Sunday, June 7, 2015

DIY - Kitchen Backsplash Complete!

Hi everyone!! Well, after quite the hiatus (nearly a year!), rustyfarmhouse is back and better than ever! It was sad putting the rustyfarmhouse blog to the side for a bit, but after having Walden I realized that having a very young baby around isn't conducive to starting house projects. Or frankly any kind of house work - and that definitely includes cleaning, ha!

Walden is a bit older now (he turned 1 on Mother's Day) and now that he's crawling about I really wanted to address our floor situation. Looking at the floors was the poison ivy I needed to get the project itches going again. Clint also took several business trips and I found that dreaming up new house projects was a really fun way to pass my lonely nights.  :)

The floors, however, were a big project that definitely required discussion with Clint, so before tackling the floors I spent a lot of time thinking about the kitchen. Truth be told, we are lucky to have a really great kitchen with custom cabinetry and amazing appliances. The previous owner of the farmhouse put a pretty penny into renovating the kitchen, and it was definitely one of the things I was most drawn to in the house.

That being said, however, the kitchen isn't perfect (for me) aesthetically. If you read some of the early rustyfarmhouse posts, you know that the kitchen used to be a terrible dirty yellow color that made the blue island look hideous with the red oak cabinets. This prompted me to paint the kitchen blue, and that definitely helped the island settle into the space. After that we threw some stuff up on the walls and called it a day. Here it was:

Recently, however, after looking at the inspiration photos for other kitchen renovations, I decided it was time to take our kitchen to the next level.  All the bones are there, it just needs a bit of sprucing up. The first thing I decided to do was to add a backsplash.

Originally I'd be dreaming of doing a whitewashed brick backsplash around the stove and vent hood, because I just love love loooooooove the way brick looks. I've been obsessed with brick ever since I put this brick backsplash up in my Baltimore condo:

Seriously - how cool is that brick?? But when I thought about it, I decided that whitewashed brick is probably NOT easy to clean and splatter marks would show up very easily. It wasn't a problem on the dark brick as much because I figured if you couldn't clean it perfectly, you probably weren't going to see it anyways. (Is that terrible??) So in the end I decided to go with a white subway tile, which I think still fits the farmhouse motif but is much cheaper, much easier to clean and MUCH MUCH easier to install than brick.  :)

I spent a good couple of weeks just debating *where* to put the backsplash. Originally I just planned to put something up over the stove and around the vent hood, but eventually decided to tile the entire area above the countertops. Why settle for less work when you can do more?!? So the first thing we did was pull everything off the walls, including the vent hood because I didn't really want to bother cutting tile around it. This also gave me a good opportunity to clean it thoroughly, which it desperately needed.

This was actually my very first tiling project, and I was fortunate to get some guidance and help from my father-in-law Tom. He showed me how to put the tile up and helped with the grouting. Fortunately the subway tiles are self spacing, so that saved a lot of time once I got my initial row in and level.

You never really realize JUST how crooked and curvy your walls are until you put tile up. You can see in the corner that the wall on the right actually curves into the room as it goes up, What is up with that? Ah well, just one of the joys of living in a 104 year old house.

But when all's said and done, I think the kitchen looks fabulous - crooked, curvy walls and all. I went with "Platinum" grout, which looked to be a very light almost metallic grey, but it's actually so close to the color of the walls that it matches the blue perfectly.

And here is the final product in natural light! (Please pardon the mess).

The white tile really brightens up the space, making it feel fresh and clean. Although it may not make a huge difference in the pictures, it looked even better after we got the electrical face plates and caulk in as well.

I'm really happy with the way the backsplash turned out, and I think it sets the stage for the rest of the completed and upcoming kitchen changes. So far I've added open cabinets on both sides of the vent hood, and plan to add some floating shelves on the walls around the windows. Lastly, I plan to paint the cabinets (except for the island) white, because I just think a farmhouse kitchen should be white. I'm hoping that the white cabinetry will really make the kitchen feel even brighter and larger, and will compliment our beautiful new (antique pine) flooring better than the oak. I'm very excited to post about all of these kitchen changes and the new floors in the near future!

No comments :

Post a Comment