Category Archives: Tips

Why is an Interior Designer an Important Part of Your Project?

Choosing products and materials can be an overwhelming process, sometimes extending the project’s timeline or overreaching the budget if not done properly.  An interior designer works with homeowners to choose items based on quality, function, price and style, helping you bring your design goals to life.

At Bartelt, our in-house interior designers serve many roles – creator, project coordinator, a friendly ear – to guide you each step of the way and make the remodeling process enjoyable.  Why is it important to look to a professional interior designer for direction?  Let’s examine!

They have a process.

Your interior designer has a proven process to guide you through your project and selections, keeping you organized and using tools to help you visualize and understand how everything fits together.  They’ll ask the right questions to hone in on your style, and they’ll help you make decisions at the proper time in the project’s progression.  The designer is there to coordinate all the moving parts and make sure details don’t get missed.  There are a lot of steps between preliminary design ideas and the final space.

Pewaukee Kitchen Remodel

They keep you on track.

Your interior designer can help keep your project on time and on budget (they may even end up saving you money).  Homeowners don’t always realize the incredible amount of decisions that need to be made.  That’s where your designer is a huge asset.  They help you sort through all the options – lighting, paint colors, tile, flooring, countertops (this list goes on!) – and ensure that your selections are cohesive and within your allowance, leaving less room for errors and unnecessary spending.

They’ll also hold you accountable to make decisions in a timely manner, so your project’s timeline doesn’t get derailed.

Oconomowoc Lower Level Remodel

They bring a new perspective.

A fresh eye is important!  It can be hard to step back and look at your home from a different perspective.  You often get accustomed to the layout, color scheme and other details.  An interior designer has a trained eye and can see the potential in your space and offer creative solutions that you may have never considered.

Beyond offering ideas you may have not examined, they can also share options you may not have known even existed.  Continuing education is an important aspect of the designer’s job, and they have a great pulse on new materials, tools and methods.

Wauwatosa Master Bath Remodel

They can bring you back down to Earth (if needed).

We all have big plans for our homes, and let’s face it – sometimes, we need a reality check.  Your designer will help you set realistic goals and educate you on any design limitations.  They can also help you practice restraint, or in other words, learn how to “edit.”  What’s important to incorporate into the design?  What isn’t necessary?  Where can you take design risks?  Where should you keep it simple?  This will ensure your final space is practical while still showcasing your personality and unique style.

Wauwatosa Sunroom Remodel

LAYERING | A Well-Lit Kitchen

When making plans for that new kitchen, it’s important to think about how you’ll be using the space and where specific light sources will be needed.  A well though out lighting plan has many layers to it.  Let’s explore those layers to help you create a cohesive and functional kitchen.

A M B I E N T | Lights for Navigating

Delafield Kitchen Remodel

Recessed cans, chandeliers, wall sconces, flush mount fixtures, even natural light – ambient lighting is your foundation, a general “blanket” of light for your kitchen.  It helps you navigate your space (without running into things), and it’s really the first step to your lighting plan, serving as the base for all other layers.

T A S K | Lights for Doing

Hartford Kitchen Remodel

Task lighting may arguably be the most important layer.  It helps you complete specific jobs, like meal prep and cooking, in the kitchen.  Under cabinet lights over the countertop, pendants above the island, lights at the range – it’s important to see what you’re doing especially when working with sharp knives and other potentially dangerous tools.

A C C E N T | Lights for Feeling

Herringbone Tile Layout

Accent lighting sets the tone for your kitchen, creating a warm and inviting space.  It’s often known as the decorative layer.  It can also be considered task lighting, but it demands a bit more attention – in-cabinet lights to display dishes or collectibles, beautiful pendants, and other fixtures to highlight a unique aspect of the space.  They round off the room to make it feel complete, and with so many options, it’s a great opportunity to really show off your personality.

M O O D | Lights for Changing

Wauwatosa Kitchen Remodel

Throughout the day, your lighting needs change.  During the day, natural light is often sufficient, but as the day progresses you’ll need help from your fixtures to illuminate the space for cooking and cleaning.  Entertaining?  You’ll want to set the mood.  That’s where dimmers come into play.  Dimmers can be incorporated into all layers of lighting, so you can adjust the light for your specific needs.  For instance, they’re a great option at night or in the early morning when you’re not quite ready for bright lights.

Now that you’re familiar with the various layers of light, it’s important to note that you don’t have to use separate fixtures for each layer.  There’s often a lot of overlap.

Happy light planning!

White & Wood Kitchens

We see white kitchens everywhere!  They are clean, airy and timeless.  But for some, they can be a bit stark.  Those homeowners are looking to add warmth and texture.  That’s where wood comes to the rescue.  White and wood can be the perfect pair to create a space that’s simple and bright yet warm and cozy.  It’s an opportunity to add natural texture and soften the formality of a space.

How can you incorporate wood?  Here are a few ideas.

  • Beams
  • Countertops/Butcher Block Tops
  • Mixed Cabinetry (i.e. stained island)
  • Doors (i.e. barn or French doors)
  • Open Shelving
  • Range Hood

Let’s look at some examples!

Wauwatosa Kitchen Remodel

The dark stained island and the walnut top on the raised portion of the island add a warmth and richness to this classic kitchen.

Wauwatosa Butler's Pantry

The contrasting cabinetry in this butler’s pantry creates an unexpected focal point.

Wauwatosa Kitchen Remodel

This beautiful oak floor adds subtle texture and warmth.  It’s a great contrast to the white cabinetry, cool gray tones and marble top.

Hartford Kitchen Remodel

With a distressed cherry island top, this farmhouse kitchen is a balanced mix of rustic and refined.

Elm Grove Kitchen Remodel

Oak floors, beams, open shelving and a distressed cherry island top – this kitchen blends clean lines and natural texture perfectly.  The warm wood tones also offer an intimacy to the large space.

Elm Grove Open Shelving

Here’s a close-up on those lovely wood shelves.  They make a statement, but keep the space feeling open and airy.

Elm Grove Barn Doors

One more view of this kitchen shows off the beautiful custom wood barn doors.  They are nod to the home’s barn past and add charm to the space.

The Beauty of Built-Ins

Whether it’s a window seat, bookshelf, bed, or bar, built-ins lend character and function to a home.  We love that they can be tailored to specific needs and that they offer a cohesive and seamless look.  Built-ins are a great opportunity to take advantage of every nook and cranny and can really maximize your space!  Let’s look at some examples.

W I N D O W   S E A T S

Window seats are versatile.  Incorporate them into a dining room, office, bedroom, family room, or hallway.  They are the perfect opportunity to make the most of otherwise wasted space and insert extra storage.  Plus, who hasn’t dreamed of having a window seat?  It’s a great place to curl up with a book or sip a cup of coffee.  And it can be a beautiful way to frame a view.

Hartford Library Remodel

Wauwatosa Master Bedroom

B O O K S H E L V E S

Built-in bookshelves are multi-purpose – a place to store items and a lovely way to display decor, books, and collectibles.  They truly give a room a finished and sophisticated look.

Wauwatosa Family Room Remodel

Fox Point Library Remodel

B E D S

A built-in bed is ideal for kid or guest bedrooms!  They can be tucked into an alcove or under a slanted wall. Let’s not forget to mention how cozy they are!  Bonus – they can offer extra storage.  Check out those built-in bookshelves and drawers!

Oconomowoc Guest Bedroom Remodel

M E D I A   C E N T E R S

Like all built-ins, a built-in media wall subdues clutter and makes a space feel more substantial.  It can also serve as the anchor of the room.  This example mixes in shelves, reclaimed windows, and drawers to break up the size of the wall, add interest, and offer even more storage.

Side note – the built-in cabinetry in the foreground of this photo was incorporated into the design to not only display the homeowners’ vintage treasures, but to also define two rooms while keeping them open to one another.

Waukesha Family Room Remodel

B A R S

A built-in wet bar often serves as the home’s entertaining hub.  The great thing about a built-in wet bar?  You don’t necessarily need to have ample square footage.  Big or small, a wet bar has a lot of utility in a home – extra counter space, glassware storage, an additional sink, cocktail mixing station.

Wauwatosa Family Room Remodel

B A T H R O O M   S T O R A G E

Built-in shelving, vanity towers, medicine cabinets, niches – built-ins definitely take on a large role in a well-organized and timeless bathroom.  Because bathrooms are often small, these options offer storage and style without sacrificing floor space.

Fox Point Bathroom Remodel - Vanity Towers

L O C K E R S  / /  C U B B I E S

Custom cubbies or lockers help everyone keep their belongings organized and out of other areas of the home.  Add a bench, and you have yourself the perfect “launch pad” to get your family out-the-door.

Wauwatosa Mudroom

An Ode to Herringbone

You’re looking for timeless options in your home – something that won’t be dated in a matter of a few years but still adds style and intrigue to your space. May we suggest herringbone? Before we dive into the reasons we love herringbone and show you some of our fabulous examples, let’s look at a simple definition:

[ H E R R I N G B O N E ]

NOUN | ˈher-iŋ-ˌbōn, ˈhe-riŋ-

Herringbone is a pattern made up of 45 degree angles that form a ‘V’ shape.

Now, why do we love it?

[ S T Y L E ] Whether used with simple materials or something more dynamic (such as marble), laying tile or wood in an unexpected pattern like herringbone adds an element of style and elegance. For instance, if this tile was laid in a standard grid or running bond pattern, it may not have been as interesting or unique.

Family Room Tile

[ T I M E L E S S ] Herringbone seems to be a pattern that stands the test of time. Perhaps, it’s the fact that it adds subtle interest and doesn’t overwhelm a room. You don’t grow weary of it like trendy or ornate details. It also isn’t associated with a specific time period, so in a couple of years, people won’t be saying, “That’s so 2017.”

Fox Point Kitchen Remodel

[ T E X T U R E ] If you’re looking for texture, herringbone may be the answer! Again, it’s an understated detail, adding just enough variation to create warmth and character in your home.

Wauwatosa Kitchen Remodel

[ M O V E M E N T ] Herringbone adds movement. It commands visitors’ attention and guides their eyes through a room, giving the illusion of more space.

Wauwatosa Sunroom Remodel

[ V E R S A T I L I T Y ] Herringbone isn’t reserved for one particular style. It can complement a contemporary space as well as traditional or rustic homes.  It also has various applications in the home – giving contrast to a traditional subway tile, spicing up the interior of a fireplace, adding texture to a hardwood floor, highlighting a niche in the bathroom, offering dimension to a tile floor. There are no limits!

Wauwatosa Family Room Remodel

A Look at Bartelt’s Award-Winning Projects

May is National Home Improvement Month, so throughout the past few weeks, we have posted photos of some of Bartelt’s award-winning projects. Here is a compilation of those posts!

[  D A Y  1  ]

This 1800s farmhouse remodel has a balanced mix of rustic and refined details – barn beams, painted cabinetry, fieldstone, coffered ceilings, distressed wood.

[  D A Y  2  ]

This home is a blend of traditional elements and modern details. It features marble, painted cabinetry and gorgeous lighting. The spaces also boast unique materials like goldleaf tile and textured wallpaper!

[  D A Y  3  ]

Our clients wanted a layout more conducive to entertaining and spaces that reflected their style and setting. The first floor features custom cabinetry, wrought iron light fixtures, slate tile, textured granite, and hand-scraped beams, creating a rustic aesthetic.

[  D A Y  4  ]

This sunroom addition is the perfect spot to host family and friends. It features a bar, easy access to the kitchen, a Lannon stone fireplace, and a direct connection to outdoor entertaining spaces.

[  D A Y  5  ]

Our clients’ 1800s Victorian lake home had been turned into a four family residence. It was their goal to restore it back to a single family home and reintroduce its original charm. This project features painted cabinetry, a tin ceiling, fireplace restorations, a bed nook for the grandchildren, and other details complementing the character of the home.

[  D A Y  6  ]

This master bath features a custom vanity, a tub with a granite deck, and a frameless glass shower. The shower bench boasts porcelain- and marble-filled mosaic tile and mimics the curve of the vanity and tub.

[  D A Y  7  ]

The homeowners wanted to update the home to accommodate their modern lifestyle while complementing the home’s original charm. This remodel features a new master suite, an exterior update, a new detached garage, a family room transformed from the old garage, and an expanded kitchen.

[  D A Y  8  ]

This home was originally a 1850s barn and was converted to a home in 1938. Throughout the addition, it was important to create a rustic, yet refined aesthetic. This was achieved with beams, board and batten siding, shakes, layers of lighting, exposed wood, and other selections that acknowledge the home’s barn past.

[  D A Y  9  ]

This kitchen is ideal for entertaining. It features a large island, efficient storage, double sinks, and a large arched opening into the family room (keeping the spaces open yet defined).

[  D A Y  1 0  ]

This stunning lake home basement has it all – a bar with a copper top and a Lannon stone wall, a wine storage room, and a cozy family room for movie nights (not to mention a ton of space to entertain friends and family)!

[  D A Y  1 1  ]

The homeowners wanted to enhance the home’s original charm while highlighting their eclectic style. The remodel features a new mudroom, kitchen expansion, family room, butler’s pantry, first floor bathroom, dining room and master bathroom. Throughout the project, it was important to increase the natural light in the home and make the spaces more conducive to entertaining.

[  D A Y  1 2  ]

This remodeled lower level offers a comfortable and contemporary spot for the family. It features a bar with pepper gray cabinetry, a stacked stone backsplash, and textured granite. Neighboring the bar, a modern fireplace with a floating hearth serves as the focal point of the lower level. The lower level also includes a theater room with a “starry” ceiling – the perfect spot for the kids!

[  D A Y  1 3  ]

We created a layout conducive to entertaining and updated this kitchen without straying too far from the feel of the home’s existing spaces. The space features custom, raised panel birch cabinetry, travertine subway tile, and granite countertops. It also has a two-level island, making it multi-purpose: one level for food prep and the other with seating for six.

[  D A Y  1 4  ]

This finished lower level features a bar with leather-textured granite, character-grade cherry cabinetry, a stacked stone backsplash, and beverage refrigerators. Neighboring the bar, the family room includes a stacked stone fireplace. Arched openings, weathered beams, and travertine tile run throughout the basement, adding character to the space.

[  D A Y  1 5  ]

The homeowners wanted to update the home to accommodate their modern lifestyle, showcase their eclectic style, and take advantage of their beautiful setting. The exterior of the house was transformed with a metal roof, fieldstone, low maintenance siding, a pergola, cedar columns and brackets, and a screen porch. Inside the home, each room tells a “story,” with reclaimed pieces throughout the first floor – barn doors, beams, and boards.

[  D A Y  1 6  ]

The homeowners wanted to expand their home to accommodate their family of 7. This project doubled the size of their home and created functional spaces – a larger kitchen, a family room, a mudroom with custom lockers, a three and a half car garage, bathrooms, and other living spaces.

[  D A Y  1 7  ]

The homeowners wanted to update the kitchen for their modern lifestyle while restoring and preserving the home’s original character. The space features a copper tin ceiling, custom furniture-style cabinetry, and soapstone.

[  D A Y  1 8  ]

This beautiful lake home features a new kitchen with custom crackle-finish cabinetry, a custom cherry table, a wet bar, and toe kick lighting. The two fireplaces serve as focal points for the first floor.

[  D A Y  1 9  ]

The fireplace, the lower level’s focal point, is a carved face of Prometheus, Greek god of fire. It features votive candles inset in his hair and beard. The basement also features a full kitchen with a hutch-like sink area, copper details, and reclaimed beams.

[  D A Y  2 0  ]

The homeowners wanted their home to have an arts and crafts look. The remodeled exterior features low maintenance siding, a cedar pergola, a historically correct color scheme, and a custom quarter sawn oak door.

[  D A Y  2 1  ]

This eye-catching kitchen features custom cabinetry and paneled appliances, a limestone hood, a crackle-finished island, and a copper farmhouse sink.

[  D A Y  2 2  ]

This lower level is ideal for entertaining – bar, family room, game area. The space features granite tops, custom cherry cabinetry, a game table at the bar, custom storage for pool cues, and double crown molding at the ceiling.

The Wrong House

Turn that Fixer Upper into Your Dream Home.

You’re ready to make the move. You’ve landed on a budget and researched what you could buy or build for that price point, but the available home inventory is low or lacking those turnkey, ready-to-move-in homes.

Where do you go from here? Do you decide to build? Building is definitely an option, but there can be some trade-offs.

It may be time to consider the “fixer upper.”  What do we mean by “fixer upper?”  It’s the wrong house in the right place at the right price. It’s in an established neighborhood, a desirable location with good schools and tree-lined streets, but it doesn’t quite fit the bill. Perhaps, the previous homeowners have lived there for years. They’re comfortable and think it works, but the home needs updating (sometimes major updating) and a more functional layout.

Maybe choosing that home that’s under your means***, that’s in the right place, but needs some love seems overwhelming. But it can be a fun challenge, and the perfect opportunity to have everything you ever wanted in a home.  Let’s look at the “perks” of choosing a fixer upper.

Location, Location, Location

We all know that location is often king! It’s important to be near parks, shopping, restaurants, and good schools. Beyond your must-have location list, the fixer upper is usually in an established neighborhood, which means mature trees, landscaping, and other amenities.

Not-So-Cookie-Cutter

It may seem appealing to purchase or build a new home (perhaps, it’s the easier option – the work has already been done for you), but customization and character are definitely limited. Think about driving into a new subdivision with freshly built homes.  They’re lovely, but you may notice something – they’re all essentially the same.  Sure, they may have varying color schemes or different window configurations, but they truly lack charm and a unique “personality.”

Remodeling the fixer upper will ensure you don’t end up in that cookie cutter home.  Older homes often have hard-to-replicate architectural details and other charming features.  Plus, once you begin the remodeling process, you’ll realize there is a lot of opportunity to be creative and tailor your home to your preferences (sometimes to an overwhelming extent, which is why hiring professionals to guide you is the best approach).

Quality Over Quantity

Renovating a fixer upper can often cost as much as a building a new home, but there’s an important difference.  In a new home, you’re putting your money towards quantity items – moldings, windows, doors, hardware, flooring, cabinetry, appliances, HVAC systems, plumbing fixtures, landscaping, a driveway.  A new home needs everything!  Remodeling gives homeowners more flexibility to put their money towards quality materials and high-end finishes because there are existing details that can be saved, repurposed, or remain completely untouched.

Now, let’s look at this idea in action. Here is an example of our clients’ fixer upper that was transformed into their dream home!

Check out more photos of this project on Houzz!

***For example, you may have a $450,000 budget for a home, and you decide to purchase a $300,000 home, leaving $150,000 for renovations and an opportunity to truly customize the home to your needs and preferences.

2016 Year in Photos

2017 Year in Photos

Thank you to our team, clients, and industry partners for a wonderful 2016. Cheers to the new year!

Office Remodel

Regional CotY Winner

Regional Chrysalis Winner

Regional Chrysalis Winner

Bartelt Barn Wood

Bartelt Barn Wood

Milwaukee NARI Tour of Remodeled Homes

The Faces of Exceptional Remodeling Experiences

First Bartelt Grandchild

Note his stylish Bartelt onesie!

2016 Hunger Task Force Food Drive

12 Days of Bars (+ Libations)

12 Days of Bars

We’re sharing some of our favorite bars and wet bars with holiday beverages to enjoy at home!

>>D A Y 1<<

T H E  B A R

Wauwatosa Wet Bar

The wet bar in this butler’s pantry serves as a focal point in the dining room. It’s the perfect spot to mix drinks and offers extra counter space. Check out the framed mirror backsplash and unique wallpaper, too!

T H E  D R I N K

Cranberry Moscow Mule

>>D A Y 2<<

T H E  B A R

Waukesha Sunroom Bar

With easy access to the kitchen, this sunroom bar is the perfect spot to host guests. It features wine cubbies, a beverage refrigerator, and room for seating.

T H E  D R I N K

Maple Hot Chocolate

>>D A Y 3<<

T H E  B A R

Hartland Wet Bar

This wet bar features custom cabinetry, a hammered copper sink, and Bronzo Quartzite tops. The beverage refrigerator and glass storage are ideal for entertaining.

T H E  D R I N K

The Candy Cane

>>D A Y 4<<

T H E  B A R

Fox Point Wet Bar

Want a well-stocked wet bar/butler’s pantry? Look no further! Storage, wine and beverage refrigerators, an ice maker – it has it all. Also, check out the gold leaf tile backsplash and the gold ceiling!

T H E  D R I N K

Brandy Old Fashioned

>>D A Y 5<<

T H E  B A R

Oconomowoc Basement Bar

This lower level bar is ideal for entertaining all ages! It features custom cabinetry, a raised game/snack table, and ample storage.

T H E  D R I N K

Apple Sangria

>>D A Y 6<<

T H E  B A R

Brookfield Basement Bar

Superhero. Bar. There’s not much more to say about this unique space!

T H E  D R I N K

Gingerbread Martini

>>D A Y 7<<

T H E  B A R

Oconomowoc Basement Bar

This lower level bar features character-grade cherry cabinetry, leather-textured granite, a hammered copper sink, a stacked stone backsplash, and gray weathered beams. It also has ample storage and two beverage refrigerators.

T H E  D R I N K

Sparkling Cranberry Punch

>>D A Y 8<<

T H E  B A R

Hartland Wet Bar

This wet bar has easy access to the kitchen and features custom cabinetry with a crackle finish and space to prep beverages.

T H E  D R I N K

White Christmas Margaritas

>>D A Y 9<<

T H E  B A R

Wauwatosa Wet Bar

This wet bar offers extra counter space in the dining room and ample storage for barware. Check out the corbels, too!

T H E  D R I N K

Mocha Punch

>>D A Y 10<<

T H E  B A R

Oconomowoc Basement Bar

This dreamy bar features a hammered copper top, a Lannon stone backsplash, and rustic custom cabinetry. It’s cozy and sophisticated.

T H E  D R I N K

Double Chocolate S'mores Martini

>>D A Y 11<<

T H E  B A R

Muskego Wet Bar

This lower level wet bar features marble subway tile, leather-textured granite, and custom cabinetry in a smoky gray color. It’s a comfortable spot to entertain!

T H E  D R I N K

Cranberry Orange Mimosa

>>D A Y 12<<

T H E  B A R

Delafield Basement Bar

The bar features custom walnut cabinetry, a stacked stone backsplash, honed/textured granite, and a recessed blue ceiling detail.

T H E  D R I N K

Jack Frost Martini

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.