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Project Spotlight

Palmera Kitchen Floor Tile

By Kali |

Design: Angela Tafoya 

Reviving her husband's 19th-century multi-story family home, Lonny Magazine's editorial director Angela Tafoya gives her open concept kitchen a modern Mediterranean twist with a custom Handpainted Palmera pattern using Carbon, Daisy, and Gypsum glazes. 

Handpainted Floor tile - Palmera in a custom motif created with our Color-It Tool.

Image: Angela Tafoya

First, can you tell me a bit about yourself and what you do?
I work as the editorial director of Lonny — a design and lifestyle publication in the Bay Area. I have been in the digital media industry since graduating college, holding posts at PopSugar + Refinery29, while also freelancing for sites like Conde Nast Traveler, Opening Ceremony, and more. I really fell into design/the home space at Refinery29 where I’d cover homes of designers, founders in S.F. etc. It’s really fun focusing solely on design at Lonny! I love it. I'm also a mom of a three-year-old daughter named Tallie! Seeing the world through her eyes keeps me busy! 

Can you tell me about about your home? Was this kitchen project a part of a remodel or renovation?
Definitely a remodel! We took it down to its bones, knocked down the wall between the dining room and kitchen, built it back up with new cabinets, tile, appliances etc. It was a THING!

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Image: Intelligent Tile 

What is the overall aesthetic you are going for in your home?
Artful, unique — basically we wanted it to feel like a true reflection of us. We just brought in things we loved and I think it organically came together.

Handpainted Palmera floor tiles.

Image: Erin Kunkel

What were your goals for the kitchen? What did you want to change?
Everything haha! Literally, there was not a stamp of space that we didn’t want to change. We tore it down to the studs! The goal was to create a open dining and kitchen area that had an easy flow and was full of light.

This open concept kitchen features our handpainted Palmera tiles on the floor.

Image: Erin Kunkel

In terms of tile, what look were you going for?
I definitely wanted something that had a wow-factor! That took the kitchen to the next level with pattern and color. I loved the look of ceramic hand-painted tile and really wanted that for the kitchen. Go bold!

Handpainted Palmera floor tiles

Image: Erin Kunkel

What made you choose our handpainted tile for the floor?
I think the craftsmanship and detail in the hand-painted tile really impressed me and I LOVE that it’s all done locally. Also the options to customize definitely made me feel like having a unique design for the space wasn’t far out of reach. I really just wanted to add a touch of Moroccan vibes in the kitchen.

Palmera in Cool Motif

How about the Palmera pattern? Were there any other contenders?
First off, Kali from Fireclay (hi Kali!) was so helpful and really made something that could initially feel overwhelming (options, options, options) really straightforward. The Persian star and Kasbah trellis were definitely contenders but we decided to go for a bigger motif! I can’t event tell you how many conversations we had about “the one” but we are SO glad we went with the Palmera. Every morning, looking down at the ground gives me so much joy.

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Image: Intelligent Tile

How did the installation process go? Did you face any challenges?
We worked with the incredible Jai of Intelligent Tile. We had to slightly level the floor and anticipating the height it was coming up — especially because we did tile after the cabinet installation etc., so that made it a little tricky. 

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Image: Intelligent Tile 

We were sweating bullets hoping our dishwasher fit back in its spot. But, everything worked out perfectly! Also, Jai tiled this little step we have in the kitchen and it looks SO good.

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Tile Tip: We cannot emphasize enough the importance of finding the right tile installer. This project really illustrates the art that can go into installing tile. Just look at that step!! 

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Image: Intelligent Tile

Lastly, which of our colors/shapes/patterns would you love to use in other parts of your home? 
I would LOVE to do our fireplace with a simpler tile Fireclay offers like something from its Brick collection. Or maybe go crazy with pattern again for these little back walls in our storage in the dining room. 

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Image: Erin Kunkel

A bit more about Angela...   

My style can be described as...Playful — doesn’t take itself too seriously. I really love pattern and color and am attracted to artful prints and motifs in everything from my clothing to my design choices.
My design philosophy is...I’ve recently been adopting a new one: Don’t bring anything into your home you don’t believe to beautiful or useful. That's hard for me because my other philosophy is more is more. Haha, they totally contradict one another but I am learning to balance my love for minimalism with a pinch of maximalism.

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Image: Erin Kunkel

I got my start... One of my first jobs out of college was working for the burgeoning women’s media company, PopSugar. This was 2009 and it was just started to really gain traction. In 2012, I joined R29 as a staffer, holding a few different titles while I was there, and leaving to helm Lonny in 2016.
I find inspiration in...Places soaked with color and anything that feels different to what I’m used to — puts me outside my comfort zone. Inspiration also strikes in those little moments I have to really check in with myself.
I can't live without...My daughter Tallie's giggles.

Handpainted Palmera kitchen floor tiles.

Image: Erin Kunkel

My best design advice would be...Going back to the quote about bringing in items you find beautiful and useful (I love that advice). Also, Diana Vreeland's famous words — the eye has to travel and I fully believe that exploring your own design sensibilities through not just physical travel but trying new things, meeting new people, exploring the unknown.
I love tile because...Let me first start by saying I LOVE TILE SO MUCH! SO MUCH. It’s one of the first things I notice about a room/design when I walk in. I love how it feels so creative and reflective of someone’s personality. It really has transformative powers and I am always in awe when I see creative spaces dripping in cool tile. Tile makes me happy.

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Image: Angela Tafoya 

Do you have a thing for these floors? Order color samples online or try out our Color-It Tool to make a creation of your very own! 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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