Tag Archives: Subway Tile

A Look at Tile Layouts

With endless material and pattern options, tile is a great opportunity to showcase your personal style and add interest to your home.  In this post, we take a look at some popular tile layouts to help you choose the option(s) that are best for you and the various spaces in your home.

BrickBrick Tile Layout

The brick, or running bond, layout is that classic subway tile pattern, with each row of tile offset by half a tile width.  It’s a timeless look and is ideal for really any spot in the home.  We often see it as a kitchen backsplash or on shower walls.  Looking to spice up this pattern?  Some of our homeowners opt for a contrasting grout to really define the brick pattern.

Vertical Brick

This layout is that classic brick pattern rotated.  It’s a contemporary twist on a classic and is often used to emphasize height or create an illusion of height.  It’s not uncommon to see the vertical brick pattern on a shower wall.

Large Brick Tile LayoutLarge Brick

A large brick is still that staggered pattern, but it offers a different feel than a typical brick layout.  With fewer grout lines, it can appear to be a more continuous surface of material – a great option for a floor or shower wall.  A fun twist to the large staggered brick look is swapping out a traditional rectangle tile and using a square tile, offsetting the grout joints for an unexpected look.

HerringboneLarge Herringbone Tile Layout

Herringbone is a timeless, elegant tile pattern.  It is created with 45 degree angles that form a ‘V’ shape.  Whether used with the simplest tile or a lovely marble, a herringbone layout adds subtle interest and texture to a space.  Size matters!  The look and feel of your herringbone pattern can be affected by the size of the tile, each option as beautiful as the last – 3” x 6,” 1” x 3,” 12” x 24.”

Basket Weave Tile LayoutBasket Weave

Alternating between horizontal and vertical tiles and often a mix of squares and rectangles, the basket weave pattern is another timeless option.  A basket weave is a great way to add a high-end look to a bathroom floor.

Mosaic Tile LayoutMosaic

Hexagon, square, and beyond – a mosaic is made up of small tiles in a repeated pattern or set of patterns.  Want to highlight a backsplash or niche?  A mosaic pattern is a great way to showcase these details.  It’s also frequently used on shower floors because it is easy to pitch smaller tiles for proper drainage.

Versaille Tile LayoutVersaille

A Versaille tile pattern is composed of four different tile sizes and adds character to your floor.  It is actually like a puzzle pieced together. This pattern is commonly used with a travertine tile for a rustic feel, but it can also be created with a porcelain tile.

Side Note – Borders

Not only do borders add an accent to a tile layout, but they can also be a little “trick” to compensate for imprecise tile-to-wall sizing.  A slightly wider or narrower strip can help you avoid having to cut off tops or bottoms of tiles to make everything fit properly.  It can be a fun option to lay a border in a vertical “waterfall” detail, as well.

Recent Project: Modern, Eclectic Farmhouse Remodel

The 1970s colonial home was dated, compartmentalized, and stale. The homeowners wanted to update their home to accommodate their modern lifestyle and showcase their eclectic style.

The Exterior

Delafield Exterior Remodel Before

The exterior was nondescript, and the homeowners wanted it to be an expression of their style, something that had more character.

Delafield Exterior Remodel

The home was transformed into a modern, eclectic farmhouse. It features low maintenance LP Smartside siding (both horizontal lap and board and batten siding) and trim, a metal roof, fieldstone, and cedar columns and brackets. The wrap-around porch is welcoming, and the layers of lighting give the home a warm glow.

The Family Room

Delafield Fireplace Before

The existing fireplace was drab and cookie-cutter. The homeowners wanted a fireplace that could serve as the focal point of both the family room and kitchen.

Delafield Fireplace Remodel

The new fireplace is the centerpiece of the first floor. The Gold Mica fieldstone is rustic and warm, and the reclaimed farmhouse beam keeps the farm’s history alive.

Also, note the Dutch door to the right of the fireplace. This leads to the new library (discussed soon), and serves a few different functions. First, it is used as a “gate” for the homeowners’ three dogs. The Dutch door also gives the room flexibility – it can be somewhat open to other spaces, or it can be closed completely for more privacy when reading or watching a movie.

The Kitchen

Delafield Kitchen Remodel Before

The existing kitchen, dinette, and dining room were dated, cramped, and lacking personality. They were also closed off from the family room.

Delafield Kitchen Remodel

The new kitchen expanded into the unused dining room and is open to other entertaining areas. It features custom quarter-sawn oak cabinetry, green soapstone and granite tops, a subway tile backsplash, and a painted island with seating. The island’s two levels offer space for food prep and seating, and the open design accommodates the natural flow between appliances, storage, and food prep areas.

The Butler’s Pantry

Delafield Butler's Pantry

The new walk-in pantry uses a portion of the old dinette space. The butler’s pantry not only offers extra storage and counter space, but it tells a story about the family’s past. The sliding barn door was reclaimed from the family’s early 1900s barn, and the pantry cabinetry came from the family farmhouse. These details add historical charm to the home.

The Library

Delafield Library Remodel Before

The three-season room was a catchall and was not practical for year-round use. It was also dated and unsightly.

Delafield Library Remodel

Now, the homeowners can comfortably use the new library year-round. It features a wall of built-in bookshelves that serves as a focal point and showcases the homeowners’ books and treasures from their travels. The shelves also complement the homeowners’ Stickley furniture. The exposed wood ceiling uses wood harvested from an oak tree that had fallen on the family farm years ago – another story to tell.

The Screen Porch

Delafield Screen Porch

The new screen porch is accessible from the family room/kitchen area, the patio, and the porch. It is a great spot to enjoy the home’s scenic backdrop, and it helps blur the line between indoor and outdoor entertaining spaces. The ceiling draws visitors’ attention up and adds texture to the space, with exposed rafters and tongue and groove roof boards.

See this project on Houzz!

Bartelt Kitchen Featured in M Magazine

One of our Elm Grove kitchen remodels was featured in the January 2016 issue of M Magazine.

Check out this kitchen with “barn charm” on pages 94-95 of M Magazine.

Barn Charm M Magazine January 2016Barn Charm M Magazine January 2016

12 Days of Entertaining Spaces (and Recipes)

12 Days of Entertaining Spaces

We’re sharing some of our favorite entertaining spaces with a holiday recipe to whip up at home!

Day 1

The Space

Elm Grove Kitchen Remodel

This kitchen is ideal for entertaining, featuring double islands, ample storage, layers of lighting, and high-end appliances.  It is a mix of rustic and refined design elements – a cozy spot for the holidays.

The Recipe

Fanciful Raspberry Ribbons Recipe

These little cookies look beautiful on a platter full of holiday treats.  They’re sure to be a crowd pleaser, too!

Day 2

The Space

Oconomowoc Lower Level Remodel

This lower level bar is the perfect spot to host a holiday shindig!  It features leather-textured granite, a stacked stone backsplash, two beverage refrigerators, and custom cabinetry.

The Recipe

Cheese Fondue Recipe

This year, one fun appetizer we’re having at our family holiday gathering is fondue!  Here is a yummy recipe based on the popular beer cheese dip served at The Melting Pot.

Day 3

The Space

Wauwatosa Family Room Remodel

This family room is flooded with natural light and features a coffered ceiling, gas fireplace, oak hardwood flooring, and a wet bar equipped with wine and beverage refrigerators.

The Recipe

Whipped Cream Fudge Recipe

This fudge recipe is incredibly simple and quite delicious!  It’s the perfect treat to bring to a party or to give as a gift.

Day 4

The Space

Fox Point Butler's Pantry

This butler’s pantry/wet bar is well-equipped, featuring wine and beverage refrigerators, an ice maker, glass storage, and a bar sink (it’s also important to point out the goldleaf tiles and gold ceiling).

The Recipe

White Chocolate Peppermint Martini Recipe

This festive holiday drink is sure to be a hit at your next gathering!

Day 5

The Space

Oconomowoc Dining Room

This dining room is the perfect spot to host family and friends.  It features a custom-built corner cabinet and a buffet with glass storage and a beverage refrigerator (the ideal spot for your holiday spread)!

The Recipe

Egg Casserole Recipe

This is probably one of the best egg bakes out there!  It’s the perfect breakfast to feed a crowd for a holiday brunch (although the recipe can be halved easily), and you can whip the ingredients together the evening before.

Day 6

The Space

Hartford Sunroom Addition

This sunroom addition is a balanced mix of rustic and refined details – reclaimed barn beams, fieldstone, a coffered ceiling, and an elegant light fixture.  The large windows also showcase the pastoral views (note the red barn)!

The Recipe

Baked Brie Bites Recipe

These brie bites are easy to pop in your mouth, and they always go quickly at parties!

Day 7

The Space

Delafield Kitchen Remodel

This kitchen features custom quarter-sawn oak cabinetry, green soapstone and granite countertops, a subway tile backsplash, and a painted island with plenty of seating for guests!

The Recipe

Amish Sugar Cookies Recipe

These cookies are beautiful (they can really be customized for any season with the addition of sprinkles), and they melt in your mouth!

Day 8

The Space

Muskego Lower Level Remodel

This lower level is a spot that the whole family can enjoy.  It features engineered hickory flooring, a bold chandelier, and room for a large table (perfect for games or meals).  The space also includes a wet bar with marble subway tile, leather-textured granite, and custom cabinetry.

The Recipe

Chocolate Caramel Fondue Recipe

We already shared a cheese fondue recipe.  Now, it’s time for something sweet!  This is a simple, delicious recipe.  The fun part?  There are endless dipper options!

Day 9

The Space

Oconomowoc Screen Porch Addition

This screen porch off the lower level showcases the home’s beautiful backdrop.  It features a stained concrete floor, cedar, and reclaimed brick.

The Recipe

Hot Ham and Cheese Party Rolls Recipe

This appetizer is a crowd pleaser, and it’s perfect for a party because it can be assembled the night before!

Day 10

The Space

Oconomowoc Lower Level Remodel

This bar is ideal for entertaining!  It’s cozy, featuring a copper top, a Lannon stone wall and fireplace, stained beams, and a travertine floor.

The Recipe

Brandy Slush Recipe

This is a bit of a throwback!  Brandy slush is a refreshing drink throughout the year.  And it can be served with brunch or dinner – very versatile!

Day 11

The Space

Hartford Greeting Room

This is the perfect spot to retire to after a holiday feast.  It features reclaimed barn beams, a tongue and groove ceiling, a gas fireplace, and a slate floor.

The Recipe

Kringle Recipe

Make it for breakfast or serve as a dessert with coffee.  This homemade Kringle is delicious!

Day 12

The Space

Oconomowoc Kitchen Remodel

With plenty of island seating for guests and lots of counter space for meal prep, who wouldn’t want to entertain in this kitchen?  It features Chocolate Bordeaux granite, custom white cabinetry, a stained island, and high-end appliances.

The Recipe

Pork Tenderloin Recipe

This pork tenderloin is a balanced mix of sweet, savory, and tart.  It also looks pretty on your plate!

Recent Project: Traditional Kitchen Remodel

This 1990s home had not been updated since it was built.  It was dated, and the homeowners wanted to create a space more conducive to entertaining.

Waukesha Kitchen Before

The existing kitchen did not accommodate entertaining and was “chopped up” by a large peninsula. The cooktop and hood at the small island left little room for food prep.  There was also a lot of wasted space above the cabinetry.

Waukesha Kitchen Remodel

The remodeled kitchen offers a better traffic pattern and updated look without straying too far from the feel of existing spaces.  The custom, raised panel birch cabinetry, travertine subway tile, and granite countertops complement the original feel of the house without matching it.  This creates a seamless transition, so the homeowners didn’t feel obligated to update the entire first floor.

The kitchen also includes a large island with two levels, making it multi-purpose: one level for food prep and the other with room for dining.

Waukesha Kitchen Remodel

The range hood is a focal point, or anchor, of the kitchen.  It stands out, yet blends well with the cabinetry and style of the kitchen.

Kitchen Spice Storage

 

 

 

 

 

Everything has its place.  For example, a spice drawer in the island keeps the spices organized and within reach of food prep.

Waukesha Kitchen Remodel

The raised panel, arched valence adds character to the space and softens the look of the room, contrasting with the straight lines throughout the kitchen.

Sienna Bordeaux Granite

 

 

 

 

 

The Sienna Bordeaux granite countertops add warmth and movement to the island and perimeter tops.

Paneled Beverage Refrigerator  Wine Refrigerator

The paneled beverage refrigerator is ideal for entertaining and blends with the custom cabinetry.  The wine refrigerator is also a great “tool” for entertaining.  This area works a little “double duty,” as well.  It takes on a wet bar function, with glass storage and room to mix drinks, and it serves as a “drop zone” for phone charging.

Second sink in the island

The island sink is near the refrigerator and prep areas, creating a “work triangle.”  It also serves as a bar sink, being close to the beverage and wine refrigerators, so people don’t have to use the main sink when preparing drinks.

The Classic Bathroom

Wauwatosa Classic Bathroom RemodelIt’s time to take the principles of “classic style,” a topic we’ve covered in the past, and apply them to the bathroom.  How can you create a bathroom that stands the test of time and offers flexibility to tie in with changing trends?  Simplicity and quality products are the key.  Bartelt shares tips and examples to create a classic look.

Marble Basketweave TileThe Floor

For a clean and elegant look, basketweave, hexagon, or herringbone tile patterns are timeless, adding texture to the floor.  Keep it simple with black and white or all white with a contrasting grout.  Choose a creative mosaic pattern.  Select a classic Carrara or Calacatta marble or maybe a travertine.  There are many opportunities to showcase your style through these time-honored options.

The WallsWainscoting

Simple drywall will never go out of style, but if you’re looking to add some character to your space without getting too trendy or ornate, there are many options.  Subway tile, beadboard, and wainscoting are just a few examples of architectural details that add interest, but don’t overpower the room.

Fox Point Classic Bathroom RemodelThe Vanity

Many homeowners either opt for a furniture-style vanity or no vanity at all.  First, let’s examine what we mean by “furniture-style.”  These vanities often look like freestanding pieces of furniture, featuring details such as legs, feet, varying heights and depths, inset drawers and doors, and base molding with a recessed toe kick.  They can be a new, custom piece or a reclaimed piece of furniture.  Another classic look is a pedestal sink or wall-hung lavatory.  Above the vanity, recessed medicine cabinets can be a nod to a bygone era as well as wall-mounted faucets.

The FinishesPolished Nickel

To create a classic look, use historic finishes.  Polished nickel, chrome, and oil-rubbed bronze are often popular choices for plumbing fixtures and knobs.  Marble, travertine, white painted woodwork, and dark wood tones are also examples of finishes that stand the test of time.

Freestanding TubThe Shower and Tub

There are many options to create a timeless, yet modern shower – frameless shower doors, subway tile, marble, a bench, built-in niches, and a series of hand sprays and shower heads are just a few selections.  The bathtub is another opportunity to insert a classic flair.  Freestanding tubs, especially claw-foot tubs, remain the hallmark of a classic bathroom.  They add an air of luxury and are available in many shapes and sizes to suit your style.  Add water supplies and tub controls on risers that come off the floor for a complete classic look!

The LightingVintage Light Fixture

For your light fixtures, consider restoring an antique chandelier and sconces or choosing lights that mimic the style of a vintage fixture.

Recent Project: Family-Friendly Lower Level Remodel

The homeowners wanted to transform their empty basement into another living space that both the adults and kids could enjoy.  It was important that the lower level offered a comfortable area to watch movies, entertain, and play.

Muskego Lower Level Remodel

The remodeled space is a balanced mix of cozy and sophisticated details.  It features an informal entertaining area with engineered hickory flooring, a bold chandelier, ample storage, and room for a large table.

The arched openings and columns add character to the lower level and keep the entertaining area and living room open to one another while defining each space.

Muskego Lower Level Remodel

This space also includes a wet bar with marble subway tile, leather-textured granite, and custom cabinetry in a smoky gray color.

Muskego Lower Level Remodel

The lower level playroom features two chalkboard doors and can be closed off with barn-style doors to keep toys hidden during gatherings.

Muskego Lower Level Remodel

The lower level also includes a powder room, featuring unique lighting, and a fitness room.

For detail photos, see this project on Houzz.

Timeless Design Part III

Classic Style

We have reached the final section of our three-part discussion on timeless design.  After focusing on your remodel’s layout and flow, it’s time to concentrate on the details.  Although there are many style possibilities for your home, one that seems to be the most approachable is a classic style.  It’s an option that stands the test of time and offers flexibility, allowing you to change your home’s look with accessories and fixtures.

Keep it simple.Classic White Kitchen

When a home has too many ornate details, it can quickly become dated.  Consider using clean lines and understated architectural details.  For instance, a timeless kitchen often features inset doors rather than raised panel doors (traditional) or flat panel doors (modern).  In a classic home, you may also see elements that add interest without overpowering the space, such as coffered ceilings, wainscoting, furniture-style toe kicks, and crown molding.

Opt for a neutral palette.

Classic White Master Bathroom“Neutral” is not necessarily a synonym for “boring” or “bland.”  Actually, neutrals often have a strong presence in a classic style home.  Beiges, grays, whites, off-whites – they are all common options and can be spiced up with trend colors through accessories or other items that are easy to adjust, if desired.  You can also combine different neutrals or play with textures to create interest.  Using the kitchen as an example again, many homeowners will mix white perimeter cabinetry with a stained island to keep it classic, yet add some variation.

Use quality, classic materials.

Classic style has “staying power,” so you want to ensure the materials you choose were made to last and won’t look passé in a few years.  Here are some examples of classic products and materials for two popular rooms in the home:

In the kitchen:

  • Marble mixed with honed black countertops
  • White subway tile
  • Butcher block tops

In the bathroom:

  • Hexagon or basketweave tile
  • Carrara or Calacatta marble
  • Free-standing tub
  • Pedestal sink
  • Subway tile
  • Nickel fixtures

Bartelt Lake Home Remodel in M Magazine

M Magazine’s September 2013 issue features a home tour of a recent Bartelt remodel on Fowler Lake in Oconomowoc.

The 1800s Victorian home had been converted to a four-family residence, and the couple wanted to restore it back to a single-family home, reintroducing its original charm while accommodating the family’s modern lifestyle.

See the “Dwellings” section, pages 92 – 94, here.

Bartelt "House Tour" in M MagazineBartelt "House Tour" in M MagazineBartelt "House Tour" in M Magazine