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Materials 217 Ideabooks

Every now and then I like to zoom in on houses and the materials they are made of. This ideabook explores the textures that can be expressed through concrete, stone, wood, metal and even rammed earth. The examples...
Design Workshop: Put Industrial Mesh to Work Around the Home
Like many architects, I am always searching for new materials to use in my residential work. I’m particularly drawn to adapting simple, utilitarian, industrial materials for use in the home. Industrial metal mesh is an excellent example of this and...
Kitchen Counters: Quartzite Offers Strength and Beauty
When choosing a kitchen countertop material, many homeowners who might have gone with granite or marble are giving quartzite a second look. Before you bring this material into your kitchen, take the time to learn the pros, cons and special considerations...
Go Au Naturel in the Bath With Beautiful Stone
Using natural materials is all the rage in design. In bathrooms, for example, rocks and stones plucked from the great outdoors are finding their way underfoot and on the walls, and are being fashioned into dramatic tubs and sinks. Using river rocks, polished...
Objects of Desire: Beautifully Individual Concrete Floors
If you have pets, kids or a clumsy housemate, chances are that durability is a top priority when it comes to choosing finishes in your home. And perhaps no flooring material is as durable as concrete. It is also sustainable and budget-friendly, works...
Insulation Basics: What to Know About Spray Foam
While we all wish there were a single answer for any given problem, oftentimes that’s just not the case. This is true for material options for home insulation. Despite what the market says is the most popular insulation material or method at any given...
Insulation Basics: Heat, R-Value and the Building Envelope
Adding insulation to your home’s building envelope (the walls, slab and roof that protect your home from the outside) can be one of the most cost-efficient ways to reduce your heating and cooling bills. In new construction, investing in the insulation...
Considering Concrete Floors? 3 Green-Minded Questions to Ask
Concrete floors are becoming increasingly popular due to their versatility and durability. They can even reduce material consumption when an existing slab is utilized. If you are considering concrete floors for inside your home, there are three questions...
5 Head-Turning Tile Styles for Backsplashes and More
Look, I like classic white subway tile just as much as the next person, but after spending several years in tile design, I soon realized that tile can be so much more than a neutral backdrop. The way different tile types are made, colored and conceptualized...
Mosaic Tile Designs That’ll Thrill You to Bits
Dating back to 5,000 years ago, mosaic tiles are one of the world’s oldest art forms. Few other creations in human history have enjoyed that kind of aesthetic longevity. And mosaic tile continues to be an integral part of our homes, parks and public...
Design Workshop: Natural Wood Siding Minus the Maintenance
Architects, designers and homeowners go to great lengths to keep the weather out of buildings, a worthy and necessary goal. But the task of creating home exteriors that resist weather’s effects — including washing, sanding, stripping and refinishing...
Moor Tile, Please!
When Euclid declared, “The whole is greater than the part,” I like to think he had Moroccan tile on his mind. Moroccan tile is typically noted for complex geometric designs; artisans use mathematical precision to produce masterpieces. Designs rely...
So Many Reasons to Love Cement Tiles
Would you believe me if I told you cement tiles are a lot like checkerboard cake? Hear me out. When you slice into a checkerboard cake, you see alternating squares of chocolate and vanilla goodness. Cement tiles, popular in Mediterranean- and Latin-style...
Bling Where It’s Least Expected
Anyone who’s ever gone fishing with a flashy lure or held a baby while wearing blingy earrings knows that shiny things are attractive. There’s a magnetic draw to them. In fact, recent...
6 Spot-on Places to Use Penny Tiles
Looking for a tile with fun-loving appeal? Penny tiles, also known as penny rounds, brings both heritage and cheer to a home. A throwback to the early 1900s, penny tiles have come full circle to harmonize with nearly every style, from Victorian to bungalow,...
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