Surface Sensations

When it comes to beautiful finishes for the home, it’s hard to beat Mother Nature’s handiwork


Discovered in ancient times by Native Americans, the renowned Kingman Turquoise Mine in Kingman, Arizona, produces some of the world’s finest blue/green beauties in nearly 500 color variations. It’s also North America’s last commercially operated turquoise mine. Gemstone Tile meticulously handcrafts their products in Kingman, producing what they call “jewelry for your home,” suitable for countertops, backsplashes or flooring. Some of Gemstone’s many vibrant patterns incorporate pyrites or quartz crystals, flecks of copper, the warm brown shades of a host stone or the glint of precious metal. 


Cowden Bell is a Texas leather craftsman who makes gorgeous tiles from high-quality Hermann Oak leather. A little thinner than saddle leather, hand-dyed and stamped, each panel is unique and can be used on floor or wall surfaces. Available through Ann Sacks in rich colors, including maraschino, ginger (pictured), espresso, caramel, claret and almond, and textured in exotic patterns inspired by everything from ostrich and alligator skins to buffalo hide, the square tiles range in size from 2 to 16 inches. Warm and resilient, Cowden Bell tiles are true American originals. 


The Caba Company has pioneered an organic, hand-pounded wood bark wallcovering called Barkskin, which can be made to look remarkably like leather, parchment or even stone. Caba has recently added bright and exotic colors—from warm “apricot” to juicy “grape”—to its original collection of nature-inspired hues, and they’ve introduced woven and lacey patterns too. Any way you look at it, Barkskin’s complex and subtle texture and color variations are endlessly fascinating and naturally gorgeous. If you agree, you’re in good company. The wallcovering now hangs in The White House.  

Categories: Fixtures & Finishes