Posts tagged ‘brio glass mosaic tile’

Tidy – chapter 9: the language of color

What does a life look that is designed with love? Margaret inherited her mother’s house with the words, “Make this house a home.” Margaret is finding out what that means.

homes heart

Art by Brenda Mangalore

Everyone needs a sanctuary.”  – The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

(Continued) Margaret dreamed last night that she was floating through her home and in every room was a different person and a different color. Her dad (orange) was in the living room reading the newspaper, chomping on his pipe that he had quit smoking, but liked to have on hand anyway.


Kiln Chevron Zest Ceramic Tile

Her mom (yellow) was on the phone in the kitchen flipping through her calendar.

Lush 3x6 Yellot Butter Glass Tile

Lush 3 x 6 Butter – Yellow Glass Subway Tile

Margaret floats down the hall to her bedroom, which, in the dream, is still decorated circa 1985. She sees a young Margaret applying Diva Red toenail polish while listening to Kate Bush sing Running Up That Hill on her record player.

Mosaic Glass Tile - Red

Mosaic Glass Tile – Clear Red Brio

She keeps floating through her home and finds her ex-boyfriend, Sam (green) in a room that her house doesn’t actually contain. In that room, is a draft table. His back is to her and he is intently drawing a picture of a tree whose roots form a man’s body reaching deep into the earth. The trunk rises from the roots, stretching into branches which form a woman’s body.

Brio Glass Mosaic Tile

Brio Glass Mosaic Tile

Margaret continues floating. She sees her friends, Toni and Ray, (teal) in a nursery playing with their newborn baby; she sees her neighbor Reese (Milk White and Grey) in the bathroom, sitting on the edge of the bathtub, crying over the loss of his wife.

Modwalls bathroom tile

2×4 American Made Ceramic Subway Tile in Milk White, Brine Gray and Licorice Black Matte

And then she sees a new room. A room of grace and light. It feels like a part of her. A part of her that also radiates in all the people that she loves. It is That Which Exists in all beings. It is also the core of her home. The heart. She enters the room. That is when Margaret wakes up. And wakes up to a calm that she hasn’t felt in years.


Her kitchen remodel is finished. Reese helped her install the colorful Brio glass tile backsplash that she designed on the tile company’s website. He turned her on to the eco-friendly wood floor that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council® whose motto is “Forests for All Forever.” Reese’s buddy Ken introduced her to John McDonald, the owner of Semihandmade, an innovative company that makes one-of-kind craftsman-style doors for Ikea kitchen cabinets. John’s team helped her pick out the exact doors to complement her new tile and floors.


Semihandmade Cabinet Covers

Margaret’s kitchen is pretty much perfect. Ever her retro fridge is perfect, from its fern green color to what’s inside it: red, yellow, and green bell peppers, a violet and ivory
striped graffiti eggplant, and a carton of heirloom eggs from the farmers market that are different shades! Who knew?! Margaret’s world has exploded in color.


Now in waking life, with her feet firmly planted on her kitchen floor, she sees that her home has become a sanctuary. Her friendships, new and old, are a sanctuary. Her mother’s parting words “make this house your home,” became a sanctuary as they guided Margaret out of her mourning back into life. Everything that has led her to this moment was, in one way or another, a sanctuary. “Thank you,” says Margaret.Thank you tile

Francis, her cat, gazes at her from the kitchen table.  Reese mows his lawn next door.  The sun streams in through the kitchen window. And the world of color vibrates “thank you.”

This is the ninth installment in a series about aspirational living.  Micheline Auger is Michelinea New York-based writer who loves all things Modwalls.


March 17, 2016 at 7:53 pm 1 comment

Tidy – chapter eight: home is where the tile is

What does a life look like that is designed with love? Margaret inherited her mother’s house with the words, “Make this house a home.” Margaret is finding out what that means.

road focus

(Continued) “What should I do with this?” asks Margaret.  “Hmm?” Margaret looks up and watches her neighbor Reese apply a layer of thinset to her kitchen wall. He does it with such care and attention, you’d think it was his home. But that’s just the way Reese is. He is the most present and generous person that Margaret has met. Ever since he came over to deliver her package of sample tiles, she has grown accustomed to him stopping by to share a cup of tea (he doesn’t drink coffee and Margaret has recently given it up), or help her with her redecorating quandaries.

Lush Glass Peacock Subway Tile

Lush Glass Subway Tile in Peacock

Margaret holds up a picture. “It’s my ex-boyfriend.” “Looks like a nice fellow.” “Yeah, but should I keep it or throw it away?” asks Margaret.  “What’s the book say?” Margaret reads.

“It is not our memories but the person we have become because of those past experiences that we should treasure.”

“Sounds like good advice. What’s that book again?” Margaret shows him The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. “Looks interesting. You know, my wife was Japanese. She taught me patience.” Reese’s wife passed away five years ago. “Or rather, I taught her patience,” he laughs. “What do you mean?” Margaret asks.


Fiestaware Inspired Brio Custom Blend

“I had a lot of anger.” Reese carefully presses a sheet of colorful glass tile into the thinset. Margaret can’t imagine Reese that way, and has struggled with similar feelings. “What did you do?” she asks. “I had to develop compassion for myself. And humility.  Basically,” he wipes his forehead, “I had to be ok with being vulnerable. It took some time.” Margaret studies the picture of her ex-boyfriend, Sam. It’s hard for her to believe that their relationship is over even though it’s been a year, almost to the day.

“What did Sam teach you?” asks Reese, as he cuts a sheet of tile to fit the small space around the outlet. “I think I’m still figuring that out.” Margaret takes a sip of her tea, suddenly missing her crack coffee. “Come on, you know.” says Reese. “I do?” asks Margaret. “Sure, just ask your heart. That’s what my wife used to say.”


My heart? “Well, the thought of a chocolate-glazed donut sounds good right about now,” answers Margaret. Reese keeps working. He’s either in deep, contemplative tile installation, or he’s creating space for her to answer; she’s not sure.  Back to her heart.

Hello heart? It’s me, Margaret. I’m glad you’re feeling better these days, and we don’t think about Sam so much anymore, but I’m wondering if you would be willing to open for a moment and reveal what Sam taught me.

She listens… Oh. It’s more a feeling than an answer. A knowing. “He taught me to stop running.” says Margaret. 

Brio Blends Highlands

Brio Blends Highlands

“Well, there you go,” says Reese. “So, what do you think?” He steps away from the wall revealing the beginning of a home that Margaret has only started to believe in.  She smiles.Micheline

This is the eighth installment in a weekly series about aspirational living.  Micheline Auger is a New York-based writer who loves all things Modwalls.

March 10, 2016 at 8:42 am 2 comments

Tidy – chapter 7: own your colors

What does a life look like that is designed with love? Margaret inherited her mother’s house with the words, “Make this house a home.” Margaret is finding out what that means.


(Continued)  “Visualize your destination.” It’s a Saturday afternoon and Margaret has picked up The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up again, after sensing that something was changing in her life, and that something seemed to coincide with her willingness to open this book a couple months ago – the book her mother gave her in the hopes that Margaret’s life would change. And change for the better.

Brio blend city sunshine

Brio Blend CitySunshine

Margaret takes a sip of her iced pineapple green tea and looks out from her mother’s – or rather – her porch. She keeps having to correct herself. This is her home. It used to be her mother’s home, but now it’s hers. Truthfully, it still feels like a combination of the two, which she acknowledges is an improvement. She is not erasing her mother’s memory by redecorating; she is celebrating her mother’s can-do spirit by ordering the tiles for the kitchen. Her mother loved color and she would have loved these tiles. She would have loved that the tiles are assembled by a non-profit organization which employs developmentally disabled adults to do production work, and assists them to live full lives and be part of a community.

Her mother lived a full life with lots of friends and wanted that for Margaret, too.  So when Margaret read the words, “visualize your destination,” she paused. What is her destination?  Margaret looks up and sees Francis, the cat, stalking a bird on the front lawn.  ‘The cat’ or is it ‘her cat?’ ‘The house,’ or ‘her house?” Margaret has a pronoun problem, and it involves ownership. Was she willing to ‘own’ her destination? ‘Own’ her life? ‘Own’ her choices?


“You think too much.” Her dad once told her. He was trying to show her how to change the oil in the family car and Margaret was distracted. She was sixteen and didn’t really care about oil-changes. “You need to be independent. If you can change the oil in your car, you can do anything.” Margaret wasn’t sure that sentiment had really rang true for her, but it did pop into her mind when she thought about installing tile in her kitchen. Should she hire an installer, or do it herself? She had come across a YouTube video that made it look pretty easy, and actually fun. Just like in the Tidying book where Marie Kondo writes that if you do it right, tidying can be fun.

But why? Why tidy? Why redecorate? What is the destination?

“Oh, I’m glad you’re home.” Margaret looks up and sees a man in his sixties wearing jeans, work boots and a white t-shirt splattered with paint. “The postman mistakenly left this at my house yesterday. You must be Alice’s daughter. I’m Reese. I live next door.” Margaret smiles. “Hi, I’m Margaret.” Reese puts down the box and takes Margaret’s hand. “Pleasure to meet you. You need a hand with this?” “Sure,” says Margaret. “It must be my tile samples for the kitchen.”

Modwalls gift

The gift of tile

Reese rips open the box and takes out a panel of beautifully-colored glass tile. “I designed the pattern myself.” Reese looks up. “Are you an artist?”   Margaret laughs. “No, the company’s website has a page where you can choose your colors to create your own blend. It’s pretty cool.”  “Well, you did a good job.” Margaret feels a swell of something like pride inside her chest. She runs her hand over the tiles. She feels excited.  The colors make her happy. That seems like a pretty good destination.Micheline

This is the seventh installment in a weekly series about aspirational living.  Micheline Auger is a New York-based writer who loves all things Modwalls.

March 3, 2016 at 7:35 pm 2 comments

Tidy – chapter six: samples of yes

What does a life look like that is designed with love? Margaret inherited her mother’s house with the words, “Make this house a home.” Margaret is finding out what that means.

(Continued) Samples. Samples! It never occurred to Margaret that she could get samples. “Oh yeah,” said Cassie who picked up the phone when she called the modern tile company. “That’s a great way to go. In fact, we recommend it. You wouldn’t get married on a first date, why commit to something unless you know it’s gonna work?”


Sample of Clayhaus/Kiln Color Chip Ceramic Tile – Choose Your Color

Why indeed, thinks Margaret.  Sam moved in after the first month of dating. It just seemed easier. Until it wasn’t, and he moved out leaving Margaret contemplating the wall for extended periods of time. Sometimes it was the wall in the bedroom, sometimes it was the wall in the bathroom, and often it was the wall in the kitchen which is what made her think of installing a new backsplash to add a little color to her musings.

brio blend emma

Brio Blend Emma

“We’re here to support you. If you have any questions or problems, you can give us a call or we can chat online. That’s what we’re about. We know that your house is more than just a home.”  Did she just say a house was MORE than a home. Margaret was trying to wrap her head around just making it a home home.

Cassie continues. “When I remodeled my house, I was so nervous. I didn’t know what I was doing. Sometimes the contractor would show up, sometimes he wouldn’t. Sometimes I’d get someone on the phone, but a lot of times I didn’t. After that experience, I was really happy to work with a company that values people and their vision.”

Modwalls samples

See and feel our tile before you buy! (And every sample comes with candy! Who loves you?)

Margaret, relieved to find out she didn’t have to commit to ordering everything before she even knew what she wanted, ordered some samples and was happy to find out that she could even buy the tiles by the square foot, instead of by the box.

What would it be like if life was more like this? Instead of getting a recorded voice, or being put on hold for an hour, or hearing No. No. and uh, No; how about a “sure, we’d love to!” For a very long time, it just seemed like life was saying NO but now something’s changing. Now it’s saying YES (or perhaps a lowercase yes). And the lowercase yeses are coming in the form of coincidences, interesting conversations, and gulp, being willing to try new things.

yes color“My home is my kingdom.” says Roy, who is Margaret’s new personal trainer. “Everything has its place. I got everything I need, just where I want it. Perfect sound and gaming system. Comfortable. The guys come over for the game. My lady likes it. It’s my domain. One more.”  Margaret desperately tries to lift the kettle ball to where Roy is holding his hand. “You can do it,” says Roy.  She…..can……do…!

“There you go, now give me 15” As Margaret does her lunges, she thinks about what it would be like to have a home that is her ….um, queendom or whatever. What would it feel like if her life was her queendom? Or her thighs stopped burning? “I look at my body as my home too,” continues Roy, as he gently encourages Margaret’s ears to let go of her shoulders. “Your body takes care of you; you have to take care of your body. You want to be comfortable, strong, energetic. So just like I take care of my home, I take care of my body. That’s it, five more.”


Margaret considers groaning but it’s too much effort. Ray is on a roll. “Relationships are also a home that you’ve got to maintain. You want them strong, comfortable and,” he laughs, “energetic.” Sweat rolls down Margaret’s arm. Roy is Toni’s boyfriend. Toni gifted her ten sessions with Roy with one caveat, “You have to give him back.” Margaret does five more lunges 1. for home. 2. for body. 3 for relationships. 4. for… she pauses to think. “Two more and you’re golden.” says Roy. Margaret’s legs shake. 4. for my mother and 5. for… me.

This is the sixth installment in a weekly series about aspirational living.  Micheline Auger is a New York-based writer who loves all things Modwalls.


February 25, 2016 at 2:21 pm 2 comments

Glass Mosaic Tile Design You Can Create Online

Modwalls’ Online Tile blender lets you design your own colored mosaic tile blend.

Continue Reading February 22, 2016 at 4:44 pm Leave a comment

Lookey Lookey: New #rexraystudio for American made ceramic floor and wall tiles. Soon to be available in color, black & white in 12×12 and 8×8. Thoughts?
#rexray #buytileonline #livewithcolor #madeinusa #modwallstile #photography

January 19, 2016 at 4:07 pm Leave a comment

Live Your Colors with Modwalls Tile

Gorgeous kitchen! Modwalls Lush 3×6 Breaker Aqua glass subway tile makes a fitting backsplash.
#kitchen #modwallstile #interiordesign #tiles #picoftheday #aqua

December 20, 2015 at 3:56 pm Leave a comment

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Rebecca Lonergan

Founder and Creative Director of Modwalls Tile Company. Since 2005 Rebecca has been designing Fresh Tile in Colors You Crave. Shop Online at

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