Coverings Chicago shows trends in the tile industry

Darren Kincaid - Monday, April 18, 2016

We were pleased to attend Coverings in Chicago to see the latest trends in tile and stone. Porcelain tile is our go to material for durable flooring especially in wet areas such as bathrooms. We see are happy to see the industry trending toward neutrals and branching out beyond imitative stone looks. Large format porcelain tiles which we like are gaining in popularity which help create more cohesive looks especially when used in the primary living spaces in the home. Beyond porcelain and stone, we saw fun textured and 3d tile for accent areas. Other trends that continue to remain strong or wood inspired designs and distressed materials such as metals. Looking forward to serving our clients with a timeless approach to the latest design trends.


Intexure wins Coverings Residential Sustainable Design Award in Chicago

Darren Kincaid - Sunday, April 17, 2016

Intexure wins Coverings CID Award Winner for Sustainable Design: The Heijnen-Kavelaars Garden Residence by Intexture Architects. Being recognized at Coverings by industry professionals at a national scale is meaningful validation of our work.

Heijnen-Kavelaars Garden Residence is designed to unite elements of landscape and architecture in everyday living. Set on a corner lot, the home wraps around a central pool and garden, opening up views to the garden throughout the house and connecting to terraces on the second floor. The garden and pool act as an oasis in the urban environment, a place of reflection and refuge from the occupant’s busy lives. The colors of water, plants and sky give life to the home and create a personal emotional connection in yellow-green, and blue accent colors throughout. The challenge in doing this was to keep the palette, cohesive and serene – giving individual areas character while maintaining a holistic design.

Beginning in the garden, shades of green porcelain tile form the pool deck and backdrop for outdoor living. The faux wood grain pattern brings a pop art quality and sense of humor for the decking, creating a focal point linking interior and exterior space. Glass tile selected for the powder bath is aptly named cloud, turned vertically it echo’s the lines of the mirror and window in the room. The two guest baths feature handmade American tile from Clayhaus, pairing the same colors of wheatgrass, brine, splash and milk – in different textures. The Master bath features a wall of 1”x1” blended mosaic glass combined with walls of 3”x6” glass tile which enhance the effect of a sunny light filled space.

The challenge with the tile design and installation for this home centered around the planning and precession required for everything to line up but appear effortlessly simple as part of the modern design. The tile and grout patterns were drawn to scale in Revit / BIM software along with accurate models of all the vanities and plumbing components. Accent bands needed to line up perfectly with the top edge of the vanity countertop. In the Master, wall mounted double faucets each needed to align perfectly with the intersections in the 3”x6” glass tile. Actuator plates for wall-mounted toilets were integrated to align with accent bands in the bathrooms. Other elements such as tile niches, even window and mirror placements were designed to avoid cut tiles and planned in advance, and coordinated in the field through the design-build process. The use of tile contributed greatly to the design of the home – creating a modern home that feels like home.

Sustainability was a key factor in the design of the home. Undergoing LEED certification, sustainable features include thermally broken Low E insulated windows, a high efficiency AC system, high performance insulation, low flow plumbing fixtures, energy star appliances, and drought tolerant landscaping. The home also features a solar array which provides over 30% of the energy for the home. As a two-story house it emphasizes horizontality keeping the home to a livable human scale. This configuration also maximizes the use of natural light through the space particularly from the northern façade, an advantage in the Houston climate. Long-term durability, ease of maintenance, and appropriate use of materials is a key factor in sustainability, leading to the selection of the tile materials. The tile also helped achieve the low VOC and indoor air quality goals.

Coverings has helped us connect with industry professionals and give us additional perspective. Our recommendation to those attending the show in Chicago is to save time to walk the show floor and attend some conference sessions.

Intexure receives Duravit’s Dream Bath Design Award

Darren Kincaid - Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Intexure was thrilled to receive Duravit’s Dream Bath Design Award for built projects. The award was for Tripartite house which featured Duravit products used in creative ways. For example in order to keep cohesive finishes through the bedroom and closet which open to the bath, duravit furniture products extended to those areas. The spa-like bath design also embraces the exterior through carefully controlled views. Another feature used in the house are Duravit’s sensowash toilets which have the bidet function integrated in a sleek design. It’s a great way for adding functionally to the bath without compromising space or design. We are also fans of the duravit vanities with integrated sinks and used those in the secondary baths. The sink acts as countertop for a design that is easy to maintain. We are thrilled to be chosen for this distinctive award.


Intexure receives Hansgrohe’s Residential Design Award in New York

Darren Kincaid - Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Intexure received Hansgrohe’s Residential Design Award in New York as part of New York’s Design Week. The event was in conjunction with the launch of new products by Antonio Citterio in the New York showroom. The Residential design award was given for Intexure’s Tripartite house which used Hansgrohe products throughout the house with a focus on technology integrated with design. Secondary baths feature the shower pipe system and hand showers are present in all the baths. The couple also used the hands free technology in the powder bath and the Starck shower system in the master. We are thrilled to be a part of such an exciting award.


Tripartite house wins Residential Stone Design Award at Coverings

Darren Kincaid - Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Set on a busy street in a transitional neighborhood this project helps define a new standard for urban infill with a home that reflects design innovation, quality, authenticity and sustainability. The home is divided into three stacked zones addressing the divisions of public and private space: Tripartite House. The first floor extends outward engaging views in the public realm with large expanses of glass as infill between cast in place concrete walls. The second floor utilizes solid forms focused inward to private spaces and screened views such as the zinc clad cantilevered volume that floats above the entry. The third floor opens upward to capture rooftop views where occupants enjoy the evening skyline and sunset above the fray.

Materiality is essential to the design, creating an ethereal mood and experience throughout the space. The minimalist style and clean lines create a calming spa like environment and feeling of luxury. The notion of simplicity however, is complex in execution as every joint and transition needs to line up with perfect accuracy. The team solved this challenge and was able to coordinate precision across multiple trades with a Design-Build approach and integration of BIM technology where every material was accurately modeled in 3D and verified in the field throughout construction. For example, the stone layout in the master shower involved understanding the true dimension of wall framing, backer board, and material thickness to ensure that the grout joints perfecting aligned with plumbing elements, the linear drain, window heights and the joints that continue through the flooring beyond. Based on the BIM technology 3D model a detailed material cut list was coordinated with the quarry and the material was cut to order to minimize waste.

The primary design feature is the use of natural stone, Italian Pietra Forte Fiorentina, chosen for its warm gray tones and consistency. Flecks of mica in the stone add a subtle sparkle and luxurious quality. A special “silk” finish was applied to the surfaces added a tactile sensation of softness to a material that is hard in nature. Used throughout the home, the stone creates a cohesive design experience. This starts with the bridge element approaching the front door and is carried inside to accent the fireplace hearth, the kitchen counter, the stair treads, and the bathrooms throughout the home. Ancillary accent tile was used alongside the natural stone in secondary areas including Mutina folded porcelain tile, custom-colored American made artisan tile in the kids baths and glass mosaic tile in the guest baths. Careful attention to material selection in the design and detailing of the installation adds beauty simplicity, authenticity and luxury to this home.

Sustainability was a key priority. The home includes high performance insulation and AC system, low flow plumbing, and a rainwater collection system connected to a pond and bio-filtration feature at the entry designed to meet the site’s entire irrigation demand. Glazing features a hydrophilic nanocoating with self-cleaning properties. Long term durability and appropriate use of materials is a key factor in sustainability, leading to the selection of natural stone. Although the material was sourced from Italy the energy in transportation via sea freight to the port of Houston was less than typical ground transportation from either West or East coast to the central region, saving over 4 million BTU of energy per ton. By arranging shipping directing the Design-Build team was able to control the carbon emissions that were utilized in this process. Another innovative approach to sustainability was the utilization of BIM technology to accurately model the material and create a detailed cut list that was used by the quarry. This helped minimize jobsite waste, reduce transportation costs, and minimize onsite dust in the cutting process to improve indoor air quality. Additional attributes of natural stone as a material that is non-toxic, recyclable and of an enduring life-cycle enhance the sustainable aspects of the project.

Neocon 2015: Technology focused workplace solutions

Darren Kincaid - Friday, June 06, 2014

We visited Neocon 2015 with a targeted mission to find flexible workplace solutions for a technology focused corporate interior project. Some of the more innovative corporate interior products provided flexible workplace solutions by a multi-purpose approach. For example private office furniture configurations that would also become meeting spaces when the occupant is away. Other flexible workplace solutions included a conference table that could become marker board, dividing screens, or ping pong table. We also examined technology focused products aimed at flexible power and data solutions, such as low profile cabling and raised floor. We also demonstrated technology focused screens and integrated whiteboard video conference solutions. Successfully integrating technology in corporate interior products will be a growing trend we are keeping our eye on into the future.

Moroso Made to Order

Darren Kincaid - Sunday, September 01, 2013

Attention to detail, craftsmanship and design stand out in Moroso’s line on modern furnishings. We were happy to have the opportunity to tour the factory and see this process firsthand from design to prototyping to production. The factory is located in Udine, Italy. Made to order high design modern furnishings challenge the dynamics of factory production versus customization yet Moroso has been able to achieve both simultaneously through a rigorous process of design, craftsmanship and hand-made production.