Tile Away, Tile Away…

you put me up, and I won’t fall…I am gla-a-a-ss… okay, no one wants to hear me sing, but I bet you do want photos of gorgeous green subway tile on my kitchen walls.

BAM! Here you go:

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Of course, the magic of the internet makes this look SO much easier than it actually was, but I am absolutely loving how much it changes the kitchen already and we haven’t even grouted it yet!

The first wall, on the sink side, took a LOT longer than the second wall, since we were trying to get a feel for how much thinset to use, how to cut the tiles around the outlets (YUCK!) and making sure we had all of the spacing correct. But since it turned out pretty darn well, the second wall seemed to take much less time.

Hopefully the grouting will go smoothly and then we’re down to just a few final finishing touches!! Can you hear the fat lady warming up??? Oh wait, that was just me singing that Titanium song again. 😉


One, Two, Three, Floor!

I should really relabel this post, one-month, two-month, three-month, floor!

It’s been a long, long time coming, but on July 27, we finally laid some of the first planks of flooring in our kitchen!

But before I go into too much detail about the flooring, let’s recap how the pantry doorway finally got finished.

When the workers ‘finished’ their work in our place, they left the door of the pantry looking like this:

Our neighbor, who is going to custom make the doors for us, let us know that this wouldn’t work, particularly since it wasn’t even finished off evenly on both sides (I’m sorry, I know it’s tough to see in the photo).

So after a long wait of trying to schedule the contractor to come back out and finish it off, we finally agreed that we would make it clean and drywalled around like we had the other door to the laundry room. Unfortunately, after their first day back in the kitchen, we ended up like this:

And then like this, when we said that the first way was NOT going to work:

But the good news is… it ended up like this:

And then we got started on the floor!

A little bit worse, a little bit better (Kitchen Dishin’)

This weekend we took the next step in our kitchen remodel, after a break last weekend to attend a friend’s wedding in Virginia. We got the last remaining scraps of the old flooring up from under the walls, and laid the subfloor.

We needed to find 1/4″ plywood subfloor pieces, since we wanted to find the right depth between the joists and the top of the cork flooring to come up even with the rest of our hardwood flooring throughout the apartment. It’s fairly thin, and we couldn’t get it with tongue and groove because it was so thin, but it should work out well.

We did have a bit of an adventure getting the plywood, since we couldn’t fit it inside or tie it on top of our car – we had to rent a UHaul and drive it back and forth – it took forever. But we got it and got it all done working into the early hours of the morning.

And while it doesn’t look like much, it is actually a bit better:

But before we got to that point, we had to make it a little bit worse:

This week, the contractor is working on tearing up the rest of the old pantry and laundry room entrance, and building the new ones! SO EXCITED!

Oh, and because I haven’t shared the photo with everyone, I wanted to share the photo that inspired the pantry we’re developing, courtesy of Pinterest: (source: http://www.closet-shelf.com).

I love the french doors, and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to do some cabinets on the far end, even though I won’t have enough room to do it on the long wall. Can’t wait to show you all the finished product… once it’s final, of course.


Fireplace Edition

So I think I’ve decided on my next big project. I’m going to finally tackle the hideous fireplace. I’d love to do it soon, because I’d like it to be done before we start using it again. And if today’s weather is any indication, we’re going to be busting out some wood logs pretty soon! (Brrr!!!)

So, even though it looked pretty nice last Christmas:

I’ve decided that this Christmas the fireplace should actually match the walls… and the rest of the room! So I’ve been debating tiles and think that I have finally settled on the “idea” of the tile that I want.

I’m looking for a glass and travertine/stone mosaic tile in a mix of tan colors, with a bit of a dark brown or burnt red accent. And I want it to be in the long rectangular pattern, rather than half-inch squares. I like the sparkle of the glass, but I like the texture of the stone, so I think the combination will look great. Plus, thanks to my mom’s pretty awesome idea, I plan to put a matching travertine stone on the hearth and the threshold so they match but aren’t exactly the same as the tile around the fireplace.

Unfortunately, so far I haven’t been able to find exactly what I’ve been looking for. I’ve been able to find things that are close, but not anything that’s exactly what I’m looking for yet.

Too Light:

Too Orange:

Too Pink:

Too Green:

Too Tan:

Guess I’ll just have to keep looking!

Make Your Own Clock

A month or so ago, hubby was getting a hair cut and I decided I really wanted a smoothie. On my way to Jamba Juice, I stumbled across the Chiasso store that was in the same stripmall that I hadn’t realized was there. I was wondering around and actually found a bunch of really neat things. One thing I kept coming back to, however, was this ronaldo clock:

I loved the fact that it had the fun stripes in the “wood” and the photo frames added a level of personalization to the clock. What I didn’t like, was the $40 price tag (Items are cheaper in the store than they are online). Especially when the one in the store had screws sticking out through the front of the panels.

So I decided to do what I do and do it myself! Since I was already buying panels for my wall art project, I bought one more, slightly thinner, 2’x2’x1/4” panel, which I cut into a variety of squares and rectangles.

Which I then stained with the same Minwax Red Mahogany stain. I then printed and cut photos from our Costa Rican honeymoon to add that bit of personalization I liked about the inspiration clock. I also purchased a clock kit from the arts and crafts store. They didn’t have any with silver hands, so I also grabbed a silver paint pen (a staple from my sorority days) and colored the gold arms silver.

In another moment of inspiration, based on a passport art project from Brooklyn Limestone, I added a copy of our honeymoon passport stamp to one of the boards. A little more Modge Podge, some screws, the installation of the clock in the middle, and drawing lines for the clock later, I have an extra touch of our honeymoon in our bathroom:

Make Your Own Wall Art

I wanted to add a few touches of Morocco in our living room while I wait for my custom-made rug to arrive. I have always loved the statement that Moroccan doors make – they’re so intricate and colorful and I knew I wanted to incorporate them somehow into my living room. When I saw how quickly the Youngsters made their own wall art for their bathroom, I knew I could adapt the idea to add some fun touches to our living room.

So I started with 3 panels of 2’x2’x1/2” plywood boards, which I cut (using my parents’ table saw) to 12 9”x10” panels. I then stained the panels with Minwax Red Mahagony stain, which went with the other dark woods and materials that are elsewhere in the living room. Then I searched online through Flickr and Google Images for 12 beautiful moroccan door images, which I then printed and trimmed to fit onto the panels.

I then used Modge Podge to ahere the printouts to the boards:

Put a few saw tooths on the back of the panels, nails on the wall and then…


Wall art for only $20!!!