Design With A Purpose

By Annette M. Callari, Allied ASID; CMG

Crossville_Glass_BloxCrossville Tile is an established name in the world of porcelain and natural stone for floors and walls.  If you are familiar with Crossville, then you’ve already seen their colorful creations in stone, glass and metal mosaics.  It’s all pretty impressive, because the key element to all of their collections is COLOR (my favorite subject).

Crossville has found a way to personalize color and simplify coordination.  In their own words: “…Color is the foundation of design, and in many ways, the foundation of living.   Color teaches us harmony and contrast, chaos and calm, very often in the same space…”  You can’t say it better than that.  One of the latest chapters in their continuing color story is the introduction of a collection brought out earlier this year called Color by Numbers. This collection features six garden-hued wall tile palettes designed to coordinate with the bestsellers from their Crossville Color Blox floor tile collection.  But here’s a twist I know you won’t expect.  Both of these Crossville palettes cross over to harmonize with Benjamin Moore’s “Aura” paints!!!

Color is tricky and can be the most challenging element of putting together a great design.  This collaboration between Crossville and Benjamin Moore provides consumers a valuable design tool that can really help you choose colors with confidence.  Interesting to note that Color Marketing Group International identified “consumers’ commitment to color” as a key design trend for the next several years.  The big news is that Americans are embracing real color.  We are constantly exposed to global color through the Internet, the media, and of course, fashion.  With this connection to worldwide colors, we’ve developed a comfort level with vibrant palettes, balanced with the neutrals we love so much.  With that said, that comfort level interprets into new color harmonies in our homes that validate this predicted commitment to color.   Crossville couldn’t have timed it better as to their introduction of Color Blox and Color by Numbers.  You definitely need to check out these stunners and can see them at

There’s more to this story, as it takes on design with a purpose.  For the first time in the history of the company, Crossville is pledging a portion of profits from the Glass Blox Collection to be donated to charity.  Gita Tao, Manager of West Coast Residential Sales conceived this idea back in 2007, and since that time,  Crossville has been donating to The Common Thread for the Cure.  This foundation supports families of the flooring and furnishings industry in the battle against breast cancer, through Helping Hands Grants.  These confidential financial grants are provided to assist individuals (and their families) battling breast cancer, helping them meet the financial obligations not covered by insurance.  Assistance is offered at a time when medical bills are mounting and income is often lost.  Grants, to date, have been used for transportation, household expenses, child care, tuition, home repairs and other areas that contribute to a better quality of life.

Just writing this blog inspires me to take a closer look at the Glass Blox tile collection for my design clients.  Not only can I bring beautiful contemporary colors to interiors, but together we can design with a purpose much greater than ourselves.  We need to give accolades to Crossville for thinking beyond “business for profit”, and demonstrating true empathy for those in need.

For more information on flooring visit the World Floor Covering Association’s Consumer Carpet & Flooring Guide.

Designing With Stone

Submitted by Annette M. Callari, Allied ASID; CMG

IGNEOUS_ROCK-GraniteIf you are in the market for natural stone flooring or counters for your home, this brief compilation of stone factoids is going to be very helpful.  Just a little knowledge, before you narrow in on what’s right for you, may point you in the right direction.  You’ve all studied the types of rock the earth renders, but it could be you haven’t had need for that information in a long time.  So here is a brief refresher.

SEDIMENTARY – Igneous rocks make up the majority of the earth’s crust and are covered by a thin veneer of loose sediment. It’s this loose sediment that gets compacted and cemented together to give us sedimentary stone.  Travertine and limestone fall into this category.  Natural, unfilled travertine has tiny holes throughout the surface, indicative of sedimentary formations.  Both travertine and limestone are very porous and will require continuing maintenance to keep them looking their best.  Keep in mind, because they are so porous they are prone to staining so may not be the best choice for countertop applications.  For floor applications, Torrean travertine is less porous and gives a more uniform surface texture.

METAMORPHIC – The metamorphics get their name from “meta” (change) and “morph” (form). Any rock can become a metamorphic rock. All that is required is for the rock to be moved into an environment in which the minerals which make up the rock become unstable.  Extreme temperature and pressure are the catalysts in forming metamorphic rocks and produce stones with exceptional beauty, such as slate, marble and quartzite.

IGNEOUS – Igneous rocks are crystalline solids which form directly from the cooling of volcanic magma. This is an exothermic process (it loses heat) and involves a change from the liquid to the solid state. The earth is made of igneous rock – at least at the surface, where our planet is exposed to the coldness of space.  Granite is an igneous rock and you can tell how near to the earth’s surface (or how deep within the earth) the granite was formed, based on its composition.  Smaller particulates in the granite indicate it was formed closer to the surface.  Larger particulates are the clue that it was formed deep beneath the earth’s crust.  Given the process by which granite is formed, it is an extremely hard stone, second only to diamonds.  It does well for countertops or flooring.

The inherent beauty of natural stone is what draws us to it.  Every piece of granite is a unique work of art.  The unpredictable range of colors in slate makes every installation a masterpiece.  Marble transforms surfaces into statements of timeless beauty.  I’d say Mother Earth wears a mantle of treasures, and it’s always a privilege for us to have a small piece of that treasure grace our homes.

“Each day slowly shapes our lives, as dripping water shapes the stone.”  (Proverbs)

For more information on flooring visit the World Floor Covering Association’s Consumer Carpet & Flooring Guide.