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Sunday, March 15, 2015

MoD must Have: Geometric Carpet Connections




MoD Must Haves
stylish, tactile, novel 
for carpet lovers



Innovative, super fun and stylish rugs for children, tweens and college students are finally here! kinder Ground is a modular carpet system where you can curate your own patterns! The company mantra is whimsy shouldn't exclude sophistication.  



Besides being soft to the touch and highly durable,  the hip geometric shapes paired with vibrant colors and patterns make a wow statement. Each pattern from carpet to carpet seamlessly match. This is good design! 









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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Thin Slab Porcelain, an Alternative to Stone Countertops


Inalco Foster Natural Finish

Thin is in.....the design potential for thin slab porcelain is endless. At Cevisama in Valencia with Tile Of Spain, I was wowed by the large format thin porcelain slabs over at Inalco and Neolith. Both manufacturers showcased how porcelain slabs meet the needs of today's homes with an array of colors, and clear cut design. It was obvious that porcelain will be trendsetting seamless countertops in the next decade. Sorry for stone, U.S. consumers will find porcelain as an attractive solution that will make life much easier. 

INALCO:

Inalco Foster blanco and bush hammered
(other colors Piedra, Plomo, Negro in natural finish too)


Both Inalco and Neolith manufacturers have advanced sintering technologies allowing them to create slabs that are thinner, longer and more durable.  Uses are unlimited for exterior and interior: countertops, flooring, furniture and exterior cladding. Unlike stone, its almost impossible to scratch it, stain it or burn porcelain. iTOPker by Inalco is a 1/2" thick coming in 5 x 10 feet slabs.  The product is so durable that it does not conduct heat or absorb much water. Oh get this, kitchen ranges can be applied right to Inalco's surface giving a real modern look. With real stone, you could never install a range right to the countertop! See image below:



Inalco Domo Negro
(other colors Crema, Piedra in Natural or bush hammered surface)

Don't get me wrong, I love stone and its natural characteristics!! However, I'm really falling for slab porcelain. Here are some more bonuses of porcelain versus stone. 

-Porcelain is highly scratch resistant- you can cut food right on the slabs. Unlike porcelain, you're marble would be ruined. 
-Porcelain is resistant to wear and tear. Stone however can scratch and chip if you hit it hard.
-Porcelain is easy to clean and care for. Totally stain resistant. You can cut a lemon on it or leave wine on it and it wont stain. In minutes, your wine ring would stain your stone slab.
-Porcelain is heat resistant; you can put a boiling pot right on the surface. With stone, forget about it!





NEOLITH:

Besides its amazing durability, Neolith has found that fine line between old world craftsmanship and technology. Their products are timeless and well crafted. 
TheSize Compact surface is lightweight and easy to install, making it suitable for every indoor and outdoor surface.  It comes in different thickness and sizes like 12' x 4'. With porcelain you can create tops with practically no seams. For designers, these large format slabs allow the imagination to run. 



 Neolith classtone


Neolith Colorfeel (bottom left) and IRON (bottom right)


Neolith's printed options are beautiful from wood like (Timber), classic marble 
(classtone) to metal inspiration ( Iron). Both Inalco and Neolith are available in the U.S. through a network of distribution.. Visit their websites: Neolith and Inalco.






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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tile of Spain, Cevisama 2015: Technological advances in Porcelain tile

Having just come back from Spain as a guest of Tile of Spain, I am filled with inspiration. I traveled with an amazing group of architects, designers and journalists to Seville and Valencia; where we were immersed in the local culture and learned firsthand about the architecture, design language, cuisine and how ceramics is the lifeblood that flows through both cities. Walking both cities, I captured hints of ceramica on facades of buildings, stairs, doorways, under balconies, inside courtyards and embedded within cobblestone city streets. See some of the amazing patterns:




Each narrow street uncovers new surprises and I felt the history and now understand how modern Spanish tile manufacturers like Peronda, Natucer, Vives Ceramica today are deeply rooted in a tradition of artisanal practice. 



Hints of Ceramica in Valencia and Seville



At the Cevisama trade show in Valencia, I learned about the advanced technological trends in tile - Porcelain tile is impersonating natural stone, cement and wood so well with an ink jet system. Creativity, Flexibility and Innovation describes this ink-jet evolution allowing you to print on textured, embossed and extruded surfaces; providing added interest and depth. See some of the trends that are evolving in porcelain:

Vintage: Porcelain tile by Aparici replicates the look of vintage silk rugs. Beautiful!







Charred wood: The World Wood series by Vives Ceramica simulates the look of Shou-Sugi-Ban wood, which is a Japanese method which involves torching wood and building materials. Each porcelain plank is printed but it feels and looks like the real thing! Cutting edge!







Porcelain Brick: Boston Brick by Natucer has the essence of handmade brick but with the advantages of an extruded porcelain stoneware. The brick has an industrial but nostalgic feel at the same time. Great for indoor or outdoor. Love the outside corner!







Geometric shapes: a wide range of formats and textures such as hexagons, 3D hex, honeycombs, and Moroccan shapes shown in wood, concrete, and terracotta materials. So realistic!



Natucer (top row and bottom left) and Vives Ceramica (bottom right)




Bendable porcelain: the development of thin tile allows new wall materials to bend in different directions. Aparici is exploring new patterns breaking from the normal idea of tile for bathrooms, and kitchens. Innovative!








Three dimensional porcelain: Peronda collaborates with Mut Design to highlight the edges of porcelain. The color palette includes neon green, bink and blue. Love!







Graphic: Aparici is also showing artistic expression in tiles with a comic book and pop flavor.







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