Lisa Schmitz’s Obsession

The local designer shares the design element she incorporates again and again in kitchen remodels

You’ll find designer Lisa Schmitz installing her recent obsession—textured tile—as a backsplash or accent wall in homes across the city.

“Our projects are modern and clean with typically minimal neutral palettes,” Schmitz says. “Texture is a good way to add warmth and dimension to a neutral palette.”

Nowadays, there’s more to tile than the classic white subway tile we’ve known for years. If you’re looking to make a big splash in a space, consider this obsession’s numerous qualities—various patterns, sizes, colors—with almost every brand name trending toward endless options. For Schmitz, she’s drawn to Island Stone (available through ISC/The Gallery), which features cut stone in linear, chevron, hexagon and bamboo patterns in neutral and natural colors, as well as Ann Sacks glazed tiles in color options that span the entire wheel.

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In a recent project, Schmitz drew up a focal wall that featured a combination of flat and textured tiles—installed from the countertop to the edge of the 10-foot ceiling—depicting birds in flight in a dramatic kitchen backsplash. White tile with a raised plaid pattern garners attention in another of Schmitz’s recent kitchen remodels.

“We love to find the perfect space for this luxury tile, with the idea that a full wall will make the biggest statement,” she says. “Kitchens and powder rooms offer the best statement walls.”

If you want to incorporate it an adjoining room, try wrapping your fireplace.

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