Local designer Kate Weaver needed a change in her bathroom, so she naturally turned to Guhde Flooring America

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For her bathroom remodel, Kate Weaver wanted to hang porcelain tile panels horizontally in the four-foot-by-five-foot shower, instead of vertically, and create a focal point ribbon mixing rectangular and hexagonal tiles in the middle of the wall. Guhde Flooring America made that happen. (Photography: Benjamin Margalit)

By Patricia Nugent

Much like the shoemaker’s children who have no shoes, local artist and design guru Kate Weaver found herself in a rut this summer. Though she’s well-known for transforming everyday homes into magazine-cover-worthy interiors with her color consults, majestic murals and custom mirrors, her own master bathroom was stuck in the past decade.

In her own words: “Boring, dark, dated.”

The space featured dark brown tile on the floor, walls and ceiling, with lots and lots of grout. It was last redone about 12 years ago.

“My husband and I were tired of the darkness and looking for something light, bright and airy,” says Kate. “I’ve been following the trend of large-format porcelain panels for some time and thought that would visually broaden the space.”

Working with Shawn Rosa and Monica Guhde-Rosa at Guhde Flooring America, the trio chose Calcutta Bianco Oro, a neutral, marble-like finish with a dreamy, milky patina of pale cream and taupe.

“I knew I wanted to work with this family-owned business because for years I’ve seen what they are capable of in terms of creativity, inspiration and innovation for my own clients’ home renovations,” says Kate. “They’ve always been forward-thinking. In fact, they were one of the first companies in the area to introduce porcelain panels, investing in training and retrofitting their trucks to handle the transport.”

Designing Outside the Box
“Kate likes to design outside the box,” says Monica. “When she wanted to hang the panels horizontally in the four-foot-by-five-foot shower, instead of vertically, and create a focal point ribbon mixing rectangular and hexagonal tiles in the middle of the wall, we were open to making that happen.”

Part of the fun was taking a shopping trip to the Mont Surfaces showroom in Solon to choose her porcelain slab.

Laying luxury vinyl flooring in seven-inch planks was a no-brainer, as she had installed that flooring throughout the rest of her home five years ago and it still looks like new. Another perk is that it went right on top of the old tile, causing zero demolition.

“To open up the space, soffits were removed from the ceiling, and we installed neutral quartz counters and gray stained wood for the vanity,” says Shawn.

“Building a maintenance-free space was important to us at this stage in our life,” Kate says. “Now the space is as easy to keep spotless as it is modern and elegant.”

Of course, the transformation wouldn’t have been complete without Kate grabbing her paintbrushes. She plans to do a soft, textural faux finish with a barely-there muddle of colors picking up from the tiles.

“Like Stone Wallpaper”
Monica , Shawn and the rest of the Guhde team, had been interested in porcelain panels for a few years, but the final push to jump in to installing them happened after attending a design expo earlier this year.

“Porcelain panels are big in Europe and are just starting to take this country by storm,” says Shawn. “They are thin yet durable. The product is often described as ‘stone wallpaper.’”

Many of the styles mimic the look of marble, and some designs feature an artsy esthetic, such as metallics, palm leaves, funky geometric patterns, even frescoes of birch trees.

In addition to showers and feature walls, just in time for cooler fall weather, Monica says they are also getting requests for people to renovate their fireplaces with these dramatic panels.

Since 1957, the Guhde family has expanded its offerings to include flooring, cabinets, counters and backsplashes. In 2018, they opened the Kitchen & Bath Design Center within the expansive showroom, featuring life-sized room vignettes that make for a phenomenal shopping experience.

Guhde Flooring America is located at 1880 Mentor Avenue in Painesville Township. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Call 440-639-1990 or visit GuhdeFlooringAmerica.com.