Kitchen Backsplash Reveal

Over the course of last week I worked on installing and painting a new backsplash for our kitchen.  I worked in smaller windows of time over the course of the week, so the project took a few days to complete.  After living in our home for 16 months without any backsplash, taking a couple of extra days to do this was hardly going to matter.  Plus, I was able to still use the kitchen for the whole preparing meals and eating thing so that was good.  I have to admit now that I do wish it hadn’t taken me so long to decide on (spot in real estate pictures) a backsplash that I loved because now that is done I wish I had been able to enjoy this backsplash much sooner.  You might not think backsplash makes that big of an impact, but I am here to tell that it does, well to me at least.  Its quite possible that I someone would come into the kitchen and not even notice a difference.

We hadn’t been able to commit to a tile.  I wasn’t sold on anything really and couldn’t see going to that expense of time and money if it wasn’t something that I loved.  I wanted a classic look for sure and our granite is busy enough that I wanted something pretty simple.  Subway tile didn’t feel right to me or the hubs.  He is convinced that subway tile is going to be the new 4×4 tile that everyone will end up replacing.   I don’t think he is right about that, but who knows.  I was concerned that subway tile would read too farmhouse for our kitchen.

I was looking through pictures of real estate listings in a nearby town (I sometimes do this for fun) which happens to have some very high-end real estate.  I was totally drawn into the pictures of this beautiful brick colonial with a $5 million price tag (crazy!) because the inside of the house looked so classic and comfortable.  Then I come across the kitchen and completely fell in love.



While I was obsessively looking at the picture I noticed the backsplash and immediately knew that was it.  It’s similar to a beadboard which I love and have used in bathrooms in previous homes, but its wider plank is just a little bit different.  I would love to someday add some wood beams to our kitchen but I was happy to take what small pieces I could from this one now.

I went off to the Home Depot in search of a product to get this affect.  What I a found was the currently very popular shiplap planks.  For shiplap these are installed horizontally, but if I were to turn them vertical I would get the exact look I was going for.

Installing these planks was about 1,001 times easier than tile for me.  I used the jigsaw to cut around the outlets, the miter saw for the lengths, and the brad nailer.


We decided to use a 1/2″ x 3/4″ trim for the bottom, sides and top where there aren’t any cabinets to trim out the planks.

I painted them with a satin enamel custom matched to the cabinets.





The total cost of this project was right at $80!  I saved a bunch of money and got an end result that I could not be happier with!


And lest you think the project went off without a single hitch, here is the proof of the bad jigsaw cut that had to be filled in.




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Simple and easy bathroom shelf

I had planned for floating shelf above the toilet in the master bathroom, but the Petersik’s from YHL did a post featuring some great bracket options that had me questioning that plan.  I found a particular black set very visually appealing and the price was almost too good to be true.  I decided that I should just order them and see how I liked them in person.  Once they arrived I was happy to find I liked them just as much in person.  Now I had to get some wood for the shelf itself.  I didn’t have anything that would work in the garage, so I had 2′ of an oak 1×8 cut at Home Depot.  The linear foot price on this is $3.52 so at this point I was still not out much money for this small project.  Plus having it cut at the store meant that I wouldn’t have any sawdust to sweep or vacuum in the garage!  After sanding it, I did two coats of Minwax espresso stain and then used finishing wax.    I secured it to the wall with drywall anchors since I wasn’t going to hit a stud with either bracket and I would feel comfortable putting something pretty heavy on it.


The coral in this apoethcary jar was picked up on the beaches during our honeymoon!


Here you can see the simple details of the brackets.  Black screws almost disappear.



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Drying Hydrangeas


Drying hydrangeas is one of the easiest things I have ever done.  Its amazing how beautiful they turn out for almost no effort.  The colors of the limelight hydrangeas preserves beautifully.   I kept these stored in closet in another unused jar and then just carefully placed them in this vase.

Steps to drying hydrangeas

  1. Cut hydrangeas
  2. Remove leaves from stems
  3. Put hydrangeas in vase, jar, etc with water filled about halfway
  4. Let water dry up
  5. Enjoy beautiful dried hygrangeas
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Diagnosing the Dryer

At the beginning of the week our dryer went on strike.  It would turn on, but no heat would come out.  This is has happened twice before.  The first two times it was the heating element.  The first time I called an appliance repair company and they replaced the heating element for somewhere around $200.  The second time we got crafty and did it ourselves with the help of Youtube.  It was an easy repair taking only 30 minutes and about $20!  I assumed that I would just be doing that again so I ordered a new heating element and waited for it to arrive.   I took the dryer apart (using the same Youtube video as last time) and replaced the heating element.   The old one didn’t look broken but I figured I could be just missing it and went ahead and put the new one in.   I got the dryer put back together, plugged it in, turned it on and NO HEAT!

Re-diagnosing the Dryer

Back at square one, I decided to do some more research.  I learned that there are few other small, cheap, easily replaced parts that might be causing the lack of heat.  I didn’t want to just replace them without knowing which one was really the problem so I ran to the hardware store and picked up a multimeter.  This was going to tell me which parts had continuity (were working) and which didn’t.  I tested the thermistor, thermostat and thermal fuse and the thermal fuse was the guilty party.  I ordered one on amazon and sprang for the $3.99 one day shipping.  I’m still waiting for it to arrive today, in the mean time laundry has been piling up.  I called the appliance guy to find out when he could come if my repair attempts fail.  He can’t get here until Tuesday so the laundry situation could get a little dicey if the thermal fuse doesn’t work.  I’ve been drying small amounts of the backs of kitchen chairs and laundry room counters, but with a soccer tournament this weekend the uniform situation could be stinky.


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