Tile and Stone: Finishing Touch or Starting Point?

By KLAFFStyle Editorial Staff

PH Architects of Newtown, Conn. Takes Inspiration from These Design Elements

Most people think of tile and stone as a finishing touch – the last step in a home building or renovation project. Peter Paulos, Jr., AIA and Philip H. Hubbard III, AIA, co-founders of PH Architects of Newtown, Conn., often use tile and stone as inspiration for both the structural and interior design aspects of their projects.

Newtown, Conn. Residential Project Under Construction
Photography courtesy of P/H Architects

“I’ve been working with Peter Paulos for more than a dozen years,” said KLAFFS tile and stone manager LouAnn Torres. “It’s always exciting to see how he approaches tile and stone selection. You can see that he’s factoring in how the colors and textures can influence the bigger picture to help reflect the client’s taste and lifestyle. This way of using tile and stone really sets PH Architects apart.”

West Palm Beach, FL Residence
Photography courtesy of Greg Wilson, Sarasota FL
Tile in all interior photographs were selected and purchased from KLAFFS.

Peter Paulos started his architectural career in Salt Lake City. In 2002, he moved East to Fairfield County, Connecticut, not only to pursue his architectural career, but to support his wife’s equestrian career. He and Philip Hubbard, who’s practiced in this area for 35 years, joined forces in 2009. Their firm goes beyond architectural planning, providing both interior design and ongoing property management.

“Being with the client from the start to the finish of a project gives us a unique ability to develop a vision based on diverse factors and see it through to the final result,” said Paulos. “Many of the clients we work with share our passion for natural materials – wood windows, cedar shingles, stone and tile. Our appreciation of organic resources enables us to allow tile and stone to drive design.”

PH Architects
38 Taunton Hill Road
Newtown, CT 06470
(203) 426-6500

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Newtown Farm House
Photography courtesy of Robert Benson, Hartford, CT

Paulos said that tile and stone choices drive color schemes. They select tile before choosing paint colors. Technology, including laser cutting of tile, and lower costs for mosaic tile and other intricate inlaid patterns allows them to use more tile. They’ll do tile wainscoting or even entire walls of tile.

Some of their choices regarding tile usage are practical as well as aesthetic. “We’ll tile a mechanical room, for example,” said Paulos. “It’s cleaner. We used to use tile and stone in more traditional ways, but now we think out of the box to come up with exciting ways to use these rich and interesting materials.”

One kitchen project Paulos shared with us featured stone slabs as countertops – two-and-a-half-inch-thick Taj Mahal quartzite. They softened the effect with a profile at the edge and coordinated the look with a tile backsplash from KLAFFS.

Ridgefield Residence
Photography courtesy of Robert Benson, Hartford, CT

“When it comes to choosing the right tile for a given application, LouAnn Torres has been critical,” Paulos said. “We turn to her as a trusted, expert resource. Whether we’re working directly with LouAnn or she’s working with our clients who we bring into the showroom to make selections in a number of departments, we’re confident in her guidance on tile and stone.”

Paulos said that he and his partner give a great deal of careful thought to the elements that will make a project uniquely suited to the client.

“We’ll find exactly the right material for the project -wherever it may be – and ship it to the job site. In one case, we found spectacular Blue Bahia stone slabs in New York and shipped them to a project in Salt Lake City.”

Florida Beach House
Photography courtesy of Greg Wilson, Sarasota FL

Projects have featured native stones including Belgian blocks, fieldstone and bluestone, some harvested from local quarries.

In addition to its residential work, PH Architects also handles commercial, institutional and public projects. Many of its clients engage the firm for a full continuum of services from initial planning and architectural design, through construction management and interior design – including furniture selection.

Connecticut Lake House
Photography courtesy of Robert Benson, Hartford, CT

“We consider ourselves truly fortunate to be able to be with our clients from the beginning to the end of their projects. We’re highly detail oriented and have a personal commitment to a great outcome.”

Peter Paulos, Jr., AIA

Philip H. Hubbard III, AIA

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