From the Floor Up

Behind the Scenes of an Idea House

Posted by Daltile Team on Jun 22, 2016 11:48:40 AM

Ever wonder how all the designs and products are chosen for an idea house? How do so many moving parts come together in such spectacular fashion?

Recently we sat down with Daltile product designer, Sarah Morales, as she came up with suggestions for products to feature in concept houses in 2017. Her process is a sound one that anybody would do well to imitate for successful and professional home design and trustworthy product choices. Here’s a peek behind the curtain.

Playing with different combinations can help coordinate a design. Left to right: ONE Quartz Surfaces Calacatta, Saddle Brook, Elevare
Tile combinations


Asking “Who?”

All designers, including Sarah, start by asking about the purpose of the design and the key question there is “who.” Who will be living, working, and playing in this home? What are their needs? What are their tastes?

With a firm grasp on “who,” a designer has set limitations on his or her creativity. This isn’t limiting, but it helps to guide the design in a direction that will result in an optimal design for the homeowners. The 2017 concept homes have picked a specific types of homeowners that led Sarah to select certain types of tile over others to meet specific needs. But with so much tile to choose from, constraints didn’t change her design vision all that much.

Thinking Trend-Forward

Picking tile for a future build and remaining on the cutting-edge of design can be a bit tricky. Sarah turned to her industry knowledge and awareness of evolving design trends to make suggestions that would represent the latest and greatest.

She turned to transitional styling as she looked at the floor plan for a style that would be appealing to many types of homeowners and retain its fresh feel for many years to come.

Favoring high contrast, she selected wall and floor tile that would expand the space and create visual interest. She also leaned toward lightly textured tile and fabric looks as something that she sees as a trend on the horizon.

There was a good mix of large format tiles and tiny mosaics because they are unexpected. She suggested several floor appropriate mosaics, as bigger tile on the wall and smaller tile on the floor is a big trend right now that will continue to show up in design.

Speaking of the unexpected, Sarah also picked out some bold tile for a pop of personality. She said, “It’s nice to have something unexpected because it gives the house character. People remember it. A little surprise can become the selling point of a house.” At the same time, it can be hard to find something trend-forward that won’t go out of style in a few years. Sarah picked from classic collections from Daltile that have already been popular for many years and won’t lose traction any time soon.

The brown undertones in the field tile and mult-colored mosaic coordinate this combination of floor, wall, countertop and accent.
Tile combinations

Keeping It Classic

Personality is all well and good, but design can’t be so out there that the home looks dated in 10 years. There are plenty of ways to stay classic but add in the uniqueness that makes a house special.

Sarah selected just one tile to go on the floors throughout the open floor plan areas like the entryway, kitchen, and family room. “Changing the tile from room to room ends up making the house look like it was remodeled in stages. It doesn’t add the kind of personality that people find valuable,” Sarah told us.

The solution? Change up the pattern. If you chose a wood-look plank tile, put it down in a herringbone pattern in the foyer or another space you want to make special then put it in a regular offset pattern for the rest of the area. This changes things up without making it feel disjointed.

Look for Daltile products in 2017 cooncept homes.


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