Babies, Home, and Tile

Wow! A lot has happened since I wrote last.  My brother and I both had babies AND on the same date, 4/6/14.  I think that must be some sort of record, because how often do you hear of cousins having the same birth date and birth year.  My husband and I finally found the perfect home and settled 4/18/14.  I can’t wait to share renovation photos in the coming weeks.  We’re moving in this Friday!  The last few weeks have been spent getting the house ready to live in.  Last but not least, we launched a new tile line called Brocade that my mom and I designed (see details below).  I have to say designing tile like this is the funnest part of my job and maybe writing this blog :)

Of course I have to start with the most important thing, babies :).  My 2nd son, Oliver, born 2:20am, 8 lbs 6 oz, 21 inches (who would have thought we would have a tall baby since my husband and I aren’t tall).  P.S.  Siblings give the cutest nick names!  Oliver’s new name is ‘Bover’ because Ben doesn’t quite know how to pronounce it yet.  My brother did the same thing with me, I was Steaner / Beaner…eventually it turned into just Stina (and that’s what I’m still called today by close friends and family).  This is Oliver a couple days after leaving the hospital.



This is my boys on Mother’s Day:

ben & oliver

My brother’s daughter, Shaylen, was born the same day at 9:21am, 6 lbs 14 oz.  Here she is modeling our new Brocade line!  My brother now has two girls, his older daughter is just a few months older than my son Ben.



The next fun thing is the house…it is a fixer upper, foreclosed property, on 5 acres, with a pond, a canal in the back, and a pool.  It feels like a lodge-style retreat.  Here are a couple photos (prior to any renovations).  I can’t wait to share some renovation photos with you in upcoming blogs.  We’re going to turn it into a more cottage style feel, new paint, sand / paint kitchen cabinets, farmhouse sink…potentially white wash fireplace although we’re torn on that.  Funny story about the house, we were told we need to shock the well, so we had the instructions on how to do it from online, we got all the supplies, and we were out there with the kids, my husband, and my in-laws tonight attempting it.  The instructions essentially say to pour bleach down the well, then turn on all the faucets until you smell chlorine.  Well, we’re there with the faucet running waiting to smell chlorine (which never came)…when we realized that the well filtration system has a chlorinator and de-chlorinator to get rid of the sulfur smell!  So, we were trying to chlorinate water that can’t be chlorinated.  Oh boy, we’re in over our heads.  Anyways, tomorrow we will be disconnecting the de-chlorinator and re-shocking the well.

mallard4mallard3 photo

Last but not least is our new waterjet tile line!  This line is one that we have been working on for a year, called Brocade.  It consists of 13 patterns: 5 which are in-stock in pre-selected colorways. All stock material can be found on our website here.  Of the 13 patterns, my mom Betty Sullivan designed two, then 3 were just go-to patterns, and I designed the rest.  Details on all patterns can be found here.  The neat thing about this waterjet line is that 1) its much more affordable than other high-end waterjet patterns out there, 2) you can design your own colorway (we have a selection of 36 stones and 8 glass options), 3) there are some gorgeous stock options if you don’t want to wait the lead time!

I wanted to share some of my personal favorites (if I’m allowed since I designed them) :). Calligraphy (shown in Thassos and Bianco Venatino).  This is one that we actually decided to stock.

Calligrpaphy-Thassos-P + Carrara Venatino-P

Cathedral (shown in Calacatta Chablis and Coffee Stone).  This is a classic pattern found in stained glass.

Cathedral-Calacatta Statuario-P + Coffee Stone Dark-P

Ovals (shown in Naturals Cliff glass and Calacatta Gold).  We also decided to stock this pattern as well.


Lastly, Riad (shown in Moonstone and Bianco Venatino).  I actually think this one is my most favorite out of all of them and I love it in this colorway.  We are stocking this one as well.Riad Grouted Board

What do you guys think of this new series?  Let us know!

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Designing for Fun :)

Recently we got so close to buying a foreclosed home that was a MAJOR fixer upper.  We ended up backing out of the contract after the inspection because the entire crawl space was rotted, so it was more than just a remodel…the structure of the home would have needed to be replaced.  But through the process, I had a great time designing the kitchen and bathrooms!  I’m still hoping to use these designs when we do find the right fixer upper.

For the master bathroom, this is what I had planned.  The floors would be classic Calacatta Gold (italian marble) in a trendy 1×4 Herringbone pattern.  I love the concept of the open-shower concept in which you don’t need a shower door (shown below).  This can be done when you use a linear drain and slope the floor away from the shower entrance.  Our glass shower door builds up water marks so quickly, that the idea of having as little glass as possible is ideal.

1x4 calacatta herringbone

1×4″ Herringbone Calacatta Gold Mosaic

linear drain with slope floor

Linear Drain with Open-Shower Concept

For the walls, I wanted to do just a simple 3×6 ceramic tile with a chunky base.

4x8 wall tile

4×8 Glossy Ceramic Wall Tile

base board

6×6 Glossy Ceramic Baseboard

Ovals r2

Brocade Ovals Calacatta Gold + Cliff Glass

For the niche, I put our new stock Brocade Ovals with Calacatta Gold marble and Cliff Glossy glass.  I like the idea of doing an oversize niche like the photo below to really see the waterjet mosaic pattern.  It also helps tie in the marble on the floor with the ceramic walls.

nicheBelow is an installation image which shows nicely the concept of a marble mosaic floor with a ceramic wall tile.  Love it!  Sometimes doing marble on the floors and walls can be very pricey and too much for simple bathroom.

vanity with hardware

Home Decorators Montaigne Vanity

marble floors ceramic walls

Marble Floors with Ceramic Wall Tile

I also found a wonderful cottage style vanity from Home Decorators.  All you have to do is install some mock hardware on the front.  That completes the master bathroom.  What do you think?

I will share with you my future kitchen design in the next blog post, so stay tuned!

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Match Your Pottery Barn Style

Did you just receive your Fall 2013 Pottery Barn catalog in the mail?  We did!  Pottery Barn is actually my favorite home furniture store, I always drag my husband through that one store when we’re at the mall together. In fact, we went to lunch at the mall after church on Sunday with my in-laws and the one store we walked through was Pottery Barn (haha).  They just have a great look and a warm feel.

Mallory (in our Baltimore showroom) pointed out that in the most recent Early Fall 2013 Pottery Barn catalog (pg42) they show a bathroom with white ceramic tile and a Bianco Carrara border.

Excitingly we just launched a new series called ‘Pure’ and one of our showroom boards displays the same product:   raised white ceramic tile with Bianco Carrara marble accent tile (see images below).  Great minds think alike.


Pottery Barn Vanity displayed with Ceramic Tile and Bianco Carrara Border


Pure Collection White Ceramic with Bianco Carrara Accent

Let me know if you have a style that you would like to match…I can find the right tile to fit your look!

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X-Large Baltimore Warehouse

I’m so excited to say that we have officially moved into our new Baltimore warehouse location.  We have moved all of our stock material from 3 small warehouses into one extra large 32,000 sqft warehouse.  Our warehouse manager, Shane, did an awesome job coordinating this move and everything went off without a hitch.  The warehouse staff worked really hard this week and moved ~20 truckloads a day!

Having a distribution center is great for several reasons:

1) Its right off 95 (even visible from 95), so very easy access for pick ups and deliveries.

2) Increased accuracy.  More floor space for packing orders and storing material.

3) Increased efficiency.  All material will arranged by Series name from A to Z and easily accessible.

One of our employees (Leandro) took some awesome photos during the move from up on a forklift.  The first images is our racks going up and the 2nd images is all our stock material waiting to be put on those racks.

??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????Baltimore Warehouse location details and hours can be found on the website (see link below):

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Summer Sun Before & After

As promised in my last blog (when I showed you a sneak peak of our fresh new patio), here it is!

About 2 years ago we bought a foreclosed home at an auction, what a thrilling experience buying a home at an auction.  There were points in the bidding process where we didn’t even know exactly which price the auctioneer was saying!  Prior to attending the auction we had a home inspection done, we looked at comps, we knew how much we would be willing to pay…we did our research.  At the end of it we ended up getting a great deal and won the bid :)

So, then it came to the fun part of fixing it up because it sure needed it.  We remodeled the entire downstairs and re-vamped the landscaping.  In my upcoming blogs I will go room by room through our remodel, but for now I’ll focus on the backyard.

This is what the backyard looked like when we moved in.  It had a 30 year old chatahoochee pebble patio which with every step you got pebbles stuck to your feet and would track into the house.  It also had mold/moss in spots because of standing water.  There was a large shrub that made the backyard feel very small, and there was sand in the backyard instead of grass.  It was not an ideal place for hanging out and living in Florida you really do want to spend time in your backyard grilling or just relaxing.


patio before

patio before 3










This is Ben observing the action.  It was a free babysitter for me :)

patio before 5

We removed the hedge and replaced it with a thicker ficus hedge on the upper level, planted grass, replaced the fence top from an 8″ width plank to a 12″ width plank (so that we can use it as a bench), planted some mini Italian Cypress’, installed cement pavers, and last but not least tiled the patio!  We did remove the pebbles first, its important to have a smooth flat surface to start.


photo 27

We decided to use 24×24 On Square Cemento Porcelain tile for the patio.  After it was installed my husband said “it looks just like cement”…that’s what we get with a color called Cemento :) We both love the way it turned out.  The back garden is a really nice space for grilling and hanging out now.

Close up shot…

photo 23

What tile did you use in your backyard makeover?  Is anyone doing any outdoor projects for the summer?

Stay tuned for the rest of the remodel.

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Family Fourth

Today is one of my favorite holidays because Jason and I used to celebrate it as our 6-month anniversary when we first started dating.  I know, that’s silly!  I’m ALSO thankful for this day because we get to celebrate our independence and thank those who serve in protecting our freedom.

I had an elementary school teacher that I still remember, Ms. Pretzel (no joke), who’s brother fought in the Vietnam War, so she would always play ‘I’m Proud to be an American’ all the time for the class.   To this day its still one of my favorite songs, love it!   Shout out to my high school girlfriends too because we used to sing this song all the time.  We used to throw our right arm up during the ‘stand up’ part…haha.

So, what are you guys doing today to celebrate??  I just got back from the pool with Anna (sister), Sydney (neice), Mrs. Whys (Mimi), and Ben.  We had a great time trying to teach the kids to swim…they’re not quite there yet :)  I sported Ben in red / white / blue before I laid him down for a nap.  Later today we’re going to grill out at our house with the same group and my sister Dianna.  If the kids are still going strong, we’ll check out an event in the area with music & activities, then fireworks if we’re lucky!

I can’t get him to pose for photos, any advice?


Okay, so what you all were waiting for, some patriotic tile favorites!


Sneak peak at my new tiled patio!  On Square Cemento 24×24 Tile.  More details to come soon.

photo 11

Fun blue backsplash from one of our vendors (Fire Clay Tile):

backsplashRed (Orange) / White / Blue Clouds!

NewRavenna_ErinAdamsClouds- Jewel

Share your favorite red / white / blue tile…

Happy 4th!

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Color It Up!


I was looking through several tile images to find the perfect photo for our upcoming Home & Design Magazine AD.  I was catching up on new product from one of my favorite brands, New Ravenna, where I came across a golden yellow glass waterjet mosaic (Fiona Jewel Glass Shown Below).  This mosaic would really brighten up a bathroom and I realized it fits perfect with Lemon Zest from Pantone’s 2013 ‘Fashion Color Report’ .  So I got to thinking it would be neat to find a tile option that compliments each ‘in fashion’ Pantone color.  So, here’s my shot at it!

What are your favorite Pantone’s?  My favorites are Dusk Blue, Grayed Jade, and Lemon Zest.

Lemon Zest Pantone – Fiona Jewel Glass Waterjet

Fiona Jewel Glass Mosaic

Grayed Jade Pantone – Miraflores Medina Stone Mosaic

Grayed Jade

Tender Shoots Pantone – Debris Series Paseo Spruce Gloss  (DeWitt Architects and Twist Tours Photography)

Debris Series, DeWitt Architects, Paseo, Spruce, Twist Tours Photography

Dusk Blue Pantone – Lantern Ceramic Tile

dusk blue

Poppy Red Pantone – Red Ceramic Accent Wall Tile installed & designed by Vallefuoco Contractors

red accent wall

Linen Pantone – Chic Stone Wind Porcelain Tile

wind 12x24

Monaco Blue Pantone – Delft Chinoiserie hand cut Jewel Glass Mosaic

monaco blue 2

Nectarine Pantone – Calypso Concrete Tile


African Violet Pantone – Charisma Cobblestone Mosaic with Romance Field Tile, Ripple Mosaic Border, and Prisim Field Mosaic


Save the best for last because Emerald is the 2013 color of the year :)

emerald banner

Emerald Pantone – Tozen Strontium Natural


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