It’s obvious to me that the people working on this project – from the electrician, Augie, to the tileman, Sam – care about this project as much as I do. I feel pretty lucky to be working with so many talented people that are really thoughtful about the finished project.
I really like tile – I think it looks great. But, it’s a little more complicated than I thought. We picked an oversized sandy beach-colored tile for the bathroom floors and smaller version for the hallway leading to the bathrooms. Sam, who is laying the tiles, had some concerns about how the floors would look. One concern was about the best place for the transition from the carpeted dining room to the tiled hallway. He also had doubts about using two different sized tiles – even though one was for the hallway and the other was for the bathroom. He wanted to make sure the lines running down the middle of the hallway didn’t look lopsided since the 18” x 18” inch tiles didn’t fit perfectly and had to be “cut and pasted” to work.
He pulled me aside to talk it through. He’s the expert – not me – but I reluctantly gave him my opinion. When I left, he met with Doug, the job superintendent. They really know what they’re doing. It’s a good thing Sam knew better than to listen to me. The tilework looks amazing!
Remember those tiny iridescent blue tiles that Courtney picked? They’re going on one wall in each of the four bathrooms, as well as the front of the bar, and over the fireplace in the living room. They really reflect the colors on the walls – gem blue, saffron and sandy beach. Before doing the walls, Sam laid everything on the floor and planned it out. Then, he did a sample board with two different colors of grout – blue and grape. I really thought I’d prefer the blue but it stood out more and created a checkerboard pattern. The grape really harmonized better with the other colors.
When you’re cooking you can taste the dish as you go and, if you need to, you can adjust it. Tilework is more like baking – when you take it out of the oven it’s finished. If it doesn’t taste good – you have to start over. That’s why I leave the baking to Amelia and the tilework to Sam.
Working with people like Sam on this job is a pleasure. I have a great construction team. I have a great restaurant team too and we’re really excited about opening Alison two and the changes planned at Alison at Blue Bell.