Today I'm here with a tale...
Once upon a time, a little (ok, she's not so little anymore) girl (ok, woman) wanted to choose the perfect tiles for her fairy-tale cottage... But in the middle of the wood (ie, in the alleys of the stores), she met the big bad wolf, aka the salesperson...
Here's how she managed to make it out of the wolf's claws...
Just in case you're considering changing your tiles, here are my little tips for you. Nothing from a designer's book, only experience stuff.
Rule #1. Be a b****.
That's the bottom rule.
Best example: ME!
Rule #2. New is not always better.
The salesperson is always trying to sell you what's trendy on the day you visit the store. It's not necessarily what you want for your house.
Best example: In France these days, everybody go nuts about extra-large tiles.
The salesperson almost convinced me that extra-large tiles made any room look larger. So I asked to be allowed to bring one home... "Not possible" was his first answer (that's how you know he was a French salesman...). I applied rule # 1 and he finally gave up and gave me a tile to bring home...
Let me tell you that if it was okay-ish in the living-room, it looked completely ridiculous in my very tiny dining-room!
That brings us to the obvious rule #3.
Rule #3. Bring it home!
Stick to rule # 1, so that rule #3 is possible. I don't know why but every time I asked if I could bring a sample home, people looked at me like I was crazy. Most of the time they didn't seem to have any sample at hand.
Again a little tip: nice make-up and short skirts seem to mellow even the French salesperson and I often ended up with the whole one-square-meter sample that's in the store in my car and I was usually allowed to keep it 24 hours at home to see how the different hours of the day played with its colour.
On the plus side: once you've carried that big square sample to your car, then to your living-room, then back to your car, you won't forget you have a back for several days... And you know how it's easy to forget we have a back!
Best example: I had fallen head over heels for something that looked a bit like that:
I was ready to sign the form to order it.... When I thought it would be nice to see it home first. Again, I batted my eyelashes (wish I could master the fake lashes thing...), and off I went with a sample of it. I was feeling all cheerful, nearly sure I had at last found THE ONE. I kept watching at the sample on the back seat of the car every time I had to stop at a red light... And I arrived home! Hugh! It didn't look the same colour at all in my natural light as it had in the neon light in the store...
The next day, I brought the sample back and kept searching...
Rule #4. Listen to your house.
Somehow, if you listen carefully, I strongly believe that the house will whisper what it needs. As much as I love slate, it would have been wrong in the space I have and so would have been the very Versailles cabochon tiles I love so much.
Rule #5. Take your time.
I remember last year every body kept asking me "Have you chosen your tiles yet?" (said in a relaxed way in September and rather frantic way in April of the following year!). Yes, I really needed that much time...
But it was worth the wait, the worry, the back-achessss, and the futtering of my eyelashes to go from those three different and ugh-so-beautiful floors...
Yes, the picture is taken from nearly the same spot, but as I changed the floor plan - more on that in a post that will be written when I have time (when will that be?) - it's hard to figure it out... Also this picture was taken at the end of remodel-phase 1... You may notice there's no handle on the door.
Do you have any tips you could share?
Magali, from the Little White House xxx