Lexi's Rock Collection

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Lexi's Rock Collection

Discover why you’ll find terrazzo, tiles, marble and more in Lexi’s home and all of the Always Sunday accommodations in Bath city centre.

At first glance you wouldn’t expect the Always Sunday founder, Lexi Wareham-Dart, to be a rock collector - she doesn’t look like how we imagine an aspiring geologist to look. There’s no anorak, no  clipboard or climbing-friendly shoes but we’ve been known to spot her in a high vis and a helmet for sure. That’s because Lexi’s rock collection is not stacked on a display case; it’s a renovation project she’s planning - it’s under your feet in neat rows of chevron marble flooring in the kitchen, it’s the terrazzo glinting behind the kettle in the kitchen and the cosy, rosy glow of pink tiles as you take a long hot bath in the Boltholes, our Always Sunday luxury accommodation in Bath city centre.

We spoke to Lexi about where her love of all things mineral came from, the most beautiful marble floors she’s ever seen, how to choose between marble, terrazzo and tiles, and her best places to find luxury marble flooring in Bath.

We hear you’re been spotted taking photos of luxury hotel floors, what’s that about?

At first I was just drawn to the patterns. Luxury hotel designers think about pattern as a marriage between material and design; the way chevron tiles interlock with one another, the purposeful direction marble veining can take despite being almost entirely random, the tiles of terrazzo each handpicked to ensure just the right amount of certain colours take prominence. It’s the level of detail and the risk-taking I absolutely adore and I’d take pictures just because they captured my attention like these from the gorgeous Villa Treville in Italy.

Villa Treville, Italy

 

Over the years I realised I had an extensive photographic collection to pore over and I still add to it. When we bought our 200 year old townhouse in Bath I suddenly realised I could put that collection to use and now with the additions of the Always Sunday Boltholes, i’ve been able to keep referencing these travel souvenirs even years after my travels.

Lexi's Pink & Green Marble Chevron Floor

 

What is it about stone surface design you love? Why does it appeal to you?

It’s the history that stone has before it comes anywhere near your home, the idea that these minerals contain centuries of life astounds me. It’s like collecting vintage homewares and the stories that every nick, mark or patina alludes to. They have a depth to them in a way that new materials just can not compete with.

Always Sunday Founder Lexi Wareham-Dart

 

How do you decide which materials to use in a space?

It obviously starts with the basic functional components of the space, whether it’s a bathroom or a kitchen, whether it needs to add light into a space to make the room feel larger or saturate the room with colour to ground it.

For our Always Sunday Boltholes, our luxury cottages to stay in located around the centre of Bath, it was essential to adding the character back into these historic homes.


In Primrose cottage, a two bedroom historic house in the artisan quarter, we used a hand-glazed ceramic tile wall to wall in the cosy family bathroom behind the roll top bath. The tiles are handmade so they don’t feel cold or clinical and in a rosy pink which gives the architecturally small room a warm glow and somehow makes it feel bigger. 

Primrose Cottage, Bath

The kitchen in Daylily cottage is on the lower ground level with a lower ceiling than the rest of house which is very common with Bath properties but because of the materials there when we took it on, the entire room felt so dark.

Daylily Cottage, Bath

We decided to tie in the existing flooring which was actually quite a beautiful grey and terracotta flagstone floor and the honey of the Bath stone fireplace with a high terrazzo backsplash speckled with the same orange hue. The organic movement it creates feels like watching a leaf float downstream - helping the eye travel seamlessly through the room.

Daylily Cottage, Bath

And right now, we’re working on the soon to be released Periwinkle cottage and I’m still on the terrazzo train - I just can’t get enough. As a twist, we’re using it along the counters and as a wall backsplash to give the galley kitchen a seriously generous dose of personality!

Where are the best luxury flooring places in Bath that you love to work with?

I love Bristol Marble & Granite, they're a lovely family business with an incredible array of choices in their warehouse location. You can see the stone in bigger scales making it so much easier to understand how it's going to look.

And then recently I've been working with the talented (and award winning!) team at Ca'Pietra who are based in Corsham, source from all over the world from Italy to right here in the UK, to offer the most beautiful and seriously unusual designs of tiles.

What is your current surface obsession? What trends are you seeing that you love?

I love the mixing of stone and ceramic trend. Colour is definitely coming back, from colour drenching to bathroom fittings like sinks, toilets, and baths in retro colours. I am here for all of it. I am tired of seeing the soulless 'home spa look' that only uses white and grey and rattan. I personally believe that even if a bathroom is small we should be pushing ourselves with texture, colour, and pattern more than any other room. Luxury materials that feature really strong designs such as wallpaper, tiles, and stone are expensive no matter which way you look, but using this in a smaller space like a bathroom allows the opportunity to test out that level of drama more affordably. I want to see much more of this in homes and luxury accommodation and I'll definitely be applying this to my own. It's time to have courage and be bold!

 

Always Sunday Boltholes, Bath


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