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Paving the Road to Beautiful Interiors…One Tile at a Time

Just as each stone is laid to create a marvelous mosaic, Nancy Epstein, Founder of Artistic Tile, built the foundation of her company one step at a time with precise product development skills and an elaborate eye for design. After designing custom cabinets for her young son’s bedroom, the cabinet maker was so impressed with the results that he asked Nancy to come work for him in his Tenafly, New Jersey showroom. Nancy quickly recognized that the cabinetry showroom could do more business if they would offer more products for the bath and kitchen. She soon took over the business and the rest was history! Today, Artistic Tile has become one of the largest wholesale distributors of luxury tile and stone across the United States. 

Read on as Nancy unveils the artistry and mastery of tile design, how it affects aesthetics, functionality, and sustainability…and what you can expect to see next from the unparalleled craftsmanship, from stone to glass to ceramics, of Artistic Tile.

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Q. You have made significant strides with sustainability. Why is it important to your company and how does sustainability, in turn, add value to your projects?

 A. Our company has an eye on the long game and our products are meant to be enjoyed for the life of the residence – for decades, for generations. since we view our world through that lens, the concept of disposable, “faux decor” and fast fashion is antithetical.  All we do here, in terms of powering our huge facility via electricity that is partially generated via solar panels on our roof and the use of constantly recycled rainwater to enable water-intensive cutting of stone, is abetted by the knowledge that stone is inherently a sustainable product, with abundant and beautiful resources.

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Q. What should be considered in planning a bathroom design?

 A. Far more important than the selection of elegant and enduring surfaces, we must acknowledge that no bathroom can be a success unless it functions for the person for whom it was designed. My needs and desires are not yours. You may love a leisurely bath, and I may never take them. My shower should be a total delight, while your tub must be a source of sybaritic pleasure. If you are marvelously organized, open shelving can be ideal. If I am inclined to be messy, drawers and closets are a must. The designer who does not truly know the client will have a rough time creating a perfect space.

 

Q. For clients who have large families or often host dinner parties, how do you stay conscious of acoustics in selecting tile/stone for a kitchen?

A. there are many non-stone spaces in a kitchen, and ceilings are rarely over 10 feet. however, it would be an experience to encounter a kitchen with acoustical challenges due to stone surfaces.

  • Q. What are the smartest countertop material choices for a heavy-use kitchen? Could you give us the advantages of each so that we can convey to our clients?

    A. We are experiencing something of a “Golden Age” of counter surfaces – we offer so many marbles, quartzites, labradorites, granites, of extraordinary color range and “look”.  All of them function beautifully as kitchen counters.  The veined white marbles from the great quarries of Carrara have been highly prized since antiquity.  These marbles will of course acquire the “patina of life well-lived” over time, which in no way mars their appeal.  In fact, classic white marble is being used for counters, islands with waterfalls, and backsplashes more than ever before.  Quartzites, especially those from Brazil and Nigeria, are often vividly colored, in blues, greens, golds, and rose, and frequently have a ravishing translucence.  Quartzite is by nature significantly resistant to the etching that can occur when acid hits stone, and this ability makes it a superb choice for the adventuresome home chef with an eye for beauty! 

 

  • Q. Most of your mirror glass tiles are hand-silvered. Tell us more about that classic technique so that we can better convey the value to our clients.

    A. Our mirror tile is created by hand, as pure elemental silver is poured directly onto the glass. The silver forms into a thin layer, resulting in a “pure” mirror, but the extraordinary alchemy of our Charleston collection only begins there.  The ability that antiqued mirror has, to both conceal and reveal, to subtly alter reality is the core of its appeal, so each different item in the collection begins with that concept, and then diverges.  Antique mirror is offered in beveled tile, which adds the dazzle of faceting to a wall.  We silver and then antique grooved glass, to create a tile we call Gaslight, and swirled “hurricane” glass, which we named Veranda.  We have acid washed the face, and applied a special formula to the hand-silvered reverse which adds intense iridescent blues and bronze – this is our Carolina tile, and our most recent tile, Garden District, adds gold and magenta-hued iridescence, plus drizzles of molten glass.  The totality of this collection has expanded the definition of what a mirror tile is, and how utterly it can transform a space.

 

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT NEXT? 

 

Our desire to constantly delight the eye of our audience with materials that will maintain appeal for decades informs all we do, as we visit quarries, as we create new mosaics, as we work with the finest artisans working in stone and glass and ceramic.  This is actually a liberating factor for our design team, who can bring their knowledge of centuries of great uses of these materials to the development process.  We also bring to our showrooms a constant, and constantly refreshed, dedication to being an irreplaceable resource to the architectural and design communities.  We visually refine our showrooms so that they represent the finest of what we offer our audience, just as we refine the skills and expertise of an already strong team in each of our locations.

Be sure to stop by their site to see all of the latest and bring some of their luxury, handcrafted pieces to your next project!

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