Tucked away in a wooded enclave in the city of Brookhaven, GA, about 10 miles outside of Atlanta, stands The Oleander, a luxury apartment complex. Located near Emory University and the Atlanta Hawks Training Center, the six-story, 398,000-square-foot building features artfully crafted interiors complete with elegant details, distinctive finishes and modern conveniences that make it easy to live well. High-grade materials and amenities, including a range of decorative ceramic and porcelain tile, were used to design The Oleander, which make it anything but a normal apartment complex.
“Intentionality and consideration are built into each nook, common area and apartment home, balancing sophistication and comfort with both look and feel,” said Ben Eldridge, account executive at DCO Commercial Floors (DCOCF) in Lawrence, GA, which completed the installation.
DCOCF selected a variety of different tiles from various manufacturers to help bring all of the common areas and apartments to life. About 70,000 square feet of tile was used throughout the complex on the walls and floors, which was supplied collaboratively by Specialty Tile Products and Daltile in Atlanta.
In the lobby’s resident lounge and nearby gaming area, 30- x 30-inch wood-look porcelain tiles from Trinity Tile’s Manor Wood collection were laid on the floors in an intricate parquet pattern. “This tile makes a convivial space for neighbors to gather,” Eldridge said.
The gaming room also features a small bar, with seating for four people, which is clad in 7 ⁷/₈- x 7 ⁷/₈-inch decorative tiles from Ann Sacks Tile & Stone’s Eastern Promise collection. Handcrafted in Morocco and designed by interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, the softly honed tiles from the “Gatsby” pattern were utilized in a custom color combination, featuring blue, gray and black. The herringbone-style pattern emulates a wave-like effect that adds a pop of color to the room.
In an adjacent lounge and meeting area, 24- x 24-inch porcelain tiles from Refin Ceramiche’s Wide collection were used on the floor in the “Chalk Sketch 3” decor. The vertical- and horizontal-lined, mix-and-match tiles create a nice accent to the vibrant mosaic backsplashes on the walls and gold and brown accessories throughout.
To continue the wood-inspired theme, wood slats and 8- x 8-inch slate blue hexagonal tiles from Daltile were used for the fireplace surround in the common area. The slate blue tile theme carries into the mail room, where oblong ceramic tiles from Ergon’s Elegance collection cover the floor. The 11 ¹³/₁₆- x 11 ¹³/₁₆-inch hexagonal tiles were used in “Grey,” which reflect various shades of gray when the light hits them.
“In contrast to the high-energy of the common areas, where dynamic tile patterns and textures prevail, the units offer relaxation with classic finishes in modern, natural neutrals,” Eldridge said. “Even the smallest apartments (measuring 580 square feet) feel luxe with foot-long, stacked Marzazzi Middleton Square white tiles on the kitchen backsplash, AVA Design Alpine Oak floors and American Olean white beveled shower surrounds.”
The 4- x 12-inch glossy ceramic tiles from Marazzi USA’s Middleton Square collection provide a nice accent in the apartment kitchens, while the 3- x 6-inch glossy, beveled ceramic tiles from American Olean’s Profiles collection complement the shower walls, maintaining a neutral theme throughout the living spaces.
“Manual window shades and faux wood blinds were also a part of the project, a fine example of our two service divisions coming together to create one gorgeous masterpiece,” Eldridge added.
For the tile installation, which required a crew of 10 installers, DCOCF utilized setting products and adhesives from Laticrete, MAPEI and Schönox, as well as profiles from Schluter-Systems.
Although the project ran smoothly, the biggest feat was installing the large-format tile, according to Eldridge. “We had extremely large-format tile in the amenities area so that was tricky, took time and attention to detail,” he said. “We also had to add a 12- x 24-inch accent in the showers to compensate for the plumbing fixtures not lining up with the 3- x 6-inch beveled tile.”
The installation took around six months, with members from DCOCF onsite regularly to ensure all design expectations were met. “We had a full-time superintendent, Mark Speed, onsite instructing and overseeing the day-to-day operations and consulting with the general contractor,” Eldridge explained. “Corbin Mintz, our project manager, managed the operations, including logistics, manpower and product management. Myself as the account executive kept close contact with the Juneau Construction team on changes to the project, as well as contract review and vendor relations, which ultimately led to the procurement of materials for the project.”
The entire project, which was completed in about a year and a half, has received praise from the clients, residents and visitors alike. It was also awarded “Gold” in the “Corporate Mixed-Use Developments” category at the 2020 Starnet Design Awards, which DCOCF is most proud of. “We are honored to have worked on this high-end project,” Eldridge said.
Architect: Dwell Design Studio, Atlanta, GA
Tile Installer: DCO Commercial Floors, Lawrence, GA
Tile Suppliers: Specialty Tile Products, Atlanta, GA (Ergon’s Playground and Elegance collections, Island Stone’s Crescent Mini collection, Refine Ceramiche’s Wide collection, Ann Sacks Tile & Stone’s Eastern Promise collection, Ornamenta’s Paper collection, Trinity Tile’s Manor Wood collection); Daltile, Atlanta, GA (Daltile’s Rittenhouse Square and Fabric Art collections, American Olean’s Profiles collection, Marazzi USA’s Middleton Square collection)
Installation Products: Laticrete, Bethany, CT (1500 Sanded Grout, 1600 Unsanded Grout, Hydro Barrier, 252 Silver, ); MAPEI, Deerfield Beach, FL (Ultrabond ECO 811, Ultrabond ECO 711, Ultrabond ECO 575); Schluter-Systems, Plattsburgh, NY (Schluter-Schiene); Schönox, Florence, AL (floor prep)