Back Splash thoughts...

beekeeperswifeSeptember 27, 2012

I need to make a decision. Soon.

My backup plan is the white arabesques again. I know they will work, but I would like a change.

So, I've been playing with some Artistic Tile samples. The River Shell is out. It looks too fleshy when I brought it home. I do have a sample of White Mother of Pearl coming to me, unless I paid $2.50 to fund a scammer and I'll never see that sample.

I also loved the water jet cut thassos marble with the calacatta marble arabesque, from Artistic Tile. Then I got a 2nd sample of it, and it is way more gold. So, that one scares me.

Today I brought home a hex tile, that is carrera, and it is not flat, but undulated. I am posting a link to it. I don't know why, but I cannot capture anything correctly with my camera. Everything looks green/cream. So, I used the flash and the colors look more true to life.

So, any opinions? I'm really at my wits end. I like the way the hex tiles catch the light since they are all angled (do see the link below). But I"m so afraid it is going to look crazy. They cost a lot more than doing arabesques. And the other laser jet ones?? Even higher.

Oh, and the casa mood Vetro glass samples arrived today. They are a no.

Here is a link that might be useful: better pics of the hex

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How the h@ll do you grout that seismic tile? Looks like a nightmare to me! (Way to busy and too matchy for my taste, too.)

Completely love the laser yet ones. Looking forward to seeing the Mother of Pearl- little shimmer, not too busy and an interesting shape.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 4:25PM
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You don't grout it!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 4:26PM
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Is the one on the right the calacatta arabesque that you referred to in your post? I've always loved that tile and had even previously thought that would be perfect for your beautiful counters. (Don't ask me why I've been thinking about which tile you should pick for your kitchen...I've obviously lost my marbles.) Anyway, on my computer monitor it doesn't look gold at all and looks stunning. The pattern is big enough to not be too busy with your counters, but gives you a bit more interest than a plain white. I think the marble hex competes with your counters instead of complimenting them. But a shimmery mother of pearl could be lovely as well.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 4:36PM
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The seismic tile looks like a nightmare. Never mind grout, how in the world do you clean it? Dust and grease will have a field day. Do not like it one bit.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 4:37PM
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I don' like it, sorry :( I know you are looking for a change but I think it will compee with your granite. How about a white hexagon?
What i the one next to the hexagon I think something white but with some gray through it could work.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 5:03PM
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I'm getting the white arabesques, aren't I?

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 5:06PM
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The carrera hex is stunning next to your beautiful SW and I think it could be easily cleaned with a bit of simple green and a microfiber cloth every once in a while.

The water jet is Fabulous! Don't think you could go wrong with either. I am very partial to the shimmer of mother of pearl so it'll be fun to see a sample of that as well. Good Luck. It must be wonderful to be almost finished. Whatever you do; your kitchen is gorgeous!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 5:07PM
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Nope, no of these. Have you noticed that the arabesque keeps returning in one form or another? Isn't your subconsciousness trying to tell you something? The white arabesques would be perfect, no need to change for the sake of change.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 5:13PM
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How about something gray.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 5:19PM
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petra, I keep thinking, why the hail would I pay more than 5x for the laser jet arabesques over the white ones I had before? Yes, thassos marble is pretty nice, but do I NEED to pay 5+ x as much?? I am thinking "no". And the unknown of will it be gold or gray is just too much for me to risk.

I guess I'll return all my samples and go with my gut. Boring? Yes. Next time I'll get a simpler, less busy counter and do a pizzaz filled back splash. Did I just say "next time"? Yes I did. Yikes.

Of course I say this now, my dh hasn't seen the samples yet.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 5:23PM
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I'm feeling the white arabesques. Go with your gut.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 5:56PM
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What if I did the white arabesques with a light gray grout?

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 5:58PM
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I was just about to write white arabesques and grey grout. Your kitchen has lovely finishes and it doesn't need a big statement, as lovely as some of these tiles might be. It is so hard when there is so much gorgeous stuff out there, but we all have to edit.
Have fun.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 6:07PM
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The real question is: does DH know about the new kitchen???


    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 6:09PM
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I like the laser jet better than the carrera hex but I don't know about 5x the price more (than the white arabesques). I may be with you on the go with your gut and do the white arabesques.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 6:27PM
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I don't know what is what ... is the water jet the one on the right? Not sure what the "seismic" is either.

Anyway, LOVE the ones on the right, they are stunning. Don't like the hex at all -- way too busy for the veining in your countertops and I think it's a clash.

Those right hand ones are simply gorgeous with your counters!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 6:35PM
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A very light gray grout (perhapsTEC "Silverado") would be beautiful with the white arabesque tiles you want to install.
It would be a nod to your beautiful former kitchen, but provide a slightly different look.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 6:41PM
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francoise--I have that grout! We used it in our laundry room! I'll whip up a sample!

taggie, the water jet ones are the 2 that have the arabesque shapes.

Nancy--oh, yes he does. In fact he said he liked the whole building process so much he was ready to do it again.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 6:53PM
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Oh I'm excited to see the arabesque with gray grout! Sounds promising!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 6:57PM
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I think a white arabesque with a light gray grout is the perfect inbetween and would look amazing. I think the hex will compete with your SW, and if the color is not close to it(like more yellow), that would look off. I do like the artistic arabesque here-I think it would look really nice!!! But, yeah, if it is that much more, I think you can get a similar feel with the arabesque with gray grout.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 7:38PM
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I was thinking the white arabesque and gray grout would be perfect since your last backsplash post. Can't wait to see it!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 10:00PM
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I think the shape of the arabesque is YOU. You are definitely known for that pattern on GW and elsewhere. That being said, I think that this kitchen also deserves a little bling on the splash to hold it's weight against the other beautiful, shiny objects. I am not sure if this would be a good fit, or if you would like it, but I like that it has a bling factor, without screaming "look at me"!

Here is a link that might be useful: MOP tile

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 12:32AM
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Yours is a brilliantly designed beautiful space, and I think you have amazing taste. I feel your hesitation to go back to the familiar, and forward with either choice. I wonder if there might be room in your bs for a little more presence with that strong stone counter.

We all know you love the arabesque - would you consider going more Arab-esque? These are Moroccan tiles from Mosaic House. The images below show patterns that might work for you, that are available in their full color palette that includes beige, white, and seven shades of blue. They also have a hex mosaic that is flush and not marble, so no golden surprises. Just thought I'd show you something different.


Bassat 1:

Metam LG:

Daisy encaustic:

Here is a link that might be useful: MosaicHouse

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 1:45AM
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I don't like that hex with your marble because it competes rather than compliments. It's too small and too much the same mixed colors. I like the one senator posted, but really I think the arabesque looks best with the marble.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 1:56AM
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senator13, that is lovely and it should be contender. but read further...

EAM, thanks for those, I think the 2nd one might work out of all of them. But, read further....

This stone is particularly fussy--I can't have any bs that seems to be trying to grab attention away from the stone. That's the best way I can describe it.

So, here's the scoop: Last night I was putzing around on Houzz looking for photos of white arabesques with gray grout. One thing lead to another, and I ended up finding a stone/tile company in SC that is using two photographs of my (old) kitchen on their Houzz account (in the Pictures section, not Ideabook. Difference being you need permission to post photos that do not belong to you in your Photos tab). One of the two is a personal photo of my (old) bs. To me they are absolutely representing my (old) kitchen as their work. I asked where they got my personal photo and they said it was given to them, they said they sell this tile. Actually, I asked that question on Houzz for all to see. Then I emailed MS&T and asked if they granted copyright permission for that tile company to use their photo of my kitchen (they own the rights to the other photo). She told me no. I wrote the tile company in South Carolina an email, cc'd MS&T and the Privacy team at Houzz. I have absolutely no problem with people using the photos everybody sees, but they have it featured on their website to mislead customers that it is their work. That's dirty. It was a DIY project and that really ticks me off that they want you to think THEY did that work. And the photo that was personal (not even on photobucket) I referred to as "stolen".

So, to get to the end of the long story, during my emails with MS&T I was made an offer that I can't refuse if I want to use the white arabesques again. Let's just say my dh said, "so, when you tell her tomorrow you want them...."

I think we have a winner. I will play with some samples to see what a light gray grout looks like. I'm afraid it could make the tiles look too busy, since the bs won't read as one. But I should try.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 9:12AM
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Yay! I have to admit that I was a bit concerned about you doing too busy of a BS.

I've thought all along that white arabesque was perfect for your kitchen! It will 'wink' to the star of your kitchen, that stunning SW, but will not compete with it. The gray grout will be a nice change up too, and I think it won't be so familiar to you.

I think you made a FABULOUS decision! Can't wait for photos!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 9:52AM
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While I am very sorry to hear about how that company misappropriated your pictures, I am glad to know it has a happy, hopefully free tile, ending!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 11:15AM
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Awesome, bee! It is remarkable testament to you that pros want to steal a DIY job and call it their own. It is also remarkable that the bad guys screwed up, and caused the good guys to make you a deal. (I understand that they know a good thing for them when they see it.) Yay all the way around.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 11:30AM
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Congrats! What a great ending to your search. I've always liked your arabesque backsplash...and anything else wouldn't seem like 'Bee's kitchen' :)

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 11:32AM
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Wow, good for you! Yes, would love to see the light grey grout. I almost went with that color grout myself!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 12:22PM
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And as an update to the update...

MS&T IS going to get the arabesques in a light gray. But they won't be ready until December. :(

So, if anyone is interested in them and can wait...there you go.

Thanks for the kind words. I think I might just have to do a sample board with my leftover tiles. Gotta love movers--they really do take everything.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 12:49PM
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That is wonderful!!! So glad it worked out that way for you. Can't wait to see it!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 12:52PM
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Wasn't feeling the little hex with your countertop and didn't think the $$$ marble made any more of a statement than your beautiful beveled arabesque; I loved the contrast of that so very happy to hear you're considering it again with a little twist.
Just to be sure I understand, the tile itself will be a light gray or the grout? Is this the same company that made the other beautiful gray arabesque that was too dark? Loved that with the lighter edges. Think this new color will be lighter on the edges also?
Either way, white, gray or gray grout I think any would look beautiful in your new kitchen. Kuddos to you for defending your own work and for scoring the tile. Can't wait to see the new samples!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 1:30PM
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island, I'm going with the white arabesques from my old kitchen (slush recently posted hers). I'm going to try a sample board using a light gray grout instead of the white. The white grout makes the tiled wall really read as one vs individual tiles. Perhaps a light gray will still work. Not sure.

The light gray arabesques are something that is coming in December. Too bad. I have a Nov 1 deadline. Yes all the tiles are the same shape/size as the dark gray ones I posted earlier. Just different colors.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 1:54PM
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Bee, if you make up sample boards with the white grout and the grey grout, I can photoshop both for you. Let both dry for a few days so you have accurate colors, then take a picture with the boards under your countertops in good lighting. Try to take pictures with straight lines; i.e., CT's are horizontal. Glad you've narrowed down the tile color at least!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 2:20PM
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I should start putting out pics of my 1974 kitchen on the web. Maybe somebody would use them as a 'before' and I could raise cain and get a whole new kitchen!

It could work.

Your old backsplash is awfully pretty and free? Scales tipping....

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 4:35PM
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deedles and others, I want to be clear....the two stories are not related. The slimy tile people who are using my photos to market their skills are in no way trying to "make-up" with a free bs.

I have been in contact with MS&T for a long time and they are just helping me out with some of the costs. Since the kitchen is going to be published, it is just good advertising for them. Having the last one published I'm pretty sure helped sell a lot of tile. I was going to try and get Artistic tile to help with the cost of their tile, but honestly, I think the arabesques are a better match, so I am not pursuing that avenue. I have ALL of YOU to thank for the encouragement to ask a tile manufacturer or retailer for a little help in exchange for a mention in a publication. Turns out they seem to be willing to help out when they know their tile will be published.

The email from MS&T with the offer to help out with some costs just happened to come while we were emailing each other about the stolen photos.

And btw, I have not received any email back from that company about the stolen photos. And they are still there on Houzz and their website.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 5:04PM
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Congrats Bee! Thank goodness your arabesques were calling you for a reason! They will look beautiful in your new kitchen!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 8:46PM
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Hi Bee, I think you made the right decision on the arabesque. Its gorgeous and so your look ! am looking forward to seeing the tile board w/the gray grout!
Have fun!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 9:30PM
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Not to come across like a stalker, but i found that the tile company is not only using your photo on houzz, but also on their regular website.

I think the arabesque tile is beautiful and will look great in your new kitchen too. I really admire your sense of style.

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 9:35PM
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Those dirty crooks! The power of gardenweb can be quite useful Bee....just say the word and I'm sure many of us would start bombarding their website with complaints in the use of your unauthorized photo! Well????

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 9:42PM
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gardenamy--I've already been there. That is not the picture that kills me. It's a personal photo that is not on HOuzz that they are using on their Houzz account under "Photos". I posted tonight, right on Houzz under the photo to please remove it, and quoted the terms and conditions of posting only photos you own or have permission to use.

MS&T owns the rights to the photo you linked to, and they need to fight that battle. They did not give permission for them to use it, and they give no credit for the photo. They are naughty.

And don't worry about stalking....that's the nature of the web....gotta love a harmless stalker, don't ya?

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 9:53PM
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Be - what cowards! Can't believe they have the BALLS to say they got permission from the vendor! Unbelievable and sad how they stole from both you and MS&T!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 10:17PM
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I would want to know who is the "vendor" that gave them the picture ?

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 11:39PM
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