Friday, August 1, 2014

How To Choose The Best Mexican Tile for your Next Interior Design Project

Kitchens and bathroom renovations have become a core part of our business, so understanding tiles and the various styles available is a must for our team. One of the most popular styles of tile used in South Florida and beyond, is the Mexican tile, but there are many styles, shapes and colors of from this genre to consider when selecting these tiles. Our sponsor Rustico Tile is here is to break it all down for ya. Shall we?  

Mexican Tile is an all-around term for varieties of decorative tiles originating in various parts of Mexico. The most popular of which are Saltillo Terra Cotta, Talavera, Cantera and Cement tile. We will discuss how to incorporate all four into the modern home and help you decide what the best style of Mexican tile is right for your next interior design project.

Below are some of the most popular uses for the tile we manufacture, some common areas they are found, and some new styles that you may have never known existed!

Saltillo Tile – Great Choice For Traditional Decor In Any Area of Your Home
The most popular type of tile under the Mexican tile umbrella is Saltillo tile, a handmade Terra Cotta tile originating in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico.  Rustico Tile and Stone manufacture 3 styles of Saltillo tile which are most commonly used as floor tiles in an assortment of shapes and sizes.

  • TRADITIONAL Saltillo (Terra Cotta shades)
  • MANGANESE Saltillo (Terra Cotta and Browns)
  • ANTIQUE Saltillo (Old-World Style and Textured)
A traditional Saltillo tile varies in colors from terra cotta reds, orange, light and dark golden and cream colors. No two tiles are identical and they come with rustic characteristics.

Think about the room where you want them installed. Do you have existing décor that will integrate well with these colors?  Or do you have a more neutral space that can provide stark color contrasts against terra cotta tiles? In either case, traditional Saltillo would be a good choice.

Traditional Saltillo tiles are such a popular interior design choice in the U.S today that locating a local store or online site where you will find traditional mexican décor and furnishings to match is easy. One of our favorites is Tres Amigos World Imports.   
Manganese Saltillo varies in colors from terra cotta shades we mentioned above to dark and light brown, gray, and can have black swirling. Overall, the general look of a manganese tile floor is light and dark shades of neutral colors with beautiful handmade characteristics.

This makes it a great choice for a place in your home where you have a lot of bright color already and want to choose a tile that won't clash with those existing colors, while adding balance to the space. Even a modern-style home can benefit from rustic tile like this by allowing for light and dark contrasts.
Or if you are going for a completely “vintage” look in the space, the manganese Saltillo would make a stunning choice mixed with antiques of your choosing.
 Antique Terra Cotta Tile is made to look like a reclaimed Terra cotta tile. These are Saltillo tiles with added antique finish, texture, and look of old-world style floors. They can be manufactured in any size or shape.

Here we have them used on a kitchen floor where there are other types of Mexican tile being used such as Cantera stone and Talavera, and they balance the room perfectly. The Antique Terra Cotta Saltillo is neutral even though it has an antique look. The colors are earth toned and are easily adapted in any modern space.
The combination of new and old world style is achieved in the kitchen without sacrificing other lifestyle elements such as updated appliances.  Since the tile is sealed, you don't have to worry about it getting wet and staining.

Every piece of Antique Terra Cotta tile is hand-textured and it does not become slippery.  This makes it an obvious choice in wet areas, outdoor patios and even around pools where the design scheme is geared toward Hacienda or Mediterrean style. 

Talavera – Use As Your Accent Tile
Another popular Mexican Tile product is created from Talavera ceramic. This hand-painted Talavera tile ceramic originates in the city of Puebla, Mexico where it was primarily used in pottery such as plates, bowls and jars dating back to the 16th century. Talavera can also be used to make a ceramic tile which is used heavily in kitchens and bathrooms (in homes and restaurants/hotels) in Mexico. Once these decorative tiles are painted, the applications for Talavera ceramic tiles are endless - most commonly installed in kitchens as walls and counters.

Because of its bright colors people can use this tile as an accent in the floor or wall or continuously throughout the space like kitchen backsplashes, enclosed showers and counters. When mixed with neutrals it really packs a visual punch!

A modern way to play with the “traditional” themes would be to choose an updated look like a geometric pattern over a more traditional floral motif. Here are a couple of geometric design options:
Here are a couple of the more traditional designs.

See the difference? Although both options are beautiful, one is more modern while the other stays true to tradition and its artisan origins.

Cantera Stone – Perfect Choice for Outdoor/Architectural Elements
Cantera stone is a unique stone that is mined in Mexico and Central America. It is the only stone that has properties of volcanic rock which makes it ideal for carving and cutting. This stone is so durable it can stand for centuries without fail! 

At Rustico, we custom create cantera columns, cantera fireplaces, stone fire place designs, stone fountains and outdoor water features, hand carved balustrade systems, cantera stone hoods, pool coping tile, window surrounds, door surrounds, cantera tile, outdoor pavers, and more!

Cantera comes in many stone colors although traditionally a tan and natural stone color (Pinon cantera) has been a popular choice. Here Cantera stone is being used for the columns around the home, as the pool coping tiles, and as the planter coping surround tiles (Tobacco Brown Cantera).  A popular application for cantera stone is to be used as cantera stone tile as shown below in Lima Cantera.
A unique approach to Cantera stone is seen in this hood. Using a white stone adds a contemporary, clean, feel to a rustic space and matches the white marble countertop. This is a beautiful display of beauty using light and dark contrasts.
If you look back at the tan stone, you can see it’s a more traditional choice.

Cement Tile-   High Traffic Areas and Wet Locations
Cement tile is the newest addition to The Rustico Tile and Stone product line and we are very excited to be manufacturing it. Cement tile is a durable, sealed solution replacing older style encaustic tiles which were made from clay, unsealed and thus not suitable for wet locations.

They are strong enough to be used indoors or outdoors, as floor tile, wall tile, backsplash tile, around pools, and as restaurant tile or hotel lobby tiles.  Like Talavera, they are popular as accent tiles, but we've seen uses where they make up the whole floor or wall area.

Are you looking to upgrade a commercial space? These are the perfect choice!

Designers active on Pinterest and Houzz have been pinning this stuff like mad because clients can't get enough of the bold geometric prints and the durability they provide.
Wet feet are no problem when you choose cement tile. These tiles are sealed and can be used around pools and kitchen sinks! In this example they create a “rug” effect in the cabana.
As you can see there really is no wrong place to put Mexican tile in your home, but there are some common applications. We hope these examples have provided some insight into how to choose the right Mexican tile for your next project and have inspired your design senses.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Designer Insights - Dishing My Top Design Picks and Much More

Hey Peeps! And Happy TBT! 
How is everyone enjoying the remaining days or summer?
We've had another busy year and continue to be grateful for all the blessings bestowed on us. It was a great to pause for a moment to share some design picks, and advice about what I've learned over the years with Terrys Blinds, a popular UK-based window treatment company, specializing and stylish yet affordable blinds. Check out the full feature here and feel free to share your thoughts. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Designing Clients - A Pink Influenced Tablescape

I love it when a client embraces their newly designed space and continues to collect items that reflect their personality. You know, the client who switches things up a bit for a new season, or just because. 
Such is the case with our fab client Meagan, aka MsGlamSugar, whose home we designed here and here.
When I first met Meagan, it was clear she had some amazing style. I even asked her why the hell she called me for help? But thankfully she did and I've been happy to not just help turn up the glamor in her home, but we've fast morphed from client/designer to become good friends. 
So I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw how fun and fab she'd recently styled her dining room table. Hello, she had me at hot pink place mats.
This is how we left things back in December. 

Some serious black and gold glam, if I may say so myself. But to add some color for the summer she recently styled her table like this:Displaying photo 2.JPG A blue and white runner adds a hint of coastal flair but the setting remains glam with gold chargers, black and white plates and candle holders in different shapes and finishes.
Love the gold-dipped vase? Ms. Meagan is a little DIY diva. She followed an amazing tutorial from the blog TwoTwentyOne
She scores extra points by adding fresh flowers to said vase. Y'all know how I feel about fake flowers. A huge, HELL no.  

Layers, mixed patterns and textures are key to a great table setting and Meagan nailed that here layering pink, gold, and black and white. She's also a bargain hunter.
The runner she found at HomeGoods on clearance for under $10. I sourced the gold candle holders and candles from HomeGoods as well. The glass candle holders are from the Hobby Lobby and were just $3.50. The napkin rings were a $1. Sidebar - Hobby Lobby is new to South Florida and Meagan and I are both shocked that we'd never heard of them until recently - another fab client Janeka alerted me over on IG a few weeks ago. I have yet to go because when I do, I foresee loading up with a gazillion items and I need to make room in my garage (I can't believe I now have a garage!) to hoard it all. 

And there you have it. A colorful, classic and fun tablescape for a very glamorous client done by said glamorous client. She did her thing and made me proud.
If you've been rocking out your tablescape for the summer or for any season or reason, feel free to share a pic or tag me on Instagram and I may just feature it here on the blog. Holla. Holla. Holla. Thanks again for sharing Meagan!

Source Guide

Gold chargers, black and white plates: ZGallerie | Blue and white runner, pink place mats and gold candle holders: HomeGoods | Napkin rings, glass candle holders and napkin rings: HobbyLobby

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Renovation Realities

One of the best renovation prep articles I've ever read was featured on Houzz last year. It may hold the record for the feature with the most comments, and with good reason.
I've honestly wanted to print it, laminate and hand to every client who signs on for a major renovation - myself included.
Renovations are a beast, that will test your tolerance for all things. You'll live with dust - everywhere and in every crevice - no matter how many times you clean. You'll get testy with your spouse or significant other, and with your designer and contractor, as the never-ending site of workers, drywall, plastic covers, blue tape and ladders will just annoy the hell out of you. You may shed a tear or two. And chances are you'll be near broke when it's all done. Faulty wiring, rotted pipes, mold are often exposed once walls start coming down. This will mean hefty changes to the planned budget and oh, there may plenty of other hidden nightmares afloat to tax your bank account. Brace yoself.
We've been renovating our own home since May and have experienced every thing mentioned in that Houzz feature. And this ain't my first show at the renovation rodeo. We're making progress as you can see here, here, here and here
But I may have shed a tear, or two. 
I'm taking my own advice to clients - stay focused because when it's all done, you won't remember the renovation pains. It's akin to giving birth. The morning sickness and labor pains are a distant memory once you fall in love with your newborn aka your home.

The very dated kitchen of one of our favorite clients.

The very updated kitchen of one of our favorite clients. We completed this project in 2012.

The point? Before it gets pretty it gets VERY ugly so hunker down and prepare yourself, and trust that your designer and or contractor are often doing as best as they can to see your project through. No one gains when a project drags on and on. How have you prepared for a renovation? Any successful stories to share or tips? We'd love to hear. 
I'll also start a series soon on my own renovation, so you can journey along to see all the changes. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Hollywood Reveal - The Master Bedroom

Hey peeps! It's been a rough week with some major challenges, but since this master bedroom brings back some great memories, I thought it would be time to finally share this reveal.
The bedroom belongs to our dearest clients Karen and Carl, whose winter home project we've shared here, here, and here. I also shared a sneak peek on Instagram a few months ago.

Oh, who's that dude? Just a cameo appearance by our amazing window treatment genius, Hernando of Titan Decor.  
Unlike the living and dining room where we had to design from top to bottom, our clients had already purchased this white leather bed, nightstands and dresser before calling me in for some assistance. The pieces had the contemporary lines that they both wanted so they were a great starting point for the design plan. But no great design plan would work with these ceilings and off centered ceiling fan, so we refinished and painted the ceiling and centered a new ceiling fan above the bed. 

Inspired by Pantone's color of the year - radiant orchid - Karen loves purple as well and wanted to embrace it in this space. Purple is a strong color, so it's balanced with a neutral paint color on the other walls and through many layers of neutrals throughout the room. 

Confession: this wasn't the rug we first purchased. I thought the original had various shades of grey when we purchased it online but it was very black when it arrived (win some, lose some when you shop online but I was able to use that rug in another project). Anywho, I'd seen a lighter version of this rug someplace and couldn't get it out of my head so was happy as punch to stumble across it on HSN (my first time using that source) and it was the perfect pairing. 

Karen had a pub table with two chairs in this corner but we relocated it to the kitchen and replaced it with this chaise, a cozier place for some reading.

Orchids are Karen's favorite flowers. We ordered these prints online and had them framed locally. I loved the natural wood of this slat bench and think it adds a bit of the outdoors to the space.

The already stunning dresser just needed some accessories, scored at our fave HomeGoods. But it was this gold and silver mirror that absolutely stole my heart, functional and stylish all wrapped into one.
All photos by Circle Ten Media
There you have it. A master bedroom that showcases how to live and sleep harmoniously with a color as strong as purple.  Have you used purple in your home or a client's space? What's your take on this bold shade? Holla. And happy Throw Back Thursday!

Source Guide
Leather bed and dresser: Scan Design | Bench: Overstock | Rug: HSN | Lamps: |Leather Chaise: | Gold and Silver Mirror: | Dresser accessories: HomeGoods | Industrial Task Lamp: West Elm | Martini Side Table: West Elm | Slat Bench: Overstock | Orchid Prints: | Bedding: Target
| XoXo Fabric for throw pillows: Designer Discount Fabric

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Cute staggering of letters
Via Pinterest 
It's July! How and where did the months go? Anywho, if you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that the hubby and I finally bought a house and the little man now has a huge back yard to run around in. Yay. Alas, it's a major fixer-upper so we're now living in renovation hell. Since we won't be entertaining anytime soon, here's some 4th of July decor inspiration I'm swooning over that should hopefully inspire y'all do entertain in style this weekend. Yes, I plan to live vicariously through y'all, so do entertain well.I'm envisioning yellow straws and circle for a Golden Birthday Party coming up this Fall - 31 Creative Ideas for July 4th Decorations via Tip Junkie
Via Pinterest

Set out these mason jar sippy cups at your 4th party.
Via Pinterest
Via Pinterest

Spray paint old lanterns to create a patriotic centerpiece! More easy 4th of July decorations:
via Pinterest

Sprinkle-Stripe Cake. More Easy 4th of July Decorations:
Via Pinterest

Love those hurricane lanterns as centerpieces and those mason jar covers! 
What's your favorite 4th of July decor tip? 
 Cheers to a happy holiday weekend to all.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Hollywood Reveal - Dining Room

Happy Hump Day peeps. We're way deep in the rainy season here in Florida which means torrential downpours every afternoon. I've gotten used to it over the years so I try to hit the streets early and be done before mother nature unleashes her daily shower.
Any who, this dining room from our Hollywood Reveal project brings sunshine to my life every time I think about it.

We revealed the adjoining living room here and the powder room here, so you know it too needed some love and affection. We started with green walls and this dated light fixture. My client Karen had purchased this fab buffet but it looked a little sad in the dining room so we relocated it to the foyer
We painted the walls the same color as the living room and decided to add this metallic paper weave wallpaper by Phillip Jeffries, which we first revealed here for some shimmer. 

A round dining table was the best option for the space and we finally settled this beauty with a ridges on its base, from Scan Design. The table will get heavy use as well for playing games so it needed to be beautiful, yet functional and sturdy enough to withstand some heavy duty card playing. 
The white leather chairs were definitely a splurge but my client couldn't get them out of her mind after first seeing them. The arms are wrapped with wood which means they'll withstand the card-playing nights and dinner soirees.
The drum pendant was another love at first sight moment for Karen. Our first order got lost in a black hole but thankfully we were able to find from another source who shipped immediately. 

We wrestled a bit with a new buffet for the dining room but finally settled on this x-leg base beauty from Madison Seating.

Every sideboard needs a few accessories. These simple black lamps from Home Goods were just perfect. Ditto the candle holders from West Elm.

A pop of orange on the sideboard added some color to the other muted tones of the room and connected the room to it's neighboring living room. To complete the space, we added framed botanical photos taken by our client, adding a very personal touch to the space.

All photos by Circle Ten Media

And that's it peeps. Another transformed room from our Hollywood project. And there's more to come! Stay tuned.

Source Guide
Soto Dining Table: Scan Design | White Leather chairs: Artefacto | Wallpaper: Phillip Jeffries 
| Wallpaper installer: MC Paperhanging |Curtain Fabric: via Designer Discount Fabric | Rug and Lamps: Home Goods | Mirror and Orange Storage Box: Z Gallerie | Drum Pendant : ET2 via Wayfair | Sideboard: Madison Seating |Paint: Chop Sticks by Sherwin Williams (SW 7575)  

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