Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide

     Tis' the season to be...stressed out about checking off that long holiday gift list?  Don't worry, we feel the pressure too.  Even though we always go into holiday season with the best of intentions to get all our shopping and wrapping done early, we can say that every year we are left in a panic a week before gifts are to be opened in front of friends and family.  In order to make life a little easier for you, we picked out 10 unique gift ideas from one of our favorite design stores, West Elm.  

     Did we mention that starting January 1st, we will be launching our first ever Giveaway? To show our appreciation for all of the work and creativity you put into your designs, we will be starting a 4-month long contest where you can submit your favorite installation shots of any original StoneImpressions or Artisan Stone Tile projects you worked on.  At the end of the 4 months, we will be awarding the winner with a brand new iPad Mini 4.  We will also be awarding a $100 gift card to West Elm at the end of each month!

Gifts for Her

1. Decorative Tray

Seriously, who doesn't love a good tray?  Not only are they fun to arrange, they are also very versatile.  They work well on ottomans, tables, counter tops, you name it.  Gift this classic accent piece to someone who loves to decorate!

Fishs Eddy Gilded Cafe Mirror Tray $69-$99

 2. Faux-Fur Throw 

Anyone who says that they don't enjoy curling up next to the fire with a big comfy blanket obviously hasn't found the perfect throw.  Give the gift of comfort with one of West Elm's faux-fur throws.  The best part?  It isn't real fur! 

Faux Fur Ombre Throw $62 on Sale

3. Succulents 

Shopping for a plant lover?  Luckily, West Elm has dozens of decorative succulents and planters to choose from, ranging in prices.  This gift is both thoughtful and affordable!

Mid-Century Turned Leg Tabletop Planters $24-$49
Roar+Rabbit Freeform Terrariums $34-48 on Sale

4. Candles

Okay, we know that giving candles to someone isn't the most thought-out of presents, but sometimes you need to find something fast for that distant relative or third cousin with interesting design taste.  That's why we found you this nature-inspired candle set that also includes a diffuser and room spray.  This set has a chic look and also smells amazing!

Naturalist Homescent Collection $32 Set

Gifts for Him

5. Stainless Steel Ice Cubes 

If you're shopping for a guy who is serious about his liquor, then you can't go wrong with West Elm's stainless steel ice cube set.  We're sure whoever receives this gift will want to test them out right away!

Essential Barware Stainless Steel Ice Cubes $29

6. Bamboo Desk Speakers

What man doesn't love the gift of technology during the holidays?  These bamboo speakers are stylish, portable and affordable.  

Bamboo USB Desk Speakers $41 on Sale

Gifts For Anyone

7. Coffee Kit

Now that the open shelved look in kitchens is becoming very popular, it is important to have kitchen accessories that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing.  Luckily, West Elm has got that covered.  Impress your interior design and coffee-obsessed friend with this timeless collection.

Bodum Copper Coffee Collection $30

8. Knife Set

 Want to impress the couple that loves to throw dinner parties?  Surprise them with this set of modern, stainless steel knives!  This gift is perfect for anyone who likes to get serious in the kitchen.  

Hampton Forge Knife Set $69

We hope we helped relieve your stress a little-or at least helped give you some good holiday gift ideas for those tricky relatives and friends!  If you don't see anything on this list, make sure to check out the West Elm Website to look at their gift guides, there are countless ideas.

**Also, make sure to start looking for those great install shots to enter for our first ever Giveaway (we will be judging the quality of the image and overall design).  We cannot wait to see what you have for us.  If you have any questions about the guidelines for this contest, please email  

Feel free to start sending in those shots!  

{All images courtesy of West Elm}

Friday, November 18, 2016

5 Ways to Renovate your Bathroom with Tile

     Renovating a space in your home doesn't have to mean spending months ripping out your walls and floorboards.  We know that remodeling anything in your home can seem like a daunting process, so we are showing you 5 creative ways you can change up your bathroom without all the added stress and time.

1. Wallpaper
Instead of covering your bathroom with wallpaper, try using tile as a replacement.  As you can see below, it can be bigger project, but the outcome will be truly stunning.  

Click to see complete Hayden Collection
Complete Design by Emily Gillrie and Cathy Mann Design came up with this amazing plan for their client's washroom using decorative 12x12 tiles on carrara. 

Click for complete Evolve Collection
2. Floor Tile
We were lucky enough to be a part of an awesome bathroom renovation for Canadian blogger and interior designer, Jacquelyn Clark, where she transformed her outdated brown space into a classic beauty.  Depending on the size of the bathroom, adding tiles to the floor of your bathroom can either be a small, weekend project or a larger scale one.

Click for complete Chapman Pattern
Here is a larger master bath project done by the talented Jennifer Welch.
Click for complete Alto Collection
3. Shower Niche or Wall Decorative 
Adding decorative tile to a niche in your shower is an easy yet effective way to add design to your bathroom.  It will act as the focal point in your space without taking months to finish. 
Click for complete Watermark Collection

Below is a niche designed by Abby Manchesky
4. Shower Backsplash
If you like the idea of putting tile in your shower, but want to go bigger than a shower niche, covering your shower wall with bold tiles is great way to add change to your space.  Below is a perfect example of adding a backsplash in your shower, designed by KMH Creative.
We recently came across this bathroom sink that stopped us in our tracks!  We love seeing how creative designers get when using tiles in renovations.  All Natural Stone sent us this install shot and we think it could be a perfect project for someone who wants to change up their space without completely tearing out their bathroom.  

Click for complete Devonshire Collection
Don't be afraid of a little renovation!  We just showed you 5 different ways that you can add your personal touch to a room in your home without going through a year long remodel.  For more bathroom design ideas, CLICK HERE!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Tiles to Pair with Benjamin Moore's 2017 Color of the Year

Once we learned that Benjamin Moore's 2017 Color of the Year was the rich and mysterious "Shadow", we asked owner and lead designer, Melinda Earl, which patterned tiles she thought would pair beautifully with this year's color.

  She explains, "this color is exciting because it is so bold and unexpected; you can really play around with how you use it in your home.  It is a lot more versatile then you would think, and will compliment a variety of tile styles.  You can go modern or classic, and you can pair it with natural stone or carrara and it will look stunning."  

2017 Color of the Year: SHADOW
Photo courtesy of Washington Post
Photo Courtesy of Architectural Digest
 Melinda's final picks for you:

From the StoneImpressions' line...


3.  4.

1. Altalena Pattern in Eggplant     2. Saybrook Deco Dot 13       3. Nicolo Pattern in Lilac               4. Elemental Pattern in Charcoal

                  Melinda explains the finalists from the SI line: "I was surprised with my choices because when you put each tile next to each other, they are all so different in regards to style and color.  "Shadow" will look great with a bold, geometric pattern on white marble but also pair up perfectly with a classic design on a natural stone like light travertine."  

She also adds that many of the designs from our hexagon line mixed with this rich color would be a breathtaking contrast and create a very modern feel.

1. 2. 

1. Alston Tribeca Pattern      2. Alston Edge Pattern                          

Melinda's picks from the Artisan Stone Tile Collection...

1.  2.

1. Alto Pattern in Galaxy Grey             2. Chapman Pattern in Shade             3. Porto Pattern in Pebble              4. Karia Pattern in Platinum

She continues, "I noticed that when I narrowed down my picks from the AST line, I tended to choose patterns with a similar grey tone in them, but the style of patterns varied a lot.  The Porto and Chapman pattern are very classic, traditional designs whereas the Karia and Alto patterns are bold and modern.  It just proves how creative and versatile you can get with this color!" 

Check out more of Benjamin Moore's 2017 Color Trends here!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

10 Things you Didn't Know about the Founder of StoneImpressions

     stone impressions unique custom murals

Melinda Earl, founder and CEO of StoneImpessions, is the ultimate #GirlBoss.  Since 1999, Melinda has been working diligently as a female entrepreneur to pursue her dream of creating art and running her own company. Check out 10 facts below you might not know about the dynamic owner of Stone Impressions.

1.      Melinda first began experimenting with mixed media by incorporating together materials like cloth, plaster and paint to create still life paintings.

2.     She attended University of Redlands for undergrad and then went on to the Laguna College of Art and Design for graduate school.

3.      Melinda got her professional start in the art world by working at the Children’s Museum in Downtown San Diego where she worked on the children’s art programs.

4.      As a single mother, Melinda turned her side garage into an art studio where she spent countless hours experimenting with different paints and chemicals.  It is here that she eventually developed the patented technology that StoneImpressions uses today to print art on to stone.

                 custom murals still lifes, landscapes, wine musings designs and patterns

5.       It took 4 years and endless hours in her converted side garage to perfect her patented hand-printing process.

6.      In 1999 Melinda started her first business Photostone transferring photographs, including newborns, weddings, families, and nature, onto pieces of 8x10 stone to create stunning gifts and keepsakes.  

                  custom murals for kitchen backsplash

7.      She expanded her business in 2001 and founded StoneImpressions.  She began with only 2 employees in a converted Quonset hut in San Diego left-over from WWII, and started to create custom murals of still lifes, wine musings and landscapes using different types of stone.

8.      In October 2006, she flew to New York to compete against 40 other female entrepreneurs in American Express's “Count Me In” program.  She was one of the winners of the top “Make Mine A Million” award. 

9.      Melinda personally creates the majority of designs and images that go into the StoneImpressions’ catalogs.  

10. As of 2016, she is proud to employ over 15 employees and now operates a 10,000 square foot warehouse in San Diego, CA. 

                   custom murals made in san diego california 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Getting the Most out of the Deco Dots

We may be a little biased, but we love the Saybrook Vibrant Deco Dots collection on Limestone. 

We're pretty positive that other people feel this way too because if you scroll through our Pinterest page, the Deco Dots collection is still our most popular pin and has been saved thousands of times. Without any customization, these beauties come in sets of 16 individual 1x1 tiles on Limestone that make perfect accents around your home.  

unique mosaic tiles for kitchen tile flooring natural stone tile backsplash
Photo Courtesy of StoneImpressions

What people might not know is that the design possibilities are almost endless with these tiles, and the option to customize the Deco Dots is always available. We get many calls from clients and designers asking if it is possible to use just one of the patterns in the collection or to order the patterns in different sizes and stone types- and the answer is yes! We love seeing the Deco Dots used in creative ways that we have never seen before. So if you love these classic tiles but have no idea how to use them in your space, we will give you some ideas to get your creative juices flowing. 

Repeat One Pattern

When you look closely at the set of 16 mini-patterns of the Saybrook Vibrant collection, you realize how unique and beautiful each tile is. Maybe one pattern stands out to yo,u and you would love to repeat it over a stove or on the floor- we love this idea. Below is an example of using one of the designs to accentuate your space.  

kitchen backsplash unique mosaic tiles stone tile designs patterns natural marble limestone

Photo Courtesy of StoneImpressions

Enlarge the Sets 

If you love each of the patterns in the Saybrook set but wish they were a little bit bigger, that's no problem. As you can see in the backsplash below, the designer ordered each pattern as 6x6 tiles to make the designs more striking. We have also seen designers order the Deco Dots as large as an 18x18.

tile flooring unique mosaic tiles design ideas kitchen backsplash natural stone tile patterns
Photo Courtesy of Big Sky Design

Use as Subtle Accents 

If you want to bring color and a little bit of change to your home without undergoing a full-on home renovation, try using the Deco Dots as mosaics in a space. Strategically scattering them around a floor or backsplash will create a simple yet elegant focal point.    

accent tiles unique mosaic tiles designs and pattern natural stone
Photo Courtesy of StoneImpressions

These ideas are only starting points to help you plan your next design. When you start brainstorming about what you can create with the Saybrook Deco Dot collection, you almost can't stop! 

The Bristol Deco Dots Collection 

If you love the Saybrook Deco Dots but also love the look of white marble, we have recently added the Bristol Deco Dots collection on Carrara to our line.  The designs are similar and the same "rules" apply for the Bristol collection.

natural stone unique mosaic tiles kitchen backsplash tile flooring wall tile
Photo Courtesy of StoneImpressions

Again, you have the option to enlarge any of the patterns you see in this collection. Below you will see some of the designs from the Bristol Collection as 6x6 tiles. 

Photo courtesy of Wayne Tile

Whether you choose the Saybrook Vibrant or Bristol Deco Dots collection, you will be creating a timeless design in your home.  

Brainstorming time!   

Monday, August 8, 2016

5 Unique Spaces to Dress up with Tile

     When we are lucky enough to receive pictures from completed installations, we are always in awe of the different ways clients use our tiles in their homes.  We are now seeing our patterned tiles used as center pieces on shower walls, rugs on bathroom floors, decorative stair risers, borders around fireplaces, and even on home bars.  While we love a classic kitchen backsplash, it is always fun to see our tiles end up in spaces we never expect! 

     Decorating your home should be a fun, creative process and a way to make your space personalized.  Using decorative tiles around your home is one way that you can take a plain space and completely transform it into your own vision.  Below we will show you 5 unique places to dress up with tile.

      1.) Shower Walls or Bath 

  Your bathroom should be your sanctuary.  It is where you spend your time getting ready in the morning and where you relax after a long day at work.  Whether you prefer taking a soothing bath or a shower to wind down, you should be surrounded by something that is beautiful and a design that you envisioned!  Try adding a shower wall or bath backsplash like the ones below to personalize your bathroom experience. 

Photo courtesy of Charmean Neithart Interiors
Pattern is "Watermark

Photo courtesy of MCA Systems 
Mural is "Portella

      2.) Floor Rug  

  Probably one of the most innovative things we’ve seen designers do is create a permanent “rug” in their client’s bathroom or kitchen.  Adding a tile rug to your home will definitely catch the eyes of all your guests and is much easier to clean!  

Photo Courtesy of Taylor Design Studio
Pattern is "Lena" from Artisan Stone Tile collection

Photo courtesy of Mod Bazaar, designed by McCullough Tile and Stone
Mural is "Ganado Red"

            3.)    Stair Risers

   Adding decorative stair risers to your home is one of the fastest and most cost-effective ways of adding color and flare to your home.  It is such a simple addition to your house, but will make your staircase completely customized.  

Photo courtesy of Black Band Design
Pattern is "Lena" from the Artisan Stone Tile collection

Photo courtesy of StoneImpressions
Pattern is "Madagascar

            4.)    Fire Place 

  Like stair risers, adding a border around your fireplace can be a quick but impactful way of customizing this space.  Even though it might seem like you’re not doing much, this simple addition to your fireplace  that will create a unique and eye-catching focal point in the room. 

Photo courtesy of Tile Matters
Pattern is "Minore

Photo courtesy of Ashley Avila Photography
Pattern is "Zurich"

      5.)    Home Bar

  Black Band Design recently renovated a Southern CA home and we were amazed at the before and after shots. What really caught our eye was the home bar they redesigned.  We hope that this is a trend that continues!

Photos courtesy of Black Band Design
Pattern is "Lena" from the Artisan Stone Tile collection

     Renovating and designing your home can seem like a daunting and difficult process in the beginning with the endless ways you can customize your home and make it your dream palace.  Don’t stress yourself out too much when choosing what to change and redesign, the most important part of making over your space is that it is what you had envisioned and something you created!