24 July 2012

Four Favorite Bathroom Tile Inspirations - Cheryl Kees Clendenon of Details and Design

I met Cheryl Kees Clendenon about four years ago at an NKBA Leadership Conference.  We clicked immediately.  Since then, we've both become Blogger 19 members, traveled to Germany as Blanco Design Council members and shared time, insights and laughs at numerous industry functions.  Cheryl's got two gorgeous kitchens in my upcoming book and I'm thrilled to have her share her brilliant wit and talent during Bath Week, part of Gold Notes' Fourth Anniversary celebration.

In this particular post, she offers four inspired ways to add style with tile -- and some gorgeous project shots -- to spark your bathroom remodel.


For most of my bath design projects, my inspiration begins with tile selections. It may be the floor, it may just be an accent, but in some way or another tile is almost always the jumping-off point for inspiration. 

It amazes me so many people, ( including some designers!), overlook the design wow that tile, properly executed and installed, can give to a space.  So can we step away from some of the tired and overused tile design concepts and style of decades -- no, years -- past? 

Think Big! Think Bold! Think Brilliant! Think Breathtaking!  

Thinking big 

Tile does not come in just the standard sizes that may come to mind. Try and say no to 12x12 tile or stone anywhere! Go big and bold when the space will accommodate it.  Often, when you think it cannot....it really can. Try some of the newer 12x35 porcelain tiles. LOVE them and there is no better way to get some serious bang for your buck. 

This gorgeous rectified porcelain tile is a clean and simple look for a teenage boy's bath. I like how the larger format tile "reads" as a solid wall.
(In Detail Interiors design and
 Porcelanosa tile)

Thinking bold

No surface is safe from me! I would guess that very few of our bath projects have only floors and shower or tub walls covered in tile. I am a big fan of tile walls. I do not often favor smaller mosaics but these penny rounds in black, white and gray spoke to me one day at a seminar. In fact, they spoke so loudly that I got up in the middle of the lecture and had to touch them.  (Some witnesses say I caressed them!)  Luckily, the speaker was the rep for Walker Zanger and this is their tile. I was forgiven! But this bathroom for a teenage girl was built around the day I was inspired by these penny rounds. 

I eschew tiling behind a bath vanity with a short backsplash. Wimpy. If you are going to do it then do it boldly and take over the wall! 
(In Detail Interiors design and  Walker Zanger  tile)
Thinking brilliant 

Inevitably, I  seek to design a layout in such a way that I can find a place for my tile inspirations.I feel strongly that even pricier tile selections can be used in some small ways to add personality. In the master bath below, we constructed a half wall to “frame” the freestanding tub. This Calcutta stone was cut into a diamond shape and small round mirrors were inserted in between the stone. The overall effect is a sophisticated wow with a bit of bling. You would have to see it to believe it! 

Calcutta stone cut into diamonds creates a stunning half wall behind a tub
(In Detail Interiors design) 
Tiny mirrors at each corner add major bling to this tiled bath wall
(In Detail Interiors design) 
Thinking breathtaking

This powder bath was a challenge. The 12 ft ceilings in such a small footprint caused the scale of almost everything to come up short. Literally. We needed a radical idea to offset the ceiling height and still pull off a modern design. Once again, a tile inspiration from Mixed up Mosaics proved to be the nudge we needed to get going in the right direction. The small strips of mirror you see in the photo is actually tile mounted for the specific size we needed. The rest of the mirrors are odd-sized mirror “tiles” we had made and adhered to the walls in a random pattern. This reflective, textured wall provided the visual we were looking for, and it worked with, not against, the tall ceiling height. 

Mirror, mirrored tile on the wall... Who's the cleverest designer of all?
(Designed by In Detail Interiors using
 Porcelanosa accent tile and mirror ) 

Cheryl Kees Clendenon is one of the leading kitchen and bath designers in the industry today.  Her boutique showroom and brilliant blog, Details and Design, are based in Pensacola, FL, but her projects and publications span the country.   


  1. Cheryl and Jamie, I enjoyed these designs. Not what would work in my home, but I would love to do something like that in somebody's home! (PS Thought of you because I just ordered a new toilet today!)

  2. Awesome post, ladies! I'm also a big fan of "going all the way" with the tile, as in a whole wall of fabuousness.

  3. Thanks so much! It was great meeting your fabulous self at the Bosch-Blanco event, too.

  4. These designs are certainly amazing! I’m pretty sure a lot of homeowners will be encouraged to do some redecorating after reading your post! The good thing about using tiles is that you can do a lot of styling. Tiles come in different colors and patterns, which is good since you can do some experimenting with the designs.

  5. Cheryl sure did a great job, didn't she! I love her eye for design and witty writing style.


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