Posts tagged ‘design’

Kitchen Cousins + Modwalls = Backsplash Sensation!!!

We seriously couldn’t be more ECSTATIC with the final result of HGtv’s Kitchen Cousins (& Brunellesci Construction‘s) recent kitchen remodel project!!!

The episode Fireplace Fiasco aired on HGtv nationwide last Wednesday, June 6th, 2012 and will re-air this Saturday, June 16th, 2012 at 4:30 ET.  Set your dvr’s to record if you missed it because it features our very own Lush® glass subway tile, designed by Rex Ray Studio, as the finished kitchen backsplash!!!  We always knew this tile would end up in some cool locales and this kitchen definitely exceeds our expectations. 🙂

Here’s what HGtv has to say about this surprising episode(!):

“Sometimes it’s what’s behind the walls that makes all the difference. When John and Anthony take a look at Joel and Maria’s kitchen, the first thing that stands out is an unusually thick wall. After a little exploratory demolition they discover an incredible hidden fireplace which completely changes their original design. But as construction progresses, the fireplace they fell in love with becomes their biggest nightmare. Will this hearth be the centerpiece of the home, or will the whole job go down in flames?”

Here’s the BEFORE…

As you can see, this dark and divided kitchen left much to be desired by it’s homeowners Joel and Maria...Photo by (c)Christopher Amaral
http://www.christopheramaral.com/

And here is the AFTER!!!

We can only imagine how thrilled the homeowners must be to now come home to such a gorgeous, light, and modern kitchen with some flair of the unexpected!

AFTER! Photo by (c)Christopher Amaral http://www.christopheramaral.com/

AFTER! Photo by (c) Christopher Amaral http://www.christopheramaral.com/

AFTER! Photo by (c) Christopher Amaral http://www.christopheramaral.com/

AFTER! Photo by (c) Christopher Amaral http://www.christopheramaral.com/

Notice how stunning our Lush Rex Ray TYPE White tile looks as the backsplash.. Photo by (c) Christopher Amaral http://www.christopheramaral.com/

AFTER! Photo by (c) Christopher Amaral http://www.christopheramaral.com/

AFTER! Photo by (c) Christopher Amaral http://www.christopheramaral.com/

AFTER! Photo by (c) Christopher Amaral http://www.christopheramaral.com/

You too could have this American made tile in your home or commercial space!!  Find it here on our website and let us know what you think.

Modwalls has been making colorful modern tile since 2005. We have and unique designs that are in stock and available for purchase online 24/7 at  Colorful Modern Tile by modwalls.com.

January 19, 2016 at 3:49 pm 2 comments

Tile Design vs. Electrical Outlets & Switches

We get asked this great question quite regularly:  

“I LOVE my new tile, but I need some advice…What should I do with the electrical outlets that fall within the kitchen backsplash area?”  

Good news!  We’ve got several creative solutions for you – yay!!!

These little necessary items can possibly ruin your beautiful, and often pricey backsplash!  We are confident that if you consider the locations ahead of time, you will improve the finished look of your kitchen or bathroom. 🙂

Details on outlets…

It’s required by law that you have electrical outlets within your kitchen – which is a good thing!

Your kitchen has many electrical needs:  major appliances, small appliances, built-in appliances, lighting, exhaust fans, and basically anything you might want to plug in or switch on while you’re in there.

In regards to your kitchen or bathroom, the National Electric Code requires:

  • Small appliance circuits feeding countertop receptacle outlets are required to be Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) protected
  • Any countertop wider than one foot requires a receptacle outlet
  • Receptacle outlets must be installed every four linear feet at minimum – more is totally fine too
  • Countertops separated by range cook top, refrigerators, or sinks are considered separate countertop spaces
Modwalls_Counter Top Appliances

Examples of kitchen appliances in need of electrical outlets.

Are you in the planning phase of your new kitchen or bath remodel?  

If you are planning your kitchen or bath remodel, congrats(!), you are thinking ahead!  Here are some helpful questions you can ask yourself and discuss with your electrician regarding your kitchen or bath’s electrical needs:

  • What fixed/portable appliances do you plan to install/have in your kitchen? What are the locations and their power requirements?
  • What kind of lighting do you want/need: Ceiling? Under cabinet? Toe kick? Pendant or chandelier? Recessed? Surface Mount? Ceiling fan?
  • What kind of lighting controls do you need?
  • Where do you want your light switches and appliance outlets?
  • What materials/installation practices do you need to comply with National Electric Code requirements? Hint: ask your electrician
  • Do you have special requirements due to disabilities and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act?
  • What are the brand specification of all fixtures you want?  Have your electrician check these out too.

After you discuss your electrical needs with your electrician and have a final layout in mind, the electrical outlets and switches can be located and installed.  Don’t worry if you already have your outlets in place, it’s really easy to move them around and make adjustments before the installation of your backsplash.

There are several different ways to approach this without ruining your backsplash with a bunch of ugly, poorly  placed outlets and switches.  Here are some creative solutions as to how you can address the outlets & switches within your backsplash.

Implementing Creative Solutions…

#1 – Flip your outlets horizontally to coordinate with the pattern of your backsplash (but if your backsplash has a vertical pattern to it, keep you outlets vertical too)

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Horizontal Outlet Sketch
Manhattan Ave Residence - modern - bathroom - los angeles - Michael Lee Architects
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#2 – Install a power strip under your upper cabinets

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Undercabinet Power Strip Sketch
Wyncote home - exterior - eclectic - kitchen - philadelphia - Colleen Steixner
vandyke-39
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#3 – Install the outlets or switches on or within your cabinets…(some additional planning involved).

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Outlet Sketch001_2

Photo by Rockwood Cabinetry

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#4 – Install your outlets where you know you’ll need them!

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Outlet Sketch001

Image 4

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#5 – Install custom pop-up grommet outlets where you know you’ll need them!

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Kitchen Power Grommet - modern - kitchen - los angeles - Doug Mockett & Company, Inc

Find these at www.mockett.com

South Fork Kitchen - eclectic - kitchen - phoenix - Troyer Kitchen and Bath

Find these at www.mockett.com

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#6 – Specify outlet and switch plate covers to coordinate with your material selections: making them a design element instead of an eyesore!

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mendocino kit rspitzer2

1x4 cloud kitchen laura ricks_2

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#7 – [Bathroom specific] – Install the outlets or switches within your bathroom mirror and trim with a mirrored cover…some additional planning involved.  Look closely for them!

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Playhouse_Modwalls Lush 1x4 Sunset

Playhouse_Modwalls_Brio clear peridot

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Q:  Have some other creative outlet and switch solutions?  Share them with us and we’ll add it to this blog! 

Modwalls® has been making Colorful Modern Tile since 2005. We have high end and unique designs that are in stock and available for purchase online 24/7 at modwalls.com  Samples Available and Discounts to the Trade.  Residential, Commercial and Hospitality. Live Your Colors with Modwalls Tile.

January 17, 2016 at 5:27 pm 4 comments

Space as Story – Traction Architecture

“Color can be a powerful way to evoke feelings and to connect interior and exterior spaces.”

Jody Beck

Jody Beck of Traction Architecture

Jody Beck of Traction Architecture became interested in architecture through studying art and architectural history.

“I loved the way that buildings could be unraveled to tell stories about distant times, places and cultures. By understanding the soaring space inside the nave of a Gothic cathedral, or the meticulous proportions of Palladio’s villas, you can learn a lot about the aspirations of the people who built them.”

Bougainvillea House

Bougainvillea House

The view of space as a conduit to story inspired us to learn more about this successful Florida-based company that often uses Modwalls‘ tiles in their work.

How does your company’s approach differ from other architects?

Seagrape House

Seagrape House

The phrase that most defines our work is “design for thoughtful living,” and by that we mean creating architecture that addresses the spirit of a place – not just its physical characteristics, but also the subjective narratives that it evokes. Many of our projects are houses, which, while humble in scale, are the single most important piece of architecture to the family who lives there.

We strive to create thoughtful spaces that address the way that people live and interact. We are interested in design that celebrates the mundane activities of the everyday, in creating moments that are suggestive of old memories and capable of generating new ones.

How do you use color in your work?

Our work is generally pretty subtle, especially when it comes to finishes. Sometimes we like to let a well-chosen color set the mood for a space. We try not to overpower the sensory experience but a judicious flash of color can have a big impact.

“Seagrass” is a favorite but also, in the strong Florida sun, we like some of the quieter shades such as “Thistle” & “Rain”. We like the richness and consistency of the colors in the Modwalls’ tiles.

Seagrape House

Seagrape House

Color can also be a powerful way to evoke feelings and to connect interior and exterior spaces.

In one of our projects, the Bougainvillea House, a deeply inset window is positioned at eye level to serve as an oculus to focus the view. The exterior head, sill and jambs of the oculus are painted a vivid blue that casts a calming glow into the space suggesting the sky and the nearby sea.

BougainvilleaBlueOculus

Bougainvillia House – Interior

Speaking of color – you lit up the sky with your Sky Striker installation. Can you tell us a little about that and how you came up with it?

SkyStriker04-May

Sky Striker

Sky Striker was an interactive urban experience that transformed an iconic cylindrical-shaped Tampa skyscraper into a giant carnival game.

Participants – young, old, big and small – lit up the city’s skyline by swinging a mallet and striking a carnival high-striker that was wirelessly connected to light fixtures throughout the Tower. With each hit, the puck shot up the machine and simultaneously illuminated rings of light around the building, broadcasting the strength of each participant across the skyline.

We wanted a way for the average ‘passer-by’ to be able to interact with this landmark in Tampa’s skyline and have that person be able to transmit what they were doing visually to people across the city.

Inevitably, people miles away were staring at the blinking lights in the skyscraper thinking ‘what’s going on downtown?’ Tapping into that sense of wonder and observing people engage with architecture on a range of scales was both fun and thought-provoking for us and our firm.

Sky Striker

Sky Striker – Across Town

What are some examples of how design can enhance the every day?

One example that comes to mind is the creation of framed views. Sometimes, instead of providing the maximum view possible, if you deny a general view but curate a specific view, you can draw attention to aspects of the environment that may otherwise be overlooked. For example, a view highlighting a single tree or branch of a tree can illuminate the texture of the bark or the arch of a twig – the details that are hard to notice when viewing the whole forest.

How can transformed spaces transform lives?

We design many of our homes around an open den area, which we think of as a “modern hearth.” It’s often elevated above the main living space, so that it is visually connected but separate. It’s a special space where family can gather for a wide range of interactions – helpings kids with homework, working on a puzzle, planning the next pillow fort, or simply a place for quiet contemplation.

Traction Architecture has been covered by ABC and Fox News, LUX Life, Archello and Custom Home Magazines. For more information, email Jody@tractionarchitecture.com or call 813-992.2798.

September 15, 2015 at 5:11 am 1 comment

The Colors of Happiness

“Red hibiscus – it’s almost like a kiss.”

Dana Cooper Design

That is how artist, resort-wear designer, and illustrator, Dana Cooper, describes a color. “Green, for me, is the color of happiness. It’s one of my favorite colors – specifically lime green. Also, turquoise and aqua because they remind me of the ocean.”

dana cooper bathing suit

Dana Cooper Swimwear

Modwalls Pool Tile

Modwalls Pool Tile

Cooper’s resort and swimwear reflect the colors and environments of her native home in Bermuda. Her father was a sailor so when she wasn’t with him on the boat, she was running barefoot on the beach.

“You’re surrounded by the Atlantic, and the colors of the sky…it’s like watching God in motion.” She talks about shades of blue, orange, magenta, and “tons of rainbows.” These are the colors she captures in her work, first as an illustrator, and then as a clothing designer.

WHEN ONE DOOR CLOSES…

“In 2005, I got divorced, and I designed my first beach wrap. It was basically a leap of faith.”

A textile manufacturer from Bali encouraged her to take her colorful illustrations off the page and transfer them to fabric. She started with a leaf design found along the shores of Bermuda and Florida and added beads to it. Much to her surprise, the orders started pouring in.

Cooper Beach Wrap

Then the financial crisis hit and sales came to a standstill. But – as they say – when one door closes, another (or two) opens.cooper coral dress

“An old friend of mine who works in the fashion industry started a company and wanted to take my design one step further, so we went from a square beach wrap to dresses, skirts, and other stuff.”

Soon her line was sold at Saks, Calypso, and small, hip boutiques. In 2013, she branched out on her own.

cooper bikini

“People respond to the prints; they resonate. They’re seeing a landscape. It’s a landscape embedded in my mind.”

Designer Dana Cooper

Designer Dana Cooper

She splits her time between Bermuda and New York, and is proud of the fact that all her work is made in the U.S. and hand sewn in New York. Her line includes SPF fabric, which is in high demand, and there has been interest in expanding her collection to include home textiles such as duvet covers, pillows and sheet sets. “People have remarked how soft they are. They’re like a baby’s blanket.”

To view more of Dana Cooper’s designs, visit her website and receive 10% off their first order – just mention your friends at Modwalls!

Micheline Auger is a freelance writer who loves art, design and all things Modwalls.

August 28, 2015 at 1:33 pm Leave a comment

Change your tile, Change your life!

Dr. Alicia Armistead

Dr. Alicia Armistead

What do tiles and chakras have in common? “Chakra-wha?”

According to yoga philosophy, chakras are several points of physical or spiritual energy in the human body. Each chakra has a corresponding color and affects us in its own unique way. When you walk into a room and feel really good, is it amazing design or the vibration of color? Or both?

“When the energy center, or chakra, is blocked or weak, physical and emotional dysfunction can occur,” says Dr. Alicia Armistead of Healing Arts NYC. Dr. Armistead is a color therapist, chiropractor, and one of only a handful of practitioners in New York City to be certified as a Master in Nutrition Response Testing.

So how does it actually work? How does color work with the chakras to promote healing and balance?

“There are different ways to go about color therapy,” says Armistead.  “Many times a patient explains their emotional state and physical symptoms with a color therapy practitioner and the practitioner decides which chakra to work on. When working on a chakra, different colored sunglasses can be used. For example, if the patient needs to strengthen their root chakra, I would then treat it by having the patient wear red sunglasses for 60 seconds. This treatment of color into the eyes stimulates the brain at a wavelength of about 700nm which resets the chakra energy.”

Armistead has developed the use of muscle testing or applied kinesiology in her approach to working with the chakras.

“In muscle testing, I put my hand in the patient’s energy field and if an energy field is weak, the muscle testing will show that. After finding out which one(s) go weak and then prioritizing which one needs the most healing, I then have the patient wear the appropriate colored sunglasses that correspond to the weak chakra.”

Chakras

What if you don’t have access to a color therapist in your area? How can you use color to improve your life?

“Thesky_sub_bath_kkatchre are many ways to stimulate the chakras other than wearing different colored sunglasses. For example, if you want to work on your throat chakra, you can wear blue, color a room blue, decorate with blue fabrics, blue candles, etc.”

“My treatment room is colored a light purple to help have patients’ crown chakra open for healing. I also wear purple-lensed sunglasses in my daily life which help my own crown chakra. I pick out my outfits in the morning depending on how I am feeling and what chakra I want to strength for the day. So if I feel my root chakra needs help, I will specifically wear red that day.”

kitchen_update_1re

Lush 3 x 6 Surf

So the next time you enter a room and feel calm or agitated, look around and see what colors are present. Look at our tile samples and see how they make you feel and then imagine being surrounded in that feeling. Does that feeling suit a kitchen where you might want a sense of vitality and optimism, or a bedroom where you may want to nurture a feeling of calm and serenity?  Dr. Armistead helps us remember that spaces are both inner (your body and mind) and outer (your home and office), and that color transcends the surface to affect the beautifully essential.

May 17, 2015 at 7:14 pm 1 comment

Jennifer Ott Interior Design : You can have it all

Have you ever gone to a paint store, fell in love with a color, then came home and put it on your wall and your beautiful little heart sank? How did that warm “Bahamian Coral” (Ok, 80’s, I know) turn into the interior bathroom wall of One Flew OverDesigner Jennifer Ott the Cuckoos Nest? Who knew that “Sea Breeze” was really lost-in-the-back-of-the-fridge pea soup? That’s where a color expert comes in.

“It is absolutely overwhelming to be confronted by seemingly millions of different colors, especially if you are also under time constraints,” says Jennifer Ott of Jennifer Ott Design.  “Even if you don’t have the budget for full interior design services, you might be able to swing a quick consultation with a designer or color consultant. Many color pros will work for a fixed fee, or will charge hourly but are willing to take on small jobs — as little as a few hours worth.”

Jennifer’s company provides exterior color consultations to homeowners anywhere in the world. They use renderings and large-size paint swatches to help clients visualize the colors they recommend, all for a fixed fee starting as low as $395.

Photography by Whit Preston

Photography by Whit Preston

“When you factor in the cost of numerous unsuccessful paint samples, or, worse, the cost of having to repaint your entire house because you are unhappy with results, a few hundred dollars up front to get a great color palette can be a smart investment.”

For those of you that happen to live in the San Francisco Bay area, Jennifer can also help you with interior color consultation. But if you don’t, fear not! We have some handy Jennifer Ott tips just for you.

“When selecting color for a space, I advise clients to focus first on items that are big, expensive, and come in limited colors and patterns. By picking those items first, a palette will start to develop, and it’s easier to then add in things like tile, paint, and decorative accessories that come in all manner of colors and tend to be the less expensive items in a space. I find this is more successful than trying to select colors for everything in one fell swoop, which is almost always overwhelming and stressful.”

Single family residential interior renovation located at 410 West Johanna in the Bouldin Creek neighborhood of Austin, TX by Loop Design, Shoal Creek Construction and Jen Ott Interior Design

Dandelion House, photography by Patrick Wong/Atelier Wong

What about color trends? How do you update your home without running into the fear that soon it will become outdated? Jennifer advises to avoid trends unless you’re willing to change everything when the next trend comes along. She works closely with clients to help them figure out what colors they love and then advises them on the best way to incorporate them.

Photography by Whit Preston

Photography by Whit Preston

“I’m not a design tyrant or diva and I don’t let my ego get into the way. I want to partner with homeowners to find the best solutions to their design challenges. I crave and savor the back and forth interaction I have with clients who care about and are engaged in the process.”

What if you like bold, vibrant colors and lots of texture? How do you find the right balance? (Which is really the key to having it all!) Jennifer suggests that a good rule of thumb is to limit those colors to items or areas of your home that are deserving of the attention. If you have an item with an interesting texture that you want to highlight, it’s good to let it stand on it’s own and leave the bold colors to draw attention to shapes and forms.

“This is actually the basis of a successful light and neutral palette — you need to include items that have pleasing and varying textures, sheens, and finishes, to create a rich and interesting space. My most frequent piece of advice is to use bold colors for items that are relatively easy and affordable to change out — items such as paint, accent pillows, throws, etc. Neutrals are great for things you want to keep around for a good long time, such as your flooring, countertops, and cabinetry.

Austin Condo Kitchen, photography by Whit Preston

Austin Condo Kitchen, photography by Whit Preston

There are so many way to use color. You can use color to make a room seem larger, warmer or cozier.

“I follow the notion that cool colors visually recede and warm colors advance. So if you want to create a warm and cozy vibe, go for the warmer hues of red, orange, yellow or brown. If you are looking to make a room feel more open and expansive, go for the cooler hues of green, blue, purple, and gray. Darker colors usually feel heavy and somber, so I avoid using them in large amounts. They are best limited to accents in a room, and are actually great for adding drama to a space. I also tend to tailor the color palette to the homeowner’s climate. Those residing in cold and overcast climates should consider bringing in warmer tones, wheras those in hotter climates might favor cooler hues.”

So the key to having it all is working with a color specialist, clarifying what you love, and creating spaces and places that make you feel good.

April 29, 2015 at 12:36 pm 1 comment

Artist Shawn Dulaney on the Intimacy and Grandeur of Color

Shawn Dulaney has worked as a painter for over three decades. Her paintings Shawn Dulaney formal  can be found in extensive public collections worldwide, as well as in the private collections of author Annie Proulx, actor Steve Buscemi, artist Jo Andres, talk-show host Conan O’Brian and musician Stuart Copeland.

Her landscapes have also appeared in episodes of TV’s Sex & the City and Portlandia, the films It’s Complicated and Interview, and in the HBO series Enlightened. Her work has been reviewed in ARTnews Magazine and the New York Times, and has been featured in Parabola Magazine and New American Paintings.

Many Waves 42x44 Acryclic on Linen

Modwalls wanted to grab a few minutes with her to talk about her approach to color and design. She describes her work as “layered constructions of color merging to form spacious abstractions where nature references correspond to human emotional state.”

Deep Lake 54x56 Acrylic on Linen

William Zimmer of the New York Times says, “Shawn Dulaney is deliberately out for grandeur. but she is also out for intimacy. Her paintings take advantage of their innate ambiguity and declare themselves to be very current in the thinking that lies behind them.”

Devotion 38x48

How does color inform your work?

I love the alchemy that happens between physical materials, intuition and inspiration. I use color as the primary vehicle in attempting to create something experiential and ephemeral.

Moved-44x42-Acryclic-on-Linen-2013

When I start a painting, I have a sense of what it will feel like at the end, then I begin to search for that feeling usually to find something else entirely. I may start with some reference, i.e. a cloud, a horizon, an event in nature, etc., and then it becomes a process of reducing that down to its essence. This way the color can be experienced as a metaphor or vehicle.

exhale II

I am inspired, nourished and transported by color.

The art world, as in design, can be influenced by trends. How do you deal with the influence of trends in your work?

 Trends don’t influence me. I try to be true to my own voice and essence. When I work, it requires a focus much like meditation where I empty my mind and become receptive. I know this spills over into my daily life. It helps keep me grounded and in the present moment.

Represented by:
Sears Peyton Gallery, New York, NY
Weber Fine Art, Scarsdale, NY

To contact Shawn about her work, email info@shawndulaney.com

April 15, 2015 at 7:06 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 Modwalls.com.

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