In today’s fast-paced culture, men and women alike have hectic work and home schedules. As adults, we often over-book ourselves with work, or our kids with school activities and birthday parties. Having a calming space at home to recharge may be more beneficial than we realize.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos talks about the importance of a work-life harmony, not balance. So, until Architectural Ceramics gets an invite to visit his home, let’s check out our own client spaces that strike a cord with harmonious designs.
Harmony By Way of Feng Shui
We may not be able to help you organize your schedule at work, but we can help you at home. Harmonious spaces incorporate design principles like those of Feng Shui.
We’ve all heard the of term Feng Shui, but what is it? Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese practice of using energy forces to achieve harmony. It places an importance on the mind, body, relationships and success. The name itself, ‘feng’ meaning wind and ‘shui’ meaning water, includes two forces that move energy.
When it comes to interior design, Feng Shui is thought of as the art of placement, because you want to optimize how the energy flows around your home. It’s organized into five main principles to promote a healthy mind, body, home and energy: wood, earth, metal, water and fire.
How you arrange or incorporate all or some of the elements into your home creates harmony and flow. You don’t want any one element to greatly outweigh another. Incorporating each element also doesn’t have to be literal. The color red, for example, can represent Fire.
Feng Shui is a highly talked about and researched topic. It takes a quick search on Amazon or Google to know that your options for books and articles are endless. Knowing the principles mentioned here merely scratches the surface. For our purposes, we’re OK with that. We like surfaces, especially tiled surfaces. Let’s see how our clients’ tile renovations, whether a single room or an entire home, promote harmony by way of Feng Shui.
A Moment of Zen
Earth, wind, and fire. Those of us who grew up listening to the band aren’t as ancient as Feng Shui, but we still feel pretty old. This bathroom renovation brings together not only the elements of earth, wind and fire, but all five Feng Shui elements in a calming yet dramatic design.
Earth: The 6″x24″ wood plank tile used in and outside the walk-in shower, comes from our Lux Wood Collection, and represents the element of Earth well. The dark brown color not only reminds us of rich soil from the ground, but it brings stability and balance to the design by grounding the space.
To view more from our wood-look porcelain collection, Lux Wood, download a Data Sheet here.
Water: Moving to the wall that does double-duty as an accent in the shower and behind the vanity, our special-order Ambra Collection features natural limestone with a hand-carved relief. The tile’s matte and polished finish along with the pattern, creates a water-like movement. Like sunlight dancing off the ocean’s surface, the tile’s watery effect and light green color promote serenity in the space.
Fire: Underfoot, our Vestige Zebrano Collection was used. The 12″x24″ marble tile features a deeply brushed finish, similar to a flamed or textured finish, that accentuates it’s linear veining. Like any marble, our Vestige collection features a range of color variation to be expected from a natural stone.
Wood: The floating vanity in the space takes a cue from the water-like tile behind it. Within a space, using the element of Wood fosters creativity and allows for growth.
Metal: From the wall-mounted towel bar and hanging sconces, to the vanity hardware and shower controls, the polished stainless metal accents round out the last element in Feng Shui design. Using metal in a design represents logic and intelligence. Don’t most great ideas come to you while taking a shower?
Want more moments of zen? Check out our blog, Making a Statement with Shower Accent Walls, that features an Asian-inspired master suite.
Modern & Masterful
For our busy Washington, DC client’s master bathroom, AC partnered with Four Brothers Carpentry to create a space that strives for harmony within the home’s hectic city locality.
Earth: Quarried from the earth, this master bathroom retreat features natural stone on several surfaces. The his and hers vanity tops feature Cararra marble slabs. On the main floor, the chevron pattern of our 3″x12″ polished Marmara natural stone tile leads you to the large walk-in shower. There, the bottom-half of the shower walls, and the shower floor feature our Bianco Cararra Collection, with the use of the 18″x18″ large-format field tile, and 4″x4″ mosaic.
To view the full range of field tiles, mosaics, and trims from our Bianco Cararra Collection, visit our Product Page here.
Water: Moving up the shower walls, our 3″x6″ glass subway tile from our Naturals Collection, mimics water’s glassy surface and reflection. The large rain shower head also adds a luxurious water element to the shower area. The color seen here, Storm, reminds us of storm clouds ready with rainfall.
To see more from our Naturals Collection, download a Data Sheet here.
Outside of the shower, the element of Water is also evident in the blue-grey finish used on the cabinetry.
Whether inside the shower where water is an obvious element or outside the shower where the design hints at the element of water, this master bathroom has an overall serene feeling to it.
Fire: This may be the design’s only missing element. We could try a little smoke and mirrors, to say that the grey color reminds us of smoke that is the result of a fire. None the less, this room lacks a fireplace or the color red that promotes passion and energy. Looking at the client’s shelves, however, they do have a passion for shoes.
Wood: The element of Wood is not a dominate material in this master bathroom. Its use is more subtle. The wood cabinetry, for example, offers much needed storage for toiletries or towels. And the series of square windows in the shower offer views of the surrounding trees.
Metal: Like the previous bathroom, the logical choice to incorporate the element of Metal into a design, is through lighting and hardware. Where most vanities are wood, our client however, opted for metal legs.
When using stones like Bianco Cararra marble, veining and color range is natural. Know what to expect from our blog, Expect the Unexpected from Tile Variation.
Find out more about our Naturals Collection, with our blog, It’s Only Natural: AC’s Glass Tile Collection.
Clean & Contemporary
We’ve featured this project in a previous blog post, but it so perfectly embodies Feng Shui’s principles, we had to show it again. Here, not only can we see how Feng Shui works in a single space, but how it can flow through an entire home.
Architectural Ceramics teamed up with Randall Mars Architects and builder Gruver Cooley to create a clean, contemporary, and harmonious home for our client. Nearly two thousand square feet, the Arlington, Virginia home is filled with natural materials like stone, wood, and sunlight.
Earth: Like marbles used in the previous projects were quarried from the earth, so was our 12″x24″ Brazilian Black slate used in a herringbone pattern throughout the home’s main level. The natural cleft slate provides a strong and stable foundation from room to room.
In the kitchen, pictured above, the pattern of the tile runs the same direction as the base cabinets, keeping the overall look clean and uncluttered. The granite countertops are also clutter-free. The cool grey tone of the counters is in keeping with the dark grey slate floors. Both of which balance the warm rich tones of the surrounding wood cabinets, or the large beams and plank wood ceiling above.
Water: While the elements of Earth and Wood are dominant in the home’s design, the element of Water is used less but is still present. The master bathroom’s walk-in shower features a blue mosaic tile. The tile’s color references Feng Shui’s element of Water.
Fire: In the living space, a single-slab of granite clads the fireplace. Just as the granite countertops in the kitchen use grey tones similar to the slate tile floor, the fireplace material does too. The installation of the fireplace enhances the home’s contemporary feel even
though the Silver Pearl granite features an antique finish.
Wood: The element of Wood is featured beautifully and in a big way throughout this home.
The open-concept main floor is minimally divided into it’s kitchen, dining, and living spaces, by custom-built quarter-sawn casework. The same wood is used as molding around the modern windows, which take in views of the wooded property.
The warmth of the stained pine tongue-and-groove ceilings above balance the cool grey tones of the slate underfoot.
Metal: From the stainless steel kitchen appliances, to the furniture and artwork placed throughout each space, the element of Metal is evident from room to room.
Love this project? See more from this home, with our blog, A Clean Slate: How Rough Slate Can Have a Clean Aesthetic.
For further questions about the tile featured here, or to place a tile order, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Want weekly updates about Architectural Ceramics and our product lines? Join our newsletter here.