Installation Stories: Mili Suleman Makes Waves
To perfect the refreshed-meets-rustic look, textile and graphic designer Mili Suleman chose Celadon in Wave to tie her beautiful kitchen renovation together. Mili started renovating her 1979 ranch style home in North Dallas two years ago and "envisioned a home that was open and airy, with an indoors-outdoors vibe, vintage-modern leaning towards mid-century with lots of natural textures and artful pieces." We talked with Mili about her style, textiles, renovation and the tile too!
Here's a bit about Mili:
My style can be described as...A happy mix of vintage-modern, raw + refined, perfectly imperfect, artful.
My design philosophy is…Go high-low to bring in an air of ease and livability, and mix raw textures with refined pieces that way you create a beautiful balance and juxtaposition at the same time.
I got my start…From always having an innate love for design. I would spend countless hours in bookstores and antique stores way back when. My graphic design schooling and career also plays a part.
I find inspiration in…Nature, my family in Oman, and immigrant stories of identity and success.
I can’t live without…Old things that have soul and character.
My best design advice would be…Your design needs to fit the architecture of your home. Forget about trends and don’t worry if your design veers off path from where you started (moodboards aren’t carved in stone!).
I love Tile because…It’s functional, easy to maintain and there’s a design/pattern for everyone!
Can you tell me about the space?
The house is a one-story ranch built in 1979; the kitchen had outdated brown cabinets lining two full walls and the sink was at a corner with a pony wall. Generic brown ceramic tile was on the floor. The space felt very closed off. I envisioned an open space (opening the kitchen into the living) but I still wanted to keep the main portion of the kitchen hidden. My husband and I created the opening ourselves, inserted a structural beam, ripped out the tile, put crown molding, added a gas line for the stove (seriously!) and installed our Fireclay tile! We had pros install white cabinets, grey quartz countertops and wide-plank white oak flooring. The result is exactly what I envisioned… vintage-modern, raw + refined, open and happy!
Image: Kufri Life
As an interior stylist, how was it different making decisions for your own space?
I went back and forth on materials and layouts a gazillion times! I remember when I was planning the opening from the kitchen to the living, I moved that blue tape over and over. But I'm glad I did… design is a process and sometimes you have to go over various options. It's definitely easier when I do this for a client because I'm more objective and immediately know what needs to happen when I walk into the space.
You are also a textile designer, how did that play into your design process?
I love my textiles… they have an understated beauty to them but still have plenty of texture and character due to them being completely handcrafted. But instead of my textiles being front and center, I wanted them to blend in beautifully, so I knew I had to pick pieces and materials that were slightly louder to create a good balance.
In areas where I did want my textiles to be forefront, I picked pieces that were quieter.
Image: Kufri Life
A few of Mili's textiles:
Image: Kufri Life
What type of look or aesthetic were you going for?
I wanted something that was different and mid-century inspired but still timeless in a way.
How did you come up with your color scheme and design?
I looked at lots of kitchens on design blogs, books etc. I discovered what I liked and didn't like and went from there. Then I ordered samples and created a few moodboards to see what spoke to me the most. When undecided, I let the architecture of the home help me narrow it down. A good question to ask when you're indecisive… What would look the best in this house and still be something I love?
How did the installation process go? I know you and your husband installed the tile together, did you face any challenges?
We did install the tile ourselves… taking measurements and cutting the tile took the longest. Installation-wise, it was a bit challenging at first because not all the pieces perfectly fit together (because of its handmade quality), but then we got the hang of it and love the unique look.
Lastly, How did you hear about Fireclay Tile? What did you enjoy about the experience?
Via design blogs. Brittany Buchser was beyond helpful and super prompt when I would email any questions...The customer experience is crucial to me and she definitely did a great job on that.
Inspired by this kitchen? Order color samples online now. Need some help? Simply call, chat or fill out our Design Assistance Form and one of our talented Design Consultants will get back to you shortly.