Gray Arabesques + Super White = ?

beekeeperswifeSeptember 17, 2012

Well, I've been on the hunt for something other than white for my back splash tile. I was sure that I could never love another tile as much as I loved my white arabesques in the last kitchen. I still had some pieces of that white tile (the movers accidentally took the extras when they packed us up--whoops). So, I had those taped to the wall and I did think they could be the ones. I went to all the tile stores I could find to look at tiles in person. Either they were too green, or too blue. None were the right gray to go with the Super White. And I kept talking in circles..." I don't want subways....it needs to be unique in the shape...Maybe I can do a subway if it's a large format with the right color....I want it to catch the light...." hmmm, sounds like someone was stuck on the arabesques, no?

I asked my old friends at Mission Stone & Tile for a sample of the beveled arabesque tile in Smoke to check out. Oh, my. It showed up on Friday. I immediately got out the packing tape and taped it to the wall. It didn't photograph well on the wall, but in real life it looks gorge! The tiles have highlighted edges at the bevel which make them even more interesting. So, here are some pictures of the tile laying on the Super White. When I tried to photograph them vertically on the wall, the look like dark blobs. There is under cabinet lighting and to the naked eye, they look great. But, just not in photos, well, MY photos.

I put the white ones up on the wall next to these and I can report that the gray ones are blowing away the white ones in terms of interest, at least in this kitchen.

So, should I do it?

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secondhalf

Yes please. I love the grays that someone posted from houzz. And they look so warm and inviting next to your super white.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 10:29AM
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lascatx

I love just a couple laying on the counter and with the light right on them, but I'm not sure if I'd like them vertically and under the cabinets. The color is good, but if they didn't photogragh well on the wall, look carefully and how they really look and not how you want them to look. Is it enough light or do they go muddy without enough light on them?

I think part of what I like is the play of them against the Super White -- as an accent rather than a wall, but I think I would need to see at least 3 or 4 on the wall to know how I felt about them. It's very interesting at the least. They might be smashing -- but you may need to leave your under cabinet lights on all the time. LOL They really are pretty.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 10:32AM
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peonybush

Let me catch my breath!
I think it's nothing short of amazing. I say pull the trigger. Just beautiful.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 10:46AM
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gardenamy

Stunning! Absolutely....stunning!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 10:52AM
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ppbenn

Love the shape vertically and the coloring around the edges has nice highlighting and depth.
However on my monitor they look a bit blue green with the SW and not gray. The SW has a brown gray veining and the tile not so much. But could be my monitor.
More importantly how is your lighing thru the day in your kitchen? What direction is your window North- South? Also how do the tiles look with the paint on your lovely island.
Again love the shape of course but maybe a lighter gray or silvery? I love contrast and really do favor darker bolder color but...
If the color looks good with your island and in your lighting thruout the day and with the stainless. Get the order going!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 11:10AM
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beekeeperswife

I have taped them up on the wall. I don't know why I'm having so much trouble with my camera capturing what my eye sees today. Give me my Kodachrome back!!! sorry.

here you go...

the towel is there to catch them if they fell:

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 11:12AM
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function_first

While I love those tiles, they're looking really blue-green to me, and your super white seems to have warm undertones. Sorry, but I don't think the colors go well together.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 11:25AM
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lascatx

The color looks good on my monitor so this may be one of those things you have to trust your own eye on since you are getting different views from us.

The tiles are really pretty, but I notice you have your undercabinet lights on adn they still seem a bit dark to me. I have a definite preference for light and light reflective splashes since I don't like the dark cave effect. I do have lights and turn them on often when working, but I don't have them on all the time. I think the grey is a bit dark for my preferences, but if you are loving them, I know you have excellent taste. If you are having nagging doubts, keep gathering opinions and see if you can figure out what is bothering you and how much of an issue it is.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 11:33AM
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writersblock

I think they are beautiful, but too dark. Also, while the extra detail around the edges makes the tiles themselves specially lovely, I think that would also make the overall effect too busy with the countertop.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 11:41AM
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vsalz

Gorgeous. And while I loved the white in your last kitchen, these blow me away.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 11:54AM
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breezygirl

Writersblock said precisely what I felt. Sorry!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 11:58AM
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breezygirl

P.s. If you had a larger, or more, windows, the extra natural light might help with the darkness I'm afraid the tile would create. I might be able to get over the busyness if that was the case. ;)

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 12:01PM
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lavender_lass

I think they're too dark, too. Very pretty, but what about the white...or even a very light gray?

Another idea...can you use the super white as a backsplash? I've seen so many marble counters and backsplashes in magazines recently. It's such a high end look, but would be right at home with your chandeliers and other finishes.

Maybe a combination of arabesque and the super white?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 12:11PM
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springroz

I'm afraid I'm with breezy and wb....can't they custom color them for you, two shades lighter? They look perfect laying flat on the SW, though, so it may just be the decieving camera.

How do they look by your SS backsplash?

Nancy

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 12:13PM
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beekeeperswife

well......

Thank you all for your very kind and honest words. I think you must know how I feel based on the title of my thread, right? The fact that I have a ? in it must lead you to believe that I'm hesitant myself. And you all know me well enough (as well as you can here in cyber space, that is) to know that I truly believe that when we ask a question we actually know the answer in our heart.

The tile is an absolute dead on match to the veining in the super white. If it looks greenish, it is the camera on my end or the monitor on yours. So, you just have to trust me that the color is perfect.

All the gray tiles I'm finding are not the right gray. So this is why such joy and excitement came over me when I opened it up on Friday. I just wish this one was a bit lighter and picked up one of the lighter grays in the counter. This is the darkest color in the SW.

Breezy, I totally agree...if only that dang window was bigger! There is a lot of light in there due to the large amount of windows in the breakfast room. I even was considering having the window replaced...my dh even commented that there are no services in the wall above it....

What's interesting is there have been several visitors to the house over the weekend. Every one of them who saw the gray arabesque in person absolutely loved it, thought it was perfect. Even preferred it to the white ones that were taped up too.

I was considering a trip to Lowe's and having them match the tile's color and getting it mixed up in a gloss, painting a piece of drywall scrap and holding that up back there to give me a good feel for the color....but I think I know in my heart what will happen...

As far as the SW for the back splash....too pricey. Love the idea though.

thanks to all of you. And no need to apologize for the honesty. That's what GW is all about.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 12:55PM
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secondhalf

I think they look so dark because there's no grout (assuming Bee isn't matching the tile). I've tried to copy that pic from houzz, and the tile doesn't look anywhere near as dark, even in this kitchen with little natural light.

Bee- maybe everyone is right, but I wouldn't give up on it without at least having it photoshopped into your kitchen. Otherwise you'll always wonder. Or at least I will always wonder :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Gray arabesque

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 1:00PM
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blfenton

My concern would be the reflection of the dark tiles onto your superwhite and as a result losing the "white" of the superwhite. I like the idea of the darker tiles because I think it can add something unique, contemporary to a kitchen - but you really need to look at the reflection of the colour onto your tile and see how dark it makes it.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 1:06PM
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finestra

I like the idea of the white grout maybe. The tiles look beautiful on the super white because they are distinct against the lighter background. I think they do pull out the color of veining. I think if you go with a darker grout, it will diminish the beauty of the tiles and the stone.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 1:12PM
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breezygirl

Secondhalf--the tile in your posted pic is not the same one Bee shows in her kitchen. Bee's is the 'beveled arabesque' from Mission Tile. Your photo shows Walker Zanger's 'Ashbury'. The Ashbury tile shown is a lighter color, is not beveled, and is flat in color without the highlights or rubbed edges of the beveled arabesque. It looks different because it IS different. :)

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 1:14PM
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beekeeperswife

You know I want them to work, right?

Would showing you a dark backsplash at the butler's pantry (it's made out of wood) influence your decision?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 1:27PM
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purplepansies

Stunning! Love the color, I think it will look fabulous.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 1:48PM
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secondhalf

Breezygirl- well darn ...I so want to see those gray tiles work.

Bee- the butler's pantry is beautiful and rich. The dark looks wonderful but it is definitely not a place at which I'd want to spend large amounts of prep time because it just seems to absorb light. Can you please do the paint thing to see if that makes a difference in everyone's perception?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 2:36PM
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slush1422

I love the idea of the gray Bee! I LOVE the white we installed (still not grouted :( )
But me and DH were discussing how hard it might be to keep the white and bright white grout clean with 3 kids! I'm hoping it will be okay, and I don't end up regretting picking the whitest grout. If we thought more about it, the gray would have been a good choice for us too.

I think it's a good idea to do the paint test and see how it looks. I really want it to work for you!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 2:56PM
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geomeg

I think the tiles are gorgeous! The color on my monitor looks perfect...
Can you get a few more tiles and put them up to get a better idea?

I'm sure whatever you decide on will be stunning!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 3:02PM
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pricklypearcactus

The tiles are beautiful. Absolutely stunning. And I love them with your super white. However, I am a little concerned about just how dark they are in relation to your entire kitchen. I can't seem to find a link to your most recent overall kitchen pictures, but I'm remembering mostly white with touches of pale gray or gray blue? This tile seems very dark in relation. Do you want that? Have you considered the white arabesques again (maybe you have and I didn't see those musings)? Or are there other manufacturers of arabesque that might have a pale gray?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 3:19PM
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beekeeperswife

pricklypear, since you asked..these were before the under cabinet lighting was in place.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 3:40PM
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kateskouros

you told me the color works with the super white so that is not my concern. i'm thinking i'd like to see them photoshopped in as well.

i know you love them and want them to work and i don't see any issues -except how dark they might go, relative to everything else. a wider view of the space would help me (and everyone else who is dying to see your finished kitchen) give a definite answer.

p.s. i want them to work too!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 3:52PM
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kateskouros

you beat me to it.

and my honest answer is: i'm afraid they will go too dark.
and i would suggest going with the super white slabs for the bs.
but i am oftentimes overly conservative, which i consider at times to hinder my ability to attain true excellence ...but sometimes it really saves my butt.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 3:58PM
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corgimum

A quick photoshop...

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 4:25PM
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susanlynn2012

Corgimum, can you photoshop the white tiles on the wall also with the same shape and grout to have a comparison? Or maybe a third picture with the white Arabesques tiles with gray grout? I love Bee's kitchen so much and the cabinets and Super White are heavenly!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 4:43PM
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beekeeperswife

corgimum......you never cease to amaze me. Thank you. A million times over.

I'm more convinced now that they are not the right ones.

I think it needs to be a light back splash.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 4:53PM
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peonybush

Saw this on houzz..
http://www.houzz.com/photos/443329/Small-arabesque-mediterranean-bathroom-tile-los-angeles

Looks like the lighter grey arabesque is actually crackle..
just a thought.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 5:30PM
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Lyban

what about something like this?

Here is a link that might be useful: look here

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 5:52PM
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berardmr

The gray arabesque would be the first thing you notice when walking into the kitchen. I think it takes away from your beautiful SW.

Question - if you had not installed the white arabesque in your previous kitchen, do you think it would be your first choice for this one? Personally, I think your kitchen will look stunning with the white arabesque. Be careful not to over-think. Follow your gut. You like white, bright and inviting - well, that has white arabesque written all over it! Just my humble opinion.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 6:22PM
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a2gemini

I have to agree with beradmr - I love the gray but and love the photoshop - but I think it might detract from your overall vision. But it is gorgeous!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 7:09PM
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beekeeperswife

ok, it's over folks. The gray is out. Well, this one at least.

I did like the ones peonybush posted, however, they are small. Which to me equals too busy.

And lyban.....you have excellent taste. Dream budget, that is one of my choices. It's sad to know how much tile costs off the top of ones head, isn't it? That tile is $100/sq foot.

And yes, had I not done arabesques before I would certainly be doing the white ones now. So, yes, they are still in the running. You never know...

I am looking at this tile right now. It is also available in "silver" and "dove". And it's available in Lux (shiney) or matte. As well as the white.

Spaces design by Seattle Interior Designer Shuffle Interiors

(and our good friends at Mission Stone & Tile carry it too). so that's always good for me.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 7:26PM
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secondhalf

Corgimum- that was wonderful- thank you for doing that. Bee- your new possibility is beautiful and it captures the modern vibe in other parts of your house. But I now vote for the white arabesque. It's really perfect and highlights but doesn't compete with your spectacular granite.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 8:12PM
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lascatx

I think it's okay to give yourself permission to repeat an element from your previous kitchen; however, I think I like the new one you are looking at now. I think I would like it better on the longer runs you have (the arabesque might be a bit much) and you might feel it is a fresher choice. Also, you already have so many lovely things in your kitchen that you don't really need a lot of detail in the splash.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 8:45PM
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ae2ga

I like the grey arabesque tiles and think the color - grey - would work well with all of the other elements in the kitchen. However, the photoshop picture has the same color issues as looking at the tile onthe monitor, so I'm not sure the grey color is the problem or the color as it displays on my screen.

I think the white arabesque is lovely, beyond lovely... but that's a whole lot of white. But I do notice that people like bunches of white with very little color, well permanent colors. Yet one of the few white kitchens I've liked was yours with the white arabesque because the shape of the tile really made white work (spoken by someone who dreams in color).

Could you take a picture of the grey tile on the island next to the stools? And maybe next to the rangehood? I'm wondering how the tile blends with those.

Have you considered combining both the white and the grey arabesque tiles?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 9:11PM
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ae2ga

Okay, I'm offering mea culpas and apologies - part of that sounds terrible which is totally not my intention. I am in awe of many of the kitchens I see here, but I do have a thing about color which, um, colors, my view.

Have you looked at the New Ravenna Jacqueline? There are a couple different white ones - if you don't think they're too busy.

Here is a link that might be useful: new ravenna jacqueline

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 9:21PM
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lexmomof3

Interested in going a little more blue? This is my all time favorite backsplash.

Here is a link that might be useful: milk glass tile

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 9:28PM
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breezygirl

I think you're making the right choice to forgo the gray. I've had my eye on those same random bricks for a couple of years now! I think it was the first pic I idea booked on Houzz as I loved the tile and my faucets are so similar.

I haven't had the chance to price those out. Any idea of cost? I think they might be just what I'm after in my kitchen also. A few of the New Ravenna and other pricey mosaics call my name too, especially after seeing them IRL. Then they scream $100-150/sq ft at me! ;)

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 11:30PM
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mtnrdredux_gw

Bee, the lines on the latest one you posted are too irregular and rustic for your space ,imho.

But it reminded me of a tile I used in my girls' bathroom, which is called "Glace/Ice" by Ann Sacks. It has a very very subtle look of nacre to it. But I mean subtle. I think it was like $50 square foot?

I noticed that Christopher Peacock has it in his home kitchen. See link.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 11:57PM
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EAM44

I absolutely love the new tile you're looking at, and my guess is that if you can't do the grey arabesque, you aren't interested in doing another version of it, but I wanted to show you this tile just in case. It's glass mosaic, but the individual tiles appear a bit bigger than the small mosaic posted above. The sheet dimensions are 9 3/8" w x 9 3/4" h, so each tile is just under 4" tall.

The finish is a gloss, so it would reflect nicely, and glass has a different presence than ceramic that you might find different enough to want to use in your new space.

You've done everything so beautifully thus far, it's just a matter of time until you make your last perfect choice. Good luck - and I can't wait to see what you pick!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 7:46AM
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beekeeperswife

ae2ga, the link didn't work for me. :(

breezy, I think MS&T has them for around $20 sq ft.

mtnrdredux, I hear ya girl. Without seeing in person, I'm not sure about the grout lines yet. I am a straight line girl so that will come into my decision.

EAM44--do you have a source for those? I don't think I've seen them before.

thanks

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 8:14AM
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beekeeperswife

EAM--never mind....I looked at the name across the tile. Duh. Sometimes I wonder where my brain is....

thanks.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 9:01AM
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michelle16

Hey Bee! miss talking with you! I also think the gray might be too much gray. i envision something lighter! I think I am going to take a trip to Artistic tile in NYC- maybe we can get some of that beautiful water jet tile for 2 for one! LOL! Seriously though I am going soon, let me know!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 9:48AM
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kitchendetective

Too dark for me, too. However, New Ravenna has at least a half dozen paler gray mosaics that would be mind-blowingly magnificent with your counter tops.
(Only linking to this particular pattern because of your GW handle. LOL)

Here is a link that might be useful: Look through entire site, not just this page

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 10:12AM
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EAM44

Glass Tile Oasis is a big site - it can be hard to find what your looking for without a link. Here it is!

Here is a link that might be useful: Glass

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 10:14AM
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lascatx

I love what I have seen at New Ravenna, but don't have time to cruise there. I am liking the glass arabesque. I'm liking the idea of glass period. Could be a nice play with the chandelier.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 10:29AM
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renorman

Oh my! I am feeling your pain right now! I got all of my tile from Mission Stone as well and ended up doing my backsplash 3 times! Not because of Mission Stone but because of bad work. Anyway, I worked with Mark and he is VERY familiar with this stone as he had to look at if for about 6 months. We tried everything! I was like you, dead set against using subways so we tried the Vetro tile (different shape) you posted. In my kitchen it went flat as soon as the under counter lighting was on. It looked like paste. Now, Mark says he has people that love it but be careful! Also, the tile that someone posted in the Christopher Peacock kitchen is at Mission Stone. I had them get a sample for me. Again, I wasn't impressed with it and it was too pricey not to get the ahhh moment! You will notice I tried the arabesque as well and the grey didn't work for me either. Lastly, I gave in to the subway. I kept thinking I needed something to dazzle my kitchen when all along the kitchen was fine all along and just need something to compliment it. Best of luck. I have tons of photos of things I brought home if you want to see them. Call Mark...tell him to look up the Norman kitchen!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 2:11PM
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renorman

This is the Casamood Vetro Tile...do those arabesques look familiar?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 2:13PM
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renorman

Lastly, this was a tile place they had in South Carolina that had a piece of Super White in their showroom. You might get some ideas from this.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 2:15PM
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wolfgang80

I'd shy away from any grey backsplash in your kitchen. Your kitchen is beautiful with all the different grays that are already there. One more, I think, would be too much. One of my favourite backsplashes I've seen is 3" calacatta hex of one of the GW posters. I'm not suggesting the calacatta for you, but I think the shape would be a nice change from all of the horizontal and vertical lines of your kitchen. Of course, the arabesques would also serve this purpose; however, the hexes would be a little more quiet, depending on the grout colour you chose. Another option I'd consider in the space is to run an old school 4" strip of your quartzite and call it a day. I realize that it adds some more grey but it's not a new grey or new material. Last thought--your kitchen (at least in pictures) is quite glam and the arabesques would up the glam factor even more, which depending on your perspective, could be a good or bad thing.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 2:16PM
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beekeeperswife

hey renorman, thanks for all those photos. How funny you had the gray arabesque up too in your testing. I think the small mosaic in the casa mood would go flat without the right dazzling lighting. I know it glistens in the Kraftmaid ad, but I think I had heard about it not shining like that in real life. I think the photographer had it lit in a certain way to look like that. I'm wondering how the other shape will work and look. They are sending me a bunch of different colors to check out.

I think that if all else fails, I will go back to the white arabesques. I know they will look good. I wasn't tired of them, but I was just wanting to do something else in this kitchen.

It's such a fine line to not make the bs be busy. I think too small a tile will make it busy. That is one of the fears of the hexagon shapes. Although I have held them up to the stone. And with a marble tile, you never know what will be in the batch you order. I can't take the chance. But if I can find a hex shaped tile that reads as one color when grouped together up on the wall, it might work.

Got an exciting email this am....and now I am on a time crunch....so I need to make a decision pronto. ;-) Details later.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 2:45PM
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pricklypearcactus

I love the New Ravenna Silk Road series.

Especially the Sophie.

And Raj.

Also, have you considered hex (maybe a larger size like Waterworks Architectonics 3" Hexagon)? Or herringbone? I think white, pale gray, or pale blue would all be lovely.

I also really like the tile mtnrdredux posted. I like the irregular one you posted, but I agree with mtnrdredux that it doesn't seem quite right for your space.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 3:25PM
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sprtphntc

i agree with wolfgang80. i wouldn't add another grey color to your kitchen. like kris ma said, your SW has warm undertones so i think i would go that route.
maybe something in a cream/brown tone to pull out the the warmth of your SW and your floor.
i think another grey would make it feel on the "cold"side.
you need something to warm up the space. JMHO.

good luck!!!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 4:18PM
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MIssyV

I really think you can pull off a little sparkle back there on your backsplash and your current search is just that from what I can see. Good luck :)

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 9:08AM
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island

Oh wow that gray arabesque is fabulous! Love how the edges are lighter. I think I'd like it a smidge lighter too, but hard to tell from 2 tiles and the mock up doesn't do it justice. Great photoshop skills, but that pattern doesn't translate. Shading make it look more like argyle. Can your friends at Mission Tile do a grouted mock up on a board, maybe 12"x 12" at least? You're free advertisement for them!

I can your I can see why you'd want to use it somewhere. I would too, like a touch of it in a simple shower stall like this.
Love love some of the Ravenna patters, but DH thinks they look too feminine for the kitchen and that's coming from a guy who tolerates my pinks and floral past!

This is a great thread with lots of beautiful tile samples in colors and textures I love!

Here is a link that might be useful: shower stall with arabesque

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 8:36PM
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andreak100

Bee - I'm really thinking that the white arabesque that was in your last kitchen might be the way to go. Also, I don't know how warm and fuzzy you are feeling about your counter now (I think I remember you mentioning that you *might* wind up changing it out in a few years due to the etching), so you may want to consider that as well in terms of what you decide on tile. If you were to decide to go back to your old granite (I don't know if this is a thought), you may find that you wouldn't need to change out the backsplash then.

Again, not sure what your overall plans are, but just thought that I would put that out there as something to consider.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 8:41PM
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phiwwy

I love the idea of the marble mosaic, or the Sophie posted above. Va va va voom! FWIW, I'm doing super white in our master bath, and using a marble mosaic by Jerusalem Heights. That Sophie above is really incredible, which I'd found that one earlier.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 11:37PM
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pricklypearcactus

oldbat2be just posted a picture of a pantry area with some uniquely shaped tiles from Fireclay in a thread regarding grout.

Fireclay Field Tile Shapes/Sizes

The offered colors look to include several grays, whites/off whites, and other fairly light colors.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 5:54PM
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beekeeperswife

andreak, bite your tongue! At the cost of this counter it is never going to be replaced! Well, certainly not by us! Never. Really. Maybe someone else said that? Yikes, my dh would die if I even mentioned that.

:)

Anyway gang...

I"m waiting for that Vetro glass sample to arrive. If it doesn't come tomorrow, I think I"m just pulling the trigger on the white arabesques. Every tile I see I compare it to the white arabesque. How crazy is that? "Oh, it doesn't catch the light like the arabesques", "Oh, it is too small and busy. The arabesques weren't"...and so on. I EVEN PULL OUT PHOTOS OF THE OLD KITCHEN TO SHOW AT THE TILE STORE.....so does that tell you something? I finally listened to my inner voice.

The new kitchen has won a contest, and will be photographed for a magazine. I need to get the bs done asap.

Thank you all for all the suggestions. If price were no object, then things would be different, and there would be the most fantastic Artistic Tile on my bs. But money is an object and I think I get the most bang for my buck with this. And really, even though I'm repeating it, it is still not that common of a tile. And around here...the word "arabesque" gets the hairy eyeball. They just have no clue. Time to enlighten the Central PA community! lol

~Bee

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 7:17PM
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ellendi

I can't beleive you won another contest! What are the details of this one?
The arabesques are your signature style!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 7:45PM
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secondhalf

I think we should all email Artistic Tile and suggest that they provide your dream tile....it's the best advertising they could have.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 8:03PM
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mommyatlaw

I like your attitude, Bee! After all, why mess with perfection?

P.S. My Arabesque reveal is coming soon. :)

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 8:21PM
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oldbat2be

Bee - here's the white, quickly photoshopped. If you have other good pictures of tile from straight on, I can add other colors....

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 8:56PM
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oldbat2be

Bee - here's the white, quickly photoshopped. If you have other good pictures of tile from straight on, I can add other colors....

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 8:57PM
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hobokenkitchen

Actually I agree with secondhalf - while I would die of jealousy, I think it is worth a try.

We just bought all our bathroom tile (including a feature plaque of dream tile) from Artistic Tiie and I was dealing with the manager. Maybe I'll ask him?
Ok so I bought it before our GC waltzed off with all our money so now we have tile but no bathroom or cash to put one together, but we do have the tile! Ha.

Bee what contest did you win and is it going to be in a magazine again? Let me know the details and I'll send him an email!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 9:14PM
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1929Spanish

Hi Bee - I've been in and out lately cuz work's been crazy. I saw this post and only got a chance to read it tonight. Good choice on not going with the gray. It was an energy-suck in that beautiful space.

I'd ask why the tendency to go so matchy-matchy with the gray or white?

I look at the sophisticated back splash in your bar area and see in your kitchen something in a complementary color and a more linear shape that doesn't fight with the natural veining in the super white. I don't see the arabesque shape in this kitchen - it's beautiful, but I think it's a more rustic option than what I've seen in the rest of your photos. And you know I like arabesque!

That is all! ;)

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 1:53AM
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francoise47

I like Prickleypear's suggestions (above) for New Ravenna tiles.
I love the "Raj":

I loved the arabesque tile in your old kitchen.
But I think you should try something different in your new kitchen.
Why? Just to be different.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 7:40AM
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francoise47

I like Prickleypear's suggestions (above) for New Ravenna tiles.
I love the "Raj":

I loved the arabesque tile in your old kitchen.
But I think you should try something different in your new kitchen.
Why? Just to be different.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 7:41AM
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lascatx

If your kitchen has already won an award and is going to be photographed, why not ask about the ones that are out of your budget? See if you can get the material donated or discounted. How often would a supplier already know the site had won an award and was going to be photographed -- a certain publicity and advertising bonus? If you really love one there, it doesn't cost anything to ask. And if you aren't too picky, maybe they have one that was returned or delivered in the wrong color or pattern but would be great in your kitchen. Maybe there is a meant to be that will come at a great price and already be waiting for you.

I like the arabesques, but I love some of those others. I would have to at least invest a few minutes to make a couple of calls and ask.

I'm not helping, am I? ;-) Well, whatever you do, you have a lot of good choices. The one you pick is what makes it yours.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 9:46AM
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AboutToGetDusty

Oooh, love the Raj. Would love to see that photoshop'd! Now that I see the white arabesque "in" the kitchen, I'm not digging it as much. By the way, anywhere I could find a quick tutorial on how to photoshop like some of the talented GW folks can do? It's very helpful!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 9:49AM
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francoise47

I love the arabesque tiles. But, as others have pointed out, they seem a bit too rustic/ethnic for your very refined kitchen. The chandelier over your island is one of the most dominant design elements in your kitchen and it seems much more Versailles than Marrakech.

(At this point I know that some Gardenwebbers will chime in and say, "But wait! The aesthetic at Versailles was deeply inspired by the great aesthetic melting pot that is the Mediterranean world, with even rococo/style Louis XV influenced by turquerie and moorish design.")

If you had some dark wood in your kitchen (or even the rustic shelves that Michelle16 has in her gorgeous new kitchen) I could see that the arabesque tiles would be perfect to "marry" the refined and rustic elements.

But, as your kitchen reads right now, with your beautiful blend of traditional elegance with clean lines, I think there may be better choices than the arabesque. Not that the arabesque won't look lovely as well!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 10:01AM
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gardenamy

Bee - Congratulations on winning another contest!!!! You must be so very excited!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 10:06AM
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chiefy

Oh my gosh Bee - lascatx is totally right. You are GUARANTEEING free publicity to whoever provides the backsplash tile. You have leverage to ask for at least a discount.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 11:15AM
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jjean

I really like the pic you posted, the one available in either silver or dove. Someone said it looked too rustic for your kitchen, I don't think it does. And IF it reads that, sometimes it's more interesting to have something that's not matchy, matchy style wise.

Your arabesque tile was gorgeous in your former kitchen, but I am liking these stacked tiles for your new one.

Jody

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 11:49AM
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jjean

I really like the pic you posted, the one available in either silver or dove. Someone said it looked too rustic for your kitchen, I don't think it does. And IF it reads that, sometimes it's more interesting to have something that's not matchy, matchy style wise.

Your arabesque tile was gorgeous in your former kitchen, but I am liking these stacked tiles for your new one.

Jody

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 11:50AM
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jjean

Sorry for the multiple posts ... Using my iPad. And not very well I guess!!

Jody

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 11:52AM
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beekeeperswife

Hmm, I never thought of the arabesques at rustic. Really? The thing I like about them is when grouted the entire bs reads as "one" vs individual tiles. I can't tell you how many people would come into the old kitchen and think it was a sheet product that was manufactured.

Really? Rustic?

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 12:07PM
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island

I don't get a rustic vibe at all from the arabesques shown here. Sure if it was matte unglazed clay with an uneven surface, but not with these smooth beveled gems.

Congrats on winning the contest; please tell us more! And you've won one before? Do you mind filling in a newbie who missed the info. What was that for? Thanks.

Agree with the others, you should definitely work the free advertisement angle and see if they tile companies would offer your "money no object" choice at a deep discount. But that said I don't think you could go wrong with your first love. You more than anyone should have no qualm about trusting your instincts! I'd turn you loose on mine.

Bee, can you please share the make and model of your door handles? Love them and the detail of your door style visible in one of your close ups. Is that still considered a Shaker style door front?
Thanks.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 12:56PM
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beekeeperswife

Thanks Island. The pulls and handles are from Amerock, Highland Ridge. They are polished nickel.

Not sure what you would call the door. I thought I was going to do just a simple shaker door style. But then this was that same look but with a little routed detail. What was interesting was when I was choosing a door style, I probably would have looked past this style because they showed it in a stain. But then I saw something similar in a painted finish and was hooked.

Regarding the previous contest, it was simply entering the kitchen in a contest for Mission Stone & Tile, they were giving away the arabesques. The kitchen was picked to get the tile. They had it professionally photographed. After that, the kitchen got a life of its own. Joni from Cote de Texas was asking readers to submit their kitchen renos for her blog. I did. She loved it (and the fact that it was a DIY on a budget) and referred me on to a stylist/scout for Meredith publishing. And then it once again was photographed and appeared in Real Life Kitchens & Baths this past Summer.

~Bee

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 1:07PM
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pricklypearcactus

To me the white beveled arabesque like you previously used reads sort of formal and I think transitional (a little traditional but a little funky/contemporary too) rather than rustic. Though I have seen arabesque tiles that looked more rustic too. I think if you love it, go with it. But I think you should definitely consider at least looking at some other samples before making a decision.

Oddly I was watching Ferris Bueller's Day off, and I swear I saw arabesque or arabesque-like tile backsplash in the Bueller house! Maybe it's a true classic.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 3:07PM
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island

And they are beautiful Bee, as are your cabs. Thanks fo the scoop.

I know what you mean about overlooking something if it's not the finish you have in mind. It makes such a difference.

I think I want white Shaker how hard can that be? Very hard! Nevermind color, flat drawers or not, there are so many style details just with the door/drawer sill alone: flat, beveled, routed, beaded. Yikes!

In my head I imagine a white shaker kitchen with a modern or coastal transitional vibe rather than vintage, ornate or traditional. Then I see one like yours which defies definition. It's downright glamorous and chic yet modern AND comfortable. It's true, the devil is really in the details.

So that's how the arabesques came into your life. How cool is that! Did your current win come with a new droolworthy prize? Congrats you deserve it.

BTW, have you ever thought of starting your own design blog?

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 3:24PM
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francoise47

Hi Bee,

Sorry to be confusing.
Although they can look rustic when done in a different glaze and context,
they do not look at all rustic in your beautiful former kitchen.
They look elegant and traditional with,
as pricklypear said, a little graphic/mod vibe mixed in.
Maybe that is your style "mod traditional".
Can we make up a new adjective just for you? "Moditional".

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 4:18PM
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francoise47

Hi Bee,

Sorry to be confusing.
Although they can look rustic when done in a different glaze and context,
they do not look at all rustic in your beautiful former kitchen.
They look elegant and traditional with,
as pricklypear said, a little graphic/mod vibe mixed in.
Maybe that is your style "mod traditional".
Can we make up a new adjective just for you? "Moditional".

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 4:19PM
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p.ball2

Bee- sorry I have been absent from GW. I am wrapped up in this renovation now that it has started and it is time consuming. No complaints though it is thrilling!

I think the grays are beautiful but too dark for the kitchen. I think the white arabeques will be gorgeous. I agree, when grouted it does look like some sort of panel. I think individually they can be seen as having an ethnic vibe since arabeques are Morrocan right?, but once installed I see it as very current and fashion forward yet by remaining white they are not boxing you into a certain color or look.

Congrats on winning yet another contest. Hopefully this involves some cash reward!- you need to find a contest where they are offering a free whole house water softener and win that:)

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 4:39PM
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slush1422

Yah, I don't get a rustic vibe either. You know my vote. Have you made a decision yet? We are grouting tomorrow! I'll for sure post a photo.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 5:52PM
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oldbat2be

White arabesque, just to lower cabinet height...

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 8:46AM
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ellaf

YES (to your original post) I love the grey arabesque and I think your kitchen is a dream. Bee, you have such great taste... trust yourself.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 8:57AM
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a2gemini

Bee - Congratulations! I need some lessons on entering contests!!

I am really liking PricklyPear's suggestion - I think it gives more movement to the kitchen than the arabesque.

I just ogle your kitchen! It is so beautiful :-)

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 1:31PM
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writersblock

I also think that either the Raj or the Sophie would be beautiful. I like the Sophie, myself.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 1:53PM
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caminnc

That Sophie is TDF, also love the Raj.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 3:34PM
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beekeeperswife

Yes, those are gorgeous. Beyond words. However there are several reasons I don't think they will work here....

1. Ribbons (from either Artistic or Ravenna), you need a large (tall) area to appreciate the pattern. I'm only doing the 18" between the counter and the uppers. The pattern is sort of large for that space. Although it is gorgeous and it works with the counters perfectly.

2. It is $100 sq. ft.

But, I have seen this in person. It is really pretty. It is by Artistic tile too. And it looks great with the Super White. It's the innter part of the freshwater clam. Available in oval and hex. I kind of like the hex.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 4:11PM
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gsciencechick

I love the grey, but if they were a little lighter, they'd be perfect.

LOVE the Sophie! Wow.

Good luck, Bee. Whatever you pick will be fabulous.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 4:14PM
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taggie

OMG, ditto on the Sophie. That's the most beautiful tile I think I've ever seen. Wow.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 4:24PM
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pricklypearcactus

I really like that Artistic Tile hex. Beautiful. The iridescence would go well in your kitchen. I wish I could recall the exact kitchen, but years ago there was a beautiful kitchen with white cabinets and iridescent white tile backsplash (small squares) that was really gorgeous. These hex tiles remind me a little of them.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 6:00PM
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writersblock

Are you thinking of scottielee's kitchen prcklypearcactus?

I like the hex tile, too.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 6:08PM
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gsciencechick

That is a good point about the height of the Sophie. Yikes on the cost. Even in our small kitchen, it was something like 25 or 26 sq ft of tile.

I love the "oyster shell" hex tiles. I was just thinking how perfect an oyster color would be. How big in diameter are the hex? Those look like they would work really well.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 6:39PM
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finestra

Bee, I love the oyster hex. I have glass hex in my backsplash that are iridescent. They look best in natural sunlight - actually shimmer. But at night when the lights are on, they are not as shimmery. So try them in natural and artificial light to make sure you like both.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 8:20AM
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springroz

I love that hex tile!!

Nancy

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 8:29AM
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beekeeperswife

thanks for the tip finestra. I will grab a sample on Monday.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 8:54AM
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lyfia

I like the white arabesque. Would it look off to use some of the gray ones for accents? It looks like the gray matches on my monitor, but would be too much by itself.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 10:13AM
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corgimum

So here's another photoshop of the hex. It's hard to maintain the integrity of the tiles when they are small and detailed. The 72 dpi loses alot of detail on the wide shot. The close-up keeps the detail better.

Bee- is part of the white on your counters bright white? If so, this detail is lost in your photos. The hex white looks brighter in the photos.

I think part of what makes this difficult is that the counters are a star but this doesn't really show in a photo the way a backsplash as a star will. Maybe you are having trouble deciding because you want two stars to work together and this is hard to pull off.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 10:37AM
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corgimum

Close up

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 10:38AM
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MIssyV

i think you can see from that photoshop that something dominatily white is the way to go, lets your chandy still be the eye candy in that room, and i still think a little sparkle fits your kitchen bee.....those hex might just fit the bill! i guess i was thinking of pips kitchen....her bs seems to have just a little sparkle to it, but if i remember correctly, she said its not that sparkly in person?

you are on the right track, and like others have said, you have great taste. trust yourself!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 11:05AM
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jjean

I, too, LOVE the Hex ... but also liked the stacked tile you posted earlier (available in two color ways). And I don't like the Sophie. To me, that is something you'd tire of quickly.

Good luck with your choice .... your kitchen will be gorgeous whatever you choose!!

jody

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 11:25AM
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pricklypearcactus

Yes, writersblock, that is just the kitchen I was thinking of. Thanks!

I think it's going to be key to see samples of the various white-based tiles against your white cabinets and white counters. I am a firm believer of mixing whites, but you want to make certain they give the right feeling you want in context with the other whites in your kitchen.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 11:30AM
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kitchendetective

I still like the Raj the best. The geometric shapes in it are a nice counterpoint to the all over pattern of the counter top. They set it off without competing with it, don't look as stark as the arabesques, and aren't as "all over" as the hexes or ovals. I wonder if there's something like the Raj out there that is less expensive. On the other hand, I'm basing this all on photographs of photographs, so the real lfe versions may not have the same issues.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 12:42PM
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breezygirl

I've always loved a good hex. DH wasn't on board with the shape (said they looked like a bathroom) when I showed them to him last year on our one and only joint tile shopping trip. That one has a pretty sparkle.

Since everything from AT is sooo expensive, here's hoping this one is a bargain!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 2:27PM
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MIssyV
    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 9:00AM
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beekeeperswife

thanks for thinking of me MissyV. Some of those are interesting. I'll have to take a look.

I do like that beveled picket mentioned in another thread.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 10:36AM
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drewem

I wanted to say congratulations on winning the contest! That is great that this new kitchen will be in a magazine! Keep us posted. I am seeing a new career in your future...

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 10:52AM
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