Service of Climbing Out
October 25th, 2011
Categories: Blogfests, Interior Design
This is my third year participating in the Bathroom Blogfest which Christine Whittemore, Simple Marketing Now LLC, directs. I list the blogs of all the other bloggers below, should you want to see additional interpretations of this year’s theme, “Climbing Out.” There are 33 this year!
“I’m climbing out of natural stone,” said New York interior designer John Buscarello, ASID. Interior Design magazine named him a kitchen and bath design leader. “This change of heart has nothing to do with economics. It’s practical. And it doesn’t apply to every stone. However, in the wettest parts of a bathroom, some stone doesn’t hold up well,” said Buscarello.
“In its place, I select porcelains and tiles new to the market that are light-years advanced, often more moderately priced than stone and as maintenance free as you can get,” added Buscarello, photos of whose work have appeared in The New York Times, House Beautiful and Country Living, to name a few venues.
Buscarello’s clients don’t restrict him to their baths and kitchens. He designs entire houses. He observes, “If someone hires me it’s not to have a beige apartment or house.” He combines colors creatively, like a skilled artist.
He subscribes to a five year rule: The test of both a well-designed space and a good interior designer is what a room or home looks like after five years.
For those who find themselves climbing walls, for whatever reason, they’ll discover a surprise when they reach Buscarello’s ceilings. “I like to throw color on a ceiling–it’s an unused part of every room. In a bathroom with blue glass walls, I used a hint of yellow. A kitchen I designed with a porcelain floor that simulates slate has a gold ceiling. In the sitting area [Right] I chose blue. But you have to know what you’re doing,” he warns. “A green ceiling with white tile walls will make the tiles look green.”
John Buscarello designed all the interiors. Following are his answers to my questions.
Why is natural stone hard to live with on a bathroom floor?
Some characteristics of natural stone help disguise wear and dirt but because stone also has some degree of porosity, if there’s lots of iron in the water, you’ll get iron stains. Sprays, creams and other products you use in a bathroom can also etch and wear the surface. No matter what stone you use, within a given amount of time, normal wear and tear will have some effect on the patina. This wear is not bad: Europeans are more used to the look of aged stone and understand and accept how it looks over time, but most Americans interpret the effect as old and worn out.
In fact, I have dark stone in my bathroom that’s etching and driving me insane and I’m used to a distressed, worn look. So I’m moving away from specifying stone for bathroom and kitchen floors.
What about marble?
I joined the luxury of Thassos marble on the bathroom walls with the durability of porcelain tile for the bathroom and shower floors [Left]. I like mixing elements, especially for a white-on-white effect. Further, walls don’t get the same kind of abuse that floors do.
I incorporated glass tile for the shower walls because it’s easier to maintain and marble, like stone, can stain.
What do you use to achieve the still-fashionable natural look?
Porcelain tile. Ten years ago porcelain tile looked generic. You’d see it dress the floor of a building lobby. Engineers have since learned how to re-fire the porcelain to make great surface textures. Porcelain wears like thick glass.
In addition, porcelain tiles are made large, requiring less grout.
Is less grout a good thing?
With fewer lines you get a clean, modern look [Below, Left]. And there’s the maintenance issue. Newer grouts tend to wear a bit less as they contain polymer that adds density and they dry faster and are more durable. These grouts come in a wider choice of colors as well. Note: While easier to maintain, the polymer grout is harder to install than the traditional kind.
Install the wrong color grout and you’ll dramatically change the look of the tile so it’s best to test some samples.
Decorating tips for small bathrooms so clients don’t climb the walls
A small bathroom is like a jewel. Design it beautifully and don’t worry about its size because you’re most likely not going to change it. Use striking textures in interesting ways and surround yourself with colors you like. The tiles in the powder room, [Below, Right], are leather.
The concept that you must have a bathtub in a new or remodeled bathroom is going out. Those who only use showers save space by eliminating the tub. I’ve noticed that people are moving away from tubs in any case. It’s easy to turn a standard shower into a steam shower and I do this quite frequently.
City Mouse vs. Country Mouse
Apart from style, which might be more sophisticated and contemporary in a city apartment, including geometric, linear patterns, where curlicues or florals might be more at home in the country, I think of location, lifestyle and wear and tear when specifying especially a floor.
Natural stone will react the same way anywhere. In the suburbs in winter, homeowners drive into a garage and walk into a kitchen or bathroom with clean boots, whereas in an apartment, a person can carry salt from the street into these rooms. This fact affects what surface I’ll recommend for a floor.
Do you have a question for one of America’s top interior designers? Have you regretted a remodeling, building or decorating decision because it didn’t pass John Buscarellos’ five year test? Are you a bathtub or shower person? If you could, would you climb out of your bathroom into a different one and what would you change?
|Name||Blog Name||Blog URL|
|Susan Abbott||Customer Experience Crossroads||http://www.customercrossroads.com/customercrossroads/|
|Paul Anater||Kitchen and Residential Design||http://www.kitchenandresidentialdesign.com|
|Shannon Bilby||From the Floors Up||http://fromthefloorsup.com/|
|Toby Bloomberg||Diva Marketing||http://bloombergmarketing.blogs.com/bloomberg_marketing/|
|Laurence Borel||Blog Till You Drop||http://www.laurenceborel.com/|
|Bill Buyok||Avente Tile Talk||http://tiletalk.blogspot.com|
|Jeanne Byington||The Importance of Earnest Service||http://blog.jmbyington.com/|
|Becky Carroll||Customers Rock!||http://customersrock.net|
|Katie Clark||Practical Katie||http://practicalkatie.blogspot.com/|
|Nora DePalma||O’Reilly DePalma: The Blog||http://www.oreilly-depalma.com/blog/|
|Paul Friederichsen||The BrandBiz Blog||http://brandbizblog.com/|
|Tish Grier||The Constant Observer||http://spap-oop.blogspot.com/|
|Elizabeth Hise||Flooring The Consumer||http://flooringtheconsumer.blogspot.com|
|Emily Hooper||Floor Covering News Blog||http://www.fcnews.net/category/blog/|
|Diane Kazan||Urban Design Renovation||http://blog.urbandesignrenovation.com|
|Joseph Michelli||Dr. Joseph Michelli’s Blog||http://www.josephmichelli.com/blog|
|Veronika Miller||Modenus Blog||http://www.modenus.com/blog|
|Arpi Nalbandian||Tile Magazine Editors’ Blog||http://www.tilemagonline.com/Articles/Blog_Nalbandian|
|David Polinchock||Polinchock’s Ponderings||http://blog.polinchock.com/|
|Professor Toilet||American Standard’s Professor Toilet||http://www.professortoilet.com|
|David Reich||my 2 cents||http://reichcomm.typepad.com|
|Victoria Redshaw & Shelley Pond||Scarlet Opus Trends Blog||http://www.trendsblog.co.uk|
|Sandy Renshaw||Purple Wren||http://www.PurpleWren.com|
|Bethany Richmond||Carpet and Rug Institute Blog||http://www.carpet-and-rug-institute-blog.com/|
|Bruce D. Sanders||RIMtailing||http://www.rimtailing.blogspot.com|
|Paige Smith||Neuse Tile Service blog||http://neusetile.wordpress.com/|
|Christine B. Whittemore||Content Talks Business Blog||http://simplemarketingnow.com/content-talks-business-blog/|
|Christine B. Whittemore||Smoke Rise & Kinnelon Blog||http://smokerise-nj.blogspot.com/|
|Christine B. Whittemore||Simple Marketing Blog||http://www.simplemarketingblog.com/|
|Ted Whittemore||Working Computers||http://www.kinneloncomputers.com/|
|Chris Woelfel||Artcraft Granite, Marble & Tile Co.||http://www.artcraftgmt.com|
|Patty Woodland||Broken Teepee||http://www.brokenteepee.com/|
|Denise Lee Yohn||brand as business bites||http://deniseleeyohn.com/bites/|