pattern tile

Making a Statement

I recently was featured in EASTside Austin Homes Issue where I discussed my thoughts on ‘making a statement’. People seek me out looking for a unique design, something creative above industry standards, something that creates a true wow factor. Often, their vision comes from an image found on social media or a recently viewed project of mine. Social media has significantly influenced interior design. There are endless images to inspire. The question becomes…’How can this be incorporated into my home? Will it be over the top or too much?’ Usually this ends up requiring the client to step outside of their comfort zone and shy away from their ‘normal’. I have noticed a clients biggest struggle is when to say yes to edgy and different... something a little crazy.

Color is an essential aspect of interior design but as I mentioned in the article, less can be more. Too many colors and patterns can seem overwhelming and cluttered to those struggling with an overall vision. This is usually the reason they seek my expertise. I suggest starting with a focal point and designing from there. During a consultation, and usually in 5 minutes or often less, I know exactly what color their room in question should be painted. Or what color/material the countertop and backsplash should be… or what color cabinetry and floor tile should be. Designing a story board comes next and this is the part of my job I love! I layout a mix of textures, finishes, patterns, and colors and then carefully work to incorporate them in the home staying true to the focal point. (see my featured story board below!) 

EastSide Mag

If you’re looking to spruce up your home with some color or unique textiles, spring and summer are awesome times to visit showrooms and look for new products. Vibrant colors fill the showrooms and colors tend to be hot and sultry or pastel and soft. My advice – have fun and take some chances but make sure the space always feels like you.

1. Rotunda Calacatta Gold | 2. Custom Yellow Glazed Porcelain Tile | 3. Edge Glass Chevron Mosaic | 4. Gothan Field Tile | 5. Hexagon Cement Tile | 6. Geometrica | 7. Arrowhead Glass Mosaic | 8. 2” Black Gloss Hexagon | 9. Elmwood Cabinetry | 10. Elmwood Cabinetry | 11. Axor Faucet | 12. Penny Round Mosaic | 13. 4X4 Field Tile | 14. Decora Cabinetry | 15. Elmwood Cabinetry | 16. Axor Faucet

Black is the New Neutral

This kitchen is one of my most recent East Austin projects and demands to be noticed. Its dramatic black cabinetry, proper lighting, unique accents and lighter surfaces were the secrets to its success. Most home owners tend to worry that black cabinetry will make a space feel smaller, which nobody wants, but I’ll explain how I made it all work…

190320_SDG373208.jpg

But first I have to mention how this client actually loved color and patterns, blue being her favorite color! If you can’t tell from my work, I personally love color too so this neutral and minimalist design was quite the balance needed in the home. We decided to save the fun patterns and bold colors for the four bathrooms (see photos below!) and designed the kitchen to be the grounding center with one major piece as a focal point…the stunning royal blue La Cornue oven.

190320_SDG373310.jpg

Choosing the right flooring and counters to keep the space neutral and airy was a must! Not only was the countertop material important on this project but the design of the material. I quickly fell in love with the vision of a marble like quartz counter wrapping both ends of the island, tucking black cabinetry underneath. The same quartz was also used as a backsplash. This sleek effect lightened the center of the space and created a comfortable seating area. The engineered white oak wide plank flooring was light enough to stay subtle but unique enough to complete the room by creating balance.

Lighting played a huge roll in allowing the space to feel open and who doesn’t love a well lit kitchen? Natural light flooded this space and with the use of a few stunning light fixtures there was little to no concern of feeling dark. The two acrylic and gold pendants over the island quickly became a conversation piece and some of my favorites.

With the La Cornue range as the focal point in the kitchen, I was mindful in keeping decorative elements at a minimum. Brass hardware and elegant plumbing fixtures were beautiful accents to the black cabinetry. Large vases filled with a touch of spring brought comfort to the space as finishing touches. Happy Spring!

190320_SDG373231.jpg

Pictured below are a few of the bathroom tile designs I did, bringing color and personality to the space.

The Tile That Inspired Me

I found this image on the internet in 2014 and fell in love.

I found this image on the internet in 2014 and fell in love.

When I was searching the internet in 2015 for inspiration, I didn't realize this very image above would make such an impact on my design career. 

I didn't know what this tile was called, but I was on a mission to find it. I was designing my very first shipping container studio for myself, so I wanted every single design element to reflect me. I couldn't stop going back to this image without getting excited. It was the color, the pattern, the shape that was just so perfect. Just a few months earlier I had been to this wonderful tile shop in North Austin called "Clay Imports". I decided to take a visit to the store and I kid you not, as I was walking up the steps to the front door, there it was, the single tile waiting for me. 

There it was. Waiting for me.

There it was. Waiting for me.

Needless to say, I placed my order right then and there for 100 square feet of "Dandelion" cement tile. So, step one, finding the tile and its name was complete. Now, step two, incorporating it into my shipping container. Here I go. 

I wanted my studio to feel light and bright, natural yet energetic. I wanted a lot of natural wood elements with pops of color and bold patterns. I thought it would be overwhelming to cover the entire floor with the Dandelion pattern, so I came up with a mixed design of natural wood tile 3"x 36" planks in a herringbone pattern (sketch below). It sounds crazy, but little did I know I would have clients years later reference this floor pattern. Nor did I think it would be featured on HGTV, used as an advertisement for "Clay Imports" in Austin Monthly Magazine and be published in Austin Home Magazine. 

I recently went into the new Google office in Austin and walked into a bathroom that was floor to ceiling covered in the Dandelion pattern. I'm not going to lie, I felt a little honored haha I would like to think I started this fabulous trend in Austin, even though I know I 100 percent did not. 

I am very happy to see my personal studio celebrated in so many ways. I am grateful for the image that caught my eye and inspired me. I hope my design continues to inspire others. 

Capturing light and bright. Photo by Julie Holder

Capturing light and bright. Photo by Julie Holder

Austin Monthly Magazine 2017. That's me! Photo by Julie Holder

Austin Monthly Magazine 2017. That's me! Photo by Julie Holder