Case Study: Porcelain and Glass Meet Demands of Form and Function
While the main purpose of the remodel of a three-story home on a hillside in Eugene, Ore., was to accommodate the needs of elderly loved ones, the end result was also a beautiful interior design featuring glass and porcelain tile. The homeowner selected materials that were not only durable and easy to maintain, but also aesthetically pleasing.
"The reason for the remodel is because we added an elevator to accommodate my elderly in-laws who will be living with us," said owner John Carlile, principal of Eco Echo Interior Design. "I wanted [the materials to be as] maintenance free and user friendly as possible."
In addition to the remodel, the project also involved new construction. "The kitchen is new," said the homeowner. "It is located on the middle level of the residence."
When planning the project, Carlile said that space was a top consideration. "The elevator feeds into the kitchen on the second floor," he said, explaining that he wanted the kitchen roomy enough to accommodate people entering and exiting. "There's an eat-in kitchen with a table and chairs and a large island that separates this space from the cooking area. It makes a two-way floor so that nobody is in the cook's way."
Also, the new gourmet kitchen provides a place for guests to congregate since Carlile entertains often. "We have a large extended family. There are about nine or 10 people that come for dinner every Sunday," the owner explained. "It is inevitable that everyone gathers in the kitchen. Now there is space. I can have a buffet on the island and keep cooking."
Choosing materialsCarlile turned to Bennett Stone & Tile Co. of Eugene, Ore., when it came time to select materials for his new interior design. The company supplied all of the tile and stone for the project. Kenneth Geyer of Diamond Tile & Stone in Cottage Grove, Ore., was responsible for the tile installation.
For the backsplash in the main kitchen, Carlile opted to use Oceanside Glasstile Tessera Coppertone blend mosaic tile, which runs directly above the counters about 6" high. Creating a point of interest behind the stove is a motif comprised of various glass tile - also from Oceanside Glasstile. The Tessera Coppertone blend of 1" by 1" mosaic pieces fills the center portion of the design and is bordered by Oceanside Haiku Willow 5" by 5" tiles in the Harvest Irid color. These tiles are bordered by decorative braided pieces of Haiku Incense Iridescent color.
Carlile worked closely with a consultant from Bennett Stone & Tile to choose the materials for his home. "Bennett Stone & Tile had just started carrying Oceanside tile while we were in the selection process," he said. "The backsplash was the last thing that got decided, so it worked out well."
"I really like the color variation," said Carlile, adding that it doesn't show dirt. "I wanted full-body porcelain because it is durable. The kicker was the Cairo was copper. I like copper. I have copper cookware and we have a copper roof. It seemed to work."
The 12" by 12" tiles were set on a diagonal to make the room look bigger. Further adding to the overall look of the space are the countertops, which are made from Cambria Quartz Surface. The color "Windsor" was used for the outer counters, while "Victoria" was used for the island. The material is comprised of 93 percent quartz, 7 percent resin and pigment.
Cambria Quartz Surface was also used for the countertop in this space. Additionally, Oceanside Glasstile's Tessera Suede 1" by 1" glass mosaics were employed for a 6" high backsplash.
The floor of the kitchenette, as well as the hallway leading to the bathroom and a handicapped ramp, are comprised of Earthscapes porcelain tile. Carlile selected the color "desert" for its warm light tones. This tile also reflects the characteristic of slate, with deep clefting and a sprinkling of warm earth speckles.
In the downstairs bathroom, a luxurious feel was created with a steam bath and Japanese-style soaking tub. The tub is wrapped in slate "pinwheel" mosaic tile. The base and deck of the tub are covered in mesh-mounted pebbles. While the floor is also made of slate, Earthscapes porcelain tile was used on the walls. Pieces of the slate "pinwheel" mosaic were cut and inserted playfully into the entrance of the bath.
Inspired by designAccording to Carlile, the remodel of his home was an exciting and rewarding experience. Not only did he achieve the objective of building a safe and functional atmosphere for his in-laws, but he also produced an elegant, eye-catching design.
Although the materials meet practical demands, the shimmering glass and stone-look porcelain provide an upscale look and feel. Realizing that the care of elderly parents will occupy a significant amount of his time, low-maintenance products was a priority for the homeowner. "Dealing with the elderly, I don't have time to clean," he said. "Glass tile can be sprayed with Windex and quartz countertops don't harbor bacteria.
According to Carlile, he enjoyed this experience so much that soon after construction was completed, he decided to pursue his career in design and become a designer. "The remodel proved that this is what I should be doing," he said. "So I went ahead and got my contractor's license in Oregon."