February 2nd, 2011
Earlier this year I helped Mercury Mosaics with a client who needed to rebuild their shower due to water damage in the wall behind their tile. Wanting to keep the style consistent with the rest of the bathroom in this old home, but looking to add personality and color at the same time, we came up with a gorgeous final solution. I’m so excited to finally be able to share photos of the final installed project!
If you haven’t discovered Mercury Mosaics yet, you are in for a treat! They are a local Minneapolis company, woman-owned and operated (well, there are a few guys on staff), and every project is custom made by hand to order.
This project is a great example of that custom work. The shower walls and the half wall/bench both have a beautiful band of bubble mosaics in the Klimt Blend and the floor features Honeycombs in several colors pulled from the outside section of the mosaic.
Attention to detail? Oh yeah, we had that covered. Notice that even the bubbles at the front edge of the mosaic of the short wall/bench were given a bullnose treatment so that the seams where the top and front met would be as clean as possible. They even custom made a cove molding piece for the outside base of the shower to tie into the existing baseboard in the bathroom.
There’s a lot of color in their pattern, but all that white subway tile gives the eye plenty of rest and allows them to focus in on the fabulous details throughout the mosaics.
Isn’t this beautiful? If you would like to know more about Mercury Mosaics or using handmade tile for your next project, please feel free to contact me or Mercury Mosaics directly. We can help give your space a stunning update of your own, whether you prefer an expanse of white or the riot of bubbles.
Photo source: Mercury Mosaics, photography by Melissa Mobley Copon.
May 27th, 2010
Rather than move to a new home, more and more people are investing in their current homes. The classic conundrum is whether to design with a neutral palette to make sure that when the client is ready to sell it won’t scare off potential buyers, or to design without thought to a future owner and just do what makes you happy.
I’ve always subscribed to the philosophy that it’s YOUR home NOW, so enjoy it while you live in it!
If a future homeowner doesn’t like your style, they can change it. Frankly, often the potential buyers don’t like the overly neutral spaces that are devoid of personality, and they’ll want to change it up when they move in anyway. Certainly it’s possible to go overboard and make a home so custom that it will be a challenge to find a buyer that fits it as well. But there is a lot of ground in between these extremes.
Products that are installed in a home tend to make people especially cautious. But injecting personality doesn’t have to overwhelm a space if there is a good balance established between pattern and solids.
For example, this is a bathroom shower that I worked on with Mercury Mosaics recently that achieves that balance well.
Here is the Before condition. They have since ripped out all the tile and tub (the previous tile installation was bad and the walls are falling apart behind it) and built a new shower in the same location.
We started with elevations in AutoCAD for each wall and surface in the shower to show the client how the tile would work around the existing glass block window.
But let’s be honest. With a shower as complex as this, it’s hard for most people to visualize how all these pieces would look put together.
So we created a special perspective rendering of the shower in SketchUp so we could show the client what the shower would look like from several angles.
Now isn’t that easier to understand?!
We even did a version with the glass walls and shower door so that they could see where the glass would be placed in relation to the tile design on the top of the knee wall.
Now comes the fun part where you see how pattern vs. solids, colors vs. neutrals plays out.
Here are some shots of the tiles laid out and ready for the tile installer to pick up. All the mosaics are mesh mounted for easy installation.
Here is the tile which will run over the top and down the front of the knee wall. The gap in the middle is where the two planes of the wall will meet, so they were about to add edge glazed tiles to the end of the top surface where they would be exposed.
Here are the three sections of Bubbles that will wrap around the main walls of the shower. Don’t you love that bold mix of colors that wind like a river through the riverbed of darker tiles?!
And a detail of the bullnose half Bubbles created for the ends of the walls to correspond to the bullnose edged field tiles that will surround the band.
Here is a shot of two pieces of cove base molding with edge glazing for the bottom front corner of the knee wall. This is the color of the main field tile in the shower. This is the level of detail required on a project like this to make it really work smoothly for everyone involved (especially the installer).
Excited to see the final installation shots? So are we! Once we get photos I’ll be sure to share with you.
Now the final question to mull over is: is this design bold enough in personality to make the homeowner thrilled without being so overdone that it would scare away potential buyers if they ever decide to sell? (But why would they want to sell with a bathroom like this?!)