A kitchen worthy of being photographed

The one room in our new house that I have been struggling to finish is the kitchen.  It was so far from what I had originally visualized for our new space that I had a really hard time pulling it together in my mind.

I blogged in a previous post about all of the structural changes that we made and touched on the internal battle I was having about a tile backsplash.

After months of looking at an unfinished space, I had finally reached my designer breaking point and knew it was time to just suck it up, realize it was not a stark white kitchen and finish the damn thing.

So after months and months of looking at tile, stressing over tile and hating tile, I decided to go a slightly different route.

For those who know me well, you know that I have a not so slight obsession with painted brick. I drool over exteriors that are painted brick and dream of a large painted brick fireplace.

Because our new home is much more “rustic” in style than I had planned for, what better place to add a touch of architectural interest than in my kitchen backsplash! Bringing something that I always loved about  Highland Park to our new construction!

Because I didn’t want to tear out the existing tile (well I did until I tried to remove a few tiles and realized that we would be looking at a pretty major sheet rock job) I decided to “brick the tiles” that were already in place and finish the tile work from where we had added  and moved cabinets.  I did the tile work myself and it was fairly simple. My $19 tile cutter from Home Depot is my new BFF.  I then used grout on top of the existing tile to create a “rough brick-like finish.”  I also added mortar to the original grout line to add some character. I didn’t want anything about this project to be perfect.  Pretty hard for a type A personality but the end result was exactly what I wanted. There are rough patches and it looks almost exactly like the exterior brick I have always dreamed of painting.

To paint the “brick” I used a bonding primer and then a high gloss paint in the same color as my walls.  It went on quickly and without too much effort. I opted for a brush instead of a roller.  It took longer but I wanted the brush lines to add dimension.

I am very pleased with the end result and glad that I decided to go this route.  I think it is a perfect addition to the stained ceiling, Crema Marfil marble and the future rustic island countertop.  It also only cost around $200 for the entire tile to brick project so I am hoping Brendan will be so impressed with the money that I saved that he will let me shop for a new awesome sink when the countertop goes in.

After all this time the kitchen is still only about 95% there…but at least it appears finished to the normal eye.  I still have pendants to hang, the island to finish and a few wood details to go in but at least I don’t have to crop it out of pictures anymore!

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