Design Stories | Bottle Brown Kitchen

How cool would it be to have an idea in your head and then have someone actually be able to produce it? That’s exactly what happened to Motawi installation customer Paul Lyons when it came time to remodel his kitchen.

Let’s back up a bit to several years ago. Paul was doing a large remodel in the upper level of his late-70s quad-level home. He’s a Frank Lloyd Wright devotee who saw our Frank Thomas House tile online and traced it to Motawi. A suburban Detroiter, Paul was shocked and surprised that Motawi is just an hour or so down the road in Ann Arbor. He and his wife jumped into the car to make the trek, not realizing that the day they chose to come to Motawi was the day of our summer Mega Sale. Jackpot! He bought the Frank Thomas House tiles he’d fallen in love with online and pounds of other tiles. Years later, when it came time for him to do his kitchen renovation, he came directly to Motawi to see his vision come to life.

The feature of being able to see the design before you purchase it is invaluable…


Notes and design layout from Paul's project

Paul worked with designer Julie Baty and the two spent several hours extracting the idea from Paul’s head onto paper, a process Paul thought was awesome. “The feature of being able to see the design before you purchase it is invaluable…and to see different iterations of the design before it’s locked down gives you the ability to change it if you want.”

I feel like I’m living in a picture from my head, but now it’s real.

Julie was aware that Paul was a fan of the Frank Lloyd Wright style and recommended he use the craftsman style Little Journeys and Checkerpot Rose tiles as polychrome accent tiles. She also suggested a glaze Paul wasn’t so sure about. A bigger fan of a matte finish for tile glaze, Paul actually went outside of his comfort zone and chose the saucy Bottle Brown for the main glaze color and doesn’t regret it for a second…” I was just in awe of it, it came out so well. I feel like I’m living in a picture from my head but now it’s real.” The Bottle Brown glaze was accented perfectly with Oak and Pear.


Field tiles in (2021) Bottle Brown, (5153) Pear and (5115) Oak. Polychrome accent tiles; 4x8 Checkerpot Rose, 4x8 Little Journeys and 4x4 Little Journeys Flower all in Olive Colorway

Once the tiles were pressed, fired, glazed and fired again (ahead of schedule, by the way), Paul was apprehensive about the installation. He wasn’t sure his personal contractor would understand how to install Motawi tiles, but was quickly reassured when the boxes were opened and were neatly packed with detailed instructions for installation.

When you’re doing a large renovation, you don’t want to cut corners


Field tiles in (2021) Bottle Brown, (5153) Pear and (5115) Oak. Polychrome accent tiles; 4x8 Checkerpot Rose, 4x8 Little Journeys and 4x4 Little Journeys Flower all in Olive Colorway

As soon as he saw it for the first time, he knew he made the right choice when he chose to work with Motawi… “When you’re doing a large renovation, you don’t want to cut corners. I’m a very big believer in quality, and five, ten years down the road, you’ll never regret that you did it."

Field tiles in (2021) Bottle Brown, (5153) Pear and (5115) Oak. Polychrome accent tiles; 4x8 Checkerpot Rose, 4x8 Little Journeys and 4x4 Little Journeys Flower all in Olive Colorway. All photos in this blog courtesy of Michael Sackett Photography.

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