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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Master Bath Renovation, Part Two

To see the before of our master bath, click here

Heading into our master bath remodel we knew had a good idea of the finishes we wanted.  We were looking for a classic look, but with newer materials that were easier to maintain.  We chose dark woods and light hard surfaces for a nice contrast in finishes.  I knew I wanted to have Carrara marble, so the shower was was where we chose to add this and opted for low maintenance quartz on the counters.  The marble will have to be sealed periodically but it isn’t a huge job.   The hubs wanted the wood look tile on the floor.  The idea of having real hard woods in a bathroom is beautiful, but definitely not practical (unless they already exist in a historic home), so the wood look tile is a great alternative.  Using a dark grout that blends in with thin grout lines makes a big impact.

The view from the door from our bedroom.  The hub’s vanity is mostly hidden behind the shower which is great because he is not the tidiest of guys.

My vanity.  This is a six foot vanity which allows for a ton of storage.  So much storage that a few drawers are basically empty.  While the vanities appear almost black they are an espresso finish.    The not great light means not great color representation.

The hubs vanity is much smaller at only 42″.  It was the space we had to work with and he does not mind at all. He doesn’t really use more than the top two drawers so it works just fine for him.

This bathroom is on the west side of the house and the two windows (one pictured and one above my husbands vanity) are the only windows on this side of the house.  The only way to get decent light in here for pictures is to shoot in the afternoon when there are also stray sun casts.  The shower handle is an upgrade to match the drawer pulls.

This tub is really pretty, and just for show.  I’m not a bath taker so I predict this will rarely, if ever, get used.  The good news that it is super easy to keep clean with the vacuum this way!  We placed it just far enough away from the wall to allow a floor duster to fit.

Closer view of the tub filler.  I wanted a simple, classic look.  This one fits the bill.

We don’t use the additional spray much while showering, but it is incredibly handy for cleaning the shower.  We did an extension for the rainfall shower head to bring it out to the middle of the shower more.

The hubs chose these waterfall faucets.  They are pretty, but I will say that keeping the water spots off of them is not my favorite thing!


Wall Paint: Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray in eggshell

Trim Paint: Benjamin Moore White Dove

Floor Tile

Shower Wall Tile

Shower Floor Tile

Quartz Counters


Vanity Lights


Drawer Pulls


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Master Bath Renovation, Part One

When we purchased this house we knew that gutting the master bath for a complete renovation was going to be a priority. This was a really dated bathroom from the early 90s and we had a sense that things probably were no longer functioning properly.  The tile in front of the shower had been patched, indicating the shower pan had leaked at some point.  One of the vanity faucet handles was hanging on by a thread.  We knew that this type of renovation would not be a DIY type project.  We could have done some of it ourselves, but we don’t move pipes or electrical (yet) and I have never tiled over sub-floor.  These and a few other factors determined that this was best left to a professional.  When we moved into the house we took one shower before we realized it was still leaking!  So much for the patch job that had been done.  We decided that we would shower somewhere else since sooner or later the bathroom would be completely out of commission.  I was certainly hoping for sooner rather than later!

Since we were so new to the area I got referrals from a couple new neighbors and our real estate agent.  We got our bids and made our decision.  I felt really comfortable with one person in particular and we really appreciated the way he bid out the project, leaving out many of the materials so I could source them myself and find the best deals.  We tried to act pretty quickly on this right after we moved in, but we still had to wait over a month for him to start due to his current projects.


The lighting is bad in these before pics, so it is hard to see, but the originally white countertops had yellowed.  I think they were Corian, but I have never seen Corian do that before.  You can see the patched tile on the right.


The shower had dual shower heads and was totally enclosed in glass for a steam shower effect but no steam controls.  The seal was so tight on the glass you could not hear the person talking on the other side.


Here you can see how well the tile on the tub deck was holding up.


Changing the layout of the bathroom wasn’t feasible due to due to door and window placement, but the shower size would likely change a bit and we wouldn’t be replacing the large corner jetted tub.  The vanity locations remain but the vanity seat will go, which will allow for my vanity to be standard height.  I have never been comfortable sitting for makeup or hair.  At this point I could not wait for demo to begin.




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