Backsplash Love and General Construction Updates

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here – construction is exhausting! In any case, we are making some great progress and, as of today, we have the kitchen floors, sink/faucet, countertops, and backsplash done! We also have the powder bath floors, countertops, and backsplash pretty much done.

Yep, I said, the BACKSPLASH is done! If you follow me over on Instagram (@thepaperhangersdaughter), you already know that we had some pretty significant challenges with a portion of the project that had seemed so simple. I’m not going to get into all of the details, but the root cause of our problem was that one of the main vertical support beams that just happens to be directly behind our cooktop/stove hood is not installed straight – best way I can think to explain is that it’s rotated about 30 degrees from being straight. We confirmed that it’s not a structural issue (phew!), but it is a challenge when you are trying to lay linear tile and your wall bows because the edge of the beam is not where it should be.

All’s well that ends well, right? After a bit of trial and error, we definitely found a fix that made it right. I am so happy with the final product!

I went with simple 4″ x 12″ white subway tiles. These are actually pretty budget-friendly, as I didn’t want to break the bank for the backsplash. You can find them on Lowe’s website here: Satori┬áHudson Brilliant White Glossy 4-in x 12-in Glossy Ceramic Wall Tile. Yes, I know there are a million different creative backsplashes out there, but as I’ve mentioned previously, simple and timeless are what I’m looking for; I will jazz it up with decor that I can change out as styles and color palettes change over the years.

You may also remember that we planned to use this same subway tile in our powder bath. We decided to take the backsplash all the way up the wall behind the vanity and lay it in a single herringbone pattern. I think it turned out pretty great, especially paired with the new countertops, light fixture, and statement mirror.

The flooring in the powder bath is still a work in progress. We went with a wood-look porcelain tile that won’t compete or try to blend in with our wood floors. You can find it here: Daltile Trellis Oak Colorbody Porcelain Floor in Natural Ash TR21. It’s lighter than our wood and has an oak grain. We actually went back and forth on quite a few different options here, but my husband (who is rarely opinionated on home decor or design) really felt strongly that this was the one. After seeing it installed, I’d say that it was the right call! We are still trying to get the grout right – the goal being for it to blend in, but it’s pretty light/white at the moment. We’ll figure it out though.

Lastly, our beautiful new formal dining room chandelier has been installed and it totally transforms the space – it adds drama! You can find it here: Pruitt Chandelier 9 Light Matte Black (PRUC5034MBK). Don’t let the pictures fool you – this chandelier is BIG and helps to fill the space left by our 2-story ceilings. I haven’t washed the glass globes yet, as it’s still pretty dirty and dusty in the house with all the construction, but I’ll get to that eventually. Is it bad that I now want to remodel this room too? That’s not exactly in the budget, but maybe…

Up next… cabinet paint! I think this may be the most dramatic change yet and I can’t wait to see how it comes out. Now if we can just decide on what color to choose…

Choices, Choices

When we decided to remodel, I knew exactly what I wanted – a white kitchen. Seemed simple enough. What I didn’t realize was that there are a lot of white countertops to choose from, a lot of white paints to choose from, that I needed to think about cabinet hardware finishes, and so on. I quickly became overwhelmed by it all and also realized that I was starting to add a lot of items I hadn’t planned on. I am a spreadsheet queen, so I started putting one together to track items that were completed, our budget, actual spend, etc. What a huge help! The other huge help was hiring an interior designer to help coordinate work and to help bounce ideas off of. Enter Bella Interior Creations by Monica…keeping me sane along this journey!

One of the first things I realized was that I needed to choose was lighting – specifically a vanity light, but we also decided to move forward with a chandelier for our formal dining room. We went to a local store and, let me tell you, there was a lot to look at. When you walk in, you almost don’t know where to look, but it’s amazing to imagine all of the possibilities. I found a few I liked and took pictures, knowing that I would bring my husband back with me to make final decisions.

From there, I moved on to countertops for both the kitchen and powder bath. I was pretty sure I wanted quartz countertops, but I didn’t rule out granite or quartzite. Once I started looking at samples, it became clear quickly that quartz was the right choice for the clean, simple look I was trying to achieve and it was also within my budget. Once again, it’s amazing how many white quartz choices there are. I was looking for a subtle, marble look with a true, cool white background. Here are the five I narrowed it down to. I took samples home to try to narrow it further. Here they are against our pantry door in the kitchen – the same color planned for the cabinets.

From left to right: MSI Q in Calacatta Trevi, Pental Quartz in Misterio, Qortstone in Q5028 Lily, MSI Q in Calacatta Vicenza, and MSI Q in Fairy White.

Which one will be the winner? Hint, hint – it IS one of these 5. Stay tuned.