These porcelain Croco tiles from Rex’s Matouche line are available at The Mosaic Tile Company. Designed to imitate leather, reptile or elephant skin, the tiles come in a variety of colors and can be used for wall or floor applications. Also have a look at Mosaic Tile Company’s seaside glass tiles, subway bricks and traditional mosaics at one of the company’s design centers in Baltimore and Rockville, Maryland, as well as Fairfax, Lorton and Chantilly, Virginia. Call (301) 881-2520 or visit www.mosaictileco.com.
Wallmica has the glimmer and glow of granite, but it’s actually shaved sheets of silica mica that have been laminated to a sturdy paper backing. These sheets come in practically every color and can make a big impact in small areas such as entryways and powder rooms. Visit www.mayaromanoff.com.
TAMKO’s EverGrain, a composite plastic and wood fiber material, is perfect for decks, railings and boat docks. While the beams are grained to look like real wood planks, the material resists rotting and splitting. Leftover remnants can be used for outdoor doghouses, mailboxes, benches, planters and tables. Visit www.evergrain.com.
This stately Craftsman door comes from Marvin Windows and Doors. Like all of the doors the company carries, this piece is customizable by style and finish, and comes with options in side and top windows. Marvin has showrooms in McLean, Chantilly and Alexandria, Virginia, as well as Rockville, Maryland. Visit www.marvin-showplace.com.
Richlite’s paper-based countertops are better for the environment and your home because, unlike conventional cabinets that are often treated with formaldehyde, they won’t off-gas harmful chemicals. We love that these surfaces are warmer and softer to the touch than granite or quartz—without compromising durability—and we’re also fans of the range of lustrous colors. Visit www.richlite.com.
A Glossy Orange kitchen scheme illustrates the range of colors and finishes available at Porcelanosa in Rockville, Maryland. The showroom offers a huge variety of styles, and each kitchen system is outfitted with handy details like thicker shelves, soft-close systems and full extension drawers with anti-skid interiors. Call (301) 294-8193 or visit www.porcelanosa-usa.com.
Architectural Inspiration is a comprehensive sourcebook on hundreds of building products. Its 528 pages cover architectural and design elements used in exterior and interior projects, from windows and doors to flooring and fixtures. Profiles on featured homes keep the book from reading too much like an encyclopedia. Boston Mill Press, Ontario, Canada, November 2007; $79.95.
As sensory surfaces, computerized interfaces and smart substances become more commonplace in the way we build, Ultra Materials is a useful reference on a wide range of new technology and products. It focuses on such issues as biomimicry and sustainability, and explores the applications of innovative materials in interiors, product design and architecture. Thames & Hudson, New York, NY, November 2007; $75.