Discover Endless Design Possibilities with Tile: an Interview with Pratt & Larson’s Holly Menashe

We love having endless tile design possibilities to share with customers. We also love Portland, Oregon. Imagine, then, combining both in a presentation that takes place at Classique Floors + Tile on July 16 at 11:00 am about “Endless Possibilities” that Holly Menashe, Sales Representative for Pratt & Larson Tile, will share.

(If you remember from 8 Reasons to Buy Tile from Classique Floors + Tile, we mentioned that Portland is home to remarkable handmade ceramic tile by Pratt & Larson which Classique Floors + Tile showcases.)

We caught up with Holly in anticipation of her presentation.

Holly Menashe, Pratt & Larson, Discusses Endless Tile Design Possibilities

CF+T: Holly, tell us about your background.

HM: As a small town girl I had an opportunity to design the front windows of our local clothing store at the early age of 15. After attending Oregon State University and receiving my degree in Merchandising Management with a minor in Interior Design, I set sail into the world of sales.  I began my own interior design business, Holly Menashe Interiors, after my children were born.  Then, after focusing on design for 10 years I went into textbook sales for 8 years.

When my son turned 18, it was time to get back to my passion and thus I took a position with Trivantage/Glen Raven and sold Sunbrella, solution dyed acrylic fabric for both interior and exterior uses.

From there I spent a year in carpet sales and now I am the outside sales representative for Pratt and Larson Tile and Stone.

CF+T: Tell us about Pratt & Larson.

HM:  Pratt & Larson was founded in 1982 by husband and wife team Michael Pratt & Reta Larson. Inspired by the history of American Art Tile and their travels through tile-filled Mexico, they combined his skills as a potter with her textile designs and created their first tile line.

Pratt & Larson Handmade Tile in Portland, Oregon

The original designs were very Craftsman-inspired and many continue to be popular today. However the line has expanded considerably over the last 30 years, and now includes a variety of styles from traditional to contemporary.

Our factory is right in the heart of Portland and we love to give factory tours!

>> Watch these 6 videos describing how Pratt & Larson makes tile.

CF+T: What is your role at Pratt & Larson?

HM: As the outside sales representative for Pratt and Larson, I reach out to local designers, architects, home builders, remodelers and tile setters to introduce them to all that Pratt and Larson has to offer in the way of tile…

Just today we had a customer come in and say that she was looking for yellow subway tile. She was thrilled to learn that we not only had exactly what she was looking for, but we had them in 6 different yellows and nearly 10 different sizes ranging from 2×4 to 6×18.

Pratt and Larson tile is handmade in our factory located here in downtown Portland. Introducing the market to all the capabilities we can offer the consumer is exciting, challenging and worthwhile.

CF+T: What are the top trends in tile?

HM: The top trends in tile right now include texture, repeating patterns, fun field shapes in bold colors. Here are some examples:

In this backsplash, Elongated Ogee creates a fun repeating pattern.

Pratt-and-Larson-elongated-ogee

Elongated Ogee Tile

 

You can create interesting and whimsical visual effects with fun shapes in black and white. Notice the texture, too, in this image from a Black and White Kitchen.

Pratt-and-larson-black-white-kitchen

Close up of black and white Pratt and Larson tile

 

This image combines repeating patterns with different variations on the circle in intensely bold colors.

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Circular shapes, bold colors and repeating patterns in Multi Circle Bath

 

Look how wonderful texture and repeating patterns look in this Vine Relief Fireplace.

Pratt-and-Larson-vine-relief-fireplace

Vine Relief Fireplace

 

CF+T: What advice do you have for someone remodeling a space with tile?

HM: Pick what you love.

Tile lasts a long time and you should certainly think long and hard about the choice you’re making, but unless you’re planning on putting your house on the market tomorrow you should choose what you love not what you think is “safe.”

Either way the next home owner is likely to rip it out to pick what they love! So don’t buy tile you picked for an imaginary someone else, buy tile for yourself!

CF+T: Which are your favorite tile styles and why?

HM: I love our Scraffito tile series because it has this wonderful hand drawn quality. It’s modern without being cold because you can really see the hand of the artist, there’s really nothing else like it on the market.

Pratt-and-larson-Scraffito

Scraffito – inspired by the ancient technique in which a surface is scratched to reveal a ground of contrasting color

 

Here’s a closeup of Scraffito.

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Closeup of Pratt & Larson’s Scraffito tile series

 

CF+T:  What are some unexpected or under-considered ways to use tile in a remodeling project?

HM: This is what makes tile so versatile for a remodeling project! There are so many under-considered ways to use tile. For example,

  • The Patchwork look is very hot right now and very unexpected…
  • Taking a typical shape and running it sideways to upside down…
  • Unexpected colors in grout.
  • Creating an industrial look using tile on a focus wall…
  • Tiling the ceiling…
  • Using oversized patterns in a small space.
  • Using pops of colored tile in a seemingly neutral space
Pratt-and-Larson-Tile-Vintage-Loft-Kitchen-350x233

The Patchwork look is very hot right now and very unexpected.

 

Design possibilities with tile are truly endless!

CF+T: Which are your favorite sources of tile inspiration in the Portland area?

HM:  We live in such a beautiful outdoor environment.  How can one not get inspiration from water, the ocean, our rivers and streams? We have a new surface called Portland Bisque…. It’s a crackle-surface the color of an ice cold stream on a January morning…. Gorgeous!

>> Explore the RC Crackle Glazes available at Pratt & Larson for an idea of what to expect from Portland Bisque.

CF+T: Thank you, Holly!

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-homeproject 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,

Judith

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