All Images: Monica Wang Photography
Lifestyle blogger Anne Sage partnered up with Studio McGee to bring her dream kitchen to life. Featuring our Glazed Thin Brick in Olympic on the backsplash and Gypsum on the floors, this kitchen may be small (only 9x12), but it's certainly not short on style. Read on to see more!
A few short/quick answer:
My style can be described as...Bright, clean, organic, inviting.
My design philosophy is...Our homes are a reflection of ourselves, of where we’ve been and where we’re going, and designing your space is the ultimate exercise in self-realization!
I got my start...Helping my mom pick out Laura Ashley wallpaper (complete with matching Bed-In-A-Bag!) for my childhood bedroom.
I find inspiration in...Restaurant design—it’s always fascinating for me to see how the vocabulary of design can be used to translate a culinary vision into an atmospheric one, in order to create a holistic sensory experience!
I can't live without…My Saturday morning routine of a workout with my husband, followed by an infrared sauna sesh and extra-crispy hashbrowns at our favorite brunch restaurant!
My best design advice would be…Take your time and wait for the right pieces to fall into place, but also don’t be too precious or afraid of making the “wrong” choices. Just like the evolution of an individual’s personality, great design doesn’t happen overnight—but it also doesn’t happen without a little experimentation, exploration, and yes, even making some mistakes!
I love tile because...It’s so versatile! You can hand the same box of tile to five different people and they’ll each come up with a different look based on how they arrange it. Plus, even in the most modern of applications, tile brings a timeless sense of history and gravitas to any space, since humans have been firing clay and using it in their homes for millenia!
First, can you tell me a bit about yourself and what you do?
Absolutely! I’ve been blogging in the lifestyle arena since 2010, and today my work is a mix of creating content for my own social platforms as well as styling, shooting, and consulting for others. I’ve also written an interiors book entitled Sage Living, which explores the intersection between design and personal growth, and I am co-owner of a creative studio called Light Lab. I live in Los Angeles with my husband and our four pets!
We worked with Anne on Light Lab! They chose Triangles for their kitchen island and their bathroom floor:
Tile Shown: 6" Triangles in Calcite
Were you working on a remodel or renovation of your home? What were you wanting to change about your space?
We moved into this house in December of 2016 and it quickly became apparent that the kitchen situation was untenable. Not only was the layout a functional nightmare (a full-sized washer and dryer where the countertops should have been! yikes!), but the kitchen hadn’t been updated since the house was built in 1954 and it was literally falling apart at the seams. I reached out to Shea about a kitchen collaboration almost immediately!
The washer and dryer has a much better home in the kitchen now:
You teamed up with Studio McGee on this project, had you worked with them before? What made you decide to work with a designer?
This was my first time working with Studio McGee, though I’ve known Shea through the blog world for a while now! I reached out to her because although I’m confident in making design decisions for others, when it’s your own space it’s so easy to get paralyzed by all the options! As well, designing a kitchen is quite a technical endeavor as well as an aesthetic one, so securing professional guidance from the get-go ensured as smooth a renovation as possible.
How did you come up with your overall color scheme and design of the kitchen?
The space is quite small (9’x12’) with only one window, so we wanted our palette to create a light and airy sensibility. Yet at the same time, an all-white kitchen would have felt too stark, so instead we chose a range of grayscale tones to keep things bright while also adding dimension.
In terms of tile, what sort of look were you going for?
I find that the most interesting design effects occurs in the intersection of styles, so we chose our tile based on our desire to straddle the lines between classic and contemporary, raw and composed.
What made you choose the Ceres Brick for the backsplash? Were there any other contenders?
Our initial pick was actually Frost in a 3x12 size, which would have looked gorgeous I’m sure! But then I saw the glazed finish of the Olympic Brick and fell hard for the tonal variations from tile to tile; it really emphasizes the handmade quality of each piece and makes the kitchen feel that much more unique!
How about the 6x12s in Gypsum tiles on the floor?
We went with our initial pick for the floor and I’m thrilled with how it turned out. The herringbone pattern calls to mind the weathered wood floors of a sumptuous Belle Epoque French atelier, while the matte grey finish feels so utterly fresh and very cool!
Tile Shown: 6x12 in Gypsum
How did the installation process go? Did you face any challenges?
I’m happy to say that we found an excellent tile professional, so the install was smooth and painless! On the floor we selected a slightly wider grout width to provide an allowance for any small size variations in the tiles.
And on the backsplash, there are a few minor irregularities in the grid, but we’ve embraced them as part of the charm and personality of handmade tile!
Lastly, which of our colors/shapes/patterns are you hoping to use on any future projects?
Now that the kitchen has been brought up to snuff, I’ve definitely got my eye on our bathroom! I’m absolutely dying over the tone-on-tone textures and patterns of the Contemporary Handpainted Collection and think they’d look stunning in a shower setting!
Tile Shown: Palmera in White Motif
Inspired by Anne's 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.