Backsplash Subway Tile

We are in the home stretch of this kitchen reno! The remaining items on the old to-do list are as follows:

  • Backsplash Tile (Installed and Grouted)
  • Crown Moulding above the cabinets
  • Paint and finish out the Window Sill and Trim

That’s it! 3 seemingly little things!

We are starting with the Backsplash tile, since everything else needs to come after that is done to look super professional. We purchased 60+ square feet of the this mosaic subway tile. I had trouble buying it, and did have to run around to 3 different Home Depot’s to get the amount we needed, but for about $5 a square foot, it was well worth it.

We have had the tile sitting around for a few weeks ready to install. I kept bugging Collin to start the project. He is our in-house tile master. He has 4x the amount of patience as I do and is pretty OCD about things being exact, where as I may or may not live by the idea that everything can be fixed later, just get it on the wall. The backsplash is the perfect job for him to do on a weekday when he is off work. He kept telling me that it should take about a day to get the tile up <— Bit of optimism.

I got home from work around 4:30 to about 8 out of 60 square feet complete. The measurements and cutting were taking much longer than anticipated. So, I threw on my construction clothes and we both kept working for the rest of the evening.


Collin applied the big sheets, while I used our tile saw to cut the individual tile pieces IMG_2103


We were able to finish to the end of the upper cabinets. The tile is going to wrap around the whole wall, to the ceiling, and around the windows!


Cooking Dinner while we continue to tile 🙂 

Collin plans on finishing the tile install Wednesday, and then we can grout this weekend! Hopefully I’ll have a better reveal for you all next week!



Laying the Last of the Flooring and Other Finishing Touches

It seems like lately we have gotten in to a good groove. Every other weekend we have been alternating between fun, low key weekends with full on reno weekends. This past weekend, was the reno kind!

Collin worked on Saturday so I was on my own. I worked on getting the back of the Kitchen peninsula wrapped with beadboard and moulding.

Here are the before’s, with the unfinished cabinet back’s exposed:



To finish them off, I cut the beadboard sheets to the correct height and then cut the width of the panels. I used my nail gun to secure them to the back of the cabinets.

Next, I followed with the baseboard mouldings. I was even able to get it caulked and painted.

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Sunday, Collin and I had 2 options: finish the floors in the front living room, or work on the backsplash tile in the kitchen. Both need to get done eventually, but we decided to move forward with finishing the flooring since we have people coming in to town next weekend and it would be nice to have the house not looking like a full-on construction zone.  Here is what that front living room looked like starting Sunday morning:


(Who wouldn’t want to spend the weekend here?!)

We headed to Home Depot to pick up supplies. To start, we had to level out the floors with plywood. We just pieced it together until the whole floor was covered.


Next we rolled out the underlayment and stapled it to the plywood.


Finally, we clicked and locked the flooring together, cutting at the edges and along the angled front of the room.


And here it is with some furniture we had floating around the house. Eventually, we need to make some furniture changes, as the sectional is gigantic in here. That’s on the list for this summer.

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Here is a Before and After of the transition between rooms (living room and kitchen):

Also, I’m getting a new phone today, so better “photography” may be in the near future for your viewing pleasure. You can thank me later. Now if only I could figure out how to use my Nikon, we might have a real blog here some day 🙂

It’s All in the Details

I would break this kitchen reno in to 3 main phases:

  • Phase 1: Super Boring Phase that takes forever (Framing, drywall, plumbing and electrical rough-in’s). This phase is time consuming, dirty and makes you question every decision you have ever made in life.
  • Phase 2: Fun, but Expensive (Counter-tops, Cabinets, Appliances, final Plumbing and Electrical). Here, things are coming together, but money is literally pouring out of the wallet and you’re not sure whether to be excited or sit in a corner crying that you will never be able to retire.
  • Phase 3: Sunshine and Rainbows (Tile Backsplash, Cabinet Organization, pretty flowers and detail work). This is the best part for me! Its where you finally have a functioning space but still get to make it pretty, and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. I can be creative and play around with a bunch of options, while not stressing that these are major decisions that can never be changed.

I figured I’d start phase 3 with two simple projects that got done last weekend.

Before I started moving dishes and kitchenware in to the cabinets, I decided I needed to fancy up the glass upper cabinets. Since the Cabinets are white and all of our dishes and serving ware is also white, I knew when I started filling the cabinets, nothing was going to pop. I decided to back the cabinets in a fabric to make the dishes look way fancier than they are.

To start this project I picked up 2 pieces of large foam board and 1.5 yards of fabric. I went with a fabric that had a colored background, not white. When I got home, I measured the inside of the cabinet.


I cut the foam board to size. This cabinet was a bit bigger than the foam board, so I just taped some extra on to make it fit.

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I cut the fabric to size and ironed it.

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Next, I took the foam board outside and sprayed it with Spray Adhesive and laid the fabric on top. I patted the fabric down and made sure there was no air pockets. The spray adhesive is pretty forgiving, so you don’t need it to be absolutely perfect the first time. After it was secure, I flipped it over and sprayed the edges around the back, like a present.


I brought the board back inside and slipped in in to the back of the cabinet:

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I did not secure it to anything. I installed the shelves right in front of the backing. The shelves hold the backing in place.

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And here it is all filled up with our dishes and wedding serving ware that hadn’t seen the light of day in 3 years!

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The second project that I did this past weekend was the Vent Hood cover. This kitchen was getting a little white on white for my liking and I knew I wanted to install something a bit more rustic over the vent. The vent itself is self-venting, so we are not really covering anything. We had plenty of storage in the kitchen (like only 60% – 70% of cabinets are being used right now!), so I knew it could just be decorative.

I used this material   and just glued it together to make a square. I then used basic 1×4’s to frame it out. It took maybe 30 min total to build. I stained it in a custom stain that we plan on using on this and the column separating the two rooms.

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It’s going to get a cute little faux wreath in the next few days too!

So that’s it for this week. Next week I’m hoping to be able to get updates on the backsplash tile that is going up to the ceilings and possibly even the cabinet crown moulding, but that’s only if I’m feeling really energetic.



A Sea of Granite

The day has come -The Granite is in!

But first, let’s back up a week or two to how we decided on the Granite. Don’t worry, we’ll get to the pretty pictures in a minute 🙂

Once the Cabinets were installed, we were able to start really getting in to granite. We headed over to Big Brothers Marble and Granite in Baltimore. I have worked with them before on a prior house and was happy with the work. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that they are down the block!

We headed over to check out some samples. We came prepared with our estimated measurements <– This is important, or they won’t be able to give you a realistic price.

Alex, our sales rep/aka my new BFF, helped walked up through the different stones that fit with the look, but also the budget. She basically slapped my hand away from anything that was *too pretty*, as in wayyyy out of our budget and led me on a path to the affordable options.

We quickly settled on Fantasy Brown. Its a very common granite and falls mid-range in price, but still much lower than Quartz and Man-Made stone.

They sent the templaters out 3 days later to get our final measurements and to template the kitchen. Only a few days later, they were back to install.

Are you ready??







I have literally spent the last 2 days petting it and cleaning it and shining it (Barely exaggerating).

In other news, the plumber came on Friday to connect the sink, gas range, dishwasher and fridge water/ice. So basically, the kitchen is fully functioning!

Still outstanding:

  • Crown Moulding
  • Backsplash Tile

That’s it!!!

And one more beauty for the road:


-All the Heart Eyes-


Hardware and Final Prep

Hope everyone had a great Memorial Day Weekend! We spent the weekend hiking, exploring and playing board games at my Mom’s beach house in Maine with family! Perfect few days away!

This week we had 2 days to prep before the counter top installs on Thursday morning. We needed to finish installing the cabinet above the fridge, fix any doors/hinges (since we wouldn’t have easy access to them after the counter tops went in) and get the hardware installed.

We chose this hardware line. I wanted a stainless look, but nothing too modern. These knobs and pulls were a bit traditional, but still clean looking.

To install the knobs, I used this template kit. First, I held the knobs up to where I thought they looked good and marked that. Then I put the template on top to see which hole was the one that best matched my marking. This became my standard that I would use moving forward:



Next I used the 3/16″ drill bit that came with the template kit to drill the hole:


Then we installed the knobs. It was a pretty easy update, and if you already have the knob holes there, this is the simplest project to really make a difference in the kitchen!

For the pulls, I had to actually measure center of the cabinet door and then measure out for the pulls (3.5″ from hole to hole).



All Done:



Last night, we installed the cabinet over the refrigerator and cleaned out the cabinets.


Today is Counter Top day and I already got these sneak peaks from Collin:


I cannot wait to get home from work to check them out!