Residential Color and Style from a Certified True Color Expert.

granite marble travertine

Trend Alert: The Very Latest in Countertops

Pure countertop

PURE countertop at Z-Tile, Santa Rosa Beach, FL

The new sushi restaurant in Rosemary Beach, Florida, sports “PURE” glass counters.

image via Facebook

image via Facebook

The PURE countertop type is so new that it isn’t to be found anywhere on Google.

And, the only fabricating company that I know of installing this product is

in northwest Florida.

A quick check to the staff at Aqua Sushi confirmed that they all “love it.”

It just looks so fresh and clean.  

I am going to say this new product is a keeper.

(A similar product that I have been keeping an eye on is called Nano,

but I am hearing that PURE is a better product).

Bossy granite is what I try to steer clients away from.

Bossy granite = lots of color and/or movement.

“Bossy” elements dictate every other design decision.

Even though granite was all the rage for the last 15 years (after the Corian trend played out),

More and more people are asking, “what can I use besides granite?”

Suzy, the owner of Z-Tile, where I first saw PURE, is Green-Certified. She says that PURE is

considered a very environmentally-friendly product.

I predict we’ll be seeing a lot more of PURE.


Alabama White Marble


Did you know that different types of marble have different densities?

The more dense the marble, the less porous it is.

Higher density means less staining.

Alabama White (quarried just a few miles from where I live) is one of the whitest, densest, most beautiful marble types.

It is considered equal to the famous Italian Carrara (frequently misspelled Carrera) marble.

Alabama White marble was used in the Washington Monument.


The bust of Abraham Lincoln at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda? Also, Alabama White.

(I believe this is the right one, there are several marble busts of Lincoln at the Capitol building)

The Lincoln Memorial?  My source says that the ceiling is Alabama White. Not sure you can see it, though!

U.S. Supreme Court Building?  Interiors are full of Alabama White.

Here is a marble top I just received in Alabama White.

To go on this antique French garden table.

It will be permanently outdoors. I consider it a little slice of history to have Alabama White.


Alabama White is prized for its crystalline structure. It will be fine outdoors.

The {movement} is lovely and not too overwhelming.

For a table-top or small counter, ask your fabricator if there is a scrap piece
which is large enough. You will get a much better price than  a slab price.

Alabama White. From my Sweet Home Alabama.
Color Calling

Do your toenails match your bath tile?

Well, if you are Suzy, they certainly do!

Suzy, the owner of a brand-new tile center in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida,

showed me that your toes can indeed match your bath tile:

Susie's toes

Suzy’s shimmery toes!!!

Suzy is hard at work selecting the tile for the upcoming Maison de Vie,

the showhome opening this summer at WaterColor resort in the Florida Panhandle.

Her company is the lead sponsor of the home:

She gave me a sneak preview of some of the hard surfaces she will be using.

Here is the floor tile she has selected for the master bath:



It feels incredibly smooth and cool underfoot. Perfect for a beach home.

She will be using this one in the home as well. Loving the soft beach colors:

wall tile

wall tile

Look at the same tile as above with dark gray grout, for a completely different look:

gray grout

gray grout

Another display in the showroom:

Q-tile vignette

Q-tile vignette

I fell in love with this gorgeous cross-cut marble piece:

crosscut marble

crosscut marble

Here are some other beauties:

This one looks like a coastal sunrise.  Subtle and shimmery.  And, very glamorous:



What about this subway tile with an opacity that sets it apart? Stunning.

opaque subway

opaque subway

Moorish Arch

moorish arch

moorish arch

And another Moorish arch in marble:

marble moorish arch

marble moorish arch

Here is a new product I saw in Suzy’s showroom, which is green-certified, and makes a great surface used as a bath or kitchen slab. Suzy told me that a local fabricator installed this product for her, called “Pure.” It is a glass product which looks like the whitest marble.

I have seen similar slabs called “Nano,” but was not familiar with the “Pure” brand. I will be keeping an eye on this as the next big thing, and  I would love to use this in a bath installation. It really looks like pure white marble:

Pure slab

Pure slab


Suzy, thank you for allowing me to take photos of  your beautiful new showroom!



Can’t wait to see the showhouse when I come to the beach this summer!

This is not a sponsored post, just thought you would enjoy seeing some of the latest trends in the high-end tile market.
Color Calling

Marble Etching mystery Revealed!

Have you read, a million times, that marble will etch?

What exactly does that mean?

Having lived with a marble counter on my wet bar, I knew that there were some marks

that just would not come off.  After eight years, there were a lot of those marks.

Mostly “rings” from a glass of juice or a perhaps a bottle of red wine.

A lemon slice placed on the counter. Or a splash of tomato juice.

I get it now.

That is etching.

Do you have marble counters?


badly etched marble

badly etched marble

Does that look familiar? The above is not my etched counter. Mine was actually worse.

No amount of elbow grease is going to remove etching.

Etching is different from staining.

Marble that has been sealed is resistant to staining.

But, not etching. From my research, I will tell you that sealing marble can not prevent etching.

A chemical reaction has occurred to the marble and it can’t be changed.

A professional marble restoration company needs to be called in.

Look at my newly restored marble bar counter.

It was ground, re-honed and sealed. What a difference!


Color Calling

Sneak peek: Pardon our progress…

wallpaper gone

wallpaper gone

People, let me tell you, this is huge! The first step is always the hardest.

But, I am in motion. My wonderful wallpaper man is busy finishing stripping the existing paper as I type this.

Just look!

The rusty green wallpaper is au revoir!



I am so uplifted just walking in and looking at the bare SheetRock.

In all my color installations/demolitions, I have never seen a wallpaper absorb the light out of a room like

ol’ Rusty Green.

It is amazing, the difference.

Furthermore, my husband hates changing anything in our house. He loves everything to stay the same.

Bless his heart, he agreed to put up with the disruption entailed by this project.

So I will say again, this is huge!

Remember, this is just the bare SheetRock, not the new paint color. Obviously, still a work site!

making progress!

making progress!


above, BEFORE (Ol’ Rusty Green)


I know you probably don’t want to see contractor bags, you come here to look at the pretty pictures.

This is real life, though. And, it will look nice in no time.

It is a very cloudy gray day, but you’d never know it by what is going on in my house today.

I can’t wait to get my crew over from Atlanta to work on the travertine. It must be cleaned, re-honed and re-grouted, then we’ll be ready for the new paint.

Can you notice that the pink undertone in the travertine is looking much less pink, now that Rusty Green is gone?
Compare the before with the ‘during’:

Cleaned up a bit to show you the difference:
bath in progress

Master Bath inspiration


I like the quiet elegance of this master bath.

There is a look and feel of quality. Not overdone.

Accents for the Master Bath

What nobody tells you about using natural stone slab

Before I became a True Color Expert, I thought that a natural stone slab such as granite was the only Be-All-and-End-All choice for kitchen countertops. I have owned white granite slab countertops in my own kitchen, and travertine slab countertops in my bath for seven years.

Beautiful marble-slab countertop.Source: via Ellen on Pinterest

Beautiful buttermilk Caesarstone counter. Source: via Ellen on Pinterest



Here is what nobody else will tell you: seam placement is a very big deal.

Make sure you discuss seam placement with your contractor or fabricator. This goes for any natural slab stone. When “someone” brought in my (supposed to be) gorgeous travertine marble tub surround in four (yes, four) pieces to puzzle them together, I would have died. I would have died, except that the workmen providentially accidentally dropped the whole thing in my driveway and the entire mess cracked to bits. I did not realize that a marble tub surround meant one thing to “someone”, and another thing to me. That a marble tub surround wasn’t necessarily a solid marble tub surround. I envisioned one solid surface surround, no seams other than for the backsplash. The “someone” didn’t even consider that an option due to my oversized whirlpool tub. After all, it is much cheaper to piece a surround together with a separate piece on each side. After asking several friends for referrals, I finally found a fabricator who could make the surround out of a single piece. So much prettier not to have those seams!

In my new kitchen, the same “someone” brought the granite slab for my kitchen island in two pieces. Who does that? Who would want their granite kitchen island in two pieces joined together with caulking right down the center? I stood my ground and out it went, though I am sure it cost a pretty penny to make that happen. Don’t be caught unaware like I was. Discuss this up front.

Know that the “industry standard” which is considered ‘good enough,’ may not be good enough for you. Ask, ask, ask, what you are getting. A big slab of marble or granite is not very easy to send back.

Do I love my white granite? Not enough to use again. Do I love the travertine?  Ah, it’s pinky-beige!  A big no-no as I found out in True Colour Expert training with Maria Killam. And, who else but me will tell you that travertine forms pits over the years?  Soft use, a few pits. Heavy use, huge pits.

Maria, a trend expert as well, offered another material as her favorite. Next time, I will go with her preference of using an engineered solid quartz product such as Caesarstone, probably with a subtle marble-veining look. And, without the dilemma of seam placement, pitting, chipping or heavy maintenance.