Monday, September 18, 2017

Inspiration Behind our New Collection

You may have noticed that our in-stock collection, Artisan Stone Tile, has gotten a little bit bigger over the past few weeks.  We are very excited about these new designs, so we thought it would be fun to share with you what exactly inspired Melinda Earl, founder and lead designer at StoneImpressions, to create these patterns.  We were lucky enough to sit down with Melinda to get a little insight into her creative processes (she even told us some of her favorites).

On Style

"When you choose a tile for your home, you want it to match the overall style and tone of that room.  I wanted to make sure that I designed an even amount of traditional and modern patterns that would fit in a range of spaces."

Oasis Pattern from the Artisan Stone Tile Collection
 
The art of balancing two different styles took a little time for Melinda to master.

"I realized that I was creating many patterns that were influenced by Spanish and Portuguese tiles.  Designing a classic tile comes a lot easier for me.  I am fortunate enough to work with people who had fresh new ideas for more modern patterns."

"I wouldn't have been able to create these fun, contemporary collections without our Senior Designer, Matthew Griffin, or our Brand Manager, Elaine Richman."

Morocco Pattern from the Artisan Stone Tile Collection

"Once I stepped out of that comfort zone and started getting positive feedback from everyone in the office, I really started to play around with unique shapes and metallic colors."

On Finding Inspiration

Melinda has always been an artist and before creating StoneImpressions, she worked as a mixed media artist and painter.  But the beginning process is always the toughest for her.

"Even when I was painting portraits in my little garage, the hardest part for me was always starting.  I finally figured out that what I was missing was some inspiration.  Now, I make much more of an effort to get my creative juices flowing."

Ventana Pattern from the Artisan Stone Tile Collection
Photo Courtesy of @JordanNicoleDesign

We asked her to give us some examples of how she gets those creative juices flowing.  She smiles.

"Well, I always say that I am going to take a trip to Portugal or Spain to be immersed in all of the old world designs and patterns.  But for now, I spend hours looking at images in big history books on these different countries."

And for the more modern patterns...

Parasol Pattern from the Artisan Stone Tile Collection

"The way I create a modern pattern is very different than how I begin to create a traditional design.  I really try to stay original and I want to create something that is completely unique to us.  I find inspiration in everyday objects as you can tell in the Parasol pattern (pictured above)." 

On Knowing a Winner

"As soon as I'm done with a pattern, I know right away if it's going to be a big seller or not.  Of course, I want every design I put out to be a hit, but I usually have a good sense of what people will absolutely love and what people won't.  A good example of this is the Lena pattern--I instantly knew this was going to be our top seller.  That's why I added a new color to it for this collection."

 
Lena's Newest color "Coachman Grey" from the Artisan Stone Tile Collection, on a carrara marble and Calcario Limestone

Sometimes, she is wrong about her design instincts.

"What's funny is sometimes I am completely wrong about my predictions.  For this collection, I was so unsure about the pattern Zara, but all of my colleagues kept telling me they loved it.  We actually have gotten great feedback on Zara and plenty of sample orders."

Zara Pattern 

On her Favorites

We couldn't help but ask Melinda what her favorite designs are of this year.  It was a little hard to get it out of her but we got her to narrow her answer down to two patterns.

"This is such a tough question!  It's hard to pick just one after I've been working on these designs for months and staring endlessly at them.  But I would have to say either Oasis or Vencina.  I love a traditional tile!"

On the left, Vencina pattern and on the upper right hand corner, Oasis

We are excited to announce that we are also adding new designs to our made to order collection, StoneImpressions.  Check back with us soon to hear more about the new collection.