Making the Everyday Interesting

During a quick visit to Chapel Hill last week, I found myself in the whole foods ladies room looking at the wall tile. Most of the time I let things like this wash on by without a moments thought, but this time I was struck by how well the designer had used stock sizes of a very simple wall tile to make up a new pattern: a little subway, a little square, a little different all together. An excellent example of the final product surpassing the usual implementation…

That said, this weekend I had the chance to be in another rest room, this time in the historic Hill House in Morehead Hill.  The building itself is an amazing 1920s mansion that rambles over many thousands of square feet, full of lovely finishes and some pretty stunning spaces.  Contemplating the small bath off of the family’s breakfast room, I had two simultaneous thoughts: “whoa, the wallpaper is overkill” and “they just don’t make subway tile like that anymore.” Let us count the ways: subtle crackle generated over time, completely flat tiles, darkened grout, great corner pieces and cap… I take it back, somebody probably does make tile like this, but I’m sure it’s a custom, expensive product.  and it’s a shame, because there are many people with historic bathrooms that would love to be able to fix plumbing issues and repair the tile with something like this instead of matching the whole foods bathroom.

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