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Showing Your Style With Tile

The enduring nature of tile, not to mention the untold scope of styles lends it to all aspects of a home.

What makes one’s home their own? The particular selection of a color palette, the addition of quirky décor, or filling shelves and coffee tables with family photographs or a curated book collection? Or could it be the tiny, almost hidden details that a homeowner delicately installs that bring personal meaning and stirs their heart?

As one of our highlighted businesses reminds us, “What was once a functional product in the home now plays a part in the aesthetics of a home.” Tile, in this case, is the product that makes all the difference. Whether it be installed as the backsplash above the oven, added in the shower for an extra pop of color, or integrated into the walls of an office or bedroom to create a scenic display, tile has staked its place as a permanent artistic installation in the home. 

Tile can act as a chameleon–some blending in as an accentuating element while others stand out in their fanciful design–all dependent on the vision and inclination of the homeowner. 

The following “round up” of various showrooms and artisans demonstrates the great assortment of the options available to current connoisseurs of tile. Once the overall choices have been made–types of pattern, color scheme, location, size–artisans then take over to lay in fishbone or hopscotch patterns, paint tiles in bright colors or rendered images, and create a mainstay in a home for many, many years to come. 

AFS Mosaics

Ariel Shoemaker’s creative spirit provides beauty and interest for any spot in the home.

For Ariel Shoemaker, creating original art from broken pieces of something that was once whole is a befitting metaphor for a personally difficult and transitional phase of her life. “I made my first mosaic in the wake of the September 11th attacks in 2001,” Shoemaker recalls, who at the time was working in the high-powered, orderly world of high tech and suddenly nothing made sense anymore. “A close colleague and friend was on Flight 11 that went into the World Trade Towers and I kept imagining creating something beautiful from the shattered existence we were all left with.”

Twenty years later, Shoemaker has not only refined her craft, now a fulltime occupation, but also has embarked upon a journey of creativity and possibility with each project she creates for her clients. Part of her exploration began as she researched best practices and the sage expertise of other mosaic artists who were producing the kind of design that spoke innately to Shoemaker’s instinctual art. “I have been characterized as a mosaic artist,” she explains, “but really I consider myself to be more of a mixed-media, abstract impressionist.” The thoughtful and deliberate designation she has adopted as her title aptly describes her materials, her process and her ultimate expression that is her art.

Shoemaker creates custom pieces for her clients that run the gamut from a small wall-hanging to a full kitchen backsplash or large piece of fine art that anchors a room. Her clients are not limited to any geographic definition as she is able to produce her designs on either a concrete-backed composite sheet or meshed netting, both of which are suitable for any standard tile installation. Backsplashes, walls, and columns are just some of the elements Shoemaker has been able to transform with her brilliant and intricately imagined designs. 

“Many of my clients know exactly what they want,” she explains. “And I have lots of clients who just know that they want something extremely unique, but with some sort of design impact.” For every project, Shoemaker says it begins with a casual, yet informative conversation about what the client envisions, followed by confirmation of the design through a sketch process along with choice of color and materials. The titles of her vast body of work are the culmination of the heart and soul Shoemaker puts into every piece. “Life Force Convergence,” and “La Route Enchantee,” are examples of the love-inspired journey of creativity she now shares with so many others.

To learn more, visit afsmosaics.com or call 617-905-6629.

Bellew Tile

With the largest selection on the Cape, the Bellew family offers generations of experience.

In the late 1980s, Jimmy Bellew’s father
and grandfather were working as tile installers in Boston when they saw a need for a tile store in Massachusetts, and ultimately opened their flagship store in Rockland. In 2018, after seven years in the service, Jimmy Bellew moved his family moved back to the area, and added his life experience to the foundation his father and grandfather instilled in him, by expanding the business and opening a 6,000-square-foot showroom in West Yarmouth as well as a full-service warehouse. 

Today, Bellew Tile offers the largest selection of tile on the Cape. Their fully-staffed, non-commissioned showroom caters to every customer at any budget, providing the same exceptional experience to each individual. “We walk customers through the entire design process, whether it’s a bathroom, kitchen, entire house; whatever the project calls for,” Bellew says. “My dad is a big believer in providing a quality experience. I really believe that’s the reason why we’ve had such growth.

Three years ago when we opened the showroom, I was the only one here. We just hired our 11th employee, so the growth has been very steady, I think it was a good decision.” Bellew Tile & Marble offers a range of tiles and stones from around the world, including the United States, Italy and Spain. Whether your preference is for porcelain, marble, glass, granite, or handmade ceramics, you will find something to spark your creativity within their extensive selection. Entering the showroom, customers are instantly greeted with educated staff trained to fulfill most projects. “We put a lot of time and effort into who we are hiring, by focusing on personality and an aptitude for design. We give our staff the flexibility to bend over backwards and do what they need to help the customer.  

We definitely have great customer service and a fantastic selection, but I think the customer service is the key pillar that distinguishes us,” Bellew shares. As a relatively new player on the Cape, Bellew Tile & Marble has already shown remarkable growth and promise in its first three years. With generations of experience, and a commitment for service the Bellew family and its staff will only continue to better serve its clientele for years to come.

Find Bellew Tile at two locations: 280 MA-28, West Yarmouth, and 308 Hingham St, Rockland, call
508-375-7000 or visit bellewtile.com.



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