If white subway tile is so popular why are the stores filled with this?

If you were brand new to the design world and looked at any of the shelter magazines, Pinterest or Houzz, you would think that white subway tiles must be the only available option. They are everywhere! Since I am currently working on both a kitchen and bath remodel it came as no big surprise that both my clients requested white subway tiles….really??

I get it, subway tiles are timeless and it is doubtful you will regret installing them when the current trends change. Remember those earthy busy accent tiles of the 90’s? Looking back, I cringe when I think of the small fortune I paid for hand made fruit accent tiles in my kitchen of that same era. The fact is, no one wants a dated tile look in a few years, because let’s face it, tiling is expensive.

So why is it then when I walk into the tile store to grab a few samples I am greeted with this?

There are so many beautiful tiles on display yet not a single white subway tile in sight. I approach a salesperson and for some reason I feel like I need to whisper, “I’m looking for white subway tiles”. It’s like walking into Baskin Robbins 54 favors and asking for vanilla.

Tiles by Design Danvers

Tile by Design Danvers

For someone like myself, who LOVES color and pattern I am in heaven. That is until my practical brain says “yes, but these beauties will be dated before they are even paid off”.

The choices today for tiles is so overwhelming that I can understand why the average homeowner simply defaults to white. It’s sooo tempting though to fall in love with something other than boring subway tiles.

Tiles by Design Danvers

Tile by Design Danvers

They are all just so pretty!

Tile By Design Danvers

Tile By Design Danvers

Textured and faceted tiles seem to be newly trending

Tile By Design danvers

Tile By Design Danvers

and smaller mosaic tiles seem to be making a comeback.

Tile By Design Danvers

Tile By Design Danvers

Oh my gosh…those colors!!

Tile By Design Danvers

Tile By Design Danvers

These are a fun twist on the vintage “penny tiles”

Tile Showcase Boston

Tile Showcase Boston

and these tiles by Walker Zanger debuted two years ago at KBIS and wrote I about them here.

Tile By Design Danvers

Tile By Design Danvers

I did ask the sales person what he was seeing as far as sales and not surprisingly he told me “the huge overwhelming majority of sales are standard white subway tiles”. So….can you guess what I left the tile store with?

I would love to hear what you think..subway tile or would you go for the trendy?

On an unrelated note, I was nominated for an AMARA Best US interior Design Blog award. I’ve never been nominated for anything blog related before so I am pretty excited. The voting is super easy and I would be so grateful if you voted for me. This is the link.

 

Friday’s Photo: Sleeping with the family

One of my favorite things about going to High Point Market and visiting the different show rooms is seeing how the rooms are styled. The designers are so creative and I always see something unexpected and unique. Continuing last Friday’s Photo theme of wall murals I spotted this idea at Universal Furniture.

wallpaper family portraits

portrait wallpaper at Universal Furniture

I know it’s not for everyone but I thought it was a cute idea for a child’s room. It would be hard to feel lonely when the family is watching over while you sleep. Having the actual wallpaper made would be a huge commitment but another idea would be to cover the wall with either cork board or foam core. Then using adhesive spray (for the foam core) or pins (for the cork board) attach the images. When the fun had run it’s course just remove the foam core or cork board and the walls are back to the origional state.

Have a good weekend!

Friday’s Photo: Do you like this hot new trend?

I posted a photo on Instagram this week that got over a hundred likes. That photo as well as the one below, show one of the hottest new trends in design…murals. Wall murals are big, bold and a fun way to make a statement.

Wesley Hall-Linda Holt Photo

Wesley Hall-Linda Holt Photo

I know it’s not for everyone but if you have a big blank wall and no artwork to display a giant mural could be great fun. Talk about adding personality to your space! There are several online companies where you can create your own mural by uploading any image of your choice. Just Google “create your own wall mural” and you will have several to choose from. Imagine a Caribbean beach scene in your bed room or the New York skyline in your dining room. I’m thinking an underwater oasis on the wall my desk faces would be amazing!

What do you think? Love it or not?

Quick note* Be sure to check back on Tuesday for my upcoming post on the one thing you can do today to eliminate crappy cell phone photos.

Happy Weekend!

A brilliant new way to print and display your photos

It seems today everyone is a photographer. The cameras, even cell phone cameras, take AMAZING photos so we all look like professionals. We post our best on Facebook or Instagram but then we move on. The images live in the cloud, on the computer or on the phone, but they are more or less forgotten. I am completely guilty of this as well. I rarely do anything with my photos once they are posted.

If you read this blog on a regular basis you know that last Spring I made the trip of a lifetime to Italy. I took some beautiful photos, posted them on social media and then I forgot about them. I kept thinking about my trip though and wanted to enlarge some of my favorite images so that I could have a daily reminder of my trip and be filled with that same joy I had while I was there.

I remembered I had seen a new product from one of the vendors at the Design Bloggers Conference. The company is Fracture and they print photos directly onto glass. It’s the picture frame and mount all in one and their photo display was gorgeous. They had an almost luminous quality and the rep asked me if I would like would try them out. Ummm, yes please! I chose the images I wanted to enlarge and sent them off.

The glass printed images arrived last week and I could not be happier. They came safely embedded in sturdy cardboard with a screw attached for the embedded mounting hole on the back. (They are very lightweight so I ended up using a simple nail rather than the screw).

fractured detail3

They easily pop out of the card board protector and are ready to hang. Below is a close up of the glass and the black backing.

fractured3

These blog photos do not convey how beautiful the images are but they appear to glow. I could not be happier. Below is a close up of two of my pictures.

Photos mounted on glass

Linda Holt

The photos are hung on a wall adjacent to my kitchen so I see them everyday and it brings me joy remembering my trip. The price point is also good so if I tire of looking at them I have no issue with replacing them with something else. The best part is that I didn’t have to frame them which as you know, is usually more expensive than enlarging them in the first place.

Photos printed on glass

Linda Holt Interiors

If you are interested in printing some of your photos with Fracture, here is the link. I chose to print my vacation photos but any image can be upload and printed. It could be your kids artwork, a cherished letter, a sheet of music, anything that can be photographed can be printed onto the glass. Fractured also sells ready made images on glass if you want to purchase something unique or you can choose something from one of their artists.

As you can tell, I am a fan. I have already told one of my clients about it as she was complaining about how expensive it was going to be to frame her images that she plans to enlarged.

My experience got me thinking though, do you print and display your photos or let them live in the cloud?

Friday’s Photo: 8 interior design trends in one photo

Today I have another “can you spot the trends” quiz for you. I photographed this room vignette at Ambella Home (one of our generous DesignBloggersTour sponsors from High Point Market) and it has eight interior design trends. See if you can spot them before you read the answers below.

photo with trendsWM

 

1.Geometric shapes: Mirrors and geometric balls on console

2. Gold: Accessories, vase and cabinet hardware

3. Birds: On chair and drapes

4. Mixed materials: Cabinet is constructed with faux ivory parchment, mahogany wood with walnut finish, brass hardware,and gold leaf iron base.

5. Organic materials: grasscloth wallpaper, fresh flowers

6. Chevron: rug pattern

7. Red: in the fabric and red sofa peaking out on bottom left.

8.Statement Hardware: On cabinet

Have a great weekend everyone!

Looking up at the Boston Junior League show house

Boston’s latest show house (The Nathaniel Allen House) sponsored by The Junior League of Boston is now open. Recently I had a chance to tour the house and take some iphone photos. If you love color, pattern and art you can’t miss this show. The rooms are done up with warm tones, luxurious textures, fabulous wallpapers and art work galore.

The rooms are all so different yet somehow they all seemed to flow. Color and wallpaper are a very big story but the stand out for me is the attention the ceilings received. Almost all of the rooms have either a colorful painted or wallpapered ceiling. Take a look at few of my favorites.

The “Morning Room” was bright, cheerful and fresh and the yellow painted ceiling glowed with warmth from the early morning sun.

The Morning room Kate McCusker Rosenberger:Linda Holt Photo

The Morning room Design by Kate McCusker Rosenberger: Linda Holt Photo

My good friend Kelly Rogers used a similar warm color palette in her “Mother in Law’s Suite” and also chose to paint the ceiling a warm golden honey.

Design by Kelly Rogers Linda Holt Photo

Design by Kelly Rogers: Linda Holt Photo

This “Petite Retreat” designed by Nancy Seibel has a not very shy pink painted ceiling. So fun for a little bathroom don’t you think?

The Petit Retreat designed by Nancy Seibel: Linda Holt Photo

Designed by Nancy Seibel: Linda Holt Photo

Elizabeth Benedict wallpapered the ceiling in her “Chinoiserie Chic” bedroom with bamboo trellis wallpaper. How wonderful to wake up in the morning and see something beautiful rather than a blank white ceiling.

Elizabeth Benedict Design: Linda Holt Photo

Elizabeth Benedict Design: Linda Holt Photo

The “Dressing Room” which had a small desk area also had a wallpapered ceiling. Choosing a fabulous statement wallpaper is a great idea in a small space like a powder room or closet because the cost will not be too high and every time you enter it will put a smile on your face.

Suzanne Logan design :Linda Holt Photo

Suzanne Logan design : Linda Holt Photo

The ceiling that really impressed me was in the “Receiving Room and Sitting Room”. Designer Gerald Pomeroy used high gloss paint to create a decorative stripe that tied two different but adjoining rooms together. The “Receiving Room” is below. The lighting could not have been worse with the sun pouring in creating a lot of glare but you can see what I am talking about if you look above the fireplace.

Receiving room:Linda Holt Photo

Receiving room: Linda Holt Photo

Here is a closer look at the same room with a broad gray stripe and a narrower green stripe.

Receiving room ceiling:Linda Holt Photo

Receiving room ceiling: Linda Holt Photo

Below is the adjoining “Sitting Room”. You can see he reversed the colors with the broader stripe green and the the thinner stripe gray.

"Sitting Room"

“Sitting Room” : Linda Holt Photo

Lastly, here is an image of the two rooms and the ceilings taken from the doorway where the two rooms join.

Gerald Pomeroy Design:Linda Holt Photo

Gerald Pomeroy Design: Linda Holt Photo

I think it is brilliant and I would love to do something similar for a client. What do you think?

I will be posting more beautiful rooms from the show house but I couldn’t wait to show you all the wonderful ceilings in the house. I hope after seeing this trend you will think twice before defaulting to “ceiling white”.

The 2016 Junior League of Boston Show house runs through June 5th. You can purchase tickets here.

 

 

 

The most beautiful art you’ve never seen

For those of you who have been to Italy, you already know there is incredible beauty everywhere you look. Our Wine and Design travel group first spent time in Venice where the canals and architecture are picture postcard perfect. This image was taken at just about sunset after a day of rain while on my way to the hotel. I mean seriously…does it get any more beautiful than this?

Venice from the Grand Canal: Linda Holt Photo

Venice from the Grand Canal: Linda Holt Photo

Well yes, it does because then a few days later we traveled by bus to Verona and drove past miles and miles of lush green countryside and vineyards. This image was taken right out of the bus window while driving down the highway. Imagine my angst that we were driving by all these picturesque towns and I was on a moving bus shooting through a glass window. If only the window had opened I would have hung right over the side of the bus and risked my life to get a better shot.

Italy:Linda Holt Photo

Italy:Linda Holt Photo

Then of course there were the many vineyards we visited. Can I just say, this must be what heaven looks like.

Italy Vineyard:Linda Holt Photo

Italy Vineyard:Linda Holt Photo

So with all this scenic beauty I didn’t think there would be much else that would wow me…until we went to the Antolini Stone Yard. Oh…My… Goodness. If you think you’ve seen granite and marble, you haven’t seen anything unless you’ve visited the world’s largest stone yard. It was one of the highlights of the trip for many of us. The stones are sourced from all over the world and initially cut into 8′ blocks. I had never seen anything like it. The variety was endless and the stones were every color imaginable. They had the more common granites and marbles but it was the rare and semi precious stones that knocked my socks off.

Antolini Stone Yard:Linda Holt Photo

Antolini Stone Yard:Linda Holt Photo

As we were guided through the showroom it was the same feeling as if we were being guided through an art gallery.

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Linda Holt Photo

Every single slab was unique and every single stone was a masterpiece of nature created through time, pressure and elements. I took a couple geology classes in college and as our tour guide was giving us a little history of the stone and how it was formed I remembered how much I loved those classes.

orange marble

Linda Holt Photo

Many of the stones were very “busy” and would be statement pieces for sure. We were told many are used in commercial application such as for flooring or a focal wall in a lobby or as a bar top.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

Our entire group was oohing and awing over each and every stone.

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Linda Holt Photo

This one below looks like cracked ice. Imagine how beautiful this would look as a bar top or used in a spa or bathroom.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

One of my favorites was this one below. It is from an ancient river bed in Brazil and is embedded with thousands of tiny sea fossils. We were shown a few “concept rooms” while on the tour and one of the rooms was a home bar that was made entirely out of this stone. It was the most beautiful application. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take any photos but imagine the counter top as well as the cabinets of the bar were all created out of this stone.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

This stone had fossilized nautilus shells embedded into it. It was hard to even comprehend how rare and special this stone is.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

The other thing that wowed our group is called bookmarking. This is a process where the stone is sliced from the block then “matched” to one another to create a mirrored or almost kaleidoscope effect. The slabs can be matched horizontally or vertically and in any number of pieces. The one below is matched horizontally. Doesn’t it look like a rug or a painting?

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Bookmarked marble: Linda Holt Photo

Here are a few members of our group standing in front of another bookmarked example. This is four slabs bookmarked together.

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Kyle Hoepner, Sherri Adair, Adam Japko, Jeremy Parzen

Can’t you just imaging this as the floor in an entrance?

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

I think this one below looks like a tribal rug but I can also imagine it as fabric. It has that “tie dye” look that is so on trend today. It also looks a little like some kind of stretched out fossilized animal.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

The other stones that were amazing to see were the semi precious stones. This one below is Rose Quartz. They make jewelry out of this so can you imagine having a counter top, floor or a wall made from this? CRAZY!

Rose Quartz:Linda Holt Photo

Rose Quartz:Linda Holt Photo

and this is Blue Lapis with gold.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

If that’s not impressive enough, the slab below is for the very high end client (most likely Middle Eastern we were told) who has the budget for this composite of sliced agates set into 18 Karat gold. This would most likely be used for a wall treatment or a bar top and then lit from behind. All I could think of when I saw this stone was that old Paul Simon song that goes, “she wears diamonds on the soles of her shoes”. It’s almost too much of a good thing but if you want to flaunt your wealth then this is the slab for you.

Agates set in gold:Linda Holt Photo

Agates set in gold:Linda Holt Photo

I know the photos don’t do the stones justice but I hope you get an idea of how much is out there besides carerra marble and the run of the mill granites we all see over and over….and over. If you live in New England you are very lucky because you can see many of these stones in “person”. Cumar Marble and Granite in Everett was one of the sponsors for our trip and they source many of their stones directly from Antolini. It is so worth a trip even if just for fun (or to take some amazing photos) to check it out. Be sure to ask for Dawn Carroll or Stephanie O’Brien who were also on the trip to give you a tour. They are both very knowledgeably and would love to show you around. I can’t wait to schedule a time myself.

Which stone is your favorite?

 

 

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