The Impact and Use of Tile and Stone


We are seeing so many new products being created with the use of natural stone. You will be amazed at the things you will see at Coverings 2018, taking place May 8-11 in Atlanta, GA. The choices are large and how do you choose products that have the functionality and make the impact you are looking for? I am attending Coverings to learn more about the new products and designs, how to use them and where, and provide my clients with the products that are the best suited for their project.

BrookhavenCredit: Christina Wedge Photography

Every project I have worked on is different. I don’t have a signature style. My approach to every project begins with the client and their vision of what they in their space. You need to start the process by determining the colors you like and don’t like; how you want to use the space; who uses it…a couple, children, grandchildren, pets, friends and extended family. If it’s a kitchen, who does most of the cooking and how do they use the space to cook. After collecting this information, the selections begin.

For stone and tile, these choices are huge. Do you want a smooth or textured surface, granite, quartz, quartzite, marble, porcelain, ceramic.  In a bath project, I always guide my client toward porcelain tile since it is a wetter environment and porcelain doesn’t absorb the moisture like ceramic.

Christina Wedge Photography
Credit: Christina Wedge Photography

There are some new trends in tile I am seeing this year. The hexagon shape is gaining popularity again but is taking on different sizes and patterns on walls and as backsplashes. The Picket style is a modification of this style and in a glossy finish. Another tile look is weathered with an oxidized metal look with rust and scratch marks. The chevron backsplash is also very popular because of it’s visual texture and design. After knowing what my client is looking for, I make some choices for color and finish and couple of standard designs plus what I call the “pop of the unexpected” design that is one they would have never thought of. That is the one they usually fall in love with.

Ashley Hope Photography

Credit: Ashley Hope Photography

With stone, a lot depends on the variation and movement, a polished, honed, or leather finish, a natural or engineered stone. Natural stones are softer than engineered stones and all require sealing, some more than others; such as, granite, marble, travertine, and soapstone. I personally love the movement and detail. As part of my design, after the templates are made for the counter-tops, I attach them to the slab in different layouts to capture the details in certain areas; such as, on the island to make a statement. Then I use a more consistent pattern on the slab for the surrounding counter-tops. It’s the design and the details that really define the room.

Right now, I am using quartz on most of my projects because it is easy to maintain. It doesn’t require sealing as it is non-porous and the range of options in colors, patterning, and veining have expanded so much that clients can get a similar look as natural stone and have soap and water cleanability.

Chris Little PhotographyCredit: Chris Little Photography 

Whether you are building a new home or remodeling your current one, it can be a very stressful experience. Always reach out to a design professional. Let them create a space that is designed especially for you, using the best products, to give you a healthy, functional, livable environment that captures the vision you wanted to achieve and with a lot less stress!

About the Author

Ann Wisniewski, ASID, is the CEO of AJW Designs, Inc in Roswell, GA. She is also the Past President of the Georgia Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers – one of the co-sponsors of Coverings 2018.

AJW Designs, Inc. blends the creative, award-winning styles of husband and wife team Ann and John Wisniewski. They have had thriving business for almost twenty years and their signature works can be seen in private residences and businesses in the Metro Atlanta area, nationally, and inter-nationally.  Their unique approach blends John’s extensive architectural and construction knowledge with Ann’s expertise for creating signature, one-of–a-kind interiors that incorporate simple elegance with a modern flair that capture the look, feel, and atmosphere their clients are wanting.