Tag Archives: Backsplash

Does Your Kitchen Need a Facelift?

 

 

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How many times have you walked into your kitchen and thought: “My kitchen really needs a facelift?”  I can’t tell you the number of times I hear from friends who share this dilemma. The problem is that they aren’t quite ready for a complete renovation or a brand new kitchen.  They simply want to breathe new life into a dated kitchen, whether ultimately to sell the house or to stretch the life of the kitchen for a few more years.

So, how do you make an impact when refreshing your tired kitchen?  Start first with the cabinets.  If they are sound and in good shape, consider having them professionally painted.  Techniques differ amongst painters — some brush the paint on, while others spray, so be sure to ask your painter about his process.  The prep work takes the most time and is a vital component of a great paint job, so make sure that you’re hiring a meticulous, professional painter with great references since this won’t be an insignificant amount of money.

If your countertops are in good shape and aren’t dated, consider yourself lucky!  Replacing countertops is most-definitely an option, but will certainly impact your costs, especially if your budget is tight.  And if you’re replacing your countertop, this would be a good time to switch out your faucet for a newer model, and your sink for an undermount (if you don’t already have one).

While changing out a dated tiled backsplash for something more current will require demolition and repair to the sheetrock, this is a change that will have tremendous impact.  Make sure to hire a good tile installer who knows how to remove the old tile, repair the wall behind and install new tile.  The process will take several days, but the wow-factor will be big.

Changing out your cabinet hardware will also go a long way towards making your kitchen look fresh.  If you currently have cabinet knobs and want to change to bar pulls, now is the time to do so since the painter can easily fill the holes.  Just remember:  you’ll need to hire someone to measure and re-drill holes for the new hardware once the cabinet paint has cured.  Alternatively, if you want to keep it simple and manage your costs, opt to keep the same type of hardware you currently have (i.e.: knobs or bar pulls) and just replace with a different style and/or finish.  No need to patch and re-drill holes.

Finally, a great way to make a big statement is to replace your lighting.  Does the light fixture over your kitchen table appear dated?  Do the pendants over your island look like they are stuck in the ’80s?  Lighting is often overlooked and is such an integral part of any space, and updating it can be literally transformative.  For some reason, people are often reluctant to change out light fixtures, when in fact this is one of the most impactful changes you can make in any space — give it a try!

Clearly even a facelift in your kitchen isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you’re willing to live through both the mess and the frustration of being displaced for a few weeks, these changes will certainly have a big impact on your space.  Any good designer can guide you through the process and manage all of the details to help you with your update.  It’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it!

 

 

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For the Love of Tile

 

It’s been entirely too long since my last post.  My excuse is simply that life has gotten in the way.  Funny how one of my many jobs as a parent is to teach my children the important life skill of time management.  Perhaps I haven’t been modeling good behavior lately as I’ve quite literally been burning the candle at both ends, and a few things have inadvertently fallen through the cracks.  September is one of the busiest months of the year, and most moms often ask one another “What’s worse:  September….or June?”  Endless meetings for school, requests to shuttle children to sports events, daily household chores and the launch of my kitchen & bath business have swallowed-up the month of September.  And it all came to a head today when I learned that I had forgotten my mother-in-law’s birthday yesterday.  Ah yes, the wheels appear to have come off the wagon.  Happily, October begins tomorrow, and with that I suspect a more normal routine of sorts will ensue.  By October we are generally in a rhythm – the kids with school and sports, and me with work and other commitments.  So, rather than feeling as though my family is spinning out of control, I am hopeful that the chaos of September is behind us, and that we will all start fresh in October!

Lately I have been spending time in tile showrooms sourcing backsplash tile.  I had the great fortune to visit the Walker Zanger showroom and I was so impressed by their beautiful selection.  I have written about tile in previous blog posts, as I’m a believer that tile is a great way to make a statement in both the kitchen and the bathroom.  What struck me during this most recent visit to Walker Zanger was the incredible variety of tile that is available today, and the countless ways these exquisite tiles can be used.  In the kitchen above,  designed by Drawing Dept. of Cincinnati, Ohio, the tile choice is so fresh and modern and makes quite a statement behind the sink.  At first it looks like custom millwork, doesn’t it?

In this bathroom designed by Tatum Brown Custom Homes in Dallas, Texas, tile is used behind the sink in lieu of wallpaper.  What a fantastic way to add both color and texture to arguably the most important wall in the powder room?  Who wouldn’t notice this bold statement when standing at the sink?

While a traditional 3″ x 6″ subway tile is a classic shape for a kitchen backsplash, the use of  hand painted ceramic tile with its depth and variety of color makes this classic shape appear much more current.  This kitchen designed by California-based Fiorella Design demonstrates that subtle color variation can add just the right amount of interest to the backsplash.  
So, here’s to a fresh start to fall and to a renewed enthusiasm for making a beautiful design statement in  your own home.
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Design Elements: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Have you ever considered using mirrors in your kitchen?  While adding a mirror to a space to achieve a particular effect is certainly not a new trend in design, it’s one that is often overlooked as a tool in kitchen design.  Adding a mirrored backsplash to your kitchen is a great way to reflect light (or possibly a terrific view), as in this kitchen designed by Fairfield County architects Brooks & Falotico.   Not only does the mirror reflect the light, but it also adds a slightly contemporary flair to the space, and the coolness of the material compliments the warmth of the beautiful wood island.

In this elegant bar, tucked away in a family room designed by Sutro Architects (and photographed by Aaron Leitz Photography), the mirrored backsplash gives the illusion that this small interior space is much larger than it truly is.  If I had a bar like this, I think I would leave the door open, too!

This mirrored kitchen island, photographed by Pia Ulin, certainly makes a design statement!  The tension that is created when the sleek, modern cabinets and mirrored finish on the island are juxtaposed with the more traditional architectural features as seen in the windows and doors and the herringbone floor, makes this kitchen so interesting!

So, whether you choose to make a big impact, such as the one made by this mirrored island, or a small statement with a framed mirror hanging on the wall, why not try to add a mirror to your kitchen to see how it changes the space?

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