Thursday, March 31, 2011

What Were They Thinking Thursday? - Bad Tile Design

Today's "What were they thinking? Thursday" is featuring the design and scale of tile, anything from backsplash, to shower walls, to flooring.


Here are examples of what not to do:

This would have been a decent neutral palette if it wasn't for that stripe of brown linear tile.

Be careful of too many patterns and colors, for resale you want your backsplash and counters to be as neutral as possible to go with any future color palette.

Just....what were they thinking.

Too many colors, patterns, and textures going on here.

Being creative and DIY projects can be a good thing, but some things are better left to the professionals.

Not sure what's going on here.

This white subway tile backsplash is neutral and light. The marble design below the venthood gives the area a feature piece without being overwhelming or color specific.

A great neutral counter, cabinets, and backsplash.

This blue subway tile is beautiful. Because this is a smaller area to work with, the color is not too overwhelming. The tile is also a good scale for the space.

You can go with a pattern tile backsplash. This works because even though the pattern is a medium to bigger scale, it is still in a neutral color and becomes a feature of the room.

This kitchen incorporates the tile onto the vent-hood and entire wall, however because it is a neutral palette and medium size tile it works well in this room.


What not to do:
Never, never glue anything to a permanent fixture in your home. First of all this looks tacky, and second this is a home buyer's nightmare.

There is a lot going on here for such a small shower. You need to think of the scale of your space. There are too many patterns and textures for this small shower. A medium scale tile in a single pattern for the walls would work well here.

This is a great use of scale and pattern. I love the white subway tiles with a simple band of tile in a smaller scale. Then notice the feature of stone just around the tub. A good use of mixing tiles in scale and texture.

Again a beautiful neutral tile on the walls, with a little more pattern on the floor but still in a neutral gray & white palette.

Here they incorporated white subway tiles around the perimeter of the bathroom as well as the interior of the shower, with a different patterned tile just on the shower floor.

Love, love this tile. Even though there is a lot of tile space for this room and in a small scale, because of the neutral gray and white soft palette it blends together and works nicely.

The busier and darker floor tiles work well here because the rest of the space is light and neutral, just beautiful!

Check out this bathroom :). Now this may seem like it breaks the rules, but I think it works because even though there is a large amount of small mosaic tiles on the floor and walls, the colors create a larger pattern that carry your eye throughout the room.

I also think the color palette works well, this is definitely a bathroom you would not be soon to forget!


What not to do:
Besides the dirty grout lines, this tile is much too small for this space.

Even though this is a nice entry space, because it is so large it calls for a much larger tile than the 12"x12" tile used.

Your grout should also be as closely matched to your tile color as possible, or a shade darker. You never want to go too light, this will only make dirt much more apparent.

This is a great scale of tile set in a brick pattern for this kitchen.

In kitchens or larger open areas a large tile like this 12"x24" tile works great. Beautiful!


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fresh Squeezed - Eco Fireplaces

The new trend in fireplaces is bio ethanol. They are super cool and are planet friendly. "EcoSmart Fireplaces are fuelled by bio ethanol, a renewable liquid fuel produced from agricultural by-products which burns clean - no smoke, no harmful emissions. Bio ethanol is completely composed of plant products resulting in a neutral ecological balance. The combustion of bio ethanol produces Heat Steam and Carbon Dioxide. Bio Ethanol is absolute alcohol also called Denatured Alcohol."

"Bio-ethanol - or simply ‘ethanol’ is a renewable energy source made by fermenting the sugar and starch components of plant by-products - mainly sugarcane and crops like grain, using yeast. It is also made from corn, potatoes, milk, rice, beetroot and recently grapes, banana and dates depending on the countries agricultural strength."

I love them because they can be put anywhere and you can move it if you want to re-arrange your room like I do.

Brandoni Gritti Rollo. Made of light oak, the fireplace starts as an elliptical shape at its base, traveling upwards to a nearly round form. The product, which runs on plant-based bio ethanol, is available in two sizes.

Cool wall mounted fireplaces
They can be used Outdoors too!
Fire & Water
These are from

Another feature is aromatherapy. "The available Spa Kit contains essential oils that vaporize into the environment after being warmed up by flames. Upon reaching the optimum temperature, water vapor molecules combine with the active oil particles and are absorbed into our body not only while breathing but also through the skin. The process of natural convection spreads the heated, saturated with oil particles air evenly in the entire room. Thanks to this phenomenon we can now undergo aromatherapy not only is spa areas but also at home or even at work."

They are built into furniture as well. Check out

Examples of built-in eco fireplaces:

More Inspiring Pictures:

Send us a picture if you have one! ~ Brandy

Vitamin B Boost: Spring into Summer

Spring may finally be here, but that doesn't mean in this Texas weather that is won't still get chilly occasionally. You should keep your favorite lightweight winter accessories on hand. They can easily be worked into your spring wardrobe as the weather is starting to warm up.

Also, I wanted to include ways to wear your favorite articles of clothing as perfect transitional pieces for the changing seasons.

Spring to Summer

Check out Loft to see how to wear Spring essentials now and later. You can also find styled outfits that are put together for you.






Summer to Fall

Here are a few examples of how to wear Summer clothes into the start of Fall.
Add a fall color cardigan and light weight scarf to your summer shirt and shorts.
Add a fall color cardigan to your sleeveless tops and skirt.

I love that you can take a summer dress, throw on a cardigan and a pair of boots and you're ready for Fall.

Summer to Winter
Have a summer dress that you just love? Wear it into winter with tights, boots and light jacket.

Great example on how to turn a summer outfit into a winter (Texas winter) outfit.

Versatile Wardrobe

These are great example on how to take a piece of clothing from your closet and wear it a totally different way than your intended when buying the article of clothing. Layering is a very popular trend right now. Trendy and flattering.

Boots in Spring & Summer

I think this looks great. The boots aren't heavy looking like winter boots.

Low boots are more suitable for the summer look and temperature.

What do you think? Are boots appropriate for spring and summer? The stars seem to think so.

Staple Pieces

These garments can be worn with almost anything, at any time of the year.

1.) Good pair of jeans
2.) Little Black dress
3.) The Perfect Tee
4.) Cardigans
5.) Trench Coat
6.) Scarves


Do not just buy any pair of jeans. Your jeans need to be flattering on your body type.

  • Baggy jeans can make you look larger while tapered or skinny jeans can make your tights look larger.
  • Jeans that have a high waist line can make your waist and hips look larger.
  • Stretch jeans accentuate your behind well if you have curves (good curves). If you have a flat behind then stretch jeans can make it look even flatter.
  • If you are short, wear long jeans that cover some of the shoe.
  • Select jeans with pockets that center on each cheek to make your toosh look smaller.
After you've invested time and money into your perfect pair of jeans, it is very important to keep them looking their best. Here are a few tips for keeping your jeans looking new.
  • Remember jeans do stretch out. If you have a favorite pair of jeans, save them for work or going out. Don't wear them lounging around the house or doing yard work, this will put a lot of unnecessary wear and tear in them.
  • Do NOT let the bottoms drag on the ground. They will fray and look worn. If they are too long, spend the extra money to get them hemmed. If you wear heels and flats, invest in 2 pairs of jeans. One long pair for heels and one hemmed pair for flats.
  • Wash your jeans inside out in cold water with a gentle soap. Do NOT dry jeans in the dryer. Try to wash your jeans as less as possible. If possible, dry clean your jeans. (Shh.. don't tell, but sometimes I go 2 weeks without washing my jeans)

Little Black Dress

Tips for selecting the perfect black dress:
  • Select a dress that can be versatile. Ask yourself these questions. Can I wear this to work and out on the town? Would this dress look good with heels and flats?
  • Make sure that your dress flatters your best features.
  • Make sure the neckline is not too low or the hem is not too short. Especially if you plan on wearing it to work.

Perfect Tee

White, Black and Color

Have a few solid shirts that accentuates your eye color and skin tone.

Find your perfect tee at Loft, Gap, Old Navy or Target.


Cardigans also work well as a layering piece in the winter, and more of a “throw-on” piece for the spring.

Try wearing a cardigan over a cute floral dress instead of drab winter colors to signify the movement of the seasons. Another option is to switch out full-length sleeved cardigans for ¾ inch sleeved cardigans to feel less stuffy and confined.

Tips for buying cardigans:
  • Buy neutral colors that you can pair with bright patterned tops
  • Buy solid or patterned cardigans that you can pair with solid tops
  • Embellishments are a fun detail to have on your cardigan. Make sure that the embellishment will not limit your wear of the cardigan.
I love to buy my cardigans from Old Navy and Loft.

Trench Coat

Tips for buying the perfect trench coat:
  • Buy a color that will go with most of your wardrobe. Neutrals such as black, brown and cream are always your best bet. If you are like me, you like to stand out from the crowd and a color is the right choice for you.
  • Consider the weight of your trench coat. Depending where you live, will determine the weight and style of your coat.


Brighten up your basics with a different colored scarf for the spring and summer. They can add a punch of color and texture to your wardrobe.

If you have any signature pieces you just love for spring or summer send us a link or picture and where you got it. We would love to see it!

Happy Shopping!