The owners of Heath Ceramics share their best design strategies, from using tile "seconds" to creating patterns with matte and glossy finishes.


Catherine Bailey and Robin Petravic, the owners of Heath Ceramics, recently turned their Sausalito, California, house into a showroom of creative Heath installations. The couple, who bought the ailing pottery and tile manufacturer in 2003, covered a kitchen wall from the counter-top to the ceiling with a shock of yellow tile. "It creates its own light," Petravic says. In the backyard, they built a small but spectacular outdoor kitchen by covering a poured-concrete grill area and perimeter benches with an inspired mix of matte and glossy tiles. For the past 60 years, Heath has been making handcrafted stoneware in a local factory, and Bailey and Petravic have stayed true to that artisanal tradition. To avoid being "overconsumptive," they bought secondhand appliances, including a Dacor cooktop, a Bosch oven and a vintage turquoise wood-burning fireplace. The kitchen tiles are repurposed, too: They're imperfect Heath seconds left over from a custom project at the University of Pennsylvania designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects ($4 per sq ft for Heath tile seconds; 415-332-3732 or

Sink and faucet

To create a small outdoor sink, Bailey and Petravic cut a two-inch hole in the bottom of a Heath bowl and installed a drain, along with an "Edsvik" faucet from Ikea. details $105 for bowl; 415-332-3732 or $30 for faucet; 800-434-4532 or

Countertops & benches

The grill area and benches are made of poured concrete covered with Heath tile—matte brown for the countertops and glossy honey for the interior of the fireplace (inset next to the grill) and the benches along the perimeter of the garden. The benches not only serve as seating, but also create raised beds for plants. details$27.50 per sq ft;

Outdoor fireplace

The EcoSmart ethanol burner in the fireplace keeps everyone warm on cool nights and burns so cleanly, there's no need for a vent. details $2,300; 773-278-4100 or


Bailey and Petravic chose a built-in, 41-inch Viking Ultra-Premium T-Series Grill, which is sleeker than a stand-alone cart. details $3,525; 888-845-4641 or

Outdoor table & chairs

Bailey and Petravic covered the top of the "Noi Table" by David Pierce of Ohio Design with light green Heath tiles. Their chairs are from Urban Ore, a salvage yard in Berkeley. details From $775 for table; 415-647-6446 or From $20 for chairs; 510-841-7283.