Turning Functional into Durable and Fabulous

Turning Functional into Durable and Fabulous - Architessa

Let’s admit it, September was BUSY. Back to school, getting into the swing of lunch prep, homework, extracurricular activities just to name a few. If your space is anything like ours, we tend to accumulate all the “extras” in the non-living spaces - papers, projects, bags and more – telling ourselves we will get back to them when we have a moment. Next thing you know, it’s time to plan for the holidays, the arrival of family… and of course, clearing out all the “extras”!

If the almost forgotten storage spaces of our home – laundry, mudroom, and foyer – are fun and organized, we’d be less likely to abuse them. Let’s take a look at great ways to liven up these neglected areas and make them worthy of your home!

The FUN Factor

From decorative floors to graphic wallpaper, we love to have fun with pattern and color. This is especially true in areas of the home that we normally just pass through, such as the mud or powder room. Often, our clients feel a larger sense of freedom when designing these areas of the home - It’s a small space so why not? C’mon, live a little!

HOW-TO CREATE THE LOOK! We are loving the bold wallpaper of this little multi-functional nook created by Dekar Design. Want to swap wallpaper for a durable and varied tile option? Check out our Maya stone mosaic.

HOW-TO CREATE THE LOOK! Your entryway is the perfect chance to give your visitors a look into your style – it’s your chance to create an immediate impact. Why not cover one accent wall with a fun pattern and color? We love the patterned wallpaper in the inspiration image on the right. To give a similar look, we selected one of our decorative hand-painted tiles, coming soon, designed by the lovely Lauren Liess.

Personalize It

No matter the size or purpose, it’s easy to infuse personality and charm into any utilitarian space. With a simple can of chalkboard paint, pictures, and cubbies, you can transform any laundry room, mudroom or entryway into a reflection of its inhabitants.

Below we selected a few inspiration spaces that not only provide a function but allow for creativity and personal touches.

HOW-TO CREATE THE LOOK! Like the inspiration image on the right? Get the same look of real wood with one of our waterproof wood-look porcelain tiles. Our pick, shown in the right image, is our stock Copper Rowe. Inspiration image courtesy of Homepolish.

HOW-TO CREATE THE LOOK! Love the idea of a surface that you (or your kiddos) can let the creativity flow? Want to have something easier to clean than paint? Black matte porcelain may be your answer. Specifically, on the right - that’s PORCELAIN! It’s an Elevated slab, which can go on the wall, floor or ceiling, inside, outside… even on countertops! Available in large 5’x10’ slabs, they can be fabricated down to your desired size. Inspiration image on the left courtesy of DecorPad.

Hardy Enough for the Whole Family

Life is messy. We track muck in from our shoes and clothes, our furry friends (and kids!) bring in who knows what… we want a space in our home that we can safely trap and wash away all the mess. For some, this is the mudroom, others it’s a laundry room, and often times these spaces even include a wash station for our pets!

These spaces are calling for finishes that are easy to clean and maintain. Floors and walls that require a simple wipe down and nothing more. Our answer – porcelain and ceramic tile!

HOW-TO CREATE THE LOOK! How simple, clean and easy this space looks? Even the dog looks happy and ready for a bath! We love the warmth of wood mixed with the refreshing seafoam color. To create this space for yourself, our custom ceramic from the Stellar collection, Bombay Crackle glaze is the one to use. Size? We suggest something classic and rectangular to keep with the serenity – 3x6, 4x8 or 6x12. Inspiration image courtesy of


It’s easy to shove that measuring tape or pack of 3M wall hangers in the drawer if they don’t have a space dedicated to them. Next thing we know, the drawer is overflowing and we can never seem to find exactly what we were looking for… even though we could promise that we last threw it in there… Wouldn’t it be nice if everything had a place, and that place was not just functional, but attractive? We think so.

In our pick for storage spaces in our home, we opted for LOTS of cabinets. And not just any cabinets, but ones that are floor to ceiling with divided compartments for all the people using them.

HOW-TO CREATE THE LOOK! The inspiration image on the right speaks to a busy lifestyle – a life that does not allow much time for floor maintenance. In this room, their answer is poured concrete, but for us porcelain is the go-to. Our stock Industry porcelain field tile gives us the perfect look. Easy to maintain and indestructible; an ideal choice. Inspiration image courtesy of

We hope you are inspired to take the boring, neglected or cluttered areas of your home and make them lively. If at the very least, you don’t dread doing your laundry in your laundry room thanks to the sprucing up your floor and walls with an easy to clean solution, we feel that is a win.

Our friendly, knowledgeable staff is always happy to help advise on tile design. Visit one of our DC, MD, or VA tile showrooms for a free tile design consultation.

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