As I write this it is a gorgeous sunny day in this amazing city that I love so so much! The birds are chirping in the tree outside my slightly ajar window and there's a soft breeze rustling the leaves from time to time. It's a lovely 19C degrees outside and the dappled pattern of shade on the grass makes me want to go sit outside so badly! Wonder what my neighbours would say if I had an extension cord dragging out my window and my desktop iMac propped up against the tree?
I love summer and winter equally, especially since moving to a city so near the mountains and having an amazing partner who loves to ski! Yet summer still holds a quiet, relaxed creative energy for me. I find inspiration in the simple things, perhaps because I can hear the world more with my window open. One thing I would not say is a summer characteristic, though, is shades of grey. And yet, I found myself debating exactly that with a wonderful set of clients planning a bathroom renovation.
Black and White? Or Grey.....?
Loving the contrast that can be achieved through the pairing of black and white but ready for a newer version, my clients sought to find a common ground between the absolute 'designer grey' trend we've been on for a couple years now and the stark contrasting B&W phase they've experimented with over the years. Originally wanting a black granite counter, they were open to the idea of marble upon my suggestion. And thinking a dark 12x24" tile on the diagonal was the only way to go for their flooring, they were happily surprised when I also showed them a fabulous, budget-friendly hexagon shape in more of a concrete look.
The clients knew they wanted 4x16" white subway tiles as their main tile in their shower, however they were unsure how to finish off the multiple niches they had and wanted something a bit more exciting for their backsplash at the vanity as well. Here is where we really explored the idea of 50 Shades of Grey....
Hexagon, Herringbone, Tumbled Stone.....????
If you've walked through the tile aisle of any hardware store or, heaven forbid, gone looking at a tile supplier for accent tile, you'll know there are boatloads of options available for perusal! A HUGE part of my job for my clients is to filter through all the noise and come up with 2-4 awesome options that we can select from. In our initial design session, Mrs. Client noted that she loved the river rock look she's seen though she wasn't sure she wanted to commit to having it long term. She also showed me images of hexagonal accent tiles and one with a herringbone pattern though she really didn't know which she liked better, if at all.
Taking my cue from her research and the feedback from Mr. Client ("Whatever you like hun, I'm happy with" - I hear that a lot. That swiftly changes once we start bringing out the samples!), I set to work to source some fabulous options for them.
In no particular order...
Hexagonal Marble Mosaic
A more builder basic option for the marble hex, this is actually a 'look alike', and not truly marble. It was nearly 40% less costly than marble however and sometimes the budget dictates what goes in.
Shown here in two colourways, the classic herringbone pattern is absolutely stunning in any space. Placing it vertically (as shown here) draws the eye up; placing it on the horizontal widens the space.
Two different options, one with more grey and one that glitters like quartz, these accent options would give Mrs. Client the river rock look without being too kitschy and keeping in mind the overall feel they wanted in their bathroom.
Glass Hexagon Mosaic
Another fabulous option for this space, and particularly as Mrs. Client had noted she loved the look of glass tile, this glass and stone mosaic gives texture and visual depth all in one! The most budget-friendly of all the options (rather surprisingly), this was a main contender in our final decision process.
In the end, the river rock style tumbled stone in the grey colourway won out, though it was a close race with the glass hexagon mosaic. Mrs. Client really loved the more natural look and feel of the tumbled stone and how it relaxed the room a bit. Her final comment on the glass hexagon mosaic, "It's chic. But do you think it's too chic?"
I am privileged to serve amazing clients such as these to help make major decisions and create fabulous spaces they love coming home to. In my many years of design I've noticed one particular thing over and over: your first reaction or instinct is often most in tune to your personal style. So often we try to fit into the 'mould' of design trends and styles of our friends and families. I believe that my job is not only to help you filter through all the decisions, it is, perhaps more importantly, to give you confidence in your own design voice and discover a bravery you may not have known you had.
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As always, thank you so much for reading! Here's to creating a more beautiful world and your very own beautiful, personal spaces!