One of the key visual elements and challenges in authentically renovating and updating a historic 100 year-old plus bungalow was to find and select just the right vintage-looking ceramic tiles for the various rooms.
The century-old home, located at 604 Second Street in Brentwood California, is a modest catalog design mail-order kit that was among 600 or so small houses constructed in a nearby mining community in the early 1900s – and it was later moved intact to its current location.
Estimated to be built around 1906, the home used a popular style of ceramic tiles of the early 1900s era called “Subway” tile. Named so, because it duplicated the clean lines and minimal maintenance of the actual tiles specified by architects George C. Heins and Christopher Grant LaFarge for the New York City subway stations in 1904. The tiles were rectangular in shape, with a gloss white finish, that was easy to clean while also being both visually bright and appealing.
In no time at all, these clean and classic “Subway” style tiles began appearing in homes coast-to-coast and from decade to decade, up to and through the post-war era, to its continuing role as a design staple in many of today’s homes.
“We chose to recapture the simplicity and timeless charm of the home’s original Subway ceramic tile,” notes Carey Bros. Remodeling Designer, Carol Carey, “while adding some of today’s designer enhancements that would update the ‘look’ while still not taking away from the feel of the early 1900s.”
“It was a delicate balance,” she adds. “I went to my favorite manufacturer that I’ve been specifying for over 20 years, and found exactly what I was looking for in the timeless, yet always fashion forward, lines offered by Jeffrey Court Tile.”
Carol Carey selected three of Jeffrey Court’s vintage looking collections and met with homeowners, Robin and Mike McClellan for their approval.
Many of the selections were based on the elegant handcrafted “Breakwater” line. Each ceramic tile, while still wet clay, gently passes beneath a roller that subtly imprints a Belgian linen texture onto its surface. The tile is then glazed and that glaze then pools into the linen texture creating a stunning effect.
Other lines were from the Studio Gazette and Specialty Brick Collections, with Studio Gazette featuring a beautiful matte ceramic glaze and Specialty Brick offering a tough as nails European Porcelain, made to look like aged and distressed brick.
“One of the things that impressed us was that Jeffery Court Tile is specified by a high number of design professionals,” notes homeowner, Mike McClellan. “This alone provides a level of confidence that makes Jeffery Court stand out. It really looks like it belongs in our little old home.”
In the kitchen, Carey Bros. Remodeling installed a Subway-style vintage off-white ceramic backsplash. The baths received updated Subway style tiles with linen texture and offset (staggered) design. The ceramic tile floor in the Master bath was set in an eye-catching herringbone pattern also reminiscent of the day.
“The Jeffrey Court ceramic tiles installed in our home is beautiful and a significant upgrade to our old kitchen and bathrooms,” added the McClellans.
“We are excited to be part of this project. Some of the core tenants of Jeffrey Court’s values revolve around designing and offering products that are truly timeless,” states Marketing Director, Andrew Casanova, “and the success of the 604 Second Street project provides proof that we have achieved our goal.”
“We wish the homeowners many years of memories ahead in their beautifully renovated home,” he concludes, “We are grateful for having had the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful historic project.”