First, meet Mallory!
Can you tell me a bit about yourself and what you do? Where are you based?
My name is Mallory Fletchall, and I’m an interior content creator and blogger based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I live in a one bedroom apartment with my fiancé David, and our two cats, Michael and Kiki.
How did you hear about Fireclay Tile? What did you enjoy about the experience? What are your favorite products?
I stumbled upon Fireclay Tile on Instagram last year, and ever since, found myself bookmarking so many projects incorporating their tile. When it came time to work on our own kitchen renovation, I had such a blast choosing which designs we would use in our kitchen project, especially for the floor! Once we received our final choices, we loved the process of gridding out the handpainted tile on the floor before choosing our final design layout. There were so many fun options!
Tile Shown: Fallow in White Motif
Why do you love tile?
From a design standpoint, I love the unique characteristics you can find in every piece, something only seen in natural materials. The durability of tile, plus the fact that it immediately elevates the style of any room when installed, makes it a winner in my book.
Can you tell me about the kitchen? What did it look like before? What did you change?
We have a narrow galley kitchen at the back of the apartment that gets incredible light, but was otherwise extremely dated. It had not been updated since the early 1990’s - think green laminate counters, blue vinyl flooring, and a matching blue backsplash. We ended up changing everything except for the layout.
Here is the kitchen before:
What type of look or aesthetic were you going for?
The rest of our place is bright, airy and full of soft colors. I wanted to create a kitchen that fit in cohesively with the rest of the apartment. As I mentioned, we wanted to go with a pretty soft green for the cabinet fronts, so to create the airy look I envisioned meant bringing in neutral and earthy tones with our tile, counter, and other design elements.
Here's the kitchen now:
How did you come up with your color scheme and design?
The color scheme is one that I always lean towards. White walls, soft colors, with greenery to add pops of color. I love minimal design in kitchens using mostly neutrals, but for us, I knew we needed to add a bit more of our personality. That meant choosing colors and design details that would allow us to bring in decor in our favorite color, pink.
Once we had the tile picked out, everything else fell into place. For me, it was all about nailing down those few key elements, and then building around them. The handpainted Fallow tile really led the inspiration charge.
Let's talk about the floor tile first. How did you decide on the Fallow in White Motif? Were there any other contenders?
I’ve had my eye on Fallow for a while. I absolutely loved how many layout options it offered! The white motif was an easy choice for me once I knew our cabinet front color. I just knew it would beautifully complement the green.
We went back and forth between Fallow and Pivot for a while, but decided for our narrow kitchen floor, the Fallow would work best. I love that the Fallow is a mix between glossy and matte glazes. It provides just enough gloss to help the sunlight bounce around the kitchen, without being slippery underfoot. I love it!
What made you choose tile for the floor vs another material?
After living with vinyl flooring in our kitchen or years, I decided it was time for a major upgrade. In my mind, nothing beats the style that tile brings to a kitchen. Not only that, but the durability, and resistance to water and stains played a huge role in the choice.
How about the backsplash tile--why did you go with Feldspar in a vertical straight set pattern?
I knew I wanted a neutral tile for the backsplash, but wanted to stay away from traditional glossy white subway tile. Although it can look very nice, I didn’t want our backsplash to disappear into the wall on sunny days, so I set out to find an alternative that would provide a bit more warmth.
After ordering a ton of samples, we settled on Feldspar. I cannot express how much we love this color, especially when sunlight hits it.
I always loved the looked of stacked vertical tile in kitchens and bathrooms. The uniform look is very modern to me, and you don’t see it as often, which was a huge plus! I also knew that we would be doing all of the installation work ourselves, and the stacked design would be easier to place as novice tile installers.
How did the installation process go? Did you face any challenges? Did you work with a tile installer or contractor?
The installation went surprisingly well! We decided right away that we would be handling all aspects of the renovation ourselves. That meant countless hours researching best practices, watching how-to’s, and finding surfaces to practice on. By the time we went to tile, it went so smoothly, we were shocked!
How was designing for your own home? Lessons learned?
I’ve loved every minute of designing this home. When we first moved in, I was so inspired by the high ceilings, natural light, and historic details, that I decided that the decor in each room needed to pay homage to these details, not distract from them. I’ve learned that it’s best to take your time in the design process. I never would have thought a few years ago that we would be renovating our kitchen ourselves, yet here we are.
What are your 3 best design tips?
1. Design around one element you know you want to incorporate into a room. For our kitchen, we knew we were going to have colorful cabinet fronts, so I wanted to bring in muted colors with our tile to offset the louder cabinet choice.
2. Always add houseplants. They bring color and texture to any room, and are perfect for filling awkward corners or spaces you otherwise wouldn’t know what to do with.
3. Take your time. It’s better to have a home minimally furnished with a few pieces you will love for years to come, than filling it to the brim with stuff you won’t love in 6 months.
Lastly, which Fireclay products would you love to use in future projects?
There are so many Fireclay products I LOVE. I would be thrilled to use the handprinted Arable or Pivot tiles (love that warm motif), brick, or Fireclay’s Glass tile in a project.
Tile Shown: Pivot in Warm Motif
Inspired by this kitchen? Order color samples online now or check out the rest of our Agrarian Collection. 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.