Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Custom tiles

Here are some recent examples of custom designs that we have done for our customers. Click on the pictures below to see a larger view.

A stunning angel mural was created from a painting that the client had found in her garage. We had to make it much taller and more narrow than the original in order to fit a space in her guest bath. We can't wait to see how it looks installed!

custom angel mural on travertine tile

A section of the original angel painting


custom angel mural on travertine tile
The finished mural was 24 inches wide by 80 inches high printed
on 8x8 tumbled Light Travertine tile.

Floor tile was created using our Zellii design modified to show the name and logo of a restaurant.

Zelli tile mural on botticino marble
Our original Zellii mural.

custom sign using Zellii tile mural on botticino marble
The finished mural was 36 inches high by 72 inches wide
on 18x18 tumbled Light Travertine.

Another example of a logo mural below:
custom logo stone mural on botticino tile
This mural was done in a 16x16 size using 4x4 tumbled Limestone.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Designing: What you see, is not always what you get

One of the tricky parts about designing for stone tile, is that you never quite know how something is going to look once you print it on stone. You can have a design that looks beautiful on your computer screen, but when you print it on stone it changes the look dramatically. The colors become too muted or flat; the lighter parts completely fade into the stone; or it just looks awful when printed on stone. The opposite can also occur - a design that just looks okay on the screen turns fabulous once it is printed on the stone.
Over the years we have learned what colors, patterns and textures work best with natural stone tile. We want the stone to enhance the look of the design, not fight it. We intensely dislike (hate) when the design or pattern looks like it is sitting on top of the stone as if it were a decal pasted on. To get the blended look that we want, we sometimes have to erase or lighten parts of the design, so that more of the natural stone shows through. In other cases, we can adjust the saturation of color in the design so it blends into the stone better. And often we have to change the color entirely.
Bright purple on stone? Not so hot.
Gold tones? Much better.
Ideally, the inherent variations in color and texture of the stone will be one of the elements that adds to the beauty of the finished product. If you want flat, uniform, boring tile - buy ceramic. Natural stone tile has much more character and life to it - and that is why we like it.
Here's an example of how the color of a design can change.
This is the artwork before it is printed on stone. It is a little bit too much yellow/green, but the colors are bright and happy.
Here it is after it is printed on stone.
Where did the color go?!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Finds

Okay, we won't mention any names, but one of us has been spending WAY too much time on Twitter. The one who was the most skeptical about its usefulness is now a believer. Look at all the amazing things you can find!
Quirky kitchen accessories like this: We love these truly unique planter tiles:
We found them here:
The whole article is worth reading because it does not just focus on the good looks of these backsplash options. It also mentions durability and maintenance. Great designers will never let you fill your kitchen with pretty but useless things. They understand how beauty and function must work together in every aspect of your kitchen design. So how could a person actually use these planter tiles in their kitchen? We'll let the wise designers answer that question.
And finally, we can't say enough about the breathtaking kitchens by Beverly Ellsley featured in this profile on
Makes us want to pack up the kids and the dog, move to Connecticut and buy a house, just so we can ask Ms. Ellsley to design a new kitchen for us and then invite Martha Stewart to a dinner party. We can dream, can't we?
Happy Friday everyone!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Design With Us

Welcome to our very first Design with Us! We hope to make this a regular feature on our blog.
Our design team is constantly coming up with new designs for our tiles. We go through our own selection process to determine which ones will make it into our product line. Our process usually includes lots of meetings, many lively discussions, experiments with size and color, and reprint, reprint, reprint. We get so invested in our creations that it can be difficult to choose the winners and losers. It is like trying to decide which of our children is our favorite!
When we do add items to our product line, sometimes the designs that we absolutely love hardly sell. And there are always those surprises - the designs that just take off from the very first day, even though it had not been one of our favorites.
This blog is a great way for us to share our design process and get feedback on potential new designs. We would love to hear what you think of these prototype designs and we are ready for any and all comments.
Click on any picture below to get a larger view.
Notice that these tiles have a three dimensional look to them, but they are not etched or carved in the stone. It is our normal printing process and the surface of the tiles are flat.
Please let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Welcome to our blog!

Here at StoneImpressions, we are truly excited to have this new way to communicate with all of you. Every day we get to speak with great people on the phone, but it is usually focused on doing business - Can I place an order? (Yes.) Where's my order? (Shipped yesterday.) Can we change this design? (Absolutely!)
This blog will allow us to let you in on our thoughts and ideas and also give you a place to talk to us. Some of the things you might find on our blog are -
New product ideas:
We are always coming up with new designs and new ideas to add to our line. After we have looked at some designs for too long, we start to get cranky and could really use a fresh perspective. We'll post new design prototypes and let you tell us what you think.
Musings on tile and design:
Find out what inspires us and what we love. Hear about how we imagine that our tiles fit into different design schemes. We'll talk about fabulous designs that our customers have come up with to tackle a difficult space or bring more color and life into their room design.
Installation tips and ideas:
The basics like grouting, cutting, sealing and more information about stone than you could ever want.
Anything else that excites us:
This topic could be anything, so watch out!
At the moment, we are most excited by the opportunity to hear what you think on any of these topics. We will welcome comments on all of our posts and we are looking forward to a lively discussion. Thanks for reading! ~ The Team at StoneImpressions