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Design & Inspiration

Project Spotlight: Malta Makes a Splash

By Kali |

Design & Images: Paige Rangel 

Looking for a way to make a statement while staying on budget, Paige Rangel of The Love Designed Life used our Handpainted Malta tiles to give her new kitchen a timeless focal point. We talked to Paige about her kitchen, tile selection process and more below! 

First, can you tell me a bit about yourself and what you do?  
I am a full time mom to three little ones: a 6 year old boy, 4 year old girl, and my 2 year old baby boy. Before having kids, I used to work in production and design in the fashion industry in LA, but after having the first two, we moved here to Arizona for my husband's job. I started blogging around that time, 3 1/2 years ago, as a creative outlet for myself during the transition. And it has really grown since then! On my blog, I share about motherhood, all things design, and natural living. It's a passion project and I love it!

Can you tell me about about your home? Was this kitchen project a part of a remodel or renovation?
We just bought this home in April of 2017. This is our first home we have ever owned, and we knew before we even started looking that we wanted a "project" - something we could really make our own. The kitchen was the first of many projects in this house (we are currently still renovating!) But we wanted to finish it first so we could move in while we finished the rest. We still have a lot to do before it's "done," but I've been told you are never really "done" once you own a home!

What is the overall aesthetic you are going for in your home? 
I've always been a fan of white, light, and bright spaces. I also love mid-century design, minimalism, lots of green plants, and all of that with a little bit of a boho vibe. Not sure if that makes any sense, but that's how I describe it! 

What were your goals for the kitchen? What did you want to change? 
Oh my gosh, everything needed to be changed about this kitchen! Haha. No, but in all honesty, we did like the layout of it as it was, with the one cabinet bank against the wall and the island with the sink in it. At first, we thought we might refinish the existing cabinets (which were black). But when we started talking appliances, and the style of the cabinets, and countertops, we quickly realized we just needed to rip it all out and start over.

In terms of tile, what look were you going for?
I've always wanted a white + bright kitchen, even before they came on trend! For a long time, I also thought I would just stick to a super simple/minimal backsplash, like a white subway tile. But as I got into designing the kitchen, I really wanted something a little different for the tile, to give the kitchen our own unique touch. I saw somewhere the idea of doing a contrast pattern tile, just behind the hood/range and loved that look. So I started looking at cement tiles, to get that pattern effect. But I really couldn't find anything I was in love with.

What made you decide to use our handpainted tile? 
I first found Fireclay handpainted tiles on Pinterest and I was instantly in love! I followed the links through until I got to the Fireclay website and was even more in awe of all the beautiful options. I honestly did try to source similar options elsewhere, but Fireclay tiles are so unique, I really couldn't find any reasonable substitute! I spoke with a designer through the webchat to start talking about my ideas and from there I was sold.

How did you land on Malta in Neutral Motif? Were there any other contenders?
I had such a hard time narrowing it down! I initially thought I wanted a bit of color. The Grandola in the Cool Motif is still one of my favorites. But it turned out to be just a bit out of budget for us. So that brought me to the Malta in the Cool Motif. I still love that one too! But in the end, I decided the Neutral Motif would be a better fit for the other colors we had going on in our kitchen. I also felt this color scheme will better stand the test of time, aka, I won't get sick of it!

Tile Shown: Malta in Cool and Neutral Motif 

How did the installation process go? Did you face any challenges?
One tile broke in shipping, which was sad, but luckily we ordered extras, so it wasn't a problem. The install of the Fireclay tiles went seamlessly! The only minor problem was the subway tiles that go all the way to the ceiling. Our house is older and the ceiling is not level. This caused problems when we were installing our cabinets too, which also go all the way to the ceiling. But after some creative work from my contractor, we got it all in and you can't even notice that now!

Lastly, which of our colors/shapes/patterns would you love to use in future?
Actually, we are using the Ogee Drop for our master bathroom splash in a 4-color ombre effect. I can't wait to see it installed!

Tile Shown: Ogee Drops in White Wash 

Love this kitchen? Check out all of our Handpainted Collections or order color samples online. 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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