Trends in Tile

To get expert advice on this post, we talked with Uson Design, a eco-friendly tile and fixture showroom located in International Market Square in Minneapolis. Their products range from traditional to contemporary in style and although they are fairly new to the Minneapolis design scene, they have made themselves very well known by offering designers, homeowners and commercial clients a wide variety of tile selections.

Uson Showroom
Tile Trends:
What will tile be wearing for 2012? Tile isn’t just for kitchens and baths anymore. We are seeing it pop up in every living environment in new and creative ways such as more bold and vibrant colors. Graphic patterns create interesting and eclectic accents in homes. Tile is also becoming an increasingly popular way to add texture to a space. New printing technology has taken stone and wood look on porcelain tiles to a new level.
Villeroy and Boch’s Cherie line make a statement with a bold graphic pattern in a vibrant turquoise blue.
Villeroy and Boch Cherie Décor in Seladon
For a more contemporary look, Kale’s Cube Series can be used interchangeably to create a pattern unique to your taste. Visit cube and dot to create your own patterns with their virtual designer.
Mixing metallic surfaces into spaces has become a huge trend in fashion as well as interiors. Metallic has made its way into tile by way of accent pieces and mosaics. You can add a bit of flair to any space with a splash of metal. It’s like adding a pair of fantastic gold or silver earrings to dress up an otherwise bland outfit.
Kale’s Dot Series has various metallic tiles that can be used interchangeably with their system, much like the cube above.
Inax, a Japanese tile manufacturer, is known for their textured tile lines. Their EcoCarat line not only creates a deeply textured wall, but also improves indoor air quality by absorbing harmful substances, controlling humidity, and reducing odors. As you can see, these tiles really make a wall into a work of art.
Inax EcoCarat Precious Mosaic – Pearl Mask

Stone and Wood:
Classics are always in. Here is an updated look on a classic marble floor.

Mirage is on the leading edge of a new form of printing technology in tile. Mirage has applied high definition photography to the production of their stone-look tile. Using photos of actual stone pieces, they have created a system of printing these photos directly onto the porcelain’s surface; the result is astonishing. Now it is easier than ever to get the look of real stone with the improved durability and low maintenance of porcelain. You can also get the look of real wood with the same printing technology.
To check out more products Uson design carries, click here

Union Oyster House – A Historic Gem!

If your ever in the Boston area and want to visit a unique piece of history, we recommend you check out the Union Oyster House. It’s the oldest continuous service restaurant in the U.S. opening its doors in 1826. It’s got great food, and has an impressive list of patrons, including regulars such as the Kennedy clan and Daniel Webster. 

The Kennedy Clan has patronized the Union Oyster House for years. J.F.K. loved to feast in privacy in the upstairs dining room. His favorite booth “The Kennedy Booth” has since been dedicated in his memory. 

The building was built around 1704, prior to it becoming a restaurant. It was  formally known as the Atwood & Bacon House.  The Food is traditional New England fare and it is said that it is where the toothpick was popularized in America.  The menu still features Yankee classics, such as clam chowder and boiled scrod.

 Much of the original restaurant’s flavor and physical structure remains. The floors, structural wooden beams, bar, and fireplace are showing their age. 

Sources: 123

Appliances in Color – Dare to be different!

Appliances are craving color! We spoke with Monique of MJ’s Appliance and here is what she had to share regarding this colorful trend!

Stainless is still the most popular appliance finish, but color is getting some attention.  Blue Star ranges are gaining market share for their simplistic design, high 22,000 BTU burner output and color.  With over a 190 color choices and a precious metals collection you may be awe struck by all the options available.  Your color options will range from subtle to electric, a nice neutral tan or neon yellow, color chart below.

 At MJ’s, we have had clients match their ranges to their favorite baseball team, “Go Twins” blue with red knobs, another in a beautiful robin’s egg blue, one in Harley Davidson orange and more in various shades of red.  
Are you nervous about the forever vows of marriage to a color?  No worries!  You get a prenuptial agreement with this range.  The colored panels can be removed and you can have them refinished by your local body shop or order new ones direct from Blue Star.
Blue Star is not spinning solo on the color wheel. Viking Range Corp also has their 24 shades of fun!  They offer culinary inspired colors such as Wasabi, Dijon, Cinnamon, Chocolate and Pumpkin, to name a few.  If you are not ready to dive head first into a pool of color but may want just a splash of it, the Viking D3 collection could be just for you.  D3 allows you to add color or wood accents to your appliance knobs and handles.
Custom Knobs

Are you daring enough to follow this trend?

Thank you Monique!

Trends in Kitchen Design

We Spoke with Kayla Vig, a designer at Gunkelmans interior design regarding trends she is seeing in kitchen storage and design, and here is what she had to share: 

LED Lighting
   LED lighting offers a clean light and is energy efficient, with the ban of incandescent bulbs at a higher wattage (which is going to continue until incandescent bulbs are nonexistent).  LED’s are the way to go. 

Drawers and Integrated Handles
   Drawers are everywhere these days! Many people prefer drawers instead of cabinets for the lower storage of their kitchen. This makes accessing your items easier and keeps you more organized.  Integrated handles are becoming the norm, offering a more streamlined look.

   Microwave drawers

These allow you to place your microwave below your counter and out of sight.

Corner Drawers   
Drawers are also starting to replace your traditional lazy susan for your corner cabinets. Again easier access and more organization. 

Images: 1 /  2 

Trends in Flooring

With so many options for flooring where does one start? Here is a list of the most popular flooring options today.

  • Reclaimed wood, hand scraped and American Hardwood are popular now.
American Hardwood                             Hand Scraped Hardwood


  • “Textured cut and loops are very hot right now. Darker colored carpets such as, browns and greys. ” says Ann of carpet resources

      Loop Carpet
      Loop Carpet


      • Linoleum is a great option for various rooms in a residential setting. It has been specified by interior designers lately for craft rooms, bathrooms, mud rooms and many other areas. Linoleum is a green choice for flooring because it is made from all natural materials and has a long lifespan.  Linoleum is also antimicrobial,  cost effective, easy to maintain, and offers many color/ pattern options. 


      • Tile options are so broad and with so many different styles, tile is not limited to the kitchen and bathroom any more. More to follow next month, with help from an expert!


      • There are many new luxury vinyl products that are wide plank that look like wood.  Also vinyl tiles that look like ceramic come in more unique sizes such as 18″x 24″. While vinyl may not be the first thing that comes to mind in flooring. It is cost effective and has come along way in the past few years. 
      Wide Plank Luxury Vinyl Flooring

      What about transitions in flooring?
      Transitions in flooring can be tricky, handling this issue incorrect and your home may end up looking like a bad patchwork quilt. 

      • Sometimes there are logical transition points and sometimes you aren’t so lucky but in both cases you can make the transition look just right.
      • Stick to 2 or 3 flooring options, adding more may create an overwhelming, non cohesive design. 
      • Use your resources- interior designers, remodeling companies, and tile/flooring showrooms. These professionals deal with these questions on a daily basis and can recommend what is going to work best for you on both a function and aesthetic stand point. 
      Images: 1 / 2 / 3

      Trends in Kitchen Lighting

      Current trends in kitchen lighting include: bold, black and glass finishes.

      More and more we are seeing large industrial style pendants and stream lined chandeliers.
      These are great options of timeless pendants in a bold color to add a fun pop of color to the kitchen.

      Images: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 /

      Uncovering History

      We recently completed this gardening cottage and garage addition :

      Front Before                                            After

      Rear Before                                             After

      We are delighted the client has chose to move along with more renovations!  While tearing off the original  siding, circa 1922 we found bits and pieces of the original cedar shingles. Interested to know a background we did a little research and here is what we found.

      The original siding  was manufactured by Puget Sound Mill and Timber Company in Port Angeles, WA.

      Puget Sound Mill and Timber Company Locomotive No. 7

      Puget Sound Mill and Timber company was founded in 1914. In 1926, Puget Sound Mill and Timber company purchased a locomotive on the Pacific Railway which linked Port Angeles to St. Paul and other thriving mid-western cities. The company, just like any other had highs and lows:

      • The timber mill was located at Twin, just outside of Port Angeles, WA
      • During World War I, the government assigned 27,000 men to the “spruce” division of Puget Sound Mill and Timber. 
      • ” The Big Wind of 21″ destroyed 8 million board feet of sellable lumber growing in the North Olympic Peninsula
      • With the stock market crash in 1929, Twin’s fate was sealed and the timber industry was hit hard. 
      • In the early 1930’s Twin’s railway connecting it to the outside world was tore up, this was the end of Puget Sound Mill and Timber Company.

      Puget Sound Mill and Timber Company Lumber Mill
      The mill was later a pulp mill, purchased by Georgia- Pacific in 1963 and remained open until 2001.

      We are replacing the current 90 year old shingles with a high quality siding which will last the owners many more years while keeping the home looking true to its 1922 style. Replacing it with premium grade, sawed and sanded all four sides, and pre-primed all four sides to prevent moisture from penetrating through the back side, over time, moisture from the back side will lead to the surface paint failure.  We will share more photos when the project is complete. 

      Sources & Images: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

      Getting to Know Tim Purcell Jr.

      My background…

      • I have always had a passion for entrepreneurship, I started my first business around eleven or twelve, lawn mowing. Shortly there after I started a magic show business with a friend. We traveled around to daycare centers, retirement homes, private parties even high school halftime shows. Yes, we have a video but it’s locked away and I have no idea where the key is! 🙂 
      • During junior and senior high, I had a very strong interest in wood shop class, I enjoyed building furniture. 
      • After I graduated, I jumped into the business with both feet and the rest is history. 

      If I could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why…

      • My answer would be different when asked at a younger age but now I would say Minnesota. Being around family is very important to me, I  think its important for my three boys to discover where their parents where raised and who their family is.  I don’t really enjoy winter, I think eventually I would like to be somewhere warmer, but my boys would have to come along!
      • With that being said my brother lives in London with his wife and newborn daughter and my sister lives with her boyfriend in San Francisco. I wish my boys could spend more time with them but it sure does give us great places to visit!

      My dream home…

      •  Would have lots of land and history

      My hobbies include…

      • Coaching youth hockey
      • Golfing
      • Working around our yard
      The Chicken coop, I recently completed in our backyard

       5 things I can’t live without…

      • Sun
      • Lunch and dinner
      • My wife and kids
      • Great friendships
      • Being busy

      Not in that order!

      Fill in the blank, No home would be complete without a ________________.

      • A conversational piece