Subway Tile: A New Take on a Popular Trend

We are seeing SO MUCH white subway tile these days! It seems like every kitchen or bathroom has it. There’s this very popular couple that lives in Waco, Texas, and remodel homes all day every day. You may have heard about them… They use subway tile in, oh, maybe 90% of their projects!?  Looking at the white subway tile trend, we can certainly attribute a large part of the obsession to their show on HGTV.

We love subway tile. The other Renewal designers and I use it all the time in projects because it can be applied without a rift in anybody’s aesthetic vision.  But we want to talk about NEW applications and ways to view subway tile that might inspire you to mix things up a bit. Sure, some of these ideas are a little gutsy. But they are totally attainable with just a quick turn of the wrist!

Let’s take a look…

This gorgeous shower has some of the most simply applied, classic white subway tiles. An upgrade from the standard horizontal laid tile, this is just as affordable. The vertical layout emphasizes the height of the wall, and provides a modern update.  Bye-bye farmhouse.  Hello modernist.

(Mim Design | Est Living)

Now we’re cooking with gas…  Check this out! Such a simple layout. It could NOT get any more straightforward. What makes it interesting? The three colors, the modern basket weave pattern—it’s almost like the tile wall is doing a mic drop, then throwing its hands up like “BOOM!” You know what I’m saying.

(Sunset Idea House | CocoKelly)

This beveled, antique mirror subway tile is a local find, and the most glamorous we’ve seen in a long while. This particular application is used for a built-in bar. There are two details here that really make the tile shine: first, the antique mirror itself. It’s luxe and has an air of refinement and history. Second, the bevel of the tiles—the angles of the glass grabs the light from all sides and creates added depth; is three-dimensional and adds a complex and visual interest.

(Charleston Mirror | Oregon Tile & Marble)

Here’s another look we love! This tile was laid in a classic two-by-two basket weave pattern. With the white-on-white bathroom (yes, brass is back!), the tile adds just the right amount of texture.  It’s another silly-simple application that will impress your friends.  So standard, yet so custom.  That’s a concept we can get behind!

(Caitlin Wilson | @CaitlinWisonDesign)

Are you seeing this?  I mean, LOOK AT THAT.  Yes, what you’re seeing is right!  Turquoise grout.  White tile. This is a trend we’re really excited about!  The options really are endless. With colored grout, the emphasis is transformed and shifts your eye around the space.  No longer is the tile the star; it’s the background that makes this look different and unexpected.

(Colored Grout | The Design Sheppard)

So what is your favorite new take on subway tile? Let us know your favorite in the comments below…we’re excited to see what our readers are drawn to!

Bathroom Remodels Most Requested

Our last post featured the  top 3 things people can't wait to replace in their bathrooms. Now, we want to share what the most requested items are!

1. Greys & natural tones

The most common color palette for bathroom remodels is greys and natural tones. People are looking for a calm and serene space and these tones really help accomplish that.

2. Pedestal Tubs & Curbless Showers

Rather than the traditional shower and tub duo people are opting for pedestal tubs and the curbless shower.

3. Tile & Heated Floors

In the cold winters of the Pacific Northwest heated bathroom floors are highly desirable. Tile flooring comes in a variety of sizes and colors and can be highly customized as a design element in a remodel.

4. Sconce Lighting

Bathroom lighting has been upgraded! Rather than the standard can lighting vanities are getting decorated with sconce lighting.

Photo before home improvement

"Please take my..." The top 3 Things People want out of their Bathroom

Working with people to create their ideal bathroom we often hear a great deal of excitement from home owners about replacing features of their current bathrooms. Here are the top three things people can't wait to replace...

1. Vinyl Flooring

While it's inexpensive and fairly easy to clean most people are ready to upgrade to tile flooring in their bathroom.

2. Corner Tubs

The corner or platform tub is a standard architectural feature in homes, but the most current design trend is for a free standing or pedestal tub.

3. Carpeting

I think we all can understand why people would prefer a surface in their bathrooms that they could clean (and sanitize)!

Next our team will be sharing what the most requested items and bathroom trends are. Stay tuned!

3 Reasons to Install A Curbless Shower

An easy way to update a bathroom during a remodel is to install a curbless or barrier free shower. We recommend these often to home owners for the following reasons…

1.     Doesn’t require structural modificiations to install so it can be used in your current home

2.     Meets ADA requirements for customers needing a smooth transition without a curb

3.     It gives a contemporary and custom look

At Renewal we prefer to use the Tuff Form Shower Base by Arc.

Here are some examples from around the Pacific Northwest…

Welcome 2015!

In honor of the New Year we wanted to share with you the 2015 Pantone Color of the year! Introducing... MARSALA!

















Each year the lovely people at Pantone choose a color for the year. Why does that matter? Because believe it  or not their choice will subtly influence fashion, home decor, beauty products and event planning for the year ahead. If you keep your eyes open you will start to see it pop up as the stylish color choice. Here is some inspiration for how to incorporate Marsala into your daily life:

3530a60f59faf9d43251a12d95f8f2d0 75670757e2ff20e6506d0f117502a11c

So you say you're an "expert"?

Yes, we started our own business. Yes, we have learned a great deal from 18 years in the remodeling business. But more than just experience, we want you to know why we claim to be experts.

The NAHB (National Association of Homebuilders) is the largest nationwide professional organization for homebuilders and remodelers. Through the NAHB an individual can obtain designations and certificates verifying their skill and expertise. Both George, the owner and Troy, our general manager have earned the CGR (Certified Gradutate Remodeler) title.


Which means according to the NAHB they:

1) Have meet nationally definied criteria for experience

2) Adhere to prescribed business standards

3) Engage in continuing eductation

So when we say we can handle your remodeling project we aren't just selling you. We are backed by over 14,000 members of the NAHB who agree we can too.


BONUS! One More Fall Remodel Idea

Last week we posted what our design team thought were the Top 5 remodel projects for this time of year (see that post here) & this week we are sharing one more tip to get your home perfectly set up for this cozy holiday season... change or add an area rug!
The right area run can really pull together the look and feel of a room and it can be tough to find the right color, shape and size. If you have ever hunted for the right rug you know what I'm talking about! So here's the tip from our designers: Make your own! That's right find the carpet of your choice and have it bound to the right size for your space. This allows for maximum flexibility and you can choose the exact carpet you are looking for! We have done this at Sound Design Center with some of our past remodel projects and our customers have been so happy with the results.

 Check out these examples of how the right area rug completes the room:

Top 5 Fall Remodel Projects

The leaves are falling and the chill of fall in the PNW is definitely upon us. Is it just me or has anyone else checked the thermostat to make sure that your heat has kicked in on these cool mornings? Fall may not initially seem like an ideal time to take on a remodeling project, but it can be! What better time make the changes needed enjoy your home? And then there's all of the holiday festivities where you will be hosting and entertaining. A small change can make a big impact!

Here are the Top 5 remodel projects to consider this fall...

1. Update a Powder Bath - Create a room you and your guests will enjoy with minimal inconvenience.


2. New Countertops - Enjoy your holiday cooking and baking with an upgraded kitchen surface.

3. Change or Add Cabinet Knobs - A detail like hardware is an easy change to improve your space.

4. New Lighting Fixtures - Highlight a space in your home with a decorative light fixture.


5. Replace your Carpet - Nothing can make a space feel fresh like new carpet!

Award Winning Project - BALA

We won a BALA (Best in American Living) award! Awards are given annually and spotlight the most creative and innovative builders, remodelers, architects, developers, land planners and interior designers in the nation. This award was received as a result of great teamwork; beginning with the owners concept, our on staff designer/architect and interior design team, timely execution and “voila” a beautiful outcome! Take a look, tell us what you think...

BALA Kitchen Remodel

This home once had a small kitchen with outdated cabinets and minimal lighting, but now holds an open kitchen with plenty of daylight.

BALA Renewal Remodels

The kitchen now has bamboo cabinets, a double oven and a better functioning layout.

A remodeled utility room incorporates space for a laundry and storage.

Renewal Remodels Sun Room

In the new sunroom, a new double sliding door and stationary windows on the sides allowed for a view of the backyard.

Renewal Remodels Deck

The addition of new decks to the backyard give the homeowners a tranquil place to retreat.

Community Project - Foursquare Church South Campus

It's an incredible thing to be a part of when a community rallies together around a project of goodwill. People volunteering their time and giving their resources to build something for the community. Recently we had the opportunity to contribute our remodeling and construction expertise to one of these projects as Foursquare Church in Puyallup, Washington opened a new location. Seeing people sacrifice their time and resources to build something that innovative and beautiful is such a rewarding experience for us.

The project involved the renovation of a building that used to be Albertson's into a church that is now filled with people of all generations loving and serving the community around them. We worked with other local companies and community leaders to organize the project and give input in helping carry out the creative vision of the lead pastor, Roger Archer. Who would ever dream of a full scale tree house in the middle of the entry area for children to play in while their parents can sip their lattes? Working with a great team of people put together by the leadership of Puyallup Four Square Church has been an humbling experience. The general contractor BPCI, Austincina (architect) and the incredible volunteers stands as a testimony to the goal of reaching the communities needs.

South Hill Puyallup Albertsons

Formerly Albertson's in South Hill, Puyallup, Washington

Loading Dock turned Backstage
What once was the loading dock would soon be the backstage.

Foursquare Church Stage

Future stage and Church auditorium

Kids Hallway

The former pharmacy and health section was converted into classes for preschool kids.

The building first held services Easter weekend in April and the Grand Opening will be Sunday, June 1 at 10:30am. More photos of the grand opening to come!