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Installations Stories: Love at First Sight

By Kali

Installations Stories: Love at First Sight

Tile Shown: Lugo in Cool Motif. Image: all images by Aubrey Torrey Photography

Handpainted tiles have the ability to really up the wow-factor in a space, this beautiful kitchen is a case in point. Toby Vader and her husband wanted to feature handpainted tiles in their kitchen remodel (ones that would pay homage to their mission style home) and they found a winner with our Lugo in Cool Motif. Wanting to make the space feel more like theirs, these homeowners designed the space themselves and did a fantastic job.

Keep scrolling to hear more about Toby Vader's remodel experience and to see the more of this beautiful kitchen:

Love the idea of handpainted tiles in your kitchen? Check out our Handpainted Kitchen Pinterest Board that is full of our favorite installations and design inspiration.

How did you hear about Fireclay Tile?  What did you enjoy about the experience?
We wanted to make the kitchen space more of our own style and really wanted hand painted tiles to be the main feature of the space. When we started to research handpainted tiles, we mainly came up with faux painted tiles and Mexican Talavera tiles - or very expensive antique tiles. None of these were the quality we were looking for. We happened upon Fireclay in an online internet search and was very impressed with the quality and breadth of design options (as well as the COLOR-IT Tool).  We ordered a sample and immediately fell in love.

As a side note - we were also impressed with the Fireclay story and how every employee is featured and honored on your website (and clearly within your company's culture).

(Toby and her husband opted for a pattern from our classic Cuerda Seca Collection, Lugo in Cool Motif, shown below).

Tile Shown: Lugo in Cool Motif

Can you tell me about your space? Is there any story behind it and the project that you want to share? What did it look like before? What did you change?
We have lived in our home for 6 years. When we moved in, we knew the previous owner was flipping the home and put in lower quality sub straights. Furthermore much of the remodel was done incorrectly and as a result falling apart.

Also the general look/feel was not quite our style - it was rather dark for our taste. We were looking to create something brighter and more customized to our tastes.  

Here is the kitchen before:

Another before shot:


Was it a remodel or a renovation?
This was a remodel – we removed all the existing cabinets and went with a custom painted cabinet where we pulled the paint color sample ourselves. There was not a blue standard color in the cabinets we looked at. We also remodeled the lighting and piped in gas for a new stove and a core-drill for a proper ventilated hood.

Here's the after:

Tile Shown: Lugo in Cool Motif; Toby and her husband really chose the perfect height to end the tile and the ideal trim finish with 1x6 flatliners in Navy Blue.

What type of look or aesthetic were you going for?
We were looking for a brighter feel in general.  We knew we wanted Carrera honed marble and wanted the place to feel in line with the mission style of the home.

How did you come up with your color scheme and design?
Both my husband and I agreed we wanted a painted cabinet in a blue hue and that helped us to look at color options for tile.  Also the white marble and some bronze/gold accents helped us to identify a color palette.

Why did you choose the color/pattern?
We felt that with the mission style of the home that we wanted to focus on more of a Mediterranean pattern.  

How did the installation process go? Did you face any challenges? Did you work with a tile installer or contractor?
The ordering and installation process went relatively smooth. We did face a challenge where we ordered the tile and when it arrived, the pattern seemed to have changed slightly.  It was not the same pattern as the sample we ordered. However, I will say that we were most impressed with Fireclay in how they handled this situation. They clearly explained to us that the pattern was altered slightly to ensure the lines in the pattern would better match up. They also worked very quickly to redesign the pattern to meet our needs and then ordered a new set of tiles and had them shipped promptly. They also coordinated pick up of the original tile batch.  

Our tile installer was quite impressed with the tile product and quality and loved the feel of the Recycled Clay Body. He had a lot of fun working with this tile.

Tile Shown: Lugo in Cool Motif trimed with 1x6 flatliners in Navy Blue; also check out how well their tile installer lined up the tiles, wow!!

Did you work with a designer on your project?
We did not work with a designer on this project – we designed and orchestrated contractors on our own for this (and it was an amazingly fun process which we had not expected). 

Do you love this handpainted kitchen? Check out our Handpainted Collections or try out our COLOR-IT Tool for a custom look. 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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