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Design & Inspiration

Project Spotlight: Lakeside Retreat

By Kali |

Design & Images: Erin Williamson Design 

Teeming with playful pops of color and pattern appeal, designer Erin Williamson transforms this 1950's lakehouse into a modern-day getaway. From our Glazed Thin Brick to handpainted patterns, this A-frame is full of tile inspiration. We talked to Erin about the house, her style and of course, all the tile below: 

First a bit about Erin: 
My style can be described as...Clean, unexpected, artistic.
My design philosophy is...To establish a clear point of view and engineer all elements towards that principle. 
I got my start...As an interiors photographer and blogger.
I find inspiration in...Art and movies. I often think of the spaces I design in cinematic terms.
I can't live without...Texture.
My best design advice would be...When in doubt, leave it out (I stole that from a very smart client!)
I love tile because...I am endless inspired by the variety and beauty in functional objects.

First, can you tell me a bit about yourself and your design firm? What sort of projects do you typically work on? 
Erin Williamson Design is a full service residential design firm (based in Austin, TX), with a focus on unique artistic installations. Typically we work on whole house remodels and furnishings. 

Can you tell me a bit about this project? Was it a renovation or remodel?
This is a 1950's A frame lakehouse. It has four units housed in the same structure, and we were tasked with gutting the entire property and putting it back together in a way that felt authentic to the original structure. 

What did you most what to change about the space? What look or aesthetic were you going for?
The bathrooms and kitchens are relatively petite, so we wanted to use pattern and texture in a way that created a clear focal point without making the rooms feel smaller. We tried to make the spaces feel playful and a bit nostalgic -- as befits a 50s lakehouse.

How involved were your clients in the design process?
Our clients were very involved with almost every detail. This is a special property for them, which they envisioned as a family retreat -- a place to relax and recharge. They really wanted every space to feel personal and considered. We were so fortunate to work on this creative project with them!

Let's talk about the kitchen first, how did you come up with the concept for the backsplash? What made you choose Brick?
We saw another installation that was chevron patterned with multi color tile, and we scaled that idea to the space. It echoes the most recognizable feature of the property, which is the peaked A frame roof line. Our client felt the brick added a layer of texture that seemed earthy and natural in context of a lakehouse.

How did you land on the colors Bitterroot, Allegheny and Lewis Range?
We used a lot of blue throughout the property, as it recalled the surrounding waterline. And you can never go wrong with black and white.

Brick Shown: Lewis Range

Brick Shown: Allegheny

Brick Shown: Bitterroot

Now, on to the Old Cairo bathroom, what made you choose this pattern in Neutral Motif? Were there any other contenders?
The room is very small, so a neutral palette let us use a fun pattern without it overwhelming the space. We played with the Fireclay custom Color-It Tool and came up with a range of combinations, but this one felt right with the surrounding copper fixtures.

Tile Shown: Old Cairo in Neutral Motif (Erin slightly augmented this motif) 

How about the Kasbah Trellis bathroom floor?
The white ground really helps the space to feel open and clean, while the black adds a jolt of energy. The amount of pattern is also helpful in disguising everyday dust -- it's so much more practical than a solid white floor.

Tile Shown: Kasbah Trellis in Neutral Motif 

How did the installation process go? Did you face any challenges?
With any project there are challenges, but we render all our bath and kitchen designs in 3D which really cuts down on the heartburn that accompanies nasty surprises. Fireclay also rendered our custom designs across the floor, so we had a really good idea of how the pattern scale would play out across the room. Scale is everything in a small space!

Lastly, which of our colors/shapes/patterns would you love to use in future projects?
I am obsessed with the terracotta type colors -- Mushroom, Cinnabar, Nutmeg. I think they bridge the gap between new and old in a unique way.

Tile Shown: 1x4s in Nutmeg; Design: The Modern Caravan 

The handpainted Agrarian Collection is also exciting -- much more durable than cement tile and just as fun.

Inspired by this lakeside retreat? 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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