Installation Stories: The Canal House | Fireclay Tile
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Design & Inspiration

Installation Stories: The Canal House

By Kali

Installation Stories: The Canal House

All Images: Roehner + Ryan

Designed from the ground up by the husband and wife duo behind The Ranch Mine, what started as a vacant lot in Arizona transformed into something truly unforgettable. With its bold shape, vaulted ceilings, courtyard and open floor plan, The Canal House was born from the goal of creating something that was "authentically Arizonan." For the tile, they..."wanted to bring that architectural feature down to an intimate interior detail that you could touch," so they went for a herringbone pattern in both the kitchen and the bathroom in colors and shapes from our
Foundations Collection (priced at $18/SF).

We talked with Cavin and Claire Costello aka The Ranch Mine, about this swoon-worthy project below:

First, can you tell me about about yourselves?
We are a national award-winning husband and wife led architecture firm based in Phoenix, Arizona. The majority of our work is comprised of new build houses and significant renovations and additions to ranch houses, mid-century modern homes, and historic properties. We specialize in designing homes for people with the pioneer spirit, the dreamers and seekers who see home as more than just a house. They see it as a place that roots them in their community, provokes curiosity and exploration, and emboldens them to do more of what they love. To achieve these qualities we typically design everything, from the architecture to the interiors to the landscape as we believe a home shouldn't stop at its exterior walls.

Had you ever worked with our tile before?
This was the first time working with your tile, but certainly won't be the last as we have already specified it on some upcoming projects.

Can you tell me about this home?
This house was a new build on a vacant, left over parcel along the Arizona Canal in Phoenix. We purchased the property along with our partner and the General Contractor, Boxwell Southwest. The lot was perfect for us as most of our projects have the special sauce of unique homeowners, unique properties, or both. We believe these qualities often lead to the best homes.

This property had five sides, two sides that were considered street fronts, and one side on the canal. Designing a house with two fronts was tricky, and ultimately led to the u-shaped courtyard design, with two bold gabled volumes containing the living and sleeping wings.

How involved were your client's in the design process?
This was one of the few projects we did without a client. Part of the reason we wanted to do a development house without a client was to design a house we thought would be appropriate for the area all the way through. A lot of design has been imported to Arizona and we wanted to design something that was authentically Arizonan and hopefully inspire future clients.

Let's talk about the kitchen first: What type of look or aesthetic were you and your client's going for?
The kitchen is the anchor of the vaulted great room, so we knew it had to both stand on its own, but also work within the whole of the room. The symmetry gives it a timeless form while the large rusted steel clad hood and dark black cabinets add weight and a modern touch, defining its space. Elements such as the copper sink and wood paneled island reference other areas of the great room to help keep a consistent tone throughout of the home.

What made you choose 2x6 White Wash?
We chose 2x6 White Wash because we wanted there to be a detail that you couldn't see from the entire room. Part of the challenge with open floor plans is finding moments of discovery. The White Wash with the white grout from afar look like the walls but as you get closer you discover more and more detail from the herringbone pattern down to the handmade quality of the tile.

Tile Shown: White Wash

How about the herringbone pattern?
The herringbone pattern was inspired by the gables and vaulted ceiling of the house. The gables are at a perfect 45 degree angle, and we wanted to bring that architectural feature down to an intimate interior detail that you could touch.

On to the bathroom...what look were you going for here?
We wanted a light, bright, and low maintenance bathroom. The single stripe in the herringbone pattern references the herringbone pattern in the kitchen but does it with the gray to make it the focal point and draw your eye outwards towards the beautiful blue Arizona sky.

What made you choose 2x6 in French Linen? Were there any other contenders?
We chose the French Linen because it was a warm gray and worked well with the warm tones in the house. There were many contenders as there are so many beautiful colors in your product line. Other warm neutral options such as Shetland Wool and Oyster Shell were contenders and we thought about the Vintage Leather as a way to incorporate the rusted steel in the house but ultimately loved how the French Linen worked in the house.

How did the installation process go? Did you face any challenges?
Installation went very well. The Sheahan Tile team did a terrific job.

Lastly, what shapes or colors are you hoping to use in future projects?
Oh so many! We would love a client that wants to use some of the more saturated colors and I think so many of them would work really well in our desert setting such as the blue/greens that echo the succulents here and the warm yellow/orange/reds of the terrain. We work on a lot of mid-century modern homes so we are very excited to get into more of the shapes which seem to work great for those homes.

Tile Shown: Dusty Blue

Tile Shown: Vintage Leather

Inspired by this home? Check out our Foundations Collection or 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.

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