Posts Tagged ‘new products’

Kitchen Backsplash using Pebble Tile

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

When you think about home values there are three critical areas, the exterior landscaping, the master bathrooms and the kitchen.

Ah the kitchen, it really is the soul of our homes. It is where the happiest moments of family life are spent and where celebrations are commenced and where almost every party ends up . Therefore, every single part of the kitchen should not only be functional but it should also be aesthetically pleasing. It should reveal the homeowners personality and complement the rest of the home’s interior design. Despite its importance, bathroom floors and patios become top priorities when we talk of remodeling and kitchen backsplashes somehow become irrelevant.

Saddly, most homeowners are unaware that kitchen backsplashes are a really cheap fix for brightening and updating a kitchen . They enhance the ambiance of the area and update a kitchen in about two days labor time. Mosaic tiles, glass, stone and ceramic plus stainless steel are the most common kitchen backsplash materials . However,  pebble tiles are a unique option that is not on most peoples radar and that is what makes them so distinctive.

The stones for most pebble tiles are found in Asian and in islands of Indonesia.  100% natural, they offer warm earthy textures yet are remarkably modern. More common for shower walls, and flooring,kitchen backsplashes  have become a new consideration amongst designers.

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New Pebble Tile Blends Just Released to Design Community for the Hottest in Modern Design

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

After years of working with top interior designers and architects who specialize in working with pebble tile, Natural Stone Outlet has created 5 exciting new pebble tile blends. Formulated from their most engaging and best selling colors series, the blends are defining the vogue pallets of today’s design. They have developed these gorgeous styles specifically for design professionals looking for exotic and enticing modern elements.
Kandui Blend Pebble Tile
With engaging names from the unique islands of Indonesian, where these stones are mined by local artisans, names like Kandui and Timor evoke images of sandy beaches, swaying palms and luxury accommodations fronting azure waters. Which is certainly appropriate, as these pebble tiles are definitely the types of finishes you would expect to find in exotic boutique hotels at desirable venues like Hawaii, the Caribbean or Tahiti. In fact, many fine hotels like Starwood have used pebble flooring for venues like their Westin Kaanapali Resort Villages or their Sheraton Rum Fire in Waikiki.

Ubud Blend Pebble Tile

These exciting new blends join and already vibrant lineup of pebble tiles that are meticulously made by local by local artisans. Premium pebbles are sourced from local family owned quarries on various islands from Indonesia and brought to Bali. The pebbles are then sorted for color, size and thickness and then puzzled into a interlocking patterns. The result is a uniform tile that when installed creates a seamless field of pebbles that is smooth and level to walk.

Commercially, pebble tiles have been used from foyers to feature walls and in fine restaurants to relaxing exotic spa facilities. For homeowners looking to gentrify a tired property, the pebble tile blends offer a great opportunity to incorporate new interior design finishes that are all natural, ecologically friendly, exotic, modern and serene.

Created for capturing a tropical, beachside ambiance and providing the warmth of natural stones for classic craftsman or  mountain rustic homes, the pebble finishes definitely make an appealing visual statement. These tiles are ideal for a stunning feature wall, dramatic backsplash, a unique shower pan or for adding a dynamic splash of exotic color. Fresh from the tropics, pebble tiles are the newest and freshest in design inspirations and are sure to provide a “Wow” in any project.

Available initially for a limited release as the company builds their California and Florida based inventories, a spokesperson says they have generous stock of the Pebble Tile Blends for sampling and should be able to accommodate all orders immediately.

Natural Stone Outlet may be contacted at info@naturalstoneoutlet.com and 1-888-848-4537

Timor Blend Pebble TileJava Blend Pebble Tile

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diy project: sculptural paper orb lights

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

I found this great diy project via Design Sponge. It is inexpensive, creative and the results are simply fabulous! I will be making my own this weekend, so excited! =)

Materials

  • 100–125  white standard-sized paper cupcake liners
  • 100–125  vertically striped petit fours papers
  • (1) 18–20″ white paper lantern
  • hot glue gun
  • 1 Hemma Cord from IKEA (for lighting) ($3.99)

Instructions

1. Assemble the lantern and place it top up in a wide, shallow bowl to act as a base.

2. Put a small dot of hot glue on the backside of a white cupcake liner. Starting about 1/2″ in from the wire ring at the top of the lantern, place the cupcake liner on the lantern and press until it is attached.

3. Continue around the ring, spacing the papers so that the circular bases are approximately 1″ apart, allowing the outer edges to merge and shape.

4. Apply the cupcake papers around the lantern in rings until you are 3/4 of the way down, and then flip the lantern over and gently place it back in the bowl, top side down.

5. Complete the underside, and fill in the bottom so that the papers cover the base opening.

6. Begin applying the petite fours papers, centering them inside each white paper. Three-quarters of the way up the lantern, flip it top side up. Complete the top side.

7. Go back through, gently manipulating the outer papers to the desired shape. I kept mine fairly organic.

8. Drop a light in, and voila!

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So are you dying to try a stencil?!

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

I came across this great post from our friends at I heart Nap Time about stenciling. If you haven’t heard of Royal Design Studio you have been missing out! They have fabulous stencils in an array of shapes and sizes that are so easy to use! I have been dying to try this at my own home! I heart Nap Time put the stencils to the test and the results are fabulous! Below you will find the process they followed to achieve this look:

Tools

I started out with the fabric damask stencil, roller foam brushes, painters tape (which I later replaced with duck tape), stencil adhesive and lots of paper towels.

Basically what you will do is spray your stencil with spray adhesive and then tape it to the wall (lining it up correctly). Then you’ll roll the brush in the paint. Make sure to roll some of the excess paint off onto the paper towels before rolling the brush onto the stencil to avoid bleeding.

I SO wish I had a picture of me and my husband trying to tape up the stencil the first time around. It was pretty hilarious. I was trying to hold the stencil standing on a little stool, as my husband tried to tape it up. We could not get that stencil to hold for the life of us. Our textured ceilings were making it very difficult. My neck and arms hurt so bad…. we gave up! The next night I gave it another try and decided to use duck tape. Our ceilings are so textured, that the painters tape just wasn’t cutting it. Once I got the stencil up with duck tape it really wasn’t too bad. So if you have textured wall use DUCK TAPE! ;)

Process

The hard part was trying to piece the patterns together.  I love this stencil because it gives you so many different marks to line up. It was a little difficult looking straight up trying to find the little marks…however, I’m sure it would have been A LOT easier if I was looking straight at it. Once I did a few stencils and got the hang of it, it really wasn’t that bad. I would paint one stencil, take a break for ten minutes while the paint dried and then move onto the next. I did this over two nights. I’m not going to lie… my arms and neck were hurting by the end of the night! LOL!

Final Result

However now that is is done I am in LOVE! It has already opened up that tiny space and added so much personality. Doesn’t it look so awesome?! I love how it turned out! I’m already dreaming up what to stencil next.

Final Result

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DIY: Make the Headboard From HGTV Green Home 2012!

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

I’m OBSESSED with HGTV Green Home 2012. The one and only downside to working at HGTV: I can’t enter to win this drool-worthy home. I could whine about it all day long, but that just means that you, my friends, need to get busy and enter twice per day, everyday, so I can come visit all the time. (HGTV par-tay!) In the meantime, if you’re dying to bring in some Green Home charm to your casa, why not take inspiration directly from the home itself? One of my favorite rooms is the master bedroom; it’s so soothing with a natural green, blue and brown color palette. The most eye-catching part of the room, though, is the raffia-upholstered headboard that goes all the way up to the ceiling. You’re dying to make it, aren’t you? We have the step-by-step instructions below, and you’ll be shocked at how simple it is.

HGTV Green Home 2012 giveaway master bedroom

HGTV Green Home 2012 giveaway master bedroom headboard

HGTV Green Home 2012 giveaway headboard project

Cut fabric into 16″ x 16″ squares. Lay a single fabric square down, center the padding on top of the fabric, and then center a 12″ x 12″ plywood square on top of the padding and fabric square. Press one side of the board down, sandwiching the padding between the fabric and the board. Fold the fabric over the side of the board and staple, starting in the center and working toward the edges. Leave 2 inches upstapled on each side of the corners. Continue stapling all other sides.

HGTV Green Home 2012 giveaway headboard project

Staple the corners. Lay out five of your finished upholstered squares, face-down, edge-to-edge. Make sure the squares are perfectly aligned, and then add a 1″ x 4″ board on top of the seam between the two headboard segments. Place pilot holes (one per square) in the board, centered along the edge. Continue this process for the remaining upholstered squares. Follow the instructions for the French cleat packaging to attach your completed headboard to the wall.

Get the Full Step-by-Step Instructions >>

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Floor Tiles 101

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Not all floor tiles are created equal. Each type has pros and cons that need to be considered when planning a tiling project. Here are seven popular popular varieties, find the right fit for your flooring needs:

Marble Tile

Marble

Real marble tiles have a beautiful, unique look like no other surface, with all their whirling patterns and shade variations. But the same patterns that make marble beautiful can be a real headache to match from tile to tile. To ensure that patterns match, the Marble Institute of America recommends having your contractor lay out the tiles over the entire surface before installing so you can approve the result. All your tiles should come from the same original batch. Marble, like most stone tiles, has high maintenance requirements. It must be sealed and cleaned regularly; for cleaning, use only a mild detergent solution or a product specially designed for marble. Never set your drink down on a marble surface (it will leave a ring), and wipe up any spills immediately, as they can stain or etch marble’s porous surface.

Terrazzo Tile

Terrazzo Tile

Terrazzo is traditionally a flooring material made by exposing marble chips in a bed of concrete and then polishing until smooth. Now, however, you can buy terrazzo in tile form. It’s often used in public buildings because it’s long-lasting and can be refinished repeatedly. Terrazzo is quite slippery and can cause falls, so it may not be a good flooring choice for families with young children or elderly members. Ask your contractor about applying non-slip additives to the surface.

Concrete Tile

Concrete

Concrete is a tough man-made mix of stone, sand, water and cement. It’s long-lasting, water-shedding, hail-resistant and can be made to mimic the look of other building materials. It can be a good roofing choice for harsh climates. Because it requires specialized tools and knowledge, and because you must ensure that the structure being covered can withstand the weight, concrete tile should be installed by trained professionals only.

Terracotta Tile

Terra Cotta Tile

Terra cotta is one of the oldest tile materials around, dating back before the birth of Christ, when it was sun-dried rather than oven-fired. It’s often used, glazed or unglazed, to create a rustic, weathered look. While high-quality terra cotta will last forever, it’s difficult to assess the quality, even for pros. Buy only from a seller whose reputation you trust, though even then you may encounter problems. For practical uses, it should be sealed, particularly in kitchens.

Porcelain Tile

Porcelain

Actually a subtype of ceramic tile, porcelain bears a perception of high quality, but for residential applications its particular toughness is unnecessary. It’s nonetheless popular in the residential market because the manufacturing process makes for unlimited design potential. The problem is that do-it-yourselfers typically install it with setting material designed for ordinary ceramic tiles, but porcelain’s low porosity means it requires a special compound for setting. Ask the manufacturer—not a salesperson—how to install it.

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic

Ceramic tiles are thin slabs of clay or other inorganic materials, hardened by oven firing and usually coated with some kind of glaze. Ceramic is best known for its durability, with some installations in the ruins of ancient Rome and Egypt still intact. Ceramic tile is a great choice for kitchens and bathrooms because it’s easy to clean and doesn’t harbor germs. It’s manufactured in production runs; because of variation among lots, make sure the caliber number (indicating size) and lot number (indicating color) are the same throughout your order. Ceramic tile is rated from zero to 5 based on hardness. Zero through 2 is suitable for wall tile, 3 is good for most residential uses, and 4 and 5 are hard enough for commercial applications.

Slate Tile

Slate

Slate tile is a popular roofing material with an air of prestige and a reputation for longevity. Although individual tiles sometimes crack, an entire roof made of slate probably won’t have to be replaced for 50 years or more. Properly installed, slate also makes dependable flooring. Slate is a metamorphic rock with relatively weak bonds between layers, so tile made from it tends to split along those planes. For an installation to resist damage, it must be set on a solid surface with mortar.

Special thanks to our friends at HGTV for this informative article!

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Lightweight Concrete Furniture!

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Zachary A. Design‘s outdoor furniture looks like it was formed from solid concrete, but is light enough for anyone to carry! The furniture is actually made from a combo of fiberglass and coarse sand, so it’s light enough to move around your yard, but sturdy enough that it won’t blow away in a breeze. It is designed to withstand any weather, and it really does feel like concrete to the touch!

Faux Cement Furniture

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Eco Design Find!

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Im loving the new Stria Storage Collection from West Elm. It is made from reclaimed hardwood. With facades crafted from reclaimed saal wood, the Stria Storage Collection brings rustic charm to the bedroom. In a former life, the wood was used in Indian railway trestles. Today, it’s prized for its natural imperfections and character; no two pieces are exactly alike.

• Reclaimed solid saal wood drawer fronts.

• Frame made of mango wood, acacia and engineered wood.

• Drawers open on smooth metal glides.

• Wipe clean.

The best part? The price! West Elm is running a special $254.00 – $849.00

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Amazing Glass Homes!

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

I found this interesting article by John Giuffo of FORBES about amazing glass homes throughout the world. Can you imagine living in one of these unique spaces? So cool!

Almost everything inside this Milan, Italy home is made of glass.
Photo: SantambrogioMilano

There are a few good rules of thumb to follow when owning and living in a house made of glass, and they don’t just involve throwing stones. Don’t play baseball in the front or backyard, don’t build a glass home near a golf course, and, most importantly, don’t forget to stock up on a supply of industrial-sized Windex—you’re going to need it.

Skyscraper architect Philip Johnson left a legacy of impressive buildings and skyscrapers, such as the Sony Building in Manhattan and Madrid’s improbably angled Puerta de Europa. But it’s his Glass House, in New Canaan, Connecticut, that is his most famous.

“Sure, it’s just a box of clear glass in the woods, but that simplicity makes this 1949-era house stand out as particularly beautiful,” says Rich Beattie, executive online editor at Travel + Leisure.

Some glass abodes enjoy their wooded nooks, as the surrounding foliage allows for privacy, a notion with which all glass houses play. Case Study House #22 (also known as The Stahl House) takes a different approach, and, due to its location atop the mountains surrounding Los Angeles, opens itself up to the city skyline below. The home, designed by Pierre Koenig, was a product of Arts and Architecture magazine’s 1945 project to inspire famous building designers to create modern and affordable homes for G.I.s returning from the war.

Ultimately, the project was abandoned, deemed a utopian idea that ultimately proved impractical. It did, however, leave behind some beautiful “experiments.” Visitors are allowed to view the privately owned home on weekends.

As Philip Johnson designed his glass home, Mies van der Rohe was contemporaneously at work on his glass-walled Farnsworth House, situated outside Chicago. His work reportedly greatly influenced Johnson’s final vision. The resulting home, the Farnsworth House, located in Plano, Illinois, is located nearly 55 miles outside of the Windy City.

The single-room window retreat, reminiscent of Johnson’s style, and has become so famous and influential that it was named a National Historic Landmark. Originally commissioned by Dr. Edith Farnsworth, who worked with van der Rohe on the designed and approved the final plans, the home was eventually the subject of a lawsuit first brought by van der Rohe and later countered by Farnsworth. Rumor has it that it wasn’t the home that drew her litigious ire upon completion, but rather the souring of a relationship with van der Rohe.

Read on for more about the Farnsworth House and four other amazing glass homes:

Church Point Home
Location:
Pittwater, Australia

The Church Point Home, outside Sydney, resembles a tree house.
Photos: Utz Sanby

This hill-perched transparent home plays peek-a-boo through the trees, but for the most part, rocks and foliage nestle it in complete privacy. Located near the ocean in Pittwater, about 30 miles north of Sydney, the Church Point Home was designed by Sydney architectural firm Utz Sanby. The firm describes the home on its website as a tree house that offers “seclusion and sanctuary” to its residents.

Concrete pillars made to look like trees support the house on its hillside seat, much like limbs act as a tree house’s supports, and though the home can seem muted with a majority grey-and-white color schemes small bursts of red strategically assert themselves inside and out. Hardwood floors and a wooden kitchen table set help harmonize the home with its forest location.

Philip Johnson’s Glass House
Location:
New Canaan, Connecticut

Johnson’s home is surrounded by art that he and his partner collected.
Photos: Philip Johnson’s Glass House

Used as the famous architect’s “Glass House Retreat” (he died there in 2005), the building was originally designed as a home. Johnson preferred to use it for the 58 years he lived after building it. Johnson’s lifelong partner, David Whitney, helped design the surrounding landscape and was responsible for collecting the art that the couple amassed. Thirteen other modernist buildings occupy the land, adding to the famous couple’s art collection.

Glass Home By Santambrogio
Location:
Milano, Italy

The Milan glass home is being replicated in Paris.
Photos: SantambrogioMilano

If you have the funds, architect and glass designer Carlo Santambrogio will design for you almost any glass structure you can think of. But it is his Glass Concept Home, located in Milan, which is perhaps his most impressive architectural feat – one which is currently being replicated in Paris. A blue-tinged glass cube sits in the middle of a wooded clearing – a location private enough to reasonably place a home that is made almost entirely of 6 to 7 millimeter glass (the material can be specially heated during the winter).

“After the client requested it,” says Santambrogio, “I came up with the project idea.” Almost every feature or piece of furniture is made from glass as well, from the dining room table, to the stairs, to the bookcase. In fact, one of the few items not made of glass is the bed. Seems glass is just not comfortable to sleep on, even with a great comforter.

Case Study House #22 (The Stahl House)
Location:
Los Angeles, California

The Stahl home is the result of a post-World War II project.
Photo: 2012 Stahl House

Arts and Architecture magazine had an inspired idea in 1945: to commission a variety of homes from some of the best architects of the day as a way of designing efficient and modern homes for troops returning from WWII. From 1945 – 1966 (with some gaps in between) a total of 25 homes were built (11 projects were never completed) and Case Study House #22 remains one of the most impressive.

Built on a cliffside overlooking the city, the home designed by Pierre Koenig, was completed in 1959, and the Stahl family, which still owns the home, moved in. Views from any area of the house (except for one wall facing the road, which provides privacy) take in the expanse of the whole valley, and guided tours of the home, while possible during the day, are most stunning at night. Tours are available and admission varies.

Farnsworth House
Location:
Plano, Illinois

The Farnsworth House is a straight line of glass.
Photos: Farnsworth House

Modernist German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe has had more influence on the architectural identity of Chicago than any other architect. The Farnsworth House, located 55 miles southwest of Chicago, is a fine example of his penchant for straight lines, steel and glass materials.

It was commissioned by Dr. Edith Farnsworth in 1945, who wanted to use the one-room glass shelter as a weekend retreat. Designated a National Historical Landmark in 2006, the Farnsworth house is essentially one large series of floor-to-ceiling mirrors, with a steel roof and support beams holding it in place. Today, the house and its grounds are now a popular backdrop for wedding ceremonies.

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Beach Weave Bathroom Installation!

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

I came across this beautiful bathroom installation using the Beach Weave Glass & Stone Mosaic! So beautiful and serene! I love the texture the mosaic gives to the backsplash without being overwhelming. So cool!

Beach Weave Installation

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