A minor turned major kitchen redo


We are getting close to being finished (for now) with the house.  The last major piece of the puzzle is our kitchen. 

When we decided to purchase this home instead of building a new home we had to make a decision about our appliances.  

Last April, Brendan and I made a random Sears stop one afternoon so that he could stalk the TV he had been dreaming of for about two years (the TV that now hangs over our fireplace so don’t say I won’t compromise!)  While he was looking at TVs, I ventured over to the appliance section. I was admiring the double wall ovens and a particular “commercial style Kenmore set” when the sales person informed me that all wall ovens were 50% off.  Brendan and I talked about it over the next few days and decided to go ahead and act on the wall ovens because it was too good of a deal to pass up. I left the house one Saturday morning to prepare for Porter’s birthday party and when I returned..Brendan proudly announced that he not only purchased the wall ovens…he purchased the 36″ slide-in cooktop and dishwasher as well. I literally almost fainted. After regaining my composure, he told me that he basically got the entire package more than half off and it was just too good to miss out on.  So we had appliances..but no kitchen to put them in. 

I have literally built every kitchen design around the appliance specs so when we decided to purchase a home with a standard kitchen setup for a 30″ freestanding range and cabinet mount microwave..we had to develop a plan. 

We talked about it for weeks (fortunately we had all the time in the world thanks to the real-estate nightmare) and decided we could either reconfigure the kitchen to fit the appliances we had purchased or we could return the appliances to Sears and purchase standard size appliances that would work with the existing kitchen. 

We contacted our good friend Andy at Against the Grain Custom Woodworks and ran our ideas past him. We knew that having custom cabinets created to fit the cooktop and double ovens would be tricky and that he was the very best.  I am so crazy about things matching perfectly and I wouldn’t have trusted anyone else with this job.  He really is that good at what he does. 

After running numbers we both realized that it was just too important to us to have more of a “wow” kitchen than what was installed so we cut corners in other areas to plan for the renovation. 

I have said over and over that I refused to have granite in my next kitchen (and of course this kitchen has granite) so I had to realize that it was something we would just need to live with for a while. 


A little electrical wiring changes..a gas line installed and Andy working his magic with the cabinets ( you literally cannot tell the difference between them) and we had an “almost there” kitchen.  Until the appliances were installed…and the granite didn’t fit back. Oops. 

So we ran numbers and decided on Crema Marfil marble for the perimeter and left the granite on the giant center island until we can swing the change. 

Now all that is left to figure out is the backsplash. The current backsplash has a little too much pattern and color for my taste.  I like clean simple and monochromatic.  Plus..we decided on the industrial stainless range hood and with the tongue and groove wood ceilings I just worry that pattern will be too busy and one of those spaces overwhelmed with “eye catchers.”  I had originally planned to do a simple subway tile but the white is too stark for my kitchen cabinets and countertop. So I have been stuck.  For weeks.  

Let’s take a look  at my design boards and get some thoughts:


This design board features a cream glass tile.  I love glass tile..I really do…but I worry that the light color will reflect a weird shade (for example the white glass looked green on the wall) and that it is too “glam” for the more rustic french country inspired space.



This board features a tile from Shaw’s new line.  It is linear randoms and I think the shape with minimal color would be really interesting.  I would want to take this all the way to the ceiling behind the range hood.  My concerns with this one is that the tile in person has more gray than brown and seems slightly cold. 


The final board keeps the original tile and we just paint it a color similar to my wall color.  It is the most cost effective and would have minimal demo.  We would only need to finish the existing tile to suit the new layouts and replace a few “cut” tile pieces. I also think it would be really beautiful and simple.  Two things I like. My concern here is that we have spent so much time, money and effort trying to create a more “custom” kitchen..I don’t want to cheapen it with cutting corners and painting a tile. 

Alright!  I am ready for feedback so that I can finally get this project finished and show you my kitchen!


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