Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Cadiz Tiles Add Warmth to Maine Coastal Kitchen

If you follow this blog, you know there's nothing I like better than sharing a tile installation photo from our customers! I received an email a few weeks ago from some good people who live by the Maine coast near Acadia National Park. They were kind enough to show us how they used Avente's Spanish Cadiz Tiles!
The email started like this and included several photos:

"Attached are some closeups of the tiles as I installed them in our kitchen. Also attached is a photo of our cozy house looking eastward out to Penobscot Bay. Thanks for assembling such a pleasing collection of tiles for our selection."

Spanish Cadiz Tiles for Backsplash

Avente Customer's cozy home looking eastward out to Penobscot Bay.

The Ryans, who shared these photos, chose the vibrant hand-painted Spanish Cadiz tiles to add focal points to the white tile backsplashes behind their oven and kitchen sink. We think the unexpected pops of color and patterns add interest and energy to these spaces! It's a great example of how different sizes of decorative tile are used to bring both pattern and color to a design.

Stove backsplash uses Spanish Cadiz 4"x4" & 6"x6" Tiles

Sink backsplash uses Spanish Cadiz 4"x4" Tiles

View of the Kitchen

One aspect about this project that I love is that they choose decorative accent tile based on their desire to add interest and color to their kitchen. Occasionally, I hear, "I love those Spanish tiles; but, they don't work with my home's style."  Often, different styles can complement one another and I have to admit the bold gold and blue in this Spanish Cadiz work well with this New England kitchen's maple cabinets, white field tile and clean, functional layout.

Expect Variation in Hand-Painted Tiles

I have to tell you that the Cadiz wasn't the Ryan's first choice. Originally they ordered some Spanish Burgos 2"x2" tiles.

Spanish Burgos 2"x2" Dot was the First Choice

While the blue glaze in some of the tiles was exactly what they were looking for; some of the tiles in the lot didn't have the same vibrancy the Ryans wanted. This is often the case with hand-painted tiles because the hand of the artist can be seen in each tile. Showing Yankee perseverance, they discussed a few options with me and then asked if they could return the Burgos dots and try the Cadiz 4"x4" and 6"x6" formats. We had a winner! And, I love how they used the tiles differently behind the sink and stove.

Sink Backsplash

Stove Backsplash

Yankee Ingenuity Helps the Layout

The Ryans used a unique way to lay out the tiles that really focused on scale and size rather than color and pattern. Below is a photo of their paper layout demo. They explain, "Here is another aspect of our tile project that might have interest for your blog readers. Before ordering anything, we made a full-size paper mock-up of the two splash areas to be tiled, using colorful squares cut from magazine photos to represent the accent tiles - which allowed us to play with different layout options and really evaluate the impact of potential layouts in situ (on the wall), and in our case, to thus evaluate the interplay of the design of the two separate splash areas. We were trying diagonal accent layouts at first, comparing them to vertical/horizontal patterns, and playing with spacing of the accents. All easy to do with scotch tape!

Layout was simulated using magazine cutouts as Deco Tiles

After the switch from 2-inch to 4-inch tiles as the material we chose to work with, and after the first order of 4-inch had arrived, we again used full-sized paper mock-ups to play with different configurations. And that's when we decided to go for a very different layout from the initial plan, which necessitated ordering a few more tiles. Since the tiles differ in size, the use of proper sizing of the background grid and of the accent tiles also promotes recognition of the required layout that will be necessary and to avoid additional or excessive cuts, awkward edges, or thicker grout lines. Going through the physical mock-up process can be very helpful to generate the most satisfactory end results."

I agree, it's difficult to envision design concepts on any scale and to take into account all of the details. But, it's that work and effort that really shines through on your installation. Not only is the layout clean and professional, but the two backsplash designs work well together to provide a cohesive design. It's always a good idea to lay out the design to get a sense of what works, and to find any flaws you might not have thought about.

Finally, the Ryans pointed out that, "The reason we used paper magazine cutouts for accents is that you get the exact size of accent pieces. I suppose someone could print a set of photocopies of the desired accent tiles and trim to correct size if the printing process does not generate a correct size (tricky). That would produce a more realistic mock-up than the magazine clipping approach."

Ceramic Tile Projects from Avente Customers

If you enjoyed this article, you might enjoy these Tile Talk articles that show how Avente customer's have added style and a personal touch to their homes with hand-painted ceramic tiles. Here are a few posts devoted to tile floor accents and kitchen backsplashes using our hand-painted ceramic tiles.

Cement Tile Projects from Avente Customers

These posts show you how cement tile can be used on floors and kitchen backsplashes. You'll also discover the decisions that each customer experienced as part of the project. I thank these customers for taking the  time to share these tips and ideas.

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