Beyond the boring rectangle southwest journal

“It moves it from the realm of something that is bought at a store as a commodity to something that is created — a commissioned artwork for an individual (or) for a family that fits their life and their lifestyle and connects to them in some way,” Anschel said.

After he graduated, Anschel lived in China for a few years and Japan for a year, where he was introduced to Eastern aesthetics. The experience influenced the way he thinks about design, including ways of decorating and adorning space and connecting architecture and design to the natural world.

“The tea pots in Japan need to pour perfectly, they need to be weighted perfectly, they need to not have water drip back down,” he said.


“Everything about pouring it should be mechanically perfect, and aesthetically as expressive as possible. There’s this push and pull between those two pieces.”

That was important for this project because the bathroom is relatively small. By tricking the eye with proportion and color, the small bathroom because an oasis. The idea is to meet all the requirements for durability and functionality, but to also evoke an emotion.

When working with clients, Anschel taps into their aesthetic, the arch of their home, even places they’ve travelled. After getting to know them, he said, “I use that as a starting point of inspiration, to bring in as a nuance or as a palate to inform the colors or the pattern itself.”

Meredith Aby-Keirstead says the couple worked with the OA team to come up with a concept that would consider their likes and dislikes, eventually gravitating toward one design. The reds and browns featured in the initial solution were a bit to dark for her taste, however. She thought the colors didn’t reflect the couple’s personalities.

The tiles also don’t just conform to the shower and tub space but burst outside of it with interesting geometrical shapes. There’s an additional section of light blue tiles on the floor, as well as a triangle of playful teal hexagons placed over the kitchen sink. The cool colors of the tiles look lovely adjacent to the marble counter and sink, which has hints of purples and coral.

Scott is an excellent craftsman, no doubt. It takes a lot of math and patience to put a pattern together like this. The trades should be championed, you are totally right. Unfortunately the vast majority of the industry is not geared toward high quality craftsmanship or artistry of any kind. Most tile setters, Scott included, spend their lives setting stacked bond or running bond patterns. I think it is also a dis-service to take credit for the design away from the designers who are the artists who see the pattern on a blank canvas isn’t fair or productive. The number of hours spent developing the concept, drawing, sketching, measuring, making sure the idea will work all happens before the tile setter shows up. Yes the tile setter must be skilled, but they are executing a thoroughly developed pattern that has been largely laid out already. A pattern like this is heavily engineered to make it look effortless and ensure the feasibility of the installation. Yes, there is artistry, but it happens early on in the process with pen and paper. The rest is craftsmanship with a discerning eye for aesthetic considerations and is a TEAM effort.