Tile Town Interior Design Consultant is “Proud to be Team Tile Town”

With more than 20 years in the flooring industry under her belt, Dianne Carriere of Tile Town Edmonton West, who serves as their interior design consultant, is an expert in all things tiles, minimalism, and customer satisfaction. We spoke with Dianne on her time with Tile Town, her appreciation for colour risks, and everything that Tile Town has to offer.

So Dianne, what’s your Tile Town origin story?

I dealt with Tile Town throughout my many years in the flooring industry, and I always admired how they branded themselves. I saw an opportunity and I ran with it — a little scary, but now I couldn’t be happier!

To Edmonton, they are a common name in home building and renovation. I liked that the upper management always seemed to be involved and cared about their employees. From the stock they carry to the way they respect employees and customers; Tile Town is truly outstanding.

One of the best things I’ve experienced during my time with Tile Town is that management and owners listen and value our opinions — it is so refreshing in this time. I am proud to be team Tile Town.

What draws people towards Tile Town, and what brings them back?

People come in for the immediate stock and our many choices. We also have the option of sourcing tiles from a variety of suppliers if the customer has time to wait.

I enjoy the personal one-on-one time I get to spend with our customers. I take great pride in making their visit the best it can be!

I often say: If you leave here happy, that makes us happy!

How did you get started with flooring and design?

My design background includes a few small interior courses, but ultimately comes down to years of experience. I guess you could say it’s a passion.

I am a minimalist when it comes to décor. My home is basic: whites, greys, and blacks with my pop-of-colour being red. I truly love working with customers that are willing to introduce colour into their homes!

When working with a client, what is your process?

When I am working with a client, I first try to determine what direction they are thinking of going. I gather samples and make a layout of what they are thinking, then I show them what products look good together.

We’re also lucky to have our Tile Town Visualizer on our website, a fantastic tool where we can take our stocked tiles and put them into room scenes so that customers can see what their tiles can look like installed! This is a game changer for those who struggle with visualizing spaces.

What tile trends are you seeing in 2022?

2022 is showing trends of blues and greens combined with whites, and I am very excited that management has brought in some beautiful new choices of these colours.

Lume in Blue 2.25X9.375 Gloss Glazed Porcelain Wall Tile.

I must say one of the best things I’ve experienced during my time with Tile Town is that management and owners listen and value our opinions — it is so refreshing in this time.

Any advice for choosing tiles?

If I can say anything about picking tiles, it would be to do a little research and see what’s trending — but just go with what you like and feel comfortable with.

If you need any help, come on in and we will make this a fun, non-stressful experience!

Visit our Tile Town location in Edmonton West to see Dianne and get your next project started.

Tile Collections: Teramoda Series

Perfectly irregular wall tiles inspired by the artisanal feel of handmade ceramics define this new Tile Town collection. Picture rediscovered colourful wall surfaces, where delicate and glossy three-dimensional effects play on monochromatic irregular tiles.

Colourful and uneven surfaces hold all the charm of this Teramoda series. Made of ceramic, they have an almost handmade feel thanks to their textured bodies and a high-shine finish. The ultimate balance and unexpected twist between a glossy look blended with the charm of artisanal tiles. Available in three different formats, all with artistically uneven surfaces and irregular edges.

Teramoda Tile Collection
Teramoda Powder Glossy Pressed Glazed Ceramic Tile 3 x 12 in / 7.5 x 30 cm.
Teramoda Tile Collection
Teramoda Stone Glossy Pressed Glazed Ceramic Tile 3 x 12 in / 7.5 x 30 cm.

Teramoda Tile Collection
The beauty of colours comes alive in the Teramoda collection. Featured: Teramoda Ink Glossy 3” x 12”

Tile Collections: Lume Series

New for spring is our Lume Series. This collection features variations in colour and patterning to create interplays of light that add vibrancy to spaces. A new size (6×24 cm) offers a decidedly contemporary appeal and ultra-glossy, flawed surfaces in six shades: White, Black, Green, Blue, Musk and Greige.
(Note: Black and Musk selections are custom ordered, arriving in two to three days.)

Just saying: The Lume Series won the award for the best design product at an international competition of the architecture and design community. Impressed with the collections’ irregularities, as well as the depth of the colours, the jury chose Lume for the Finishes category award for the quality of its surfaces and the uniqueness of every single possible composition.

Kitchen backsplash in green
Lume in Blue 2.25X9.375 Gloss Glazed Porcelain Wall Tile.
Bathroom tile in Lume Greige
Lume Greige 2.25X9.375 Gloss Glazed Porcelain Wall Tile.
kitchen backsplash in lume black
Lume Black 2.25X9.375 Gloss Glazed Porcelain Wall Tile.
Kitchen feature wall in lume white
Lume White 2.25X9.375 Gloss Glazed Porcelain Wall Tile.

4 Tile Design Tips for a Midcentury Modern Look

A significant trend in 2022 is making the old feel brand new again, and what better way to bring this look into your home than with a midcentury modern design. This blast-from-the-past aesthetic first arose in the mid-20th century, and it has continued to dominate the design world ever since — and rightfully so!

As a reflection of its 1930s–60s influences, midcentury modern focuses on:

-Bold and bright colours
-Simplicity and cleanliness
-Cleverly placed contrasts

If you’re looking to bring that vintage feel into your home, here are some tips on using tiles to nail that classic midcentury modern look.

Match your tiles with your wooden elements

One of the defining materials of midcentury modern is wood. You’ll want to create an organic relationship between your wood and tiles so that one doesn’t overpower the other.

Use nature-inspired tones to create harmony between your palettes, then tie them together with warmer accents.

A benefit to this is that choosing nature-like colours in darker shades can help prolong the necessity to clean tiles, as these tones can help hide dirt. (But we think that tile cleanliness is essential, so be sure to know how to get the best clean!)

A careful balance of wood, textures and clean lines create this midcentury modern look.

Choose colours that pop

Colour plays a vital part in the midcentury modern aesthetic, and making the right colour choices can elevate the look and feel of each room. These choices can range from brighter 1950s tones or the earthy vibes of the 1960s (which happen to be one of our top trends for 2022).

You might consider embellishing your bar area with mustard or pale pink tiles to make your tiles stand out or choosing a rich green or tangerine to make your kitchen backsplash feel bolder.

Contrast can also make the look pop. Try using black and white tiles in a checkered pattern to give your kitchen or bathroom that retro 1950s feel.

Experiment with tile shapes and designs

Avoid restricting yourself to square or rectangular tiles. Geometric shapes are a staple in any midcentury modern home and can help create inspiring mosaics that give off that eye-catching, timeless feel. Consider using:

-Hexagon/honeycomb tiles (like our Arvex Honeycomb Silver Ice 12X12 Hexagon Tile)
-Circular tiles (like our Lumiere Black 1” Penny Round Gloss Ceramic Mosaic Tile)
-Octagon dot tiles (like our Retro Octagon Matte White With Black Dot 2X2 Ceramic Floor and Wall Tile)
-Other miscellaneous shaped tiles (like our Geoscapes White 3” Lantern Gloss Ceramic Wall Tile)

Featured Backsplash: Arvex Honeycomb Storm Grey 12X12 Picket Mosaic.

If you have a particular affinity for rectangular tiles, think about changing their direction or how they lay to help stray from conventional tile arrangements.

Pay attention to the details 

It can feel overwhelming when you envision your space being filled with unfamiliar colours or new tile shapes. An essential aspect of midcentury modern is cleanliness. Avoid adding pieces or accent colours for the sake of it. Instead, let every detail breathe in the space. Find the balance between too quiet and too loud.

A strategic way to maintain peace in your home is by designating spaces for specific aspects of midcentury modern. If your living area features more wood pieces, keep your tile choices more akin to the bohemian 1960s era to avoid washing out your furniture and keep the punchy colours and funkier tiles in the kitchen or bathroom.

If you have any questions, give us a call or see us at any of our locations! Here are some more photos to inspire your midcentury modern reno.

Featured: Atelier Fiore Decor 8×8 Matte Porcelain Tile.
Featured: Utah Granite 12×24 Italian Porcelain tile.
Featured: Utah Granite 12×24 Italian Porcelain tile.

Spring’s Scratch & Save Event

The first signs of spring – tulips and cherry blossoms – along with longer, warmer days often inspire us to get started on a home reno. To help you kick off that next project, take advantage of our Scratch and Save Event running now until April 30. Visit any one of our five locations (Victoria, Richmond, Surrey, Edmonton South, Edmonton West) and you might be one of the lucky customers to receive up to 25% off your purchase.

Browse our Tile Collection and start your project today.

Congratulations to these recent happy Scratch and Save customers!

Tips for Cleaning Your Tiles

Now that we’re past the equinox, spring cleaning is right around the corner. What better time to do some much-needed tile maintenance than now? When it comes to cleaning your tiles, various things can make tile and grout accumulate dirt in spaces like your bathroom or kitchen. These include:

-Soap scum in the shower
-Hard water
-Improper ventilation holding in moisture
-Grease from the cook top
-Red sauces
-Coloured beverages

A little spatter here and there may not show up right away but it will build up over time, and some stains are easy to spot right out of the gate. Even tiles in other areas of your house, including your fireplace tiles, may be subject to gradual build-up as well.

To kickstart your spring cleaning regime, Jesse Braden, who serves as our store manager at our Victoria location, offers these guidelines on proper tile upkeep.

Gloved arm holding brush to clean tiles
Brushing grout with the wrong tools can make it erode, so make sure to use a stiff nylon brush.

Use home remedies to clean
You can make home remedies to clean tiles and grout using white vinegar and water combinations or a baking soda poultice. To be on the safe side, consult a specialist store to help get the right information for the job.

Some stone tile (like our Ledger Stone Glacier 6×24) may not react the way you want with the vinegar, and some stains may need more than a home remedy poultice.

Best products to clean tiles
Cleaners from Mapei as well as some products from Aqua Mix are long-time leaders when it comes to keeping tiles looking good for years. In particular, Jesse recommends:

-Mapei UltraCare Concentrated Tile & Grout Cleaner (great for diluting as needed)
-Aqua Mix AquaShield Cleaner & Resealer (excellent preventative maintenance capabilities)

You can always chat with us online or in-store if you’re unsure what the best cleaner for your tile is.  

Selecting the right cleaning tools
Brushing grout with the wrong tools can make it erode, so make sure to use a stiff nylon brush. If the grout is properly maintained, anything that is sitting on it will be on the surface of the grout line.

How often tiles should be cleaned
Once a week should be your go-to with cleaners that incorporate sealers in them so that the chore becomes moderately easier. If your schedule doesn’t allow for a once-a-week clean, then make sure your grout is consistently sealed.

Depending on the job you’re tackling, it shouldn’t take you any longer than a morning with a nice cup of coffee and some good tunes. We also recommend waterproofing your bathroom tiles to avoid dew or mould, ultimately saving you time in the future!

If you’d like any more advice, feel free to give us a call or come down to any one of our locations, we’re happy to help.

Five Ways to Create an Accent Wall with Tiles

Many Tile Town customers plan a tile renewal or a renovation in specific rooms. We’re here to share that it’s entirely possible to bring the drama and clean lines of tiles throughout your entire home. And in unexpected design ways.

Once you fall in love with our selection (we’re looking at you Atelier Fiore Decor Matte Porcelain tiles!), you’ll get inspired by the many ways to incorporate these tiles into your home. We love creating tiled walls from bedroom accent walls, living room feature walls, hallways, mudrooms or even an entire bathroom (floor to ceiling tiles). As you can see, there are many ideas and options for tiled accents walls.

Feature wall tiles in the bedroom

Many of us love the look of rustic wood. However, sourcing wood (especially barn wood) and maintaining it isn’t that easy for most. 

You can capture the essence of a rustic wood feature wall without the muss and fuss by installing a tile that looks like wood. Take a look at our Versa 7.5 Skyfall Click Vinyl Tile; it gives the warm appearance of wood without sanding and scraping. Applying vinyl wood as a bedroom feature wall behind a headboard gives the room a warm feeling and brings that rustic element to your room.

Living room focus: the fireplace
Many of us have a fireplace that our furniture gathers around, as it’s a natural spot for rest and relaxation. Consider tiling the feature wall behind the fireplace to create a serene or eye-catching backdrop. You can bring the outside in by adding a Spaccato Grey 8X24 Muretto Porcelain Tile or add some drama with a larger tile and grout size.

HGTV shares a story on a show stopper of an accent wall in an account in This Bright and Happy Home Will Make You Rethink the Way You Decorate.

Concrete hallways
If your home features a long (or even short) hallway, you can create a modern concrete wall with porcelain tiles that can give the appearance of a more industrial design esthetic but with the warmth and cleanliness of tiles. Narrow brick styles also add a unique texture to a hallway.

Featured: Ledger Stone Sierra 6X24

Mudding in the mudroom

Depending on your climate, the mudroom – often a laundry room as well – is pretty beaten up by sports equipment, book bags and muddy boots (and we’re not just talking about the kids!). Consider a tile accent wall to keep the room freshly designed (and excuse you from constant dings in walls).

By choosing a repeated tile pattern, you create a pretty striking design that tile appears like wallpaper but is much sturdier for a heavily used area.

Featured: Alamosa Carrara 1 ” Penny Round Matte Recycled Glass Mosaic

Bathroom feature wall tiles
While the shower or a sink backsplash is commonly a tiled area (tile is very durable against our greatest enemy – water!), we often see these tile designs carried through to a feature wall within the bathroom. Or even the entire bathroom, floor to ceiling, is tiled. Making the bathroom appear to be a much larger space. A touch of luxury, even.

Western Living Magazine shares a bathroom designed to carry tiles throughout the entire room – resulting in a really dramatic look This Modern Reno Pairs Pieces from Ikea with Luxe High-End Furnishings.

We invite you to try the Tile Town Square and room visualizer. Please take some time and play with a few other rooms and spaces in your home to see if you, too, can make a dramatic (yet lasting!) effect with accent wall tiles.

Spotlight: Clint Langejans, Eastwood Solutions

Eastwood Solutions is a full-service renovation and design company based in Spruce Grove, Alberta. Owner Clint Langejans shares his team’s approach to designing bathrooms and kitchens to complete home remodels, additions and garage suites.

Clint – tell us about yourself. What type of clients do you work with? What do you help to design?
 We serve customers in Edmonton, Parkland County, and surrounding areas. I typically work with residential customers, helping them design kitchen and bathroom spaces. 

Are you known for a particular look or approach? Do tell!
I prefer a modern look, but ultimately strive to meet the customer’s needs, styles and expectations. 

What are your favourite textures and colours to work with?
Current trends are timeless white with greys but it all depends on the particular space to incorporate splashes of colour. 

Who do you follow on social media for inspiration?
I follow Schluter on Instagram and Tile Geeks on Facebook for inspiration and project ideas.

Do you share your work on social media? Where can we follow you?
Eastwood Solutions is on Facebook and Instagram. Most projects are posted upon completion for all to see and enjoy.

What home décor trend do you wish would disappear?
 3×6 White Subway Tile

What trend is here to stay for a while?
All things grey.

What’s the next big thing in kitchens? Bathrooms?
Kitchen backsplashes that use hexagon shapes or other patterns that help make the tiles stand out in between the straight lines of the cabinetry. In bathrooms, look for shower niches with integrated LED lighting. 

Describe your approach to working with clients. Do you offer any of your services online?
Every client has different wants and needs. Sometimes, they know exactly what they want, sometimes I provide the results of creative freedom to achieve a solution to fit their needs and style. 

Describe this photo – what tile collections did you use? How did you choose them? 
Here’s a walk-in shower built with a variety of Schluter products including Schluter Kerdi 60×38 shower pan with centre drain, Kerdi waterproofing, Kerdi 12×28 niche, Schluter 4″ floral matte black drain grate,  Kerdi pipe seals, and curb, and Schluter Jolly 5/16″ and 3/8″ matte black trim profiles. 

Tiled walk in shower Eastwood Solutions

The tile selections in this blog post’s feature image (above) are Lumiere White 4×12 Ceramic Wall Tile, Nohva White 12×24 Porcelain Tile (floor and shower curb) and the Elegance Carrara Hexagon 10×12 for the shower floor and niche accent. We used Mapai products including Ultracolor Plus Max Pure white grout for shower walls and Mapai Ultracolor Plus FA Frost grout for floor tile and curb. The client chose the floor tile. I chose the shower floor tile to complement the clean lines and colour scheme the client desired.

In this next project, we used Marlow Cloud 3X12 Glossy Ceramic Subway Tile along with Ultracolor Plus Max Pure White grout.

For this fireplace, we choose Nepal Gray in a 12×24 porcelain tile with an Ultracolor Plus FA rain grout.

Last question. You’re stuck on a deserted island. A bottle washes ashore with a rolled-up magazine inside. Which one do you hope it will be?
Elle Décor
HGTV magazine
House & Garden
Architectural Digest This one!

How Culture Can Influence Interior Design

Since 2017, Judi Merrell, a talented interior designer and architect, has been a part of the Richmond, BC Tile Town team. We asked Judi a few questions on her role, love of design, how she discovers Tile Town customer needs and what inspires her own home interior designs.

Please share with us, Judi, how you came to work at Tile Town?

Being in the design world and the opportunity to practice my skills every day in helping guide, solve, and execute very real customer visions and problems with interior design and renovations, drew me to apply for a position with Tile Town in Richmond, BC. 

I was offered the position of Assistant Store Manager and Design Consultant. Along with that came the freedom to implement design influences and share knowledge to help create design dreams, no matter the size of the renovation project.

It’s been an incredible five-year journey in an enjoyable, creative and wonderful work environment.

It’s entirely my pleasure working with Tile Town clients; I love hearing about customers’ design needs and ultimately seeing their reactions to what tiles can do to beautify spaces.

How is Tile Town different – why should people shop with us? 

We listen to your needs at Tile Town and guide you through the tile selection process.

Well-designed architecture and design and the connection individuals have to it, is first and foremost, personal and something not easily explained.

Why? Because everyone is different! 

Designing any aspect of your home is a reflection of your personality. Tiles play an essential role in interior design, and we work with you to identify what tiles can be used. They set your home’s look and feel, creating the desired ambience and comfort.

How has your role changed? 

Each day I step up to the challenges of finding the right tile, designing the proper layout and meeting the needs of my customers with ever-changing design and style trends.

What do you love about your job?

Everything! I LOVE the Tile Town Approach: Tile Town – Your Space, Your Style, Your Way.

I have the tools and the resources to support my work and customers.

Most importantly, I am valued and part of a great team. I am provided with the opportunities to increase my knowledge and understanding of tile styles and applications, additional supplies and accessories and new product training while working with a great group of friends – a reliable and fun team headed by a dedicated and fun Store Manager. 

Do you have a background in design? 

Design trends have always been an influence in my life. It all started with observing my mother designing our various homes while growing up.

I studied Architect, Project Management, Interior Design and have a Bachelors’s degree in Architectural Interior Design from the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

Working professionally with architectural firms showed me that my area of expertise is working with the finished colour, space, layout and style rather than designing an overall structure.  My education allows me to offer both advice and experience, architecturally and design related.

Tell me about your approach to design.

I am influenced by culture, cultural design trends and space having its own personality.

Creating memorable, delightful stress-free experiences is key to my approach to design and designing space.

Creating a tile design is like painting a picture – we must consider all the factors involved in the space – colour, space, layout and style. I love simplicity, elegance and comfort. I enjoy marrying glass, wood and tile together, Scandinavian or Swedish styles, clean, muted tones, transparent glass and wood structures with diffused lighting and lighter tones and textures. The right tile choice enhances the overall effect of completing the space.

What design inspirations have you brought to your own home?

The strongest design inspirations for me are the South Pacific. Our home reflects my childhood in the South Pacific with my husband’s BC background. Our home combines culture and arts. BC’s magnificent First Nations art is very similar to the New Zealand Maori art. My Fijian roots and artwork add to the warmth of our home as do Indigenous art and warm elements like plants and paint tones (Terracotta and Indian sunset colours). Even in the middle of a snowy winter, our home feels like a tropical paradise.

All that’s needed is a cold beverage in a coconut cup to make me feel like I’m on permanent vacation in my home!

Visit our Tile Town location in Richmond to see Judi. Come prepared with vision ideas by first spending some time using our (free) desktop design app Town Square.

Spotlight: Ali Alamolhoda, Osa Construction

Osa Construction was established by Ali Alamolhoda who took his joinery foundation program and has his certificate in furniture design and construction. Ali’s team includes Travis, a talented builder experienced in residential framing.

Ali – tell us about yourself. What type of clients do you work with? What do you help to design?
We are located in Sooke and we operate from Langford to Jordan river. I’ve had the opportunity to have customers who allow me to design the entire space we are working in. We agree on a general look and budget and my company takes care of everything in the project. We mainly do large custom renovations in vacation rentals on the West Coast – providing high-quality custom spaces for our clients to rent out. We also build custom homes in the Sooke area.

Are you known for a particular look or approach? Do tell!
I’ve been told I have a style, hard to say exactly what it is. It feels cliché to say the word “clean” but I do push to achieve more with less. I always put a heavy emphasis on timeless construction. Trying to build spaces that stand the test of time instead of directly following trends.

kitchen backsplash
Clean lines, Scandi influence.

What are your favourite textures and colours to work with?
When it comes to vacation rentals I am tasked with the job of creating a space that will have a high return rate in regards to the client’s investment. With a lot of my work in the Sooke/Shirley area, that means that each space needs to be different from the last. I’m forced to change what I work with for most jobs. Right now I am really into dark tiles with gray veining and walnut details.

Who do you follow on social media for inspiration?
I don’t really follow anyone specifically for inspiration. When building homes I’m always looking for creative design details I can put into the next project that usually takes me down the Instagram rabbit hole of design/build posts. 

Do you share your work on social media? Where can we follow you?
I share my work sporadically. Depends on how busy I am. You can find us on Instagram. 

What home décor trend do you wish would disappear?
White on white everything. Don’t get me wrong – white walls are great but I feel variety is the key to design that doesn’t fade with a trend. 

What trend is here to stay for a while?
Scandinavian design and details, along with black kitchen and bath fixtures. 

What’s the next big thing in kitchens? Bathrooms?
Hard to say, I feel like everything that is possible has been done somewhere by someone and now we are just refining years and years of design and construction work.  

Describe your approach to working with clients. Do you offer any of your services online?
My approach with the client has been pretty straightforward. We agree on a design style, a budget and a timeline. My company and crew take care of everything. We have a very talented crew that can cover every stage of the reno or build. 

You’re stuck on a deserted island. A bottle washes ashore with a rolled-up magazine inside. Which one do you hope it will be?
Dwell For sure!
Elle Décor
HGTV magazine
House & Garden
Architectural Digest

Executive style lodging at Cedar Coast Retreat in Shirley, designed and built by Osa Construction.

Describe the photos you are submitting with this profile.
A 2×2 dark tile mixed with a slab of new Cristallo backlit with a LED panel. The idea in this bathroom was a shower you could stand in overlooking the ocean while the lights were dimmed low. The glow of the slab warms the room while you stand under two oversized rain heads.