Archive for the 'Stone and Tile' Category

Progress at Monterey Avenue Phase 2

Our clients on Monterey Avenue, Pelham, invited us back to design and build a new stone terrace.

The stone for the wall veneer is being shipped from an Adirondack quarry and should arrive early next week.

The painted wood rails, built to match the rails we designed for the front porch and roof deck (part of Phase 1), are in the shop waiting to be installed when the flagstone deck is complete.

I think it looks great without the stone (above). I can’t wait to see it finished.

A Day Off with New Castle Historical Society

Peter Wing is an eccentric man. Forty years ago, he and his wife claimed the high corner of his father’s dairy farm and started building a home. Today… they’re still building.

Wing’s Castle, located in Millbrook, New York is a home like no other. With inspiration from local agriculture buildings and architectural references borrowed from Gothic churches, Asian pagodas, medieval castles and the free form Art Nouveau towers of Antonio Gaudi, Peter Wing has created, one stone at a time, an architectural masterpiece (if not only in his own mind) among the rolling  hills of Dutchess County.

This past Thursday, Annmarie and I joined the entire Fivecat Studio crew for a bus tour guided by the New Castle Historical Society. It was a great day of interesting people and inspiring places.

Following the tour of Wing’s Castle personally guided by Peter Wing himself, we headed to Charlotte’s restaurant for an early lunch and some relaxing sunbathing in their blooming flower garden.

Then back on the motor coach, and off to the global headquarters of Harney & Sons Master Tea Blenders for a tour of the factory floor personally guided by founder and CEO, John Harney. I wonder is Mr. Harney ever met Peter Wing. I think they’d hit it off. John is another very interesting character.

Half informative narrative, half sales pitch (being an entrepreneur myself, there’s a part of me that enjoyed the sales pitch more), the tour lead us through the tea blending bays, past the packing machines (they make Rube Goldberg’s contraptions look simple and straight forward) and between the tall mountains of labeled cartons ready for shipping around the world.

A quick trip around the corner, we ended the day at Harney’s & Sons’ tasting room and gift shop in Millerton. After a quick sip of fine tea (yum), we had free time for a leisurely stroll up the hill and through the village. Millerton may be a place we return to take in the antiques and artisan shops.

The ride home is always quiet, as we rest our eyes and enjoy the view through the bus windows. Joe the driver did a stellar job navigating the small country byways and muddy parking lots.

We appreciate the kindness of all the members on the trip. It was clear that most of the people on the tour were veterans of Historical Society events. Being “interlopers”, as the tour leader referred to us with a smile, our crew felt a bit out of place when we left Chappaqua early Thursday morning. By the end of the day, we made several new friends and felt welcomed by all.

The fall NCHS tour will be out to Oyster Bay and a visit to Sagamore Hill, home of Theodore Roosevelt.

We can’t wait!

Marble to Mosaics, Daltile Does It All

If you are looking for affordable ceramic tile, Daltile is a great source. They have a huge selection from very basic 4″x4″ tile to a line of glazed porcelain mosiacs recently introduced. They also have many selections that are nice alternatives to the very high end products offered by Ann Sacks, Waterworks or Walker Zanger, from natural stone and leather to metal. They have it all.

Looking for Green choices, check out Daltile’s new GreenWorks website full of inspiration and ideas.

Walker Zanger: New Products

Walker Zanger has been one of our favorite sources for stone and tile for years. They always offer a fresh, unique selection and their customer service is excellent.

Here’s a few of their new products:

Matouche

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High Fashion hits the floor and wall with Walker Zanger’s Matouche Collection. From the subtle smoothness of leather to the gleaming glam of crocodile, Matouche porcelain tiles capture the sensuous beauty of these exotic textures with amazing authenticity.

Skyline

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Skyline Glass Tile evokes the cool cosmopolitan style of urban living. Highlighted by the signature directional geometry of the Linear Field. Skyline is offered in an array of sizes, and both in a deep crystalline glass and a velvety-smooth matte finish.

Vibe

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Vibe offers a fresh direction in wall tile, inviting you to cover entire walls with intricate

patterns and saturated color. The collection’s bold shapes and extravagant hues were inspired by designs of the 1960s and ’70s, when creative visionaries like fashion designer Emilio Pucci and interior designer David Hicks redefined the visual world. Vibes weaves these influences into a tapestry of tile treatments, from playfull, organic forms to crisply modern angles. Whether you long to fully “funkify” your pad or just add retro pizzazz to your backsplash, Vibe’s got you covered.

Waterfall

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Waterfall Mosaics take their inspiration from Frank Lloyd Wright’s distinctive use of natural stone. Like Wright’s evocative architecture, Waterfall Mosaics merge crisp, finely honed surfaces with the natural color variation of slate, creating a unique “organic modern” look. Waterfall Mosaics will make a striking addition to spaces designed in a variety of styles, from Arts and Crafts and mid-century modern to contemporary Asian.

Xilo

erez-4The Italian flare for elegant, streamlined design comes to the fore with Xilo, an innovation in porcelain tile artistry. Xilo’s unique linear pattern is derived from the application to each tile of thousands of multihued glaze filaments, which are then fused in the intense heat of the kiln. Available in a number of size formats, Xilo creates a look ranging from vintage modern to completely contemporary.

Jeffrey Court

From JeffreyCourt.com:

Jeffrey Court was established in 1991 as a California corporation. Our initial offering consisted of only 24 items most of which were simple “stick and fire” decals applied upon 4 1/4″ white tiles and a handful of flat liner bars. It is hard to believe that only 15 years ago the industry was nearly void of “decorative” tiles which was our motivation to enter this niche in the first place.

In l992 we opened our first “real” production facility in Juarez, Mexico where we slip cast molding pieces for sales in the U.S. After several years of expanding sales it was decided to move our production back to the U.S. and to mechanize the molding production by changing to the pressing method of making tiles. Our initial plant was in Corona, California right down the street from our main offices and warehouse facility. In the ensuing years more personnel, more equipment, and more products were designed and made by Jeffrey Court to include real arts-and-crafts style tiles mimicking the tiles made in the early 20th century.

Read more.

Jeffrey Court Tile

From JeffreyCourt.com:

Jeffrey Court was established in l991 as a California corporation. Our initial offering consisted of only 24 items most of which were simple “stick and fire” decals applied upon 4 1/4″ white tiles and a handful of flat liner bars. It is hard to believe that only 15 years ago the industry was nearly void of “decorative” tiles which was our motivation to enter this niche in the first place.

In l992 we opened our first “real” production facility in Juarez, Mexico where we slip cast molding pieces for sales in the U.S. After several years of expanding sales it was decided to move our production back to the U.S. and to mechanize the molding production by changing to the pressing method of making tiles. Our initial plant was in Corona, California right down the street from our main offices and warehouse facility. In the ensuing years more personnel, more equipment, and more products were designed and made by Jeffrey Court to include real arts-and-crafts style tiles mimicking the tiles made in the early 20th century.

Read more.

Emotile by Ceracasa

In the latest issue of Modern Estate (one of my favorite mags), they feature a very cool new technology. Emotile by Ceracasa uses a CMYK ink jet printing process that applies any chosen image on the surface of porcelain tile.

Think of the possibilities; logos, graphics, patterns, photography.

I am not so sure about living with a pair of 8′ tall feet on my bathroom wall, but the limitless opportunity for creativity is amazing.

Living Well Link of the Week: Emotile by Ceracasa


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