Cozy Thanksgiving Tile Collage

Just a little collage of some nice warm thanksgiving inspired tile.  The wood-look porcelain on the right is our new stock, Chaa Creek. Then I picked a 3×6 sand colored ceramic field tile and a lantern mosaic pattern with a mix of browns and ivory’s.  Happy Thanksgiving! We’re going to be starting our turkey shortly :)


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Basketweave is the New Weave

It’s funny, basketweave has been around for ages, but recently there has been a resurgence of it.  Literally 3 of our top selling stones are this white marble with grey dot basketweave mosaic.  If you like the basketweaves below, here are some ideas of how you could install it.

  • You could do the entire bathroom floor (I probably wouldn’t do the shower floor though, just the main room area).
  • You could use a 1/2″ flat liner to frame out a rectangular area of basketweave on your bathroom floor with a solid field tile on the outside of the liner.
  • I have seen basketweave framed out as an accent in backsplashes as well, but I’m personally not a fan of basketweave on walls or backsplashes.  I prefer them on the floor.

The first one is this mini-basketweave look from our Park Place series.


Park Place Basketweave Mosaic

Secondly, is a brand new stock item in our Calacatta Chablis collection.  Their is actually a beige dot option as well.  I think that grey is starting to be phased out by warmer grey’s and beige’s.  Things were maybe starting to get too ‘cool’. :)  I’m working up the design for our master bathroom now and the beige dot basketweave is high on my list for the floor tile.

chablis basketweave with grey dot

Calacatta Chablis Basketweave Mosaic

Lastly, this white & grey marble basketweave which has a little less contrast between the larger pieces and the dot.


White / Grey Marble Basketweave Mosaic

Have a great rest of the week!  I’m going to be taking off with my husband and 2 sons tonight for an ‘all nighter’ drive to Tennessee for my cousins wedding.  I’m so excited for the trip! (not the drive).  We figured the kids would sleep on the drive if we did it over night, so it would be easier in the long run.  My son is going to be the ring bearer, he has the cutest grey suit.  I will post some pictures when I get back. Bye Y’all in true TN fashion.

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What’s New in Kitchen Backsplashes?

I have the privilege of seeing many of the projects that Architectural Ceramics designers put together.  I’ve noticed a major trend recently in kitchen backsplashes…stained glass (looking) mosaic tile.

I absolutely love this first one.  Tim White worked with Elite Kitchens to create this gorgeous ‘sea-life’ kitchen! With its earthy toned counter, white cabinets, and shades of green/blue glass tile backsplash it is like you’re laying on the beach. Browse Tozen if you like this look.

Elite Kitchens Custom Lunada  Bay Glass Backsplash

This is one of our stock stained glass mosaics (material: Lines Shades), looks great with the white cabinets and black counters!

Lines Backsplash

This is stained glass with a twist…putting stained glass in an actual pattern as if it were a window.  There are several patterns and colorways you can put together to match your kitchen. See our Devotion line.

Tang Backsplash

This is a little patchwork looking stained glass with various sizes and colors mixed in. These colors are all in style right now in the mosaic blend below: tan, white, blue, grey.

Tang Backsplash2

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Terra Cottage Kitchen Remodel

Our Terra Cottage home remodel blogging begins! I want to name our home Terra Cottage because I like Tara from Gone with the Wind and the whole home is Terra Cotta floors, so I thought it was a cute play on words.  A few blogs back I mentioned that we bought a foreclosed home that needed a lot of fixing up.  I’m going to start with the kitchen because its the central point of a home.  We aren’t completely done with our kitchen yet but we’re close!   You’ll see I excluded pictures of the stove section because its not done yet (I’ll share that in phase 2).

Here is the before picture with dark brown cabinets, pink walls, and laminate counters.  It was very dark and obviously unfinished.  I have no idea what they were thinking with the pink walls but the house was built in ’89 and this was all original, so it must have been the style.  They left an amazing fridge, which was super sweet!  The ice maker was broken, the dishwasher, oven / stove, and counters were gone which is common in foreclosures.

Kitchen (Before)

The whole home is pretty much terra cotta tile which originally I wasn’t so keen on but it has really grown on me. The floors are staying for now because that is a huge project to re-tile the entire house and we’re trying to do most of the work ourselves (by ourselves…my husband is the skilled one :) love him).

We decided to do this kitchen remodel on the cheap, so rather than tearing the whole thing out we kept everything. We had the cabinets sanded and painted.  We used Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter on the main cabinets and BM Silver Gray on the island cabinets.   The walls are painted BM China White and the trim is BM Simply White (the window trim was unfinished wood).  We are strongly considering painting the wood-finish window white as well because the window stands out a bit too much now, but we’ll see how we feel about it down the road…once its painted you can’t go back!  Jason built shelves where the ice maker was which turned out great (because ice makers can be ~$3k to replace and according to the appliance guy the stand alone ice makers break often).  We replaced the beaded rope crown moulding with a more traditional chunky crown moulding (Jason and my father-in-law did that project together one night).  You can see originally the beaded rope crown was running in front of the window, I didn’t like the idea of blocking the window with crown so you can see in the after photo the window area looks more open.

Kitchen (After)

Kitchen (After)

For the island counter, we just bought this oak slab from Lumber Liquidators and Jason cut it down to fit.  For the main counter, we did 4×8 Neri White Glossy Ceramic Field Tile and 2×8 matching bullnose for the edge.  The backsplash is my favorite things about the kitchen!  It is 1×4 Brocade Calacatta Gold (italian white marble) Herringbone Mosaic tile with a Calacatta Gold pencil you can see on either side of the window to finish off the edge. Pencils and trim are easy to forget about in projects but are really important for a finished look.


Okay, so one of the big money items of the kitchen was this awesome farmhouse sink.  My husband and I had gone back and forth on just getting a standard sink because it would be easier to install, we wouldn’t have to modify the cabinet, and it was cheaper. However, I just felt like this kitchen HAD to have a farmhouse sink to tie everything together.  We bought this Whitehaus single bowl fireclay farmhouse sink online and it came in great. You will see the price of this sink is fantastic compared to typical farmhouse sinks.  The faucet we ordered online from Home Depot, I love the look and functionality however I have been upset with the quality a bit because the base twists…our plumber said its the faucet and there isn’t anything he can do about it.


That’s it so far on the kitchen.  Are you guys working on any DIY projects? More to come on our house remodeling.

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“Keeping Up With” Architectural

Can you guess what is in the background of this picture below?

That’s right!  This is Architectural Ceramics tile.  Keeping Up With the Kardashians liked a photo from our website and asked if they could use it for the backdrop of all their interviews during the show.  How cool! This product is Bianco Venatino, it’s a natural stone marble from Italy.  It does look awesome as a ‘green screen’.  Its also neat to think out of all the websites out there a producer from this show was browsing OUR website AND liked one of our tiles that much.  You will see Architectural Ceramics in the credits of this show under photography.

What are you guys up to this weekend?  I’m sitting outside by the pool right now with my two boys while my husband is working on the porch, its a nice weekend so far in the Ginn house.  I’m going to have to do some blogs for you on all the remodeling efforts here.  Have a great weekend!

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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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