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Archive for the ‘Flooring’ Category

Top Designer Picks for Fall 2011

October 4th, 2011

At Styleture, our editorial team always stays attuned to the latest in interior design trends. We’re never too proud to benefit from the wisdom of other design bloggers – especially a blogger like Boston-based Linda Merrill (, who also happens to be a designer. For Fall 2011, she’s been generous enough to share with us her favorite trends and product picks for the upcoming season, including eclectic mixes, vintage looks and soothing styles for the spa:

Mix and Match

“From high-low pricing, to mixed finishes and styles, antiques and vintage mixed with modern forms – true eclecticism is taking hold in the design world,” said Merrill. It’s partly a response to the economy and partly environmental. “We’re all reusing and refurbishing what we have, stretching the budget, splurging on some items, saving on others, keeping things out of landfills,” she adds.

Hastings Tile & Bath's GDO Raised Panel Ceramic Tile

Mix and match Hastings Tile & Bath's GDO Raised Panel Ceramic Tile

Hudson Valley Lighting's® Chatham

With Hudson Valley Lighting's® Chatham

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Where the Rubber (or Grout) Meets the Road

January 31st, 2011

Carpet versus Tile – The debate continues…


It’s 2011 – and there are still far too many people who say they want to use sustainable and healthy products in their home but who don’t fully understand what constitutes a sustainable home environment.

Unknowingly, we sometimes buy home design products without much thought to the product’s provenance or even more importantly – the product’s life-cycle. Carpets, granite, paint, even the light bulbs you use are all known to be somewhat less than ‘green,’ depending on the types you use. As for carpet: currently, the US discards approximately 4.7 billion pounds of carpet annually. That is an awful lot of landfill refuse. And we’re not even talking about the VOCs (volatile organic compounds) released in the air from carpets as well as their propensity to provide ample breeding ground for various and sundry allergens. There are many carpets that are made from all natural wools, vegetable-dyed – and if you or your family are not allergic to wool, then these can be a good (and beautiful choice).

If there are allergies to contend with – right under our very sensitive noses is a tried and true product that is inherently ‘sustainable.’ A product that lasts for years and years and is easily cleaned with plain tap water. We are of course, speaking of tile; porcelain, ceramic and even recycled glass tiles.

Heck, tiles are so versatile (pun intended) that there are some tiles that even look like wood – without the maintenance issues (polishing, splintering), and there are some that even look like wainscoting – now that is creative!

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What is a Mud Room?

December 28th, 2010

There’s a good chance your home doesn’t have a mud room, as many do not. But if you live in a damp or snowy climate, or simply have a family that is active outdoors, there’s a good chance you could benefit from one. So what exactly is a mud room? Pretty much what it sounds like – an enclosed halfway point between the yard and the main rooms of the house, usually by the front door or the back door, designed for use, abuse and plenty of mud – so that none ends up getting tracked into the house.

A typical mud room might sport a large closet for sportswear and sporting goods, a coat rack, a shoe rack, comfortable seating to put on and pull off shoes and boots, and plenty of additional storage for things like purses, book bags, keys and cell phones. In colder climates, more space is needed due to the bulk of many items. Mud rooms are also great for families with dogs, as they can serve as a staging area to leash them and clean them off after a run through the yard.

It would be ideal that a mud room also possess a sink, for the obvious reason of washing mud and other sediment off of hands, shoes, clothing, etc… If space permits, such rooms are also the perfect place to house the washer and dryer so wet and dirty clothes can be washed on the spot instead of tracked through the house. Like any room of the house, there is a lot of room for style, creativity and appropriateness of décor in a mud room. A mud room at the front of the house may be more formal for the sake of guests, while one at the back of the house might be more informal and simply for family use. If you desire a mud room for your home, the good news is that it usually will only require an add-on to the house, rather than any major structural changes.

When it comes to designing your mud room, functionality and heavy-duty durability are important considerations. Here are a few ideas for products that will give your mud room the functionality and durability it needs, while maintaining appealing design standards:

Stone Forest’s Stainless Vessel sink is not only super-strong, resistant to corrosion and hygienic, but it’s also contemporary, sleek and compact. It’s an ideal choice for a heavily trafficked mud room where space saving features are paramount.

Stainless Sink

Stone Forest Stainless Vessel Sink

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Floor It! An Accelerated & Exciting History of Tiles

December 17th, 2010

Men have assembled armies, waged wars, and attempted conquests and lost their lives, all for the sake of tiling – it’s true. Sort of. In actuality, wars and conquests across the globe have influenced tile making and resulted in the epic rises and colossal downfalls of entire tile industries and dynasties.

While “mud men” – masons, actually – were crafting mud and stone tiles in the Holy Land back in biblical times, and terracotta tiles have been around since at least the days of ancient Greece, the real development and spread of a significant tile making movement came after the Islamic conquest of Persia. Decorative Persian tiles, hand painted, became highly valued and spread throughout the Islamic world. Many palaces, mosques and public buildings boasted incredibly detailed floor, wall and ceiling tiles that defined an entirely new decorative tradition.

Islamic conquests also helped to push tile making traditions into Spain and subsequently all of Europe. In the 11th century, the Arabs brought with them ceramic processes that helped revolutionize Spanish tile making. The Spanish took tile making to whole new level, enhancing their advanced artistic sensibilities with the utilization of new technologies such as intricate ceramic processes and specialized glazing techniques. The result: structures like the mosque of Seville, built in the 12th century and widely popular with travelers who would stop to admire its detailed tile work. Soon after, in the south of Spain, it became popular to pave paths and even roads with tiles, and the designs became progressively more complex with seemingly impossible geometric designs.

persian tilingexotic look tile

Tile: Then and Now

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Viva La Ceramica!

September 29th, 2010

Viva La Ceramica!

If you’ve been under the impression that mouth-watering high-design tiles are out of your reach – you’ve been missing what can only be called a “Tile Revolution!” For those of us in the industry who have been watching the evolution (or revolution) – it does seem as though tile is certainly having its day – and really its year. Having just spent an afternoon at the New York showroom of Hastings Tile & Bath (in the Architects and Designers Building), I had a first-hand look at where the industry is headed. And if I were forced to choose just one style, I’d be in serious trouble!

Bland porcelain tile? It has its uses – but today’s tiles have grown up a quite a bit. New technologies have given birth to a plethora of options. Tiles from Spain and Italy seem to be leading the way as far as design and innovation, and we are happy to present some here.

Exotic animal textures, metallic finishes (shimmering and distressed), raised panel/wood-look, fabric, stone, textured….if anyone thought they were relegated to ‘just’ any one style….it’s time to be amazed.

Certainly there are tiles whose technical make-up is better suited to walls than floors; all you need do is ask your local tile showroom what the tiles PEI Class Rating is. This rating classifies the various uses of tiles, from Class 1 (no foot traffic), to Class 5 (appropriate for use in heavily trafficked areas.) That’s the easy part. The hard part is choosing from the wealth of gorgeous tiles available.

Thinking contemporary? How about these masculine and very contemporary exotic-look animal skin tiles? These ivory crocodile tiles could not be more sophisticated and visually interesting. Available in four colors and four different textures, you have the ability to choose between more subtle or more intense textures.

Hastings RMA Series Exotic Animal Skin Tile

Hastings RMA Series Exotic Animal Skin Tile

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