When I was growing up, the stores in my town (Ridgewood, NJ...anyone?) would be open late on Thursday nights. If you worked a traditional day or, like so many in the area, worked in Manhattan, you knew you could get some errands done on Thursday nights. I don't know how that started or if the practice extends beyond my area, but it was so nice! Now, my NJ county still has Blue Laws whic means stores aren't open on Sunday, so perhaps that is why stores were happy to stay open later one night each week.
Anyway, sometimes I wish this "shop at night" tradition made it to Charlottesville. There are two stores in particular that I'd love to check out, but I'll never go to them unless I can fit the visit in on a vacation day.
That usually means I shop for tile and lighting in Richmond. A few weeks ago, Marc and I stopped into Best Tile to look for tile for the bathroom that's on our lower level. I shopped at Best Tile when I was planning the renovation of my condo's bathroom, but didn't end up ordering from them. After a really disappointing experience with The Tile Shop, I wound up getting tile online for that project. This time around, I think I want something a little different.
I cruised past the marble and went looking for interesting tile. For the floors, I thought this might be interesting - not quite fake-wood tiles, but not as monochromatic as some slate. It would also do well with lots of traffic and since this bathroom is the "guest" bath, that would be a good thing.
We went into the "outlet" part of the store and when I saw some marble, I stopped. I love the look of marble. Why was I pushing myself to go for something different when this is what I like so much?
So we went back to the marble to look around. I was totally smitten with this entire board of tile.
And the "mini" basketweave on this one had me excited as well. It reminded me of the condo bathroom floor, but was softer and smaller.
Then we learned a few things about the company that made the tile on those two boards. First, that it is extremely expensive tile. So expensive that I don't remember the price per sheet. Second, the sheets of mosaic don't come in 1 foot squares, so the price per square foot is higher than the price per sheet. Third, this stuff is so special that it requires a huge lead time. We have plenty of time, but what if there was a delay? They are the only source for this stuff.
So back we went to the marble section. You know what? It was lovely.
I found myself holding the tile I said I definitely didn't want in the house: marble basketweave. This piece is a little different in that the accent pieces are gray instead of black. Maybe that is why I love it so much. Just like the expensive, mini-basketweave, this mosaic has a softer overall look.
There is so much more to decide, but at least we have some potential materials in mind as we look at inspiration pictures and fixtures.