Trending – Tiny Tile

Tile mosaics, and thus tiny tile, have been around since before the fall of Pompeii…

image via

However, the little tiles had to be hand cut, and the mosaics carefully assembled by hand.  All of which made them a luxury item for centuries.

These days, the advent of new, computerized manufacturing techniques have made teensy, tiny tile increasingly easy to produce in a uniform manner.  Some of these tiles are no more than 1/4″ to 1″ square, and come pre-assembled on backing sheets which significantly reduce the labor needed to install them.

This has made it ever more affordable to cover entire floors and walls with beautiful mosaics made of ceramic, porcelain, and even glass tile.   You can see more examples on my “Trending – Tiny Tile” board on Pinterest.

Personally, I love the shimmer of the glass tile mosaics, especially the metallic ones.  There is something so magical about them when the light hits just right.

How about you?  Have you seen a tiny tile installation recently?  What did you think?

Happy Friday everyone!  See you next week!



Etsy Find of the Week – Everitt & Schilling Tile

I love reclaimed wood.

I love tile.

I LOVE this.

Created by Everitt and Schilling of reclaimed wood from barns or building scrap, these tiles are both beautiful and functional. Read the rest of this entry »

Fireclay Tile

What do post-consumer porcelain, empty glass bottles, and post-industrial process granite dust have in common?

No, it’s not their presence in a landfill.  Not if Fireclay Tile has any say in the matter.

Since its founding in 1986 the San Jose, CA, company has striven to minimize its environmental impact.  The product is hand-molded from extruded clays using recycled materials, unprocessed stoneware clays, and minerals, so each tile has its own natural character.  Glazes are mixed in-house and never contain any lead material.

Fireclay recycles its kiln heat, water, and all manufacturing waste, which is then re-used in other parts of the business.  99% of all scrap clay is recycled back into new tile and 80% of all glaze over-spray is collected and recycled.  Waste not, want not.

In particular they produce two tile lines to which I’d like to draw your attention. Read the rest of this entry »

Working Wednesday – Kitchen Before & After

Although I no longer provide full service residential design, I do consult on projects for several general contractors and architects.   One such contractor I LOVE to work with is Wes Harding of Harding Construction and Sustainable Solutions.  His clients love him too, hence him and his team (including moi) being invited to a client’s house for dinner to celebrate a recently completed kitchen remodel.  And celebrate they should, because look where this project started…

This is before.  Isn’t that a weird location for the sink?  Not to mention the majorly blah nature of that white and beige scheme!

So look what we did….

Read the rest of this entry »

Working Wednesday – Getting Caught Up & Pretty Tile

Although having your own business has many perks – making your own hours being a major one – there is a big downside in that if you get sick, there is no one who can really take on your workload until you get better.  I found that out the hard way this year, when I became very ill in January, an illness which left me functioning at about 50% for most of the rest of this year.  Not good!

Happily, my doctors have figured out how to bring me back to 100%.  I feel GREAT!

Now comes the tough part – getting caught up!  So, in the interest of keeping my clients, editors, friends and family happy, today’s post is short.

Really short….


My current favorite tile.  Oceanside Glasstile’s Muse Ovation in Tidepool.

The End.

Thanks for visiting,



From Toilets to Tile – Fireclay

From not pretty…

to very pretty…

Replacing old, worn-out, water hogging toilets is considered a “green” thing to do.  But have you ever wondered what happens to all those relics of the 5+ gallons a flush era when they are taken out?  Sadly, many wind up in landfills, but the lucky ones wind up as beautiful tile from Fireclay! Read the rest of this entry »

Artisan Profile – Bronwyn Simons of Terra Home

I’m very pleased to welcome Emerald Atkins as a contributing blogger for TIR.  A talented writer, jewelry maker and mother, Emerald will be providing us with a series of in-depth profiles of some of the wonderful artisans involved in sustainable furnishings and crafts.   To begin the series, she has interviewed my favorite handmade tile maker, Bronwyn Simons.  Enjoy!

Quality, tradition, sustainability, an artful approach to life and business…  In Terra Home’s rural studio in the heart of Denman Island, in British Columbia, founder Bronwyn Simons pursues all these ideals.  For her sustainability is not just a business practice but a reflection of the philosophy that guides her life.

Beauty in the everyday.  Serenity in a single tile.

Read the rest of this entry »

Fire and Ice – Ellen Blakeley Studio’s Tile

(clockwise from top) "Gold Coast", "Pompeii", raw safety glass in bag

Quick story – When I was a little girl, I found some broken windshield glass in the alley near our home.  My mother, being the crafty sort at the time, decided to bring it home to experiment with.  Her project, as I recall, involved gluing the pieces of glass around a flower pot for a sort of sparkly mosaic effect.   We’ll never know what the end result might have been, since my toddler sister decided that tempered glass would make a delicious appetizer to the lunch my mother had left the room to make.   Although a frantic trip to the doctor revealed no lasting damage, the great tempered glass experiment quickly made it’s way to the trash, never to be tried again.

I’m so happy that Ellen Blakeley, artist and owner of Ellen Blakeley Studio, had better results!  Just look at the amazing tiles she has created from recycling tempered glass…

Read the rest of this entry »