tile design ideas

Here we go again, that crazy lady (me, Erin) who decided to put her own renovation/design journey out there for all to travel along on Window Works NJ’s blog. For those of you just tuning in check out my previous posts: How to Re-Design a Home and Planning 101.

So the project: #TheAZResidence is a 1962 mid-century desert oasis and total gut/renovation for the purpose of creating a hip vacation rental (and maybe an intimate event venue) in Paradise Valley, Arizona.

As I mentioned in the last blog post this part of the process (waiting for the plans, waiting for the city approval, waiting for bids… waiting, waiting, waiting!) involves so much patience. But fortunately that allows me ample time to carefully consider what will go in the house after the blue print lines become walls. Or at least you would think so.

Finding the Perfect Tile


A couple months ago just after we purchased the home, with no exact dimensions to note – but pretty good estimates – I decided that would be the perfect opportunity to take advantage of a tile sale.  Yes, let’s buy some tile and not know exactly how much will be needed. And we’re not just talking neutral subway tile, we’re talking very statement making, I’m-a-design-focal-point kind of tile. And did I mention it’s tile that will be discontinued? It was one of those Left Brain vs. Right Brain arguments.

renovation projects

Right Brain says: “Look at the vision, this tile is hip, it’s funky. It’s limited quantity! Who cares about exact measurements, we are close enough. Get more overage and pull the trigger.”

Meanwhile Left Brain is saying: “What vision?! You don’t have anything on paper! That vision is still stuck inside this thick skull. You’re insane. We don’t have completed plans, we haven’t chosen a contractor and we have no idea what the budget is really going to come in at. So while this might seem like a savings, it’s actually just spending. Plus, we haven’t put together a color story for the project and you just think green, blue and pink tile are just going to blend???”

renovation designs

Obviously Right Brain won the argument. So we got the tile.

But what right brain knew is that I (and many others) have long seen bathrooms as jewel boxes within the home. By considering them a complimentary but separate space from the living areas of the house it gives me a sense of creative freedom for the use of color and/or drama, even if it’s a little multiple-personality drama.

home renovations

Take Those Design Risks


So while you may not have the pressure of a tile sale to contend with, I will encourage you to take design risks if you absolutely love a material. Tile, like art, can be a material you can work a room around or you can allow it to compliment other focal points in the room.

I should note that Right Brain heard about an app, Morpholio, after purchasing the tile.  Morpholio allows me (and you!) to use my creativity (Right Brain) and logic (Left Brain) to create mood boards that later justified the tile purchase with a more cohesive plan. The mood boards for the tile are included for you to see also. However, I suspect the en suite tile will be used for the laundry room… we shall see if we have enough!  For more on the Morpholio app, check out LuAnn’s podcast interview with its co-creator, Anna Kenoff.

#TheAZResidence Blog Series

To read the other blog posts in the #TheAZResidence series CLICK HERE!

Stay tuned. Much Love!

Erin H. Brown is an entrepreneur, restaurant designer and philanthropist. She is a Founding Partner of Nook Kitchen and Nook Kitchen Downtown Phoenix, where she handles financial management, restaurant design, contract negotiations, business development and is the lead decorator.
NookKitchen.com | Twitter: @NookKitchen | Instagram: @ErinBrowndesign

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