Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Countdown to the New Old House: Houston, We Have a Backsplash Concept

Remember when Lamar the Awesome Cabinet Guy pointed out that the visual interest of beadboard on the island would be lost if I stained it?  This bummed me out, because I really like beadboard.  It's so suitable to the overall aesthetic of the new old kitchen, and - bonus - it would tie the kitchen in with the bathroom around the corner.

I just couldn't figure out where to use it.

I also couldn't figure out what to do about a backsplash.  While the granite that we have chosen is on the less-busy end of the granite spectrum, it's still granite, so a fair amount of color and pattern going on.  Most of the backsplashes that appealed to me (small square or rectangular glass tiles, with or without a metallic sheen) also scared me, because I thought that up against the granite they would be too much.  So, as of New Year's Eve, I had selected a basic rectangular glass tile sheet, featuring monochromatic (white, but with a greenish cast) glass rectangles in both a frosted and clear finish.  However, I still worried that it was too busy.

Brainstorm hit me during the "Crashers" marathon on Sunday:  tile backsplash above the stove (where you would worry about spatters) and beadboard everywhere else, painted the same color as the upper cabinets.  I get my beadboard effect, plus consider the effect of dark-stained cabinets on the bottom, topped with LOOOOOOONG expanses of light-painted wood running up to the ceiling (backsplash, and then 42" of cabinet above that).  The room will look tall!  Tall is good!

This image presents the general idea:

Except that you will need to imagine dark-stained cabinets below, and light-stained cabinets where the shelves are, and, also, this in place of the busy backsplash above:

I am learning that a necessary part of the remodeling process involves showing people images of idea rooms and saying, "It's going to look exactly like this, except to the extent that it will look NOTHING like this."  As I just did above.  But you get my drift.

I'm relieved, and also proud, that I am moving away from a slavish devotion to tile.  Tile EVERYWHERE.  This is what happens when you move into a house, most of the updating of which took place in the Fifties.   Given that my experience is limited largely to our own home, I thought (until recently) that you actually needed to have tile wrapping all of the way around your bathroom - behind the toilet, the sink, extending around the corner to the door frame - and also extending a foot above all kitchen countertop surfaces.  Because our house had that much tile, surely that much tile had to be necessary.  Then the contractor spelled it out for me:  "Your house has an abundance of tile, because an abundance of tile was the design default in the Fifties.  There's really no good reason why you need tile on the wall opposite your tub.  We can PUT tile there, if you want that much tile, but seriously, WHY?"

Why, indeed.  So I'm moving away from tile, and towards beadboard.

Another design decision checked off of the list.

1 comment:

Suzie Thomas said...

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