Tag Archives: Kitchen

Subway Tile Backsplash

Exciting news – the tile for our kitchen backsplash is ordered!  My original plan was to wait for awhile to order the tile, even though I knew what I wanted, seeing as the backsplash won’t be going in for a few months.  BUT THEN…The Tile Shop had a mega Columbus Day sale (I’m talking big).  They ended up extending it to yesterday too, but when I went online this morning to get links for the tile I ordered, the sale price is still there, so run and buy it while you can (it’s over 45% off!!).

Anyways, I’ve known since I basically saw the house that I wanted to put in a white subway tile backsplash, it was just a matter of picking the right subway tile.  I’m a big fan of The Tile Shop (and no, they’re not paying me to say that, I really just love them that much) so I really only looked there.  While they can be a little pricier than Lowe’s or Home Depot, their quality is amazing, their return policy is outstanding (you can return basically anything you didn’t use and there is no restocking fee), and they are SO easy to work with.  I use them a lot with my clients, so I’m excited to get to use them in my own house this go round.

I debated between the Imperial Bianco 3×6 Gloss subway tile, and the Imperial Bianco 3×6 Crazed.  Although the Gloss (pictured left), was cheaper (way cheaper once the Columbus Day sale came around), what eventually made up my mind was that I felt the Crazed was a bit too crackly.  I’m going for a mix of old+new in our house, and who knows, the crazed could have turned out awesome, but it just looked a little too old for me.


So, the Imperial Bianco Gloss won out in the end, which means we are that much closer to having a kitchen that looks a little like this:

There’s just one thing: I still haven’t figured out what exactly I want to do for our accent tile above the stove.  I am love-love-loving the herringbone pattern of the subway tile in the photo above, but I wasn’t 100% sure that’s the route I wanted to take.  I thought it might be fun to add a little pop with a bold black + white patterned tile, so I headed over to The Tile Shop in search of some inspiration.  I saw a bunch of beautiful tile, but I knew I hadn’t found “it” yet.
Then, as I was walking around, the Milky Black Hex tile caught my eye, and let’s just say, I was a goner.  The classic lines, the contrast between the black + white, yeah, I was in love.
I’ve been toying with the idea of adding a single border row or some sort of cool accent with this stunning tile above our stove (I mean look how well it pairs the subway tile we bought), but before I get too carried away, I’ll have to sketch out a few scenarios to make sure I’m still in love with it.  So what do you guys think?  Yay or nay on the black hex tile?  What would you do for an accent above the stove?

the hood or microwave debate

Well, we’ve been in our house for just over a week!  Later this week I’ll fill you in on how all of that is going, because right now, I want your opinions.  Yesterday, our cabinet samples arrived, and they were exactly what I was hoping for (yipee!), so now we’re getting ready to order our new kitchen.  There’s just one problem: we keep going back and forth on what we want.

Here are our two options:

Option A: Hood vent and tile feature above the stove

What we love about it: it definitely makes the kitchen feel a little higher end, and we love the industrial touch that the hood vent gives the room.  This would allow us to put a cool tile feature above the stove (in reality, it wouldn’t be gray – it would probably be a herringbone marble – the drawing is just gray so you can differentiate it).  We’d also get a pot filler out of the deal (which I shouldn’t even have to explain to you how awesome that would be).  We’d run subway tile all the way up to the ceiling, and it would just look clean/simple/awesome.  We would buy a microwave drawer (which I’ve heard amazing things about), and that would find it’s home in the island.

And the downside: It costs more.  Not a lot more, but it does cost more.  Can we make it work within our kitchen budget?  Yes.  The main issue for us is that we lose storage space.  In this option, there aren’t any cupboards above the stove, and since the microwave would be in the island, that’s additional storage space we’re losing.  Also, I go back and forth on this one (mainly if I have just looked at option B), but sometimes when I look at option A, it feels like the cupboards on each side of the window are just kind of awkwardly floating there.  But like I said, sometimes I think it looks funny, sometimes I love how simple/minimal it is.  I’m weird, I know.

Alright, with all of that, let’s look at the other option.

Option B: Cupboard & microwave above the stove

What we love about it: It’s easy. It’s cheaper.  It gives us more storage.  The microwave is at eye level, so for us giants, it’s really handy.  Also, this way, I can continue to always use the microwave timer instead of the stove timer, because for whatever reason, my go-to timer is always the one on the microwave :) (don’t worry, that isn’t an actual factor in our decision making).

And the downside: It’s less unique, therefore a little less wow factor (let’s be real, majority of kitchens have this same setup).  It can get a little cramped between the microwave and the stove (but we both had this in our last home and it’s definitely not the end of the world), and the microwave exhaust fan wouldn’t work as well as an actual hood vent.

So, what I want to know from you guys is if you were to buy this home, which kitchen would you rather have?  Which do you like the look of more?  Would you go for more storage over cool aesthetic?  Let’s hear what you have to say! :)


Update: Here’s a third option, Option C: which may be the best of both worlds.  Cupboards with a smaller range hood beneath.

So which is your favorite?  A, B, or C?

Ikea Kitchens

We’ve officially hit the stressful “oh my gosh how are we going to finish packing all this this” part of moving.  We close on Thursday morning, and although we’ve gotten a lot done, I feel like there is still sooo much left to do.  Yesterday, we literally packed all day.  We set our alarms super early, woke up, started packing, and didn’t do anything besides pack and make trips to our storage unit until about 10pm (at which time, we could hardly make it up the stairs for bed).

Our main goal was to tackle the kitchen, and I just couldn’t believe how much stuff we had in there.  I mean, we’re two people for goodness sake, and we really try not to hang on to things we don’t use regularly.  Regardless, packing up the kitchen was like blowing out a cake full of trick birthday candles – you think you’ve blown them all out, and then much to your despair, one starts to flickr, and before long they’re going strong again.  Yeah, that was us yesterday.  We’d pack one cabinet, only to open the next and be completely overwhelmed by how much more stuff was in that cabinet.

Thankfully, we nearly finished the kitchen, and all of the other rooms are about 80% done.  We know we’ll be able to finish (in reality, we hope to be done by Wednesday so we can clean Wednesday night), we’re both just ready to be done.  It’s also starting to look kind of eerie in here, because our furniture is staying, but most of our decor is gone.  It’s really weird.

On Saturday, we actually took a mini break from packing and popped down to Ikea to take a look at their kitchen cabinets.  I’ve been looking into cabinet options for our new house, and I’ve surprisingly heard a lot of good things about Ikea’s kitchen (which blows my mind because so much from Ikea is so cheaply made).  Well, they were having their semi-annual kitchen sale, where everything was 20%, so I wanted to take a look before it ended in case we wanted to order anything.

Although I was impressed with the actual cabinets themselves (they all have soft close hinges and slides which are amazing) I wasn’t so impressed with their drawers.  The drawers themselves had a metal-like side, which to me, made them feel really cheap.  Noel wasn’t bothered by it at all, and it hasn’t completely swayed my decision not to use them for our cabinets, but I wasn’t too thrilled when I saw it.

Regardless of their drawer situation, look at how gorgeous some of these Ikea kitchens are:

Do any of you have an Ikea kitchen?  What do you think of it if you do?  Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

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