Let me give a brief introduction to myself. I’m Liz, and I am the “Communications Girl” here at Merola Tile. I took over for Maggie over a year ago, and a lot has changed since then. We are still an unconventional company that sells unconventional products, and I am one of nearly 80 unconventional people that are now employed here. We still get Free Lunch Wednesday (yay for pizza and BBQ!) and we live on boatloads of caffeine. However, we have moved to a larger building with way more space to fit our hugeeee collection of products. And no, our pirate skeleton no longer greets visitors at the door… bummer!
That’s where the new chapter of our story unfolds….
We have grown and expanded tremendously, and one of those recent growths has been teaming up with This Old House to provide the tile used in the 2016 Idea House. I was fortunate enough to be chosen to represent Merola Tile and travel up to Devens, Massachusetts to see the initial reveal of Emerson Green and the Farmhouse. It was a remarkable experience and an amazing opportunity that I was so grateful to be given. It was rewarding to see all of the hard work that we had put into the project pay off when you got to see the reactions of the visitors, fellow sponsors, and most importantly, the homeowners.
Come take a journey with me throughout the day of the Emerson Green Block Party as I recall firsthand the sights and events of the big reveal of the 2016 This Old House Idea House.
When we got to the block party, we went straight to the house to set up our information in the garage. The plan was to start by doing a lap of the house, checking out every room and looking at how all of our products were used. We first walked into the mudroom from the back of the home. This space had a lime green built-in with places to hang coats, leave shoes and other various items. The walls had white ship lap and tied together the farmhouse look with the modern lime green touches. When you look to your right, you see the kitchen and dining area and when you walk straight you walk into the hallway that leads to the downstairs bath and office space. The downstairs bathroom had our Tessera Blue Smoke on the wall of the shower and the Metro Hex 2” Matte White on the floor of the shower. The Tessera Blue Smoke looked amazing with the textured wallpaper that matched the color of the tile.
We continued through the house back around to the kitchen, where there were splashes on Hudson Penny Round Vermilio on the wall behind the sink and the stove. It looked great with the colors used in the kitchen (and I am usually not a huge fan of Vermilio when it is on the shelf, but it was beautiful installed).
We proceeded upstairs and went to the right and found ourselves in the Jack and Jill bathroom, which featured the Pescado Aqua and Blanco walls and more Metro 2” Hex on the floor. The Pescados looked great paired together, along with the pink accents.
We made our way to the final space with our tile, the crowd favorite master bath. In here, they used Metro Hex 2” on the floors of the bathroom and shower, a herringbone Metro Soho Matte White in the shower wall, and the Structure Hex Lava Stone on the accent wall behind the vanity.
After doing our initial run-through of the home, we finally found Claudia Jepsen, the Vice President of Marketing at This Old House. We were fortunate enough to snag a few minutes with her. She filled us in with insider details about project, including the past couple days leading up to that morning, and what the process was going to be going into this week. She told us that they were running so far behind that the tile guy was putting the grout in the Tessera Blue Smoke shower the day before and it was a mad dash to finish the house. They had the next day to make any last-minute changes and to clean up the home before the photo shoot that was Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday that week.
I was accompanied by a partner-in-crime, Monica, our eCommerce Analyst. We both spent time talking to different people who were walking through the home, answering any questions that they had about the project or our products. I used this time to take some pictures and to get feedback from people who were in the house as well.
We also got the opportunity to meet Christina Carlson, the Project Architect. Talking to her was very rewarding, as it gave us insight into the building and design aspects of the project. For example, she said the original intention was to use the Hudson Penny Round Vermilio in one of the bathrooms, and motioned towards the downstairs bathroom with the Tessera Blue Smoke. However, after they received all of the products, they decided that it was best for them to use it how they did in the kitchen. Also, she said that the tile installer loved working with our products. He was very excited to use them to install in the home and had a great experience with it.
We spent a few minutes walking through Emerson Green as well. Emerson Green is the new community that the Idea House is in. There are currently about 12-15 houses that are in the process of being built on the street, and most of them had already sold. We went inside and got the chance to see what the rest of the community would be like. One thing that we admired about it was that each home was unique and it was not going to be a cookie cutter community.
However, possibly one of the most rewarding parts of the day was meeting Paula, the homeowner. Her and her young family, including her husband and two young daughters moved into the home in early September. She raved about our product and how great it all looked. She said that her favorites were the Tessera Blue Smoke and the Structure Hex. She took a moment to grab the two us and question us about how to design a part of her kitchen. When installing tile in the kitchen, they didn’t install tile on the opposite side of the room, where there is a long stretch of cabinetry, but no backsplash or anything. She felt that this space needed some form of tile, and asked for our opinion and suggestions for coordinating product. One suggestion I had made was extending the Vemilio around to the other side of the room. Other suggestions included the Hudson Penny Round in White and the Metro Lantern White, because she had mentioned that she loved that shape. I wrote up a these suggestions and left them for her, along with my contact information so she could get in touch with us. She was so appreciative of the help and loved the suggestions we offered. Overall, seeing her satisfaction with the home and our product was the highlight of the trip. I was so pleased to see how happy she was with the results.
Overall, the event was very beneficial for me to have gone to and to have experienced. I was honored to have been given this opportunity as a representative of the company.
… And that’s the story folks! That was my day in a not-so-small nutshell. Yes, I am aware I can write a lot, but that’s because I can talk A LOT. I hope that you enjoyed a look into my day at the Idea House. The first article about the house hit newsstands in October and there is one more article expected to hit shelves soon. Be sure to pick up your copies of This Old House and let us know what you think of the final project!
See ya soon! xx