For the first time in the history of Traditional Home’s New Trads program, the crop of emerging designers has been invited to create products for a sponsor brand. Luxury tile brand AKDO asked the 2016 New Trad designers to design custom mosaic panels under the guidance of the company’s creative director, Kate Sterling.
The designers were required to meet certain specs, among them: The custom piece must measure 3-by-4 feet, and the use of materials and techniques (such as water jet) must correspond to the capabilities of two of AKDO’s factories. Among the New Trads pieces: custom mosaics from Allison Dehn Bloom of Dehn Bloom, inspired by fashion designer Alix of Bohemia; a contemporary geometric black-and-white design by Alyssa Kapito and Vivian Muller of Kapito Muller; a custom water jet from Cloth & Kind’s Krista Nye Nicholas and Tami Ramsay; and a nature-themed panel of custom glass and stone water jet from Robin Henry of Robin Henry Interiors.
The roster of designers also includes Meredith Ellis of Meredith Ellis Design; Liv Stiving-Nichols of Martha’s Vineyard Interior Design; Kristine Irving of Koo de Kir Architectural Interiors; Kevin Walsh of Bear Hill interiors; and Ashley Waddell and Courtney Whatley of Olivia O’Bryan.
The inspirations were varied. Waddell and Whatley explain their custom mosaic: “This design symbolizes our lives as sisters and business partners. We started with the ‘O’ for Olivia O’Bryan. The two repetitive ‘O’ figures sitting back to back represent us and how much we rely and lean on each other during our daily tasks of juggling home life with work life. Our decision to repeat the pattern instead of designing one large pattern is a play on the daily ins and outs and hustle and bustle of our lives. Once the pattern evolved, it took on an art deco feel, which helped us decide on the color choice. The end result was a simple, classic and timeless design, which is what we try to create with all of our homes.”
Nicholas and Ramsay share of their custom mosaic: “To say we are endlessly moved by nature is an understatement. Our natural world is rich with incomparable color palettes, textures and patterns, and this tile design in particular was inspired by the organic shapes left in the sand by the lapping waves on a lazy vacation day spent on Sullivan’s Island in South Carolina.”
The designs will be revealed at a November 2 event.