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General Trends

Natural, artisan products that have always been in fashion with elite designers are making their way down to the masses through Instagram and Houzz. Boutique hotels and luxury villas, with their natural stones, patterned cement tiles, zellige, water jet mosaics, bespoke terra cotta and arabesque shaped ceramics are now finding their way into mainstream design through social media and eventually knock-off ceramic and porcelain versions – sometimes even for the better.

Due to the prevalence of social media, hospitality projects are influencing residential design faster and faster. In the past, you had to visit a property to be influenced. Then magazines like Sunset, Architectural Digest, and Dwell came along to expand the market for design. Now, design is 24/7. Consumers have access to instant design from all over the world. Our customers come to us with images of hotels from every corner of the globe asking us if we can achieve a similar look. We learn a lot from our customers.

Encaustic Cement Tile

This 250-year-old process of patterning cement has been a mainstay outside of America since the French started colonizing. Now that Americans have discovered it again, inexpensive ceramic versions are everywhere.  This, like all trends, won’t last and eventually the imitators will move on to the next thing and classic, real encaustics will still look amazing. These floors can last 100 years or more.

Zellige Tile

An ancient process of glazing and patterning intricate cotto tiles in Morocco is now revered as a must-have luxury tile on the southern coast of California.  The possibilities for patterning are endless in traditional colors or one can use the modern monochromatic patterning strategy to achieve single-color patterns that are subtle and timeless.

Water Jet Stone Mosaics

Computer-driven mosaic manufacturing has now made bespoke patterning with single or multiple stones possible.  This technology allows for minute and precise cutting in radius application to bring a heightened sense of drama to an otherwise quiet or plain composition.

Slab Porcelain

Groutless showers have been the dream of many homeowners since tiled bathrooms were accepted.  Slab porcelain can achieve that reality through single piece installations on shower walls and also remove the majority of grout on commercial floors and facades. Design possibilities will be endless.  In 10-years or less, this will be a standard shower.


Our coastal weather enables year-round outdoor living and the trend that developed out of that ability is product that can be used indoors and out. Residentially, stone, concrete and porcelain are bridging the dual environments and commercially, porcelain pavers on building rooftops and event decks are providing building owners with greater opportunities for amenities. If you want your house to play larger than it is, open the back up and add square footage to your lifestyle.

Large Format Floors

32”x72” is fast becoming a standard tile size for us. Not only villas with ample indoor-outdoor opportunities, but hotels with more modest spaces are choosing this format for both its aesthetic and its functionality.  If you want to make a small space look larger, use a big tile.

Instagram + Houzz Images

It is a new world working with clients today! They arrive with either no information and you need to educate them, or they arrive with a drop box full of images of what they are hoping to achieve.  We routinely review how to use each with a residential client to achieve an outcome as close to their dream as their budget and space will allow. This trend is only going to get more pervasive as these tools become ubiquitous with millennial buyers.

Arabesque Patterns

Whether it is geometric or Moorish, patterns spanning the north of Africa have made their way into our design language.  Ancient and timeless, with limitless possibilities for customization, beautiful materials in these patterns are a classic component of California design today.

Buena Tile

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