Designing with large tile is becoming an important consideration as tile formats get bigger and (beautiful) choices more plentiful. Luckily, Amy Bright, Product Specialist with sTile, will present “Does Size Really Matter?” on July 23 at 11:00 am at Classique Floors + Tile about this very topic.
She will describe upcoming tile trends and demonstrate how tile size can define your space. You’ll also see a slide show of awesome room scenes to help you visualize your new kitchen backsplash and floor, master bath shower and tub surround and much more!
We caught up with Amy in anticipation of her presentation.
sTile’s Amy Bright Discusses Designing with Large Size Tile
CF+T: Amy, tell us about your background
AB: I have always been steeped in design. Many members of my family were either in design or architecture so we laugh that it is just in our DNA.
I graduated from Whitman College with a double major in Art History and Psychology; my thesis was about Art Therapy. I spend much of my free time painting; oil is my favorite medium. After living in both Hawaii and Germany, I came back to my favorite city Portland to set down some roots.
I have been in the world of products and design for over 30 years, beginning in the mid 80s at Portland’s 1st Design Center at Montgomery Park. I began my early career in textiles, wallcovering, lighting, and furniture. In 1989 I worked for Nordstrom and traveled to the East Coast to help them open stores in DC and the NY-NJ area. A lot of fun, but I missed home so back to Portland I came.
I joined Oregon Tile and Marble, where I became a devoted lover of natural stone in all its flaws and anomalies. A few years later, I opened up the NW territories (including Alaska) for Wolf-Gordon Wallcoverings. In 2002, I went to work for a floorcovering store and did material selections for residential clients and builder homes. We did full installation so I learned how to do take-offs of plans and estimation of projects. One of my areas of expertise was “right product for the job.” I found many people had partial or inadequate information on products so I found myself the expert in directing people to what would suit them best for their lifestyle and needs.
In 2008 I went to work for the Cronin Company in their sTile showroom.
CF+T: What is sTile’s specialty?
AB: sTile specializes in highly sophisticated porcelain print technology tile at an incredible value.
CF+T: What is your role at sTile?
AB: I am both an inside showroom sales associate and I do a tremendous amount of marketing after work with industry associations such as NWSID, ORA, NKBA, and PRO. I am also the lead member of the Portland Executives Association which is a lovely connection in our community.
I still do a lot of “couples counseling” and guide people for the products and style they are seeking. The advent of superior porcelain print technology now allows my clients any look they seek in a product that outperforms everything else on the market.
CF+T: What are the top trends in tile?
AB: The top trends in tile are still primarily organic looks. Most people want something that will stand the test of trend and time.
Large format tile is the fastest and most enduring trend I have seen in a long time. Every color and style trend usually has about a 4-5 year standing and then the complete opposite comes into vogue. (Remember all the black floors that were popular and now everything is white.) This is different; large size tile has become its own category with many exciting new looks and textures possible.
CF+T: How does tile size affect home remodeling decisions?
AB: Large format when shown to clients helps create a sense of largeness in a room. The open model concept is the most consistent interior space plan we see in homes and tile size definitely affects the overall feeling of spaciousness in a room.
Especially tiles that are set in patterns; the brain quickly realizes that the tile is pushing boundaries and it just “feels bigger.”
CF+T: What advice do you have for someone remodeling a space with tile?
AB: Portland is slowly coming into tile. I run into many preconceived notions about “what I am supposed to use,” but when clients let me know what they want in both look and durability I find that a look is never duplicated, much like an individual.
I love that homes are becoming more personal and designed to convey the owners’ personality and taste. Long gone are the days where people just hired someone to “do whatever” in their homes.
With the advent of the Internet and HOUZZ, people come to me ready with visual “I want” photos. These photos help me immeasurably; I listen very well, nevertheless these visuals take it to a level of emotion and nuance.
CF+T: Which are your favorite tile styles and why?
AB: I actually love all tile sizes and shapes! Every job and space is unique.
Look, for example, at these two images of hexagon-shaped tiles and how different the effect is based on the different colors and patterns and also based on the size of the hexagon.
Next, look at what’s possible when you combine the hexagon shape with a large size rectangular plank tile and smaller mosaic-like tile pieces. The possibilities are endless!
I have been so impressed with the diversity of tile options. Now more than ever we have a bounty of opportunities in design. In my 30 years of design, I have never duplicated a design since they are always unique to the client and space.
CF+T: Thank you, Amy!
Do you have questions about large format tile and how to design with it? Let us know.
Ready to shop Classique Floors + Tile for tile?
We invite you to visit our Portland, Oregon showroom to explore what’s possible with tile. Or schedule an in-home, custom project assessment. Your Classique project consultant will guide you through everything from initial estimate to product selection to final installation.
You’ll be delighted. We promise.
Thanks for reading,