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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.

To get a daily dose of design, find MoD Design Guru on

Monday, February 23, 2015

Best Blogger Architecture Nominee - JDR Industry Awards 2015

The JDR Annual Industry Blogger Awards are Back for 2015!!  Jackson Design and Remodeling has been a pioneer in the design and build remodeling industry for 25 years and they recognize the blogging community's commitment to bring innovative trends and excellent quality!  

MoD Design Guru was the winner last year for the Architecture category and is nominated again!  Love seeing friends on the roster too! Check out  Brandon Smith of DCoopMedia for the Microblogger category, Sarah Sarna for the Interior Design category Ronique Gibson of Freshome for the Interior Design category, and Bob Borson at Life of an Architect with whom I share the Architecture category.

Voting starts today and runs through April 10th, 2015.  Select your favorite blogger! Click here.

To get a daily dose of design, find MoD Design Guru on

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Seven Minimalist Spaces to Inspire

I enjoy looking at other design blogs and Modernize has caught my eye. It is a new home design, decorating and remodeling website and today Jane Blanchard
of Modernize is my guest today. She will be showcasing seven minimalist rooms to inspire.


Minimalism began appearing in art and design in the U.S. in the 60s and 70s, but it's “less is more” motto still permeates design today. Minimalist design requires that each aspect of a design contributes to the overall function and aesthetic. All other components are stripped away. All that is needed, nothing more or less. Minimalist design usually maintains a minimal color palette and uses white space to emphasize design features. Minimal design is sometimes referred to as modern, although a modern room is not necessarily minimal. Minimalist design is easier defined than implemented; standing in stark contrast to many design techniques. Perhaps the best way to appreciate this design aesthetic to peruse some fantastic minimalist rooms.

Minimal, But Not Cold
Minimalist design can tend to come off as uninviting or cold. Using a variety of textures and contrasting materials, this room is both inviting and visually interesting.

Get The Look:
Twiggy Floor Lamp; Lightology $2,433

Pure Function
In accordance with the tenets of minimalism, all unnecessary components have been eliminated from the design of this kitchen, including the cupboard hardware. The wall-sized storage, allows for all kitchen items to be stored away from view, creating a sleek, clean minimal aesthetic, without sacrificing any function.

Get The Look:
Stools; Smart Furniture $818 (Set of Two)

White On White on White
White is a minimalist’s favorite color. The white furniture in this living room creates a bright, clean look. I personally love how this living room has no TV. Although, with the view out that wall-sized window, there is no need for a television.

Get The Look:

Without the use of significant decor or an extensive color palette, how is one to create intrigue? This room features curves throughout the design. The rounded curve of the arm chairs, the circular mirror above the fireplace, and the round side table add visual interest, in a cohesive manner.

Get The Look:

Minimal Serenity
A minimal bedroom doesn't have to be stark. It only takes a few details to create an inviting minimal bedroom, such as the soft textured rug and a base full of fresh, white lilies.

Get The Look:
Tolomeo Micro Floor Lamp; $580

Angle Interest
Besides the floor-to-ceiling windows, the furniture in this room provides the primary focal point with interesting angles and materials.

Get The Look:
Lounge Chair; Fritz Hanson $5,020

Dramatic in Charcoal

White may be the minimalist's go-to color, but this slate/charcoal-themed is true to minimalist style, while creating an inviting living room. The charcoal-colored limestone gas fireplace creates an amazing focal piece. The monochromatic furnishings accentuate the beauty of the fireplace.

Get The Look:
Eames Lounge Chairs; Room & Board; $899

For more design tip and tricks on Modernize, 

To get a daily dose of design, find MoD Design Guru on