Woman-owned Allison Eden Studios radiates individuality and beauty throughout her work to make a splash in the tile trade
In any industry, it takes someone special to push the boundaries and do the complete opposite of what is considered the “norm.” After accidentally stumbling upon a tile shop while in college more than 25 years ago, Allison Eden was inspired and started her career, opening Allison Eden Studios, the most unique and intricate contemporary glass house that specializes in handmade mosaic art and custom glass tile for interior design in New York City. Known for her eclectic, colorful and whimsical designs, Eden’s work can be found in leading residential and hospitality projects around the globe. All of her pieces are hand crafted by skilled glass artisans, meaning no two pieces are alike and there is zero pattern repeat, which ensures each piece is a true work of original art.
Her muse? Well, she’s living in it. New York City is known as the mecca of the best of the best. Eden immerses herself in the beauty of everything the city has to offer; the architecture, the people, the food, the energy and the endless amount of possibilities. Inspiration is everywhere and this is what drives her daily.
“In today’s world, creativity has seemed to disappear and people are missing out on the beauty of what is right in front of them,” said Eden. “I’ve committed myself to bringing this creativity alive through my work – I love my work so much, I could eat it!”
As one of the most unique and spunky mosaic artists in the industry, her goal for her work is to mirror the energy she feels in New York City – alive, fun, glitz and glam. And, since this trailblazer is committed to bringing this creativity alive, her portfolio of showstopping pieces originates from one place and one place only, her studio in New York City. All of her artwork is not only bespoke, but every piece is cut, assembled and designed by hand.
Since Eden is so hands-on with each and every project she curates, she needs industry-leading, reliable and high-performance products to get the job done. Since the early 1990s, the woman-run business owner has specified only LATICRETE® products for her projects; both for residential and commercial applications. When she first started in the tile trade, LATICRETE was one of her biggest supporters. They would even back up a truck to her studio with whatever she desired (grout, adhesives, specialty mortars, the list goes on and on) and would provide her with products she didn’t even know she needed. To complement her high-fashion aesthetic, Eden regularly uses LATICRETE products such as SPECTRALOCK® PRO Premium Translucent Grout, SPECTRALOCK DAZZLE™and PERMACOLOR®Select AnyColor™which offers her the ability to custom match nearly any color in the Benjamin Moore® and Sherwin-Williams® palettes for the ultimate one-of-a-kind design.
“Over the years, I’ve had to mix paint over white grout to get my desired color on all of my samples. The custom coloring of the PERMACOLOR Select AnyColor grout is my favorite because not only do I not have to do that anymore, my customers are now able to order all of these crazy, unique mixtures that I have custom made thanks to this line,” added Eden.
The devil is in the details
From aquatic scenes, unicorns, lipsticks, whips, diamonds, nature backdrops and everything in between, Eden isn’t known for ‘subtle’ or ‘dull’ designs – she stands out due to her use of vibrant colors, eccentric compositions and whimsical creations. While the tile expert’s designs may be complex, her process from start to finish is actually very simple. Eden begins every project by getting to know her client personally. What do they want? What are their likes and dislikes? How do they live? What’s their aesthetic? Often, clients will send her color palettes, images of different wallpaper or other helpful tidbits to help with the initial stages of the design process. From there, Eden hits the ground running and pulls out a pad of paper to begin hand drawing different designs to best fit her client’s needs. Once she has determined the drawings will satisfy the client’s vision, she sends a sample swatch for review.
Eden then prefabricates her mosaics to be pre-mounted before sending them across the country to be installed, typically in several sections. No matter the type or size of installation, Eden sends the complete prefabricated mosaics in a plastic face front mount so that the installer can easily place it straight up on the wall. The artist also includes a map for the installer that is labeled and numbered for every single segment of the mosaic – she describes it almost like painting by numbers.
Since building this intricate mosaic empire, Eden specifically seeks out installers who have a desire for perfection just like herself. Although she doesn’t perform the actual installation of her designs, she strictly works and specifies LATICRETE products to be used. With that said, for every installation, Eden requires the installer to utilize 254 Platinum thanks to its superior strength and bond. Designed for a simple install, the high-performance, ANSI A118.15-compliant, polymer-fortified mortar requires only water to be mixed, making it easier for the installer to work with as opposed to a product with a more complicated mixing process. 254 Platinum also has a long open time for enhanced workability that allows installers to work at their own pace without having to rush.
Once the installer lines the tile up in interlocking pieces using her detailed map, the plastic comes off and the work is complete. Her work is extremely meticulous, with no corners being cut, which is why utilizing LATICRETE products is a must to ensure a successful (and easy) installation.
From a happy accident to building an empire
Today, Allison Eden Studios sells to more than 500 tile stores throughout the world and continues to specify only LATICRETE products, no matter the magnitude of the project – hotels, casinos, cruise ships, whole home renovations, shower installations, etc.
Her hard work has landed her mosaics in a number of A-list celebrity homes such as those of Rihanna, Kris Jenner, and Elton John, showcased in American television networks such as QVC and HGTV and has been featured in magazines such as Architectural Record, Elle Décor, The New York Times, Architectural Digest, Wall Street Journal and Interior Design Magazine, to name a few.Most recently, Eden was recognized for designing an award-winning 2020 holiday window display at Bloomingdale’s in the heart of New York City. She also designed a stained glass linear pattern for the L’Oreal Headquarters and even designed the whole entry way of the Circa Las Vegas hotel.
Having recently expanded Allison Eden Studios’ offerings to include mosaic-inspired wallpaper, fabrics and textiles, carpets, rugs, pillows, home goods and fashion, the female powerhouse embodies “girl power” in everything she does. Eden even designed a line of disco-ball face masks to bring some extra pizzazz amid the 2020 pandemic.
“I never play it safe with my designs and I never will,” Eden said. “My advice is to be unique, be colorful and inspire others to go big. I not only love what I do, I love creating designs that radiate good vibes and happiness into this universe and hopefully spread love and light to whoever sees them,” she concluded.
Editorial Director and Senior Writer for TileLetter and TileLetter ARTISAN
Lesley Goddin has been writing and journaling since her first diary at age 11. Her journey has taken her through a career in publishing and publicity, landing her the editor position of TileLetter and its special publications in 2006. Her goal is to educate, inspire, recognize and encourage those in the tile industry -- especially the tile and stone contractor. Other interests include the soft, purring marvels known as cats, labyrinth walking, drumming and percussion, and a range of spiritual, musical and artistic pursuits.