Decorative Tile Brightens Kitchen, Bath

By Geracimos, Ann | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), July 25, 2001 | Go to article overview

Decorative Tile Brightens Kitchen, Bath

Geracimos, Ann, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)

Byline: Ann Geracimos

Tile, one of the oldest building materials in the world, also is one of the most versatile. So it wasn't entirely strange that Ralph Davis opted to put a handcrafted tile design behind the bar of the restaurant he owns in Arlington.

"A lot of pizzerias with wood-burning ovens have tile around them," he says, explaining how he settled on the decorative tile even though his Circo Pizzeria and Grill at 2300 Clarendon Blvd. is prevented by law from having such an oven because of its location on the ground floor of a modern high-rise building.

Still, Circo - "it means circus in Italian," he notes - has bene-fited from the piece designed and hand-painted by Liette Marcil, a Boston-based ceramic artist who has done custom work for Ademas tile in Alexandria for more than 10 years. On the advice of Alexandria decorator Florence Hawkins, Mr. Davis also commissioned the artist to do a whimsical sun, 18 inches in diameter and surrounded by molding, for an opposite wall.

"Without tile, the restaurant would not be as interesting," he concedes. "It's the focal point of the room." The idea came up during a recent renovation. "The bar area was a plain spot; we wondered how to jazz it up." A ruby-red, yellow and cream-colored tile background in harlequin pattern shows up the signature sun design to advantage.

Nothing in custom tile work comes cheap, however. Installation costs have to be considered, as well, and the prices of individual tiles vary wildly from as little as $10 a square foot for low-end square machine-made pieces to $100 for a single hand-painted scene in delicate blue shades from the famous Delft ceramic ateliers in Holland.

Ademas is unusual in being able to offer a complete range, including reproducing on tile any scene or even a portrait that a customer desires.

Jamie Haley of Potomac wanted an 18th-century kitchen scene in tile on the wall behind her stove, a space known in the trade as the backsplash. No problem, said Ademas designer Sara Bernheisel. In addition, Mrs. Haley had contracted through the builders handling her remodeling project to have the designer create original patterns for her pool house and walkway. The result was a portrayal of tiny frogs and grasses in pale green stone tile in the pool changing room. The pool house itself has a slate floor with leaflike inserts.

"I gave her some direction, and she picked the colors," Mrs. Haley says, full of praise for the finished product, installed this year.

The current trend in home design of creating elaborate kitchens and bathrooms contributes to the popularity of tile. This has happened partly because of an economic boom but also because of a change in people's lifestyles, says Barbara Sallick, the founder of Waterworks. The company does custom work with tiles for bathrooms and kitchens - for an average minimum of $8 to $12 per square foot - but, as the name implies, it also sells plumbing fixtures and accessories.

"Twenty-five years ago, the bathroom was about hygiene and privacy," she explains. "The evolution has come about with our increased emphasis on health and having a personal space where we can have quiet time." The company, headquartered in Danbury, Conn., has stores in 33 cities, including its Georgetown location.

Capitol Hill interior designer Beth Peacock says, "At Waterworks, I can acquire everything I need for a bath: tiles and fixtures, including towels, towel warmers and Jacuzzis. I can go in and in two days knock out five baths." Her firm, Peacock Co., also works closely with Ademas.

Mrs. Sallick, whose father started a plumbing business in 1925, describes her approach in "Waterworks: Inventing Bath Style," written with Lisa Light and published in May by Clarkson Potter/Publishers. The book includes information for the layman about various kinds of applied surface materials and how to use them. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Decorative Tile Brightens Kitchen, Bath


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

    New feature

    It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia, and in an effort to make Questia easier to use for those people, we have added a new choice of font to the Reader. That font is called OpenDyslexic, and has been designed to help with some of the symptoms of dyslexia. For more information on this font, please visit

    To use OpenDyslexic, choose it from the Typeface list in Font settings.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search


    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.