Posts filed under ‘Kitchen Backsplash Tile’
John McDonald is the owner of Semihandmade which is an innovative company that makes one-of-a-kind doors for IKEA kitchens, bathroom, closets and media cabinets. Modwalls spoke with John about how he started the company and the best way to incorporate craftsman touches in your remodel.
“I had been in LA for about 13 years working freelance in the film biz doing writing and production (mainly waiting tables). At 34, I started buying old furniture, refinishing it and selling at swap meets. Then I moved on to making custom furniture and cabinetry.”
John transitioned to making doors from IKEA cabinets about five years ago and because of the demand, his company expanded to include 30 employees. The concept is simple and brilliant. You want that IKEA kitchen but not so crazy about the doors that come with the cabinets? What do you do? Simple:
“You don’t have to buy them,” says John. “All you do is just buy the boxes and hardware and we’ll make the amazing fronts, panels and tops so you get a really custom look for less.”
John’s philosophy when it comes to design is to keep it as simple and clean as possible. “I can’t stand precious and overly thought-out.” He’s passionate and opinionated about what he does, which has made his company a success within the industry and a favorite among clients.
“I always make it a point to seek out other companies I like. Modwalls makes a clean tile product that is really well-made with great colors and excellent customer service. We’ve used their tiles at different design shows to compliment our booths. We also recommend their stuff to clients we think it will appeal to. Some of their new stuff is really amazing!”
So what do you do if you want to incorporate craftsman touches but you’re on a budget?
“The key is trying to have a few nice things you’ll hopefully have for a long time, then building around that. The fact that IKEA is our platform says all you need to know about us. They’ve got a great system, really solid bones, and they are genius to let people compliment things as they like.”
“Remodeling is a marathon. Be prepared for that!”
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Have you been drooling over design and architecture magazines thinking there’s got to be a way you can make your kitchen or bath the rooms you’ve always wanted without depleting your savings? You have a vision and you want to make your vision a reality. But how? What are some of the tricks of the trade?
“One of the big things you can do is choosing some really amazing tile and then using it wisely.”
Allison Schwartz and Jessica Lyn Ryder of the Seattle-based AlliJay Interiors are known for their modern yet classic interiors.
“If you’re on a budget, you can tile your bathroom floor and shower walls in the same tile and also use bigger tiles. If you get the Brio Glass Mosaic Color, it will give the room a luxury feel. You can use tiles behind the mirror and backsplash to add an accent of color. Then, if you want to get really crazy, use a vertical strip in the shower to tie it all together. There are always things you can do that will have a great effect while not breaking the bank.”
Allison and Jessica were introduced to Modwalls after working with developers and builders and designing for
“The color selection and variety that we get from Modwalls is unparalleled from what we see anywhere else,” says Allison.
“And it’s not only the color,” adds Jessica. “We just can’t find any other manufacturers that can make them like that. But even more than that, is the variety that Modwalls offers. Their Lush Glass Tile in those shapes, for instance, are really hard to come by. People love them. And as a company, they are the best to work with. They know who we are, it’s easy and it’s fun.”
When working on a remodel, it’s easy for a homeowner to get overwhelmed and Allijay is known for putting their customers at ease.
“We definitely recommend working with a designer. You forget about the little things, like hardware for cabinet drawers, and all the little stuff you don’t think about and then it comes up later.”
The trends that AlliJay is seeing are modern and a less-is-more esthetic.“There’s a Midcentury Modern revival happening, especially in Seattle, with bright colors, or colors placed intermittently throughout. The Brio Color Tile works really well with that. We love their Wintergreen or Pear and the Midcentury Blend #9 is our favorite. We’re also seeing a lot of mixed media – like corrugated metal with wood, and lots of different materials being used inside and out.”
AlliJay recommends taking your remodel piece by piece while keeping your vision in mind. Regardless of budget or time, working with proven designers that know their materials is the best way to make your home your dream home.
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“He’s learning his colors here.”
Donna Jewell’s kitchen is where her two-and-a-half year old grandson gets to practice his colors.
“He loves the kitchen. He asked me, ‘where did you get all these tiles?’ He points to color and knows the name. He’s getting really good!”Donna’s Georgia home was built in 1983 and she likes to keep it current. Every room has a different feel and style, and she finds inspiration everywhere.
“I have some help, but it’s my own vision. I read a lot and look at a lot of magazines, and in the last few years, I just like colorful things.”
Last April, Donna’s mother passed away and she wanted to honor her.
“She was a home economics teacher and spent a lot of time in the kitchen. I have many fond memories of her here, so when I saw the Modwalls’ tiles in an article in Cooking Light magazine, it just hit me. They were so bright and cheery. I thought, ‘This is it. This is what I’ve been looking for.”
She called Chris at Modwalls who sent her samples and helped determine how much tile she would need and how long it would take.
“She was fantastic. She helped me from beginning to end. I thought it was going to take much longer but one day, I got a surprise phone call saying, ‘Donna, your tile is ready,’ so it was much quicker!”
As Donna puts the finishing touches on the room, she envisions using Modwalls’ tiles to make picture frames to hang on the wall.
“The whole experience with Modwalls was pleasant and fun. Everybody just comments on how wonderful it looks, bold and bright, playful yet classy.”
And what does her family think?
“My husband says it feels like a Florida kitchen. It has a bright and airy feeling. And the other day, I thought, my mother would love my kitchen.”
Do you have a Modwalls’ challenge? Do you have a home project that needs some special attention? Tell us your Modwalls’ story.
Modwalls People: Anita loved her home. It was a Midcentury house remodeled in the 60’s and 70’s. Anita needed tile that would merge the classic and eclectic with modern. Enter Modwalls.