Two of the hardest-working rooms in the house are multitasking more than ever. Kitchens are no longer just for making meals, but also for making memories, conducting Zoom sessions, and hosting celebrations. Bathrooms, on the other hand, are expected to be spa-like havens for refreshing the body, spirit, and soul.
For many homeowners, modernizing these rooms is more of a necessity than a luxury because the improvements are driven by lifestyle as much as aesthetics. So when we update these spaces, how do we get it all—elegance, ease, and functionality—within a budget?
“How a client lives—or wants to live—in their home is a very important piece of the design puzzle,” says Charlotte-based interior designer Lisa Mende. “It is one of the first things we discuss during the planning phase because it heavily influences the materials that we select.
“If my clients are avid cooks and entertainers, have young children, or just have a penchant for sleek, perfect finishes, I’ll steer them towards durable manmade surfaces instead of delicate natural stone. They don’t want to worry about stains caused by splattered tomato sauce, wet wine rings, or acid etchings from lemons and limes when they’re enjoying the company of family and friends.”
Advanced technology and skilled artistry are changing the way designers look at manmade stone and tile and, like Mende, many are turning to companies like Crossville, Inc., to provide high-quality, low-maintenance alternatives to natural stone. The company’s porcelain slabs are a resilient countertop option, while its thinner porcelain panels come with an additional benefit: At more than 3×9 feet—but only 3+mm thick (for walls) and 5.6mm (for floors or walls)—these sleek, expansive panels can cover existing tile and stone.
Because little or no demo is involved, time and labor are minimal and installation is cost-effective, keeping projects easy on the pocketbook. Crossville products are also easy on the eye thanks to their meticulous detailing and strong resemblance to natural stones such as marble, quartzite, and granite.
“Crossville’s colors and veining are so realistic that it’s hard to tell the difference between what was made by hand and what’s made by Mother Nature,” says Mende. “I have many clients who want the high-end look of polished white marble but without the high-maintenance that comes along with it. Crossville offers the ideal solution by giving them the best of both worlds.”
More Porcelain Panels & Slabs In Situ
Bathroom Inspiration from the Flower Showhouse
Rustic and refined pieces join to create a calming space in the en suite bath at the 2021 Flower showhouse at Brierfield Farm. Take a video tour led by interior designer Mary Evelyn McKee.