Kitchen cosmetic upgrade
jmlw7November 18, 2013
Hi all - we just purchased a new town home and would like to upgrade the appliances in the kitchen to smudge proof stainless (or stainless-like) steel. That's as far as we've gotten with looks. But now on closer inspection, can we jazz up the kitchen with a back splash without breaking the bank? If so - any ideas on design (where to place it, thickness, color, etc)? This is our first home and no idea where to start, but we will have a full month or two before we move in so we are trying to take advantage.

The room is a wide open concept to the dining and living room (one very large room) with darker wood furniture than the cabinets (dining table, coffee table, end tables, etc), so perhaps a backsplash tile with darker tones can make the darker wood in the dining room and living room tie together to the lighter shade of the kitchen cabinets and granite. The rooms are empty now with hardwood floors, so the main design element can start with the kitchen. We would like to change the wall color as well, so we thought a backsplash idea would be a good place to start
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more photos..
    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 1:46PM
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A tile backsplash would be a nice addition and provide opportunity to add some interest.
I would remove the existing 4" backsplash before tiling.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 1:50PM
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I am not a designer, but your idea of bringing dark brown into the kitchen to tie in your darker furniture makes good sense to me. If possible remove the strip of granite on the wall before you tile so that the backsplash meets the countertop. I would use a simple tile that does not compete with your granite. Then you can add some pops of color in your "great room" to finish it off.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 1:54PM
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What about something like these?? Will it make the kitchen look too busy and messy? We dont like a cluttered look and maybe with the stainless appliances it will look cleaner, but I really love the look of multicolored tile?

Any suggestions?
1 Like    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 2:17PM
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I really like the different browns and bronzes in the top right pic, but with stainless steel I think you should go with cooler colors. The top left pic is cooler but I think you can do better. Keep looking in that direction but with more "pops" in it like the colors in the small square tiles in the bottom right corner pic. What colors are you considering for wall paint?
    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 2:36PM
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Granite Transformations
Our diamond Liberty tile would look great in this kitchen, especially with the stainless appliances. You can see them here-

Hope this helps!
1 Like    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 2:37PM
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Buxy might work too, Granite Trans, what do you think? That mosaic style is unusual and unique. I like it.
    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 2:42PM
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For wall paint, we will most likely go darker as the room is large and bright, but we would like to stick with neutrals - maybe a rich gray?

How about something with both dark and cooler elements, with shades of the actual granite and cabinet to draw all colors out? Like this...?
    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 2:44PM
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I love gray paint. I painted my kitchen BM Revere Pewter, but is is a lighter gray than it sounds like you are going for. Now that tile is pretty and would go with the brown and the stainless. It is both warm and cool. Does that make it a neutral? LOL.
    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 2:48PM
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I like this tile too.... This way a darker wood element in the dining room - on the other side of the breakfast bar area wont stand out as too dark. And if we incorporate tan/lighter wood shades in the pillows of the living room couch or blankets or art or rugs it might go well.

Please keep the suggestions coming. I like buxy too - but it may be too dark? We like a rich look, but clean and bright at the same time
    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 2:51PM
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I do like this tile, especially when you factor in your varying wood colors. I wouldn't limit myself to just wood shades in the pillow and other accessories. Gray LOVES lots of different colors!
    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 3:01PM
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Granite Transformations, that line of tile is gorgeous in a funky kind of way, and I mean that as a huge compliment! I think you should promote it here on Houzz more.
    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 3:04PM
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So here is where we are now... what if we do our kitchen with the slightly darker shaded GE Slate appliances - rather than Stainless Steel like here:
, and then incorporate the backsplash from here, and then PAINT our trash compactor (the ugly white thing next to the stove) to try and match the darker slate colored appliances?

If the color match fails, we will just paint it black since our stove top will most likely have a black cook top. Do you think that will be a good solution? We dont want to break the bank with replacing the compactor right now - especially if we find it still works. We just dont want it to remain white when everything else will get upgraded.

Thoughts? Maybe with the new backsplash, it will all tie together. We just dont want it to look messy with lots going on.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 1:09PM
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I like the tile sample you just posted. It can be warm and cool and has both light and dark elements. I don't think you need to go dark with the backplash to tie into the dining room. You can accessorize the dining room in a way that highlights the points you like in that room. Just a few common elements in each room will be a suble way to tie them together and it won't look like you tried to hard. :)
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by jmlw7    November 21, 2013 at 4:41PM
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Does anyone have any tips for me on how to safely remove the 2" backsplash so I dont ruin the granite countertops or wall?
    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 1:59PM
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If you want something inexpensive for right now and then decide later on something more expensive. We went with 24" tin tiles Home Depot) in a bronze color.
    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 3:26PM
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Subway Tile Outlet
Have you considered stainless steel tile to match the appliances? We would love to help you get the right tile for your project so please let us know if we can be of any help getting any samples for comparing or answering any questions for you.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 4:01PM
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It is tempting when you buy a new home to just want to dive in and start updating immediately, but I've learned it's best to wait until you have lived in the house for a little while and you've had time to come up with the overall look/style you are trying to achieve throughout your entire house. Otherwise the rooms end up looking choppy. I think it's great that you will be getting the stainless steel appliances in the meantime. That will be a huge transformation unto itself. You can also add some under cabinet lighting in the meantime, if you don't have that currently. That's another one of those things that would work regardless of the direction you ultimately go in. Seriously consider waiting at least a couple of months on the other upgrades until you have time to relax after dealing with your home transaction and with the upcoming holidays. Take this time to dream, but wait. I say this because I was over eager on my first home purchase and regret many of the early design decisions.
    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 4:50PM
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Hi everyone - so we finally got to our DIY for our new backsplash and changed out our appliances. Attached are photos of before grouting and after from a few feet back. What do you think compared to our original pics above?

Then on a side note - does anyone know how we can get the stone part of the backsplash to be cleaner - and rid of the dried grout in the grooves? We dont want to ruin the grout lines as we just installed this two days ago. Up close photos attached
1 Like    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 12:44PM
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Very nice! It goes great with the slate appliances :)
    Bookmark   Thanked by jmlw7    January 28, 2014 at 2:42PM
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Thank you! Is the dried grout in the stone tile an eyesore and obvious? Or am I being picky?
    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 6:15PM
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