Behind the Designs, vol 1: Crossville’s The Common Thread for the Cure Scarf Design Contest

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Our second biennial The Common Thread for the Cure scarf design contest is now in full swing. We recently received 33 stunning design submissions from members of our design community at large (special thanks to all who’ve participated!). The designs are now with our panel of esteemed judges (click here to revisit our blog post announcing this year’s judging panel), and we’ve opened online voting to determine a ‘popular vote’ winner, as well. We invite you to click here to vote anytime between now and April 30th.

In a series of upcoming blog posts, we’re featuring the designs we received and sharing the “concept statement” the creators provided to convey the ideas and inspiration behind the works of art. Continue to follow our blog to see all the designs and keep track of the contest’s progress!

Wings of Strength:  Gennifer Hunt

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“My family has a history of breast cancer, and in my family we have a survivor. My Aunt Irene for one, is one of the strongest women I know, and for that I resembled the wings to be like her.  She had a double mastectomy and acts like nothing had changed. The women I see in pictures online showing off their battle scars and beautiful tattoos are extremely inspirational. Their bravery and image of themselves has made them more remarkable. Their journey has fashioned them into distinctive individuals. I have seen the pain and suffering that has accompanied their struggles, and with this design I felt as if just maybe this symbolism would provide them some strength to keep going, knowing they are protected and someone above is watching over them.

To help just one of these women emotionally or spiritually would be such an honor to me.  To have them wear my design would make me feel as if I was helping someone that deserves so much more. For the mothers, sisters, daughters, grandmothers and so on, to their loved ones to see them protected. That is what I would like to see achieved by my design.

I wanted this design to showcase femininity, fierceness, and protection.  The background in this design signifies to me lightness of a bubble, lifting off the burden of the cancer. The wings on the scarf incorporate the awareness ribbon at the ends and are shown to be a more of a rockabilly style wing. These wings signify the strong, badass women they are protecting. I also had the wings spread out so that when you fold the scarf over it is like its wearer is in the wings of a guardian angel. There for protection. The wings are to wrap around its person making them feel safe and warm.”

One of a Kind Piece of Art:  Colleen Smith

Screenshot 2016-04-14 09.48.09“I wanted to create a scarf design that looked like a piece of art. Something one of a kind just like each person’s experience with Breast Cancer. I created an abstract watercolor painting using various tones of the pink Brest Cancer Awareness color and contrasting black.  Just like life, painting with watercolor is unpredictable. You have to live in the moment and you don’t have total control over the outcome. I started out purposefully marking the paper with my brush, idea in mind- but it felt too controlled, and I quickly abandoned it for reckless paint dipping, water spraying, and finger painting. I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out, but when I let go and created something in the moment it turned out beautiful. I was inspired by stories of people dealing with Breast Cancer who despite their struggle and loss of control, chose to appreciate every moment we are blessed with.”

Love’s Alchemy:  Kerry Steele

Screenshot 2016-04-14 10.25.18“My design is a modified version of one of my original paintings titled, “Love’s Alchemy” with the Crossville logo layered over in a repeat. I felt that the imagery along with the title of my work fit this project well. Love is an essential need and becomes magnified during times of illness. In my work as a whole, I seek to create visual metaphors for abstract ideas and real objects. The imagery in this particular piece can be viewed as both a metaphor for transformative love and a novel depiction of the breast cancer ribbon.

The imagery in my original painting reminds me of the iconic breast cancer ribbon, though that was not my original intention with this painting.  My brushstrokes were meant to evoke the different ways love moves through our lives, changes us and the way we then view it in turn. My inspiration evolved through the process of painting. It began as an idea about romantic love but as it grew nearer completion, the complexity of the piece led me to consider a broader view. Love of parent and child, of community or country, as well as, acts of altruistic love came to mind.

The title came about while I was thinking about how love of all kinds can have a magical, transformative effect. When working out of love for a cause or in a personal situation real change can happen and that is why I chose this particular painting of mine.”

Two Sides of the Same Coin:  Hsin Yi Chiu

Screenshot 2016-04-14 10.30.01“Life is good, may our paths cross one day. We can never predict the future, as much we can only looking back to see our path. The design idea behind this submission is simple. There are many surprises in our life. Same can be said about many breast cancer patients, survivors, and families. My encounter with breast cancer is through my aunt, and my mom. During both time, I was not able to be around, and the anxiety of not knowing, and inability to do anything settle in much. It is a bless both of them out last the cancer, and still living and enjoying. However, this idea of unknown is a constant remainder of fragility of our existence. The design is not to be pessimistic about the future, but to know and prepare what is possible. Everyday, there will be up and down, but those are the memories and moments that we should treasured one day. Tragedy and fortune are two sides of the same coin; it may be a blessing in disguise.”

Pattern of Unwavering Strength and Resilience:  Jackie Von Tobel

Screenshot 2016-04-14 10.33.34“My design was inspired by the natural stone textures and patterns found in many of Crossville’s products. The stone and tile surfaces that we encounter in our everyday lives give strength and stability to our homes and surroundings. Having lived through my own family member’s battles against cancer I was privileged to witness their unwavering strength and resilience throughout. My hope is that my scarf design will remind people of that strength and the unmoving resolve to beat cancer exhibited by the individuals who are personally affected, their families, the general public, and companies such as Crossville who join in the battle.”


Where Hope Has a Home: Crossville Plays a Role in Major Expansion of the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford

2016 marks the end of a major expansion and refresh of the 28 year-old of the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford, and Crossville is honored to have played a supporting role as a supplier for the “Where Hope Has a Home” project. The San Francisco Design Center galvanized 48 interior design firms to provide pro bono interior design services for the 52,000-square-foot expansion of the House. A year later, it is now one of the largest Ronald McDonald Houses in the world, providing invaluable shelter, support and community to the families of critically ill children being treated at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital on the Stanford campus.

Melisa Bleasedale, of Apartment 46 for the Home​, is one of the talented designers chosen to design a permanent guest suite at the new wing of the RMH. Knowing that some resident families would stay at the house for extended periods, Melisa wanted to provide as much of a home-like feel as possible. Envisioning a reclaimed wood look for the shower to lend a “California beach vibe,” she began a lengthy and daunting tile research that nearly seemed futile until she discovered our Reclamation Collection. Melisa felt this line, with its mix of wood and concrete looks, possessed the soft, beach-style feel that she was going for, and the mixed pattern and colorways enabled her to keep the space light and bright. We were thrilled that Melisa included us in this very worthwhile project!

Here’s a look at some of the shower details with our Reclamation wood-look porcelain tiles. (Photos by Suzanna Scott Photography)

Get the shower design scoop, here on Melissa’s Apartment 46 for the Home blog. You can also see the rest of her fabulous project here on Houzz.

Crossville Gears Up for Coverings 2016

Coverings ’16Coverings 16 is just around the corner (April 18 – 21 in Chicago), and we’re gearing up for a very full four days of exhibiting and participating in a number of exciting events. If you aren’t already familiar, Coverings is the premier international trade fair and expo exclusively dedicated to showcasing the latest trends in ceramic tile and natural stone surfacing, as well as offering continuing education in the form of seminars and live demonstration sessions for all categories of attendees.

Here’s a look at where, when and how Crossville will be participating in this year’s “Global Tile & Stone Experience.”  

Exhibit – Booth 7306

You’ll find the Crossville booth in the North Hall, #7306, where we’ll be showcasing our latest and greatest, including Oceanaire, Gotham, new Laminam lines, and so much more. This is a great opportunity to experience our tile products in person, as well as learn about choosing and using them for optimal results in designs and installations. Also, be sure to stop by for cupcakes each afternoon of the show, as well, to help us celebrate 30 years in business!

Design Installation Showcase

Arpi Nalbandian of Tileometry

Each year, Coverings hosts a live Installation Design Showcase that brings together designers, installers, and manufacturers to create vignettes on site at the show. The showcase reveals the best in collaborative design and advanced installation and puts a spotlight on how materials and techniques can influence the look, feel and performance of a commercial space.

For this year’s live-action demonstration, we’re providing tile for the Healing Environments Architecture and Interior Design‘s spa lobby–a spaces that focuses on sustainability and incorporates tile to create truly synergistic space. The installation team of Trostrud Mosaic & Tile will complete the project’s elements with the highest degree of technical accuracy.

The Installation Design Showcase Deconstructed Session, followed by the Final Reveal and Reception, will take place on Wednesday, April 20 from 3:30 – 5:30 PM.

Specially Designed Tiled Cube and Donation Ceremony

TCNA (Tile Council of North America) hosts an annual tiled cube exhibit that benefits Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana. We invited Kim Scodro Interiors, Chicago, to design this year’s bench with our Groove Glass.

TCNA will host a donation ceremony on Wednesday, April 20th at 2:30 p.m. in the TCNA Art Tile Courtyard (booth #8111). All bench donors are encouraged to attend, as members of the press, the Coverings show photographer, and representatives of Boys & Girls Clubs will be present.

Donated benches will either be displayed at Boys & Girls Club locations throughout the local area or sold/auctioned to raise money for the clubs’ programs. 


On Wednesday, April 20, at 1:00pm Central, we will be hosting #KBTribeChat live from our booth #7306. KBtribe is a community of kitchen and bath industry professionals who have weekly discussions on Twitter. KBtribechat was started by @cabinetmakers and is run by Stacy Garcia through Garcia Cabinetmakers. These “TweetChats” are always informative and fun, and we’re especially excited to be hosting from Coverings. We would love for you to join us in person or via Twitter! (Check out the KBTribe blog to see the discussion questions in advance.)

NTCA Awards 

We’ll be at the annual NTCA (National Tile Contractors Association) Awards event on April 20th from 5:30-7pm at McCormick Place in Room S100A. These awards recognize top professionals in our industry, and this year, a member of the Crossville family is set to receive a major award. Tim Curran, Co-President of the Curran Group, Crossville’s parent company, will be honored with the Joe A. Tarver award for service to the industry. Cocktails and light eats will be available during the event, as well.

Crossville Pros and Friends of Crossville Speak at the Show

1. Noah Chitty, Director of Technical Services for Crossville Inc., will be speaking at two sessions:

Thin porcelain tile continues to grow in both size and acceptance, but questions still remain. What do installers need to know to work with thin tile panels successfully? Get the answers April 20, 9:15 AM – 10:30 AM, room S104. Noah will co-present “New Directions for Thin Tile Panels” with Dan Marvin of MAPEI and Benjamin Szell of European Tile Masters.

On April 21, 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM, room S104, Noah will co-present with Benjamin Szell “Training Session on Thin Tile Installations.” This hands-on and informative training session will address the types of tools used to transport and cut the materials, as well as installation techniques to achieve maximum mortar coverage.

2. Irene Williams, our PR and social media representative and owner/principal of Msg2Mkt, LLC is joining long-time Crossville friend Lisbeth Calandrino of Fabulous Floors Magazine to co-present “How to Maximize Your Online Marketing Presence” April 18th, 1:30 PM- 2:30 PM, room S103ABC. This workshop will provide case studies and ideas to enhance online presence and traditional tactics to be successful business owners.

3. Our own David Gillespie, a guru of tile installation technique, will be participating in installation demonstrations on the National Tile Contractors Association stage throughout Coverings. Please check the demonstration stage announcements for details!

4. Christine Whittemore of Simple Marketing Now LLC and Arpi Nalbandian of Tileometry  will co-present “Online Visual Success with Houzz, Instagram and Pinterest” at 10:45 AM – 12:15 PM at the Social Media Lounge, booth #4031. This session will explore how pictures are truly worth so much in our industry, especially when it comes to success in social media marketing.

To stay apprised of all the excitement of the show, stay tuned to Crossville social media and follow the official show hashtag “#coverings2016.” Most importantly, if you’ll be at the show, plan now to visit us in the North Hall at booth 7306!

For a good time – Call Crossville for a Graffiti Removal Solution

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Learn how to easily remove remove unwanted graffiti from your facility with our proprietary finish in this guest blog by Robin Rhea, Crossville Director of Brand Marketing. 

Graffiti comes in all types of expressions. From buildings to subways, to bathrooms and back alley ways, graffiti greets us with random, and often offensive messages–and the very high cost of removing it.Graffiti in bathroom

In a 1983 study “When walls speak, what do they say?” three categories of graffiti are named: Tourist graffiti (e.g. “Mike wuz here”), inner-city graffiti, such as tagging and street art, and toilet graffiti or “latrinalia”. Regardless of where a person with spray paint or sharpies decides to leave a message, it’s disruptive to the eye. If you’re a building owner or facility manager, graffiti is at the bottom of the list of messages you want to send to customers about your business. It might say to patrons “we tolerate the defacement of our building” which could leave them wondering then why should I do business with you.

Graffiti is not a “Good Time” to remove

If your building is struck by a graffiti artist or would-be writer, there are layers of challenges in dealing with creative doodles on your walls. Aside from sending the wrong message about your business, it can cost you big bucks to do a removal that may ultimately be a dud. Depending on the surface type, graffiti removal may be impossible and leave you with a faded but still obvious version of it. Effective or not, removal chemicals are not safe to breathe and lengthy exposure should certainly be avoided. Even more frustrating is the fact that ambitions artists may return and reclaim their message space after you remove it.

Develop a Graffiti Defense

Get smarter than your neighborhood artists when you choose your building surfaces, both inside and out. Crossville, Inc. tile features our proprietary finish – Cross-sheen that can help you protect your investment in your business. Cross-sheen protects the surface of tile by providing an invisible barrier to paints, inks, stains and dirt. If graffiti makes its way onto your Crossville Tile surface, you can remove it with safe, simple cleaner and avoid the cost and time involved with its removal from other surfaces.   

Call Crossville Instead

If you’ve been losing the battle to antagonistic artists, or you want to ensure you never have to fight the graffiti battle in your business, call Crossville. We can prepare you to win-out with the message you choose to send to your customers. You can choose from a variety of looks and styles to complement your business while protecting the look for a lifetime. Watch our Cross-sheen video to see the process in action then go to our Find a Distributor link to put Crossville Tile in your next project.

Read more about how we demonstrated our Cross-sheen finish LIVE in front of an audience of designers in 2015 in Denver, a city that spends $2,000,000 a month on graffiti removal.

Tile-Over-Tile Installation Simplifies Bathroom Renovations

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Discover how quickly and easily Laminam porcelain tile panels can be installed over existing tile in this guest blog by Robin Rhea, Director of Brand Marketing for Crossville. 

It’s almost impossible to realize how dated a look can become and how much it needs updating when you see it every day. Not unlike the boiling frog metaphor, time passes and status quo becomes the enemy of needed change. Despite the great reward that comes from updating a space to exceed design expectations, it can be a heartache and headache, causing many building owners and facility managers to procrastinate renovations as long as they can.

Luckily for clients and stakeholders, updating a space is no longer about just freshening up the space by applying a new pretty face. Every part of the design industry has been busy innovating to build convenience and function into the products that make a fresh space happen. These innovations come in all shapes and sizes and leave the benefactors of these advantageous products asking “just what will they think of next?”

In surfaces, Crossville, Inc. has been working hard to eliminate the many pain points that can make renovation a negative experience. Our investment in Porcelain Tile Panel manufacturing and delivery has made one of the most challenging parts of a redesign disappear – demolition. In the world of tile, the time, energy, and mess of ripping out old tile can take usability and consumer experience down to well, disaster.  No one enjoys the dysfunction, dust, and noise pollution this causes in businesses and residences, and this is why Crossville, Inc. went to work on removing this pain point.

Our Laminam Porcelain Tile Panels come in styles and finishes that are in high demand in the design world. However, the value of our panels is much greater to a space than an awesomely presented face lift. The thickness of the Porcelain Tile Panels make tiling over existing tile and avoiding tile demolition entirely a viable option that saves time, money, and renovation heart ache.

We recently put our “Tile Over Tile” concept to the test in a residential bathroom. Our goal was to demonstrate how quickly and easily we could make over a space with our Porcelain Tile Panels without the back-breaking tile removal that would be required with tiles of greater thicknesses.  Our Tile Over Tile Installation video showcases the full project and each stage to prep and install the new tile. Not only did we significantly reduce the install time by eliminating the time and mess of removing the old tile and prepping a new surface, we also reduced the inconvenience to the home owner. They were able to start using their beautiful newly made over bathroom, now featuring Crossville’s Laminam Statuario, in as much as half the time of a traditional installation.

The homeowners were also happy to see fewer grout lines facilitated by the large scale of our panels, up to 1M by 3M in many styles. This smooth surface created a fashion-forward look that could not have been achieved otherwise. The light color and vast expression of the tile also opened up the space which was a critical design element in the small master bath.

When clients get the option to avoid demolition all together, suddenly putting their best foot forward through their store front or space is not such a daunting endeavor.  Consider how much faster a hotel could have new bathrooms updated and ready to exceed the expectations of their guests. Or how much less of an impact a renovation could have in a hospital update.  Check out our full catalog of Laminam Porcelain Tile Panels and start enjoying happier customers when you use our Tile Over Tile concept in your next project.

Meet the Judges for Crossville’s Common Thread for the Cure Scarf Design Contest

Screenshot 2016-03-23 10.19.15As an active supporter and champion of The Common Thread for the Cure, Crossville Screenshot 2016-03-23 10.17.06sponsors a biennial Breast Cancer Awareness Scarf Competition that offers members of the A&D community a unique opportunity to use their creative talents and, at the same time, be a source of healing and support for our colleagues who are struggling with this disease.

This year’s competition is unique in that we will feature two winning designs and, in doing so, will more than double our support of The Common Thread. One winning design will be chosen by popular vote, and the other will by chosen by a panel of judges. We are very proud to introduce these four talented judges, all highly esteemed interior designers, who have so kindly agreed to serve on our panel.

Kathy Sandler

Kathy Sandler
As Editor in Chief of Live the Fine Life, Kathy Sandler offers readers information and inspiration for living a fine life everyday. She also runs an interior design firm, Sandler Design Group, in Nashville, TN. With a BFA in Interior Design, Kathy also claims an MS in Motherhood and a PhD in Hard Knocks. Her design philosophy is solution-driven to solve design problems and create beautiful, yet livable, spaces.

Linda Holt

Linda Holt
Boston-area interior designer Linda Holt, a former professional photographer, uses her skilled eye to create signature styles that reflect a love of color, pattern, and art. Her firm, Linda Holt Interiors, is a multi-faceted design firm offering different packages from full service to color and decorating consulting. Linda holds two Color Expert certifications, serves on the Benjamin Moore Advisory board, and writes a weekly design blog, as well as regularly contributing to Merrimack Valley Magazine.

Lisa Mende

Lisa Mende
Known for creating traditional interiors with a modern vibe for clients throughout the southeast and beyond, Lisa Mende of Lisa Mende Design in Charlotte, NC is a nationally acclaimed interior designer and allied member of ASID, IDS, Design Trust of NYC, and Withit. She was named one of Charlotte’s Top 10 Interior Designers in 2015 by Charlotte Living Magazine. She keeps a busy schedule with client projects and traveling for design blog tour, show house, and industry events, all while maintaining a vibrant social media presence and serving as brand ambassador for events and companies across the United States.

Allan dallatorre

Allan DallaTorre
From his home base in the Los Angeles area, interior designer Allan DallaTore brings unique style and energy to a range of projects. At any given time, you may find him leading design updates at the TOTO showroom in West Hollywood, speaking on a panel at a major design conference, designing “architainment” lighting for a special event, or off on a travel adventure that will inspire a residential design project. Allan’s portfolio includes décor for the historic Beverly Hills Greystone Mansion and stage lighting at the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollywood Hollyhock House. Through Hinge Decor, he stays at the leading edge of design trends from the west coast and beyond.

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SUBMIT YOUR SCARF DESIGN ASAP!  If you haven’t created your award-winning design yet, there’s still time! Designs are due to Crossville March 30, online voting begins April 30, and winners will be announced May 16th. Click here to get more information on our Scarf Competition, and thank you for supporting The Common Thread! 

Join Crossville in the Weekly Celebration of #FridaysFloor

We all know social media is an ultimate source for design inspiration these days. From the fun of Twitter chats (we love participating in the weekly KBTribeChat that brings together those who design kitchens and baths to talk shop, for example) and ongoing Facebook fun to the visual appeal of Pinterest and Instagram, the digital world is spilling over with tile installation ideas every day of the week, 24/7.

To help channel all this stunning content, we at Crossville use hashtags throughout each week to help categorize our shared photos and make them easier to find by those looking for ideas. On just about any social platform, you can search by hashtag to find posts on the topic of interest. And on Fridays, it’s all about #FridaysFloor!

This #FridaysFloor, we’re sharing some favorite floors from our porcelain tile collections with you. Whatever look you’re going for, our collections are well-suited for any room in the home – or commercial space.

Find more inspiration on our Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.



Argent by CrossvilleBold, bright, and colorful, the Argent collection is drenched in deep, rich colors inspired by colors beloved across the country. This playful line of textured colors adds depth and dimension in large installations, as well as a pop of color and visual interest to smaller, residential spaces. The full spectrum is presented with this collection!

Argent by Crossville





Empire by CrossvilleThe Empire collection mirrors the durability of natural stone and the rich elegance that calls to mind images of European royalty. Sleek and luminescent, these tiles catch the light and soften up a space. If it’s a touch of sophistication and refinement you’re searching for, this could very well be the collection for you.

Empire by Crossville



Gotham-by-Crossville-1Inspired by urban settings and the look of concrete, the Gotham collection is designed to be sleek and industrial chic. Its adaptable look and multi-purpose nature make it a top pick for flooring in residential and commercial settings.





Reclamation by CrossvilleThe Reclamation collection combines urban influence with industrial glamor to create a line of porcelain stone that is as versatile as it is beautiful. This collection is created with digital production technology, designed to echo the spirit of reclaimed materials and revitalized spaces. Needless to say, it’s a stunning addition to any space – particularly those on the hunt for a slightly rugged, urban touch for flooring.

Reclamation by Crossville


Wood Impressions

Wood Impressions by CrossvilleOur Wood Impressions collection rivals even the most natural of hardwood floors. This porcelain stone collection offers the beautiful graining of wood with the enhanced strength and durability of stone. It’s difficult to go wrong – and it’s easy to fall in love with these installations!

Wood Impressions by Crossville


Prepare to be floored every Friday by tracking and sharing with the #FridaysFloor hashtag! Please share your Crossville floor posts using that hashtag so that we’re sure to see and share your images, as well.

For more information on any of the above products, visit our website at