Tag Archives: subway tile with wood cabinets

Mera’s House: A New Kitchen Backsplash

Last week Opal and I went to Portland for a few days with my sister and her beautiful brood. Chester stayed home, and with my dad’s help managed to put together the Taj Mahal of play sets in the back yard.  Here’s to industrious dads!  Opal was so excited when she saw it, and her first words were “it’s from Costco!”  You know you’re an Alaskan when . . . .

Also accomplished in our absence, a new backsplash in the kitchen!  Here’s the before:


When I picked these tiles initially they looked shiny and pretty, but I knew as soon as they were installed that I had made a mistake.  I lived with this backsplash for years hoping that I would learn to love it, like a successful arranged marriage.  Alas, time didn’t teach my heart to love.  Instead, my disdain hardened into hatred and I knew the backsplash had to go.

For the backsplash 2.0 I chose simple white 3×6 subway tile with a glossy finish.  I know people have mixed feelings about subway tile–some say it’s a passing fad, or too antiseptic looking.  That may all be true, but I still love it.  To me it looks clean, simple, and fresh.

Here’s the after:



Can we pretend the walls are white instead of beige?

I like the scale of the tile, and I think it looks really nice with our big porcelain farm sink (which I adore).  I elected to tile up to the cabinet level, but not farther.  This meant stopping just below the height of the tall cabinet on the far right.  I’ve seen a lot of blogosphere examples of subway tile going all the way to the ceiling, like this, or these.  I like the look theoretically, but it also makes me think of gruesome scenes of blood spattering at a butcher shop (watching all six seasons of The Sopranos twice isn’t without consequence).  We cook a lot and while we’re not the tidiest chefs, there’s no butchering or wild gesticulating with food-covered implements that would necessitate counter to ceiling tile.


I chose a medium gray grout to roughly match the concrete counters, and I think it looks beautiful.


Of course all these photos illustrate AGAIN that I desperately need to paint the kitchen and living room walls white.  Perhaps I can convince Chester to take Opal (and the dogs) for a father-daughter camping trip, and then I can paint my brains out while they’re gone.

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend and a great Father’s Day!  Check back in on Wednesday when Katie will be sharing plans for turning her dining room into the indigo-hued room of her dreams.