Materials 238 Stories

On Trend: Wood Tiles
If you had to guess the oldest material known to man, wood would likely come to mind. Think chimpanzees using twigs to suck up termites — this stuff has been put to use by those of us with opposable thumbs for ages. As such, it's hard to think...
Home Exteriors Take Color Cues from Stone
Stone, whether natural or veneer, is a popular way to add texture, pattern and interest to a home's exterior. But have you ever thought of using stone details as a jumping-off point for a home's exterior color palette? Maybe you should. Since...
Wood Floor Care: Polish Your Skills
Wood floors are some of the hardest-working parts of our home. They endure our constant traipsing, and sometimes we do the unthinkable: We stride on them with our stiletto heels and drag our furniture across their beautiful surfaces. Feil Wood...
Get Quartz and Porcelain Surfaces Super Clean
Maintaining the new and sleek appearance of your home doesn't have to be a painful and time-intensive process; as a general rule, the more often you clean, the less time and money you'll have to spend on major cleaning overhauls. But as kitchen and bath...
Interior Materials Get Special Effects Treatment
Interior surfaces — walls, floors, ceilings — are often thought of as simple canvases on which other materials are applied; painted drywall is the most obvious example. But the following photos show that more substantial materials can be used inside...
Exterior Materials: Texture Talk
While my ideabooks tend to look at the big picture, the overall form of a house or sometimes particular elements that go into a design, every now and then I like to zoom in and focus on materials. Here is another feature with close-ups...
Get Stone and Ceramic Surfaces Super Clean
You've invested in your kitchen, bath or whole house remodel. Now the tough part of maintaining the new and sleek appearance of your home begins. Kitchen and bath designer Kayron...
Exterior Materials Mix It Up
Recently I examined various materials as they are used on modern and contemporary exteriors: wood, metal, glass, stucco, fiber cement, brick. Isolating these materials in individual ideabooks may give the impression that a particular material tends to...
Stone Works Wonders
If you've ever taken a shovel to the soil in Pennsylvania, you can understand why bluestone and brownstone are two of the state's great exports. The ground is full of stones and rocks, ripe for crafting home designs. If you live in a locale that...
Wood for Good Modern Design
Natural woods have been a hot topic in interior design over the past few years because they work wonders when combined with the clean and modern lines of minimalist design. When contrasted against shiny metal, stone surfaces and crisp white...
Stone Shows Massive Potential for Homes
People have been making homes of stone for millennia. But whereas in the past the stone had to be locally quarried and stacked, today we can get it from near and far, and we can use it as full blocks and thin veneers. The end result: We can select stone...
Get Floored by Creative Use of Tile
You know how supposedly we use only 10 percent of our brains? Well, I think we use only about 10 percent of tile's capability too. I love staggered subway tile as much as the next girl, but let's face it: It's safe and predictable. Tile is so...
Seal the Deal With Fiber Cement Siding
Hardie board: Just about everyone who has considered re-siding their house or building an addition or a new home has heard of it. But what is Hardie board, or more properly, fiber cement board? Fiber cement board in its current form was developed...
Subway Tile Picks Up Gray Grout
White 3-by-6-inch tiles, commonly known as subway tiles, are a staple of kitchen and bathroom design. It's no surprise that homeowners and designers both love this classic tile: It's affordable and uncontroversial — and best of all, it's usually in...
Brick: A Heavyweight for Modern Exteriors
This ideabook wraps up my series on how exterior materials affect modern home design. While metal and fiber...
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