Thursday, July 12, 2012

I am going to miss my kitchen

The Realtor brought the photographer to the house yesterday in front of the MLS going online.  We're going to remodel the kitchen in the new house, but I love my kitchen in the old house.  The floors are cork plank, the cabinets are maple and the walls are painted Valspar's "Smoke Infusion".  But its the the back splash tiles that are the hardest to part with.

The tiles were cut from sheets of maple veneer plywood - 500 3.5 x 3.5 natural tiles.  And because we wanted COLOR - we stole an idea from "Judge Mathis" and his set, which featured orange, purple and green tiles - and had Sherwin Williams mix-up pints stain for each color in wood stain. 

We hand stained 125 in each color (that left us 125 natural tiles in case one color or another ran short), and to get a true random pattern, we used scrabble tiles with O, G, V in a blind bag, and the drew for the next tile to determine which color made it up on the way as we worked in vertical lines across the area.   The rule was that a maximum of four tiles in the same color could touch in an area - OR - no more than three tiles in a given line.  

To trim the tiles to fit our 1916 walls (and all of their eccentricities) we used an invented belt sander (clamped to a saw horse) and that gave us the ability to shape tiles with a minimum number of pieces as we went around outlets, etc. 

The nice thing about this system is that it was thousands of dollars less than ceramic tile, and it eliminated another material in a busy room.  And with all the colors of dyes that they make today, the possibilities are endless.

In the end, and ten years later, we still love it.  Of course, I'm sure that purists will scoff - its not the sacred granite that everyone demands.  But we did it for us.  And we'll miss it!. 


  1. Wel, of course you'll miss it, it's gorgeous and very personal. I think that's the problem with getting something right, you don't want to let go of it.

  2. Those wood tiles are a very good-looking and original idea. When the old house has unique features like this (and some of the others you have written about), even while you enjoy the new house, you will always have the special memories of this one.

  3. Loved it, now you must List it and Leave it.

    Granite emits radon gas, anyway.

    1. "List it and leave it"...tough love from Margaret.

    2. Go stick your pointed head into your radon-gas Easy Bake oven, MJ.

      Sorry we had to hiss in your kitchen, Cookie. I hope you didn't have buyers walking through.

    3. Hissing is perfectly acceptable. After all, what home doesn't have it's character?

  4. All that work and creativity... I'd miss it too.

  5. What a labor of love; and beautiful and original, too! I'll take your kitchen if the new owners don't want it. Should cost much to ship to Spain.

    I would love to have a job as a "paint color namer." Smoke Infusion!