Project Spotlight: De Maria | Fireclay Tile
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Design & Inspiration

Project Spotlight: De Maria

By Kali

Project Spotlight: De Maria

4x4 square tiles cover the wall in bold color swatches at this NYC restaurant.

All Images: Heidi's Bridge 

Using a primary palette, The MP Shift created a statement with swaths of our handcrafted 4x4 tiles in the New York restaurant, De Maria. Inspired by the artist Donald Judd and the Bauhaus movement, Co-Founders and Creative Directors of The MP Shift (an Interiors & Branding Studio), Amy Morris and Anna Polonsky wanted to, "...represent that laid back artist space, a place that feels like it's been home to many artists over the years and each hone added their own touch." Keep reading to learn more about this talented duo and to see more of this compelling space. 

A bit about The MP Shift: 

Our style can be described as…We celebrate imperfection. We never over design because we want people to make our spaces their regular spot they come back to again and again.
Our design philosophy is…To partner with the owner to understand the seed of their vision, then The MP Shift's goal is to articulate that vision well, so the space is inviting and cohesive with the brand. We are not interested in having a signature style, each client is different and so should be their respective spaces.
We find inspiration in…The streets of New York, travels (especially Latin America) & too many artists to count!
My best design advice would be…To fully develop the narrative of the space so that it can be translated authentically & thoughtfully. Also, never make a design move you wouldn't make in your own home.
We love tile because…It’s such a simple way to bring in color or incorporate a unique design into a space.


Can you tell me a little bit about MP Shift? What sort of projects do you typically work on?
We are a New York-based concept, design, and branding studio, working primarily on hospitality spaces & brands. What makes us unique is that we can help develop a space from A to Z: concept, graphics, interiors and marketing. That approach helps create lasting brands.

Can you tell me about the space? Is there a story behind the project you'd like to share?
Nolita is traditionally known for being the home of New York’s indepedent art scene. We wanted to represent that laid back artist space, a place that feels like it’s been home to many artists and over the years each one added their own touch.


How involved were the collaborators of De Maria in the design of the space?
We are the Creative Directors on all our projects. The MP Shift led the interior design, working with a team of artists and fabricators. We were inspired by our collaborators chef Camille Becerra and music producer Grace Lee, who found inspiration for the name in the mid-century artist Walter De Maria. We always take notes from the chefs we work with and this space is representative of Camille’s culinary style with pops of color and unexpected twists.


What type of look were you going for?
Bauhaus meets Donald Judd.


Image: Judd Foundation 

How did you come up with the color scheme?
To ground the space and create a familiar feel, we went for a natural color palette paired with shades of the primary colors. When we started we were seeing this play on primary colors across the runways, and it's, again, typical of the Bauhaus movement. 


What is the story behind the blocked square pattern?
We were inspired by a mural in Donald Judd’s New York residence made by his artist friend David Novros. Our reinterpretation, in tile instead of oil paints, is also very much in-line with Bauhaus principles; strong design can be simple.

4x4 wall tiles

Which of our colors did you choose? What made you choose them?
The work of Donald Judd and the Bauhaus movement were direct influences on our color scheme, both relied heavily on the use of saturated primary colors in their designs. We added balance to the primary colors with mellowed shades of grey and persimmon.


Tile Shown: St. Alban's Blue 


Tile Shown: Persimmon 


Tile Shown: Daffodil


Tile Shown: Sea Green 

4x4 tiles in Shale

Tile Shown: Shale 

How did the installation process go? Did you face any challenges?
We have a brilliant team, the installation went off without a hitch.

Lastly, which of our shapes/colors are you hoping to use in future projects?
We love incorporating different shapes in unexpected ways. Right now we're a big fan of the long narrow tiles, arranging them in different directions within one surface. Even mixing the variety of long narrow sizes, you have so many options it's exciting to imagine what we could do.


Tile Shown: 3x12s in White Wash

Inspired by this colorful project? 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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