The mission was deceptively simple. Interior designers with roots in — or connections to — the southern U.S. were enlisted to contribute their talents to transform a grand, but aging New Orleans home into a stately, livable house. The exact call stated that designers would “lend their contemporary vision to a 15-room show house, while also incorporating traditional southern design.”
The complexity of the mission arose at the intersection of “contemporary” and “traditional.” Designers were challenged to incorporate existing elements of the home — from aspects of its interior architecture to surfacing materials — that still looked great and held their appeal. Also, even though many designers were contributing their unique takes on the transformation, the house needed to hold continuity from room-to-room.
These challenges were particularly pronounced for Tallahassee-based interior designer, Laura Burleson of Laura Burleson Interiors, who was assigned “Bathroom 1.” The fact that the out-of-date space needed a total overhaul was really not a problem; Burleson has the experience to reimagine just about any room down to the studs. However, she had to achieve said overhaul in a way that blended with other bathrooms in the house in which original tile surfaces were being kept and integrated into the updates. Burleson’s assigned bathroom required all new tile that had to work within that “contemporary meets traditional” sweet spot.
To achieve the right balance, Burleson turned to Crossville, Inc. for tile collections that offered a timeless look, which would also pair well with the otherwise dramatic patterns and motifs she envisioned for the space. With an artful mix of materials, Burleson was able to create a bathroom that is distinctly modern while speaking to the elegance and enduring nature of southern style.
For shower walls, as well as the shower step and vanity countertop, she specified Laminam by Crossville’s gauged porcelain tile panels from the I Naturali collection. These large-format panels offer the classic, enduring look of Carrara marble, providing just the right backdrop for the space. To contrast the soft, bright marble appearance on the walls and countertop, Burleson opted for Crossville’s Yin+Yang hexagon tiles in the color “Black Dragon” on the floor.
The Crossville tile collections are a beautiful, subtle counterpoint of sophistication to the bold and attention-grabbing wall covering that dresses the three surrounding walls in the bathroom. The bold, brushstroke design of the wallpaper brings in the contemporary appeal, yet is reminiscent of traditional wall coverings in scale and tone.
The Laminam by Crossville gauged porcelain tile panels make for excellent countertop material. With a lean profile and generous outer dimensions, these tiles cover expansive surfaces, nearly uninterrupted by grout lines. On the countertop, the marble appearance of I Naturali is the ideal sleek and simple touch, which will outperform true marble in terms of lasting durability and ease of cleaning.
With Crossville’s creative and problem solving solutions, “Bathroom 1” became “mission accomplished” for Burleson. She was able to unleash her definitive, modern style in this bathroom metamorphosis while also paying homage to the timeless, proper southern style of the home.
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