11/11/2008 – Beautiful Natural Stones and Mosaics for Older Homes
Beautiful Natural Stones and Mosaics for Older Homes In today’s stressful world, today’s homeowners want to create an environment that provides serenity in their lives. They want a home with restful elegance that welcomes them after a busy day-and yet-provides for their everyday needs and comfort. Homeowners can achieve practicality as well as style with good advice and eye-catching products. Lewis Floor & Home, with two locations in Northbrook and Chicago, helped two North Shore couples discover they could incorporate their personalities and products they loved into their 70-plus year old homes. These homeowners found creative ways to retain some of the past yet customize for today’s 21st Century living. Craig and Charlene Bernard own a 1927 year-old home in Winnetka with a bedroom closet that was so small they couldn’t fit all their clothes and shoes into it. Furthermore, like most bathrooms of that period, the 9-foot-by-9-foot bathroom with an old tub, pedestal sink and toilet, wasn’t very practical. In fact, there was hardly any room to dry off after a bath. When thoughts were given to enlarging the closet, the couple soon realized it could only be accomplished if they added a new master bathroom to the house. The end result was a nine month project that was completed in September of this year. “I’m an art director, who likes to make furniture, and I’m heavily involved in design,” says Craig Bernard. “That makes me not the easiest client to be with.” After careful consideration, the couple decided to work with Lewis Floor & Home, a third generation owned and operated business, to create a new bathroom that was stylish as well as affordable. “The selection was vast, and the showroom was arranged so we could envision the possible choices. We also took pictures, and then went home and did drawings.” The couple decided to use a neutral beige color with darker stone accents in the bathroom. Craig Bernard worked closely with his Sales Consultant Ralph Schiff who even went to their home to recheck the measurements for ordering the necessary amount of stone as well as get a sense of what ambience the family wanted to achieve. The new 100- square-foot bath has 18-inch-by-18-inch Spanish Crema Marfil Polished marble tile on the bathroom floor and half of the wall. On the two free standing vanities is Dark Emperador marble slab, which is also on the shower floor and shower seat in a mosaic pattern. The same marble was also used on the ledges over the sinks and the wall by the toilet. A unique overlapping round circle design on the shower wall is created by 12-inch-by-12-inch mosaic Crema Marfil with Dark Emperador tile that formed the circles. A coordinating listello is perfectly placed along the walls in the bathroom. Over the vanity sink is a Crema Marfil chair rail as the finishing touch. Both Crema Marfil and Emperador Brown marble is part of the Lewis Floor and Home in stock tile collection. In addition to importing porcelain and stone tile from all over the world, Lewis also imports and stocks up to 80 colors of granite, marble and limestone slabs. Lewis has a custom slab fabrication shop which makes the process very easy. They picked all their materials including their custom cabinets all at Lewis’ 28,000 square foot showroom. Lewis opened their new Kitchen and Bath design gallery in March of this year The Bernards’ goal was to achieve a unique look using different stones together along with the tiles on the wall that all fit and blended together. “We weren’t sure what we were going to do until we saw tiles and mosaics in the showroom that inspired us. We both loved the look, and it wasn’t difficult coming to a decision. The end result is a perfect match.” Jennifer Massarelli lives in a 1930s house in Glenview that was gutted. Her contractor, Peter Redfern, of Redfern Design, suggested she see Sales Associate Barbara Ender at Lewis Floor & Home because he had worked with her in the past and felt she’d be a strong resource for her. Massarelli started working with Ender in the fall of 2007 and met with her almost twice a week for several months. “Barbara and I worked well together because she could focus on what I was visualizing for the rooms in my home. She’d show me three products, and I’d pick out one. I never felt overwhelmed by the decisions because she narrowed down the selections,” says Massarelli. The master bath is modeled off of a picture Massarelli had seen in a magazine. It gave no details as to what the products were or even the manufacturers. Yet, Ender was able to recreate the look her client was seeking. The master bath is very elegant and classic in design. A crackled ceramic subway tile is installed on the walls of the wainscot around the room along with the shower walls and above the tub surround. The wainscot is topped with a coordinating chair rail. The floor is 12-inch-by-12-inch ivory Turkish limestone set in a brick pattern on the floor. The vanities and the seat in the shower are a beautiful green granite called Costa Esmeralda. All of these items are from Lewis Floor & Home’s in stock tile and slab collection. Her daughter’s bath has beautiful white bronze metal inserts in the bathroom floor and a delicate white listello on her tub surround and wainscot. During the remodeling, the family built an extra bathroom for her two sons. Their bathroom has a light brown granite with a beautiful marbling effect. Blue mosaic glass accents are used throughout the bathroom and in the shower stall. “I knew I wanted black granite in the foyer because I have a wool runner for the stairs,” says Massarelli. “Black granite would bring out the black in the carpet.” The end result was Travertine tiles with black granite clipped corners. The kitchen backsplash is tumbled Travertine sized 4-inch-by-4-inch, with Crema fruit carved deco interspersed. Under the range hood, there is a 12-inch-by-16-inch beautiful fruit bowl mural surrounded by 2-inch-by-2-inch mosaic and bordered by a liner bar as a picture frame. Across the kitchen is a vineyard mural on the wet bar wall surrounded by 2-inch-by-4-inch crackled subway tiles. All of these items were in stock in the Lewis 30,000 square foot Northbrook warehouse except for the murals and the carved deco that were ordered by Ender. Massarelli gives all the creative credit to Ender. “She drew up all the plans as to how the tile would be laid. She knew when it should be staggered a certain way or put in diagonally as well as cut to certain sizes. I truly felt as if I was getting the service of a designer for free. It was a huge relief to me to have someone who could step in and help me.”
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