A restaurant in the burgeoning culinary scene in Detroit, Selden Standard takes a modern take on rustic-style cusine in a space that truly stimulates the senses (we wish Detroit were closer so we could visit). Kristen Dean and Tadd Heidgerken, owners and principal designers at et al. Collaborative, worked to use a simple material palette that would still be alluring. Below, we talk to Kristen about their experience with the space and why they opted for our Snow Brick.
1. How did you hear about Fireclay Tile? Who here helped you, what did you enjoy about the experience?
At the time we were designing the restaurant (in 2013) I was also working on remodeling my own house and was looking for kitchen ideas. I came across Fireclay in a design blog, I was so excited about the color palette - we had all these other tile company samples and the colors were so garish. The Fireclay color palette was so much fresher than anything I had seen.
Bill was our first point of contact at Fireclay, he sent us our first set of samples and helped us with pricing and ordering. What I like about working with the company is that it feels like a personal experience. Typically, architects work with sales reps - and that's fine - but it's great to be able to talk directly to someone at the company. Fireclay is a small (albeit fast-growing!) business and we are a small business, so we like that.
2. Can you tell me about the space? Is there any story behind it and the project that you want to share? What did it look like before? What did you change?
The old brick structure that is now Selden Standard, consisted of two former building facades, one a dry cleaner and the other a church. It was actually vacant and roofless before.
Image: Marvin Shaouni
3. What type of look or aesthetic were you going for?
Lean, fresh, understated interior and exterior design; we wanted to reflect the restaurant’s modern take on a seasonal rustic-style cuisine. The challenge was how to combine a simple a simple material palette, into something alluring that stimulated all the senses.
Image: PD Rearick
4. How did you come up with your color scheme and design?
Originally, the clients were interested in having blue tile in the space. This is one of the reasons we ended up with Fireclay tile because of the great color palette, however, they also indicated that they liked the classic subway tile look. As the design started to come together and we started looking at the cedar wood for the bar ceiling, it became clear that a white finish would provide a great contrast to the cedar. We liked that the Glazed Thin Brick provided much more variation than a typical subway tile. Each piece has a unique texture and finish, as well as slight variation in size and shape, and in places you can see the red of the brick through the glaze. It gave us the color contrast that we were looking for without being too “clean.” The design intent was to use a modest material palette in a way that felt fresh - the Glazed Thin Brick was a perfect fit.
Brick Shown: Snow
5. How did the installation process go? Did you face any challenges? Did you work with a tile installer or contractor?
One of the challenges we had was using the black grout - when you contrast against the color of the tile like that any variation in grout joints is really obvious! And in a renovation like this you are working with an existing building, so wall are not necessarily square, smooth, or plumb, making it even more difficult to get a tight look. We had a masonry contractor do the install, and we did have to ask them to re-do some areas where the grout lines got a bit wonky.
Image: Marvin Shaouni
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