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Blogging about gardening in zone 4, marriage, our golden retriever and life in general.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tile Tile Tile

The decision to do our own tile work has opened the door to my fantasies about tile. Ok, that sounds dirty, but you know what I mean; the possibilities are endless!

We're headed to Home Depot today to get our hands on some actual tile products to see what we like, but I did a bit of internet surfing this morning to find some inspiration. I should add that when we started building our house we hadn't considered a “theme” or “feel” or “vibe”; it just turns out we have the same tastes. We both like the look and feel of somewhere between 1900 farmhouse and 1920 craftsman. Sadly, we can't afford an actual 1900 farmhouse or a 1920 craftsman, especially here in Bozeangeles where even in this “new real estate market” prices are sill eye-buggingly out of our realm of possibility. Ahhh, the joys of a household where both are employed in public service.

But I digress. This vintage feel we were going for seems to be manifesting itself in the basic form of the house, with its detached garage and driving strips instead of the full width driveway. As we looked for inspiration on colors, we both kept returning to some form of yellow, with a natural finish cedar in the gable, and white trim, usually found on a house in one of the older parts of Bozeman (or Bend). Then on Tuesday, in one of our deciding fits [seriously, in 20 minutes we designed the electrical, moved the kitchen bar out a bit, picked a roofing shingle, picked siding width, picked a trim color and a siding color and then a shingle color] the builder pointed to a grey stain for the shingle and suggested that. Eureka!

The interior finishes are panning out to be the same thing. We haven't totally picked an interior paint color [although we should, they're painting on Friday- it'll be somewhere in the grey family], but the interior trim will be thick white boards like in our condo. The cabinets will be white in the kitchen and bathrooms, and the kitchen countertop will be black granite. It sounds like the granite guy has some remnants we can do the bathrooms with for cheap. And I like cheap. Cheap cheap cheap.

The point I'm trying to get to here is showing you the inspiration for the kitchen backsplash, and then the bathrooms [if I can convince DJ to tile the bathrooms].

For the kitchen, here is the kitchen layout as done by the cabinet guy. Not bad, huh?

Kitchen looking north. The windows will be hung windows, and they'll be a pendant light above the sink.

The stove (west wall). You might notice that the upper cabinets are 36" in height instead of the 30" standard. I liked the symmetry of a 36" high base, 18" between the counter and bottom of cabinet, then a 36" upper cabinet, then an 18" space between the top of the cabinet and the 9' ceiling. Anal, I know.

Standing in front of the sink looking towards the living room.

Now imagine white cabinets and a black countertop. And white subway tile backsplash. We will have undercabinet lighting for task lighting on the countertops, and I'm concerned that unless we break up the white subway tile backsplash it'll be glaringly white in there.

So white, so clean.

I don't want a kitchen that screams “HAI! I'm WHITE! Now grab your sunglasses! But at the same time, I'm to chicken-shit to do a subway tile backsplash in a color other than white.

Imagine that this countertop is black granite, and the accent was one of the options below.

So, in order to break up the white of the subway tile, I was looking for some tile we could put in for an accent band. Hmmmm silver? Black square? Black round might be a nice way to break up the squareness of the kitchen.

Stainless metal... super mod and would work well with the stainless steel appliances.

Hmmm.... I like the smaller subway tiles.

Ohhhh I like that the round breaks up the squareness of the kitchen edges.

The wildcard. Multi-colored accent?

{I had HGTV on in the background this morning, and one of the shows evaluated the value of 1921 craftsman whose kitchen was exactly like outs! White square cabinets, stainless steel appliances, black polished granite and beadboard as a backsplash... hmmn, probably cheaper and easier to install.}

So, stay tuned for which way we go on that.

Now, in terms of bathrooms. We're planning on continuing the entryway tile into the powder room on the first floor. It would just look goofy to break up the continuous tile in there for another type of tile. But with the idea of doing our own tile work, I'm trying to convince DJ that we should tile the bathrooms too. Because you know, why not bite off more than you can chew, right?

Here's the flooring I'm thinking of for the bathrooms, both the master bath and the shared bath upstairs. Hexagonal tile on the floor. I'd love to add more subway tile on the walls, but maybe later. That's way more than we can take on now! But, hex tile floors, and maybe a beadboard wall finish?

Ohhhh hex tile! But I'm not sure we're good enough rookie tilers to do the accent area around the edges...
White (or is it off-white) hex tile from Home Depot for the smashing price of $5.95 for a 12" x 12" square.

A smaller hex tile, also a 12" x 12" sqaure, but for $13.97 apiece. Bet you know which we'd go with...

So with that, off to Home Depot to paw over tile!

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