Designer gets creative with tile work

by: REVIEW PHOTOS: VERN UYETAKE -  Tina Barclay of Barclay Interior Design Group likes to include 'a little extra unexpected something' in her projects. Notice the  bevel-cut Calacatta marble bricks and the 5/8 inch mosaics in the backsplash in this bathroom project. Tina Barclay of Barclay Interior Design Group specializes in residential projects. She says she focuses on creating spaces for her clients that are classic, comfortable and sophisticated.

She recently completed a project in Lake Oswego that used tiles in unique ways. Her mission: to update an entry from the outdoor pool to the shower room and enhance the shower and to create a spa-like environment in an upstairs bathroom.

“Tile is so versatile. You can put it on point or on the square,” she said. “It can be quiet or it can supply lots of detail. There are so many fun materials — leather, copper, petrified wood, turquoise — it all depends on the budget.”

And when it comes to budget, she said there are many ways to create a unique look without breaking the bank.

She gets her inspiration from the architecture of the home and the client’s color choices and then incorporates them into an original design that matches the client. She avoids using trendy materials; clients usually end up wanting to change them soon which only adds to the expense.

For the update to the pool entry Barclay used Mystic, a limestone tile.

“I used limestone of different sizes. I like to have a little extra unexpected something in my work,” she said.

That extra unexpected something was a runner made of the tiles leading from the door into the shower room. The shower, which includes four shower heads at differing heights, is tiled with beveled bricks of the limestone.

The floor has a basket-weave pattern of smaller limestone tiles. The counter is made of slab marble and accented with a backsplash made of the small mosaics.

To create a spa-like feeling in an upstairs bathroom, Barclay used Calacatta marble in 16x16-inch tiles, 3x6-inch beveled tiles and 5/8 inch mosaics.

The largest tiles were used on the floor and shower walls, and the small mosaics were used to outline the spaces.

She built into the shower a niche for storing shampoo and other essentials. On the vanity she laid slab Calacatta marble and the backsplash is made of bevel-cut Calacatta bricks and the tiny mosaics.

“It is quiet and has lots of detail,” she said. The room is now a relaxing and luxurious environment, all from the addition of tile.

To learn more about Lake Oswego-based Barclay Interior Design, visit or call 503-635-1278.

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