Sunday, January 31, 2010

Tile, Tile, and More Tile

I was searching through the Internet, hoping, praying, wishing that I would come across a bathroom that wasn't tiled to the ceiling in carrera marble to prove my point with this post. As you can imagine, that was incredibly hard to find. But, as she does each time she posts, Kelley at The Polished Pebble, one of my FAVORITE blogs, gave me great photos and even more inspiration that I am all too happy to share with all of you.

Kelley and her family have a beautiful home, actually, a pair of beautiful homes in Southern California, and each of them has been decorated so beautifully and tastefully with the perfect touch. Kelley's design skills are complimented even further by her photography skills, so a special thanks to her fantastic photography used to illustrate my point.

Ok ... so my point? Yes ...

Towels in the basket? GENIUS! But not my point.

I fully believe that keeping a tight grip on your budget is a great way to stay on target in any renovation, and to make sure that you are in line with your investment. Our house is worth one dollar amount, the investment in our bathroom needs to be at a price point that will let us reap the benefit of the reno, as well as being beautiful enough to enjoy while we're here. One way to cut costs but still keep a tile job chic and is to mix expensive stone tiles with less expensive ceramic tiles. Anyone who has spent much time buying tiles knows all too well how fast $1.00 per tile adds up, and how the initial $12.99/sq. ft. for stone sounds so fantastic, until you measure your 200 sq. ft. space, and have to account for materials and cuts. Can you say CHA CHING?

Here, Kelley mixes beautiful and expensive tumbled marble mosaic with your average big box ceramic creating a unique and expensive look without the excessive cost.

Another way to make budget friendly tile more exciting is to invest in a custom pattern. If you're doing the work yourself, this is even more budget friendly - as some tiling contractors will charge more for special patterns. Kelley chose to layer row by row, different sized tiles in a brick pattern. I love this idea! A row of the tumbled marble mosaic helps bring the color from the floor up to the wall, and feels custom and expensive.

A better photo of the full pattern. Kelley kept the 4x4 tile in other areas of the bathroom as well. The first photo (of her shower) has the same 4x4 tile in a harlequin pattern between the marble mosaic. Again, it's these thoughtful touches that really help you pad your pocket when it comes to a tiling renovation. Oh, and an aside: Don't you LOVE that vintage ice cream bucket aside the toilet as a trash can? So clever!

A special thank you to Kelley at The Polished Pebble for allowing me to share her beautiful pictures to illustrate my point. Stop over and visit her sometime, add her to your visit daily list and take a tour through her beautiful home and Ojai gardens. You'll be so glad you did!!


  1. Great inspiration. I'm planning a bath reno myself and the hardest thing so far is deciding on tile patterns BEFORE I contact a contractor so I can stick to my guns and get what I want without being swayed into something else that's either unnecessarily expensive or simply easier for the installer. Love Kelley's brick pattern of different size tiles. I'll hop on over to her site too now. Thanks!

  2. This really is a gorgeous bathroom. I so agree that you have to keep your reno in line with the price of the houses in your neighborhood. As they always say, you can be the most expensive and never get your money back. I love the white tile, and the different patterns are wonderful. Hugs, Marty

  3. I am reading and learning. There is a bathroom project in our future and I love seeing all the pictures and ideas.


  4. Hi Artie:

    To say I'm a bit overwhelmed is an understatement!

    Thank you for all of the kind and generous words.

    I am so inspired by your creative process and the beautiful pictures of your home, that you share each week.

    I also love that you are a dyed in wool gardener and continue with that as well, even when life gets really busy.

    Your most humble "blog-friend"



  5. Quite a job you've got planned but it looks like everything is moving along smoothly. I'm sure we all have renovation horror stories. I won't bore you with mine. Keep taking pictures so we can share your experience. Oh, and the new tile for the floor is a favorite of mine for the era of your home. Great choice, IMHO.

  6. love that black and white floor! have fun....-s

  7. Terrific tips Artie! Love the featured bathroom. -Brenda-

    P.S: FTR: Canada's HGTV, Sarah Richardson often works her magic using Big Box store purchased tiles. (Web search: Sarah Richarson Bathroom Designs).

  8. I am keeping up with your progress....letting you do all the hard research for my reno :) Looking good!

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