[photos: Ben Ritter]
So, at least 80 percent of the questions that I field about tile concern bathrooms. And 99.9 percent of the “how should I tile my bathroom?” questions are followed by this caveat: “Oh, and I want to use white subway tile.”
Fair enough. White subway tile is gorgeous and very classic. It opens up a small room and can be accessorized in any number of ways. Although I typically encourage people to embrace color in their tile choices and not play it overly safe, white subway tile appeals to so many people that I cannot say a bad word about it behind its back!
This week’s posts will be dedicated to groovy alternatives to straightforward 3-by-6-inch white ceramic subway tile, which is typically set in a horizontal running-bond pattern. Fasten your seatbelts, folks!
The bathrooms at the Lucida (more pix on website) on New York’s Upper East Side, designed by S. Russell Groves and Co. The images here are from the secondary bath (i.e. not the master bath). Instead of using ceramic, Russell and his design team chose an amazing milky glass that incorporates recycled content. This gives the same look as the expected glazed ceramic, but pulls in a bit more light–and gives walls a sense of depth that ceramic lacks. Brilliant for a small-ish space. Also clever: he executed the running-bond installation vertically, rather than horizontally, to draw the eye upward and make the ceiling look taller! The slightly elongated format (2 x 8 inches, I believe) enhances the effect:
OK, you HAVE to try this! Interstyle, a Canadian manufacturer of glass tiles and mosaics, has a functionality on its website that lets you design your own mosaic pattern! Click here to try it out. Fabulous tool for anyone pondering different patterns and color combos–and way more fun than Tetris (as evidenced by my above creation!).
OK, probably not, but it sure looks cool so today I am making an exception!
Witness: the Corning Museum of Glass‘s studio building. I thought this was an awesome leaf-backed glass tile until I got up close. Mixing two sizes of block/tile created a most pleasing geometric pattern; try this one on your backsplash.
Also: Corning has amazing educational and public outreach programs, including: mosaic-making workshops! Click here for info on all their fall workshops…want to move up there and take them all.
Check out more:
This isn’t really tile either! The end of the building is a gorgeous glazed brick that got all glinty in the late-afternoon sun:
This building on Houston Street has always intrigued me. I used to think it was kind of naff, but now I’m cottoning to its neo-geo 60s-esque tiled charm and applaud the use of glass mosaics for an exterior application–something I see all the time in Miami but not so often in NYC.
Forgot that I had tucked this one away in my files awhile back: playwright/ screenwriter John Patrick Shanley’s colorful Gramercy Park apartment, featured in the New York Times earlier this summer. Check this out: his mosaic-tiled shower features a medallion that spells out “poetry”! Witty!
People often ask about how to choose tiles that add enough panache to a kitchen or bathroom–but that are neutral enough for the purposes of resale. This shower is proof that you should just follow your heart, your home’s next owner’s be damned!
More pix here.
[photo: Fred R. Conrad for the NYT]
Tooling around the L.A.Times website today I found this! Casa Las Ranas (“house of the frogs”!), the crazy home of artist/obsessive mosaicist Anado McLauchlin and Richard Schultz, located just outside San Miguel de Allende. Feast your eyes below.
And visit his website for more fun/inspiration!
[Photos by Ann Summa for the LATimes]
The happy (and creative) homeowners:
Getting excited about all the great glass tiles I’m seeing, like these from JSG Oceana.