space challenged Vega to use creativity when building furniture. She put a large focus on multipurpose pieces, such as a table that transforms from coffee table height to dining height, and stairs with built-in storage. With tile and stone from Crossville USA in neutral tones and patterns that mimic nature, the installation team from J & R Tile, Inc. will bring Vega’s vision of a functional, natural home to fruition.

The Installation Design Showcase spaces will be open for the duration of Coverings on the show floor and all attendees are encouraged to visit and explore the homes. On Thursday, April 6th at 3:00 p.m., attendees will be invited to meet with the designers and contractors for a one-hour interactive session discussing the design and installation of each project.