Sample Board: Arabesques with Gray Grout

beekeeperswifeOctober 4, 2012

The tiles do look white to the naked eye. I am not sure why no matter what I do when I don't use a flash, the camera is making them look "green". Could be the lighting. We "upgraded" to get the warmer led lights. ugh.

But anyway, here is the gray grout with the tiles. I think that it isn't "in your face" but it is subtle when looking at it.

I'm still on the fence if I have the guts to do it, vs just doing the white like before.

Important: Remember these tiles were all rejects in first kitchen project. They do not fit together as tightly as the ones that are stacked on a pallet out in my garage!

Here I have turned off all the lights and just used a flash. I guess I understand the reason the pros do not use homeowner's lights when doing interior photos.

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Annie Deighnaugh

Love it! In the pics without the flash, if that's the true color, it is fab with the counter!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 8:57AM
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heidia

PERFECT!!! So perfect, I would love to know the color/brand of grout! :) I am looking for a light gray like that...

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 8:59AM
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badgergal

I think it looks great! Just enough difference to give it a little more definition and make it the your new signature backsplash! Go for it!

p.s.I know what you mean about taking pictures. My gold paint color looks green in photos with the lights on but not in real life and the greens in my backsplash look blue. And the granite looks washed out.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 9:03AM
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chiefy

Oooohh - I really love the grey grout! It gives more definition to the shape of the tile, but still keeps the focus on the tile and not the grout.

Can you come and design my kitchen?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 9:09AM
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bellsmom

I love the subtle weaving of grey through the Backsplash. It will be gorgeous.

Re: colors indoors

If your camera has settings for it, choosing incandescent light, sunlight, flash, or whatever takes care of the color problems.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 9:11AM
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beekeeperswife

But does it look busy vs the old white grout with white tiles:

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 9:13AM
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youngdeb

I know what you mean about it seeming "busy" - that seems like something you are particularly worried about. Keep in mind that when the pattern is all over, it will actually seem less busy. The bigger tiles and the repetitive pattern will feel cohesive when you use it over the whole landscape of the backsplash. Spend a few minutes over on houzz with some white with grey grout backspashes and try to get a feel for what I mean.

I think the grey is the way to go, myself. It brings it all together with the counters.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 9:22AM
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ellendi

You know, I really really wanted to like the gray grout. And, I do agree that it matches well. But, I feel the aragesques have a life of their own and the shape alone is what defines them. IMHO I don't think you need to highlight them with gray grout.
I get that you want to do somethng different, but in this case, I think it might be too busy.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 9:26AM
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writersblock

I have to agree with ellendi.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 9:31AM
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annac54

Be sure you let the grout dry at least a couple of days to truly dry. The color will probably lighten up a bit. I like the gray, especially since you have the grey in your cabinetry. Paint out the wood color white on your sample board to help visualize it better with your countertop.

Looking forward to seeing the whole thing done!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 9:35AM
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april_love

I love it!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 10:03AM
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drewem

Personally, I like the white grout better.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 10:57AM
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breezygirl

Ditto Writersblock.

I think the nagging in the back of your head is saying something to you, Bee.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 11:11AM
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beekeeperswife

The two things in the back of my head are:

1. I know the white will work.

2. I believe the white will be more forgiving for any spacing issues.

No, 3 things.

3. The white, although rough from being sand based grout, won't look like concrete.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 11:19AM
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catbuilder

The gray grout is 1000 times better than the white.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 11:45AM
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Linelle

The gray is quite beautiful, in a small sample and in someone else's kitchen. :) For me, the bevel makes the arabesques busy enough. It's not necessary to otherwise highlight the shape. You know the answer to this.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 11:52AM
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annsch

This is a tough one. I like how the gray grout tones down the brightness of the white against your gray quartz. I think if you had white grout it would be too white.

Any way to do even a larger sample board? It may be worth it in the long run...Or better yet maybe photoshop each bs with featured grout against your countertop? (I am absolutely no help with photoshop, sorry)

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 12:04PM
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slush1422

I'm still leaning towards the white grout. The gray might be too busy. I was looking at arabesque tiles on houzz and a few had colored grout and I wasn't a huge fan. Then again your kitchen is a lot larger and your photos brighter than those posted on there so it might look completely different.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 12:29PM
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corgimum

I like how it looks but is it necessary? I know what you mean about grey looking like concrete. I have that trouble when selecting grey paint. Grout would be even worse since the texture is concrete-like too.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 12:30PM
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remodelfla

The gray really defines the delicate shape of the arabesque while the white makes it look more like a quilted wall of white. It really all depends on which look you prefer. They both work and both look beautiful. Personally, I'm a fan of the gray but the white looks lovely too.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 12:41PM
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mabeldingeldine_gw

I am with annsh, I like the gray grout because it mellows the stark white of the tiles against the gorgeous countertops. To me, the reflective bright white competes with the countertops.

I would continue to look for a smoother grout, and would also consider not using as much grout, if possible, as you mentioned.

I can say that ages ago, before I found GW, I made a granite tile inset in my counter near the range, and grouted it with a taupe grout that is extremely smooth and stain resistant. It came from HD, but I have no idea what kind it was. It has been over 10 years and it still looks great, and I sealed it once before the sealer disappeared.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 1:09PM
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Angie_DIY

Big fan of the gray.

Sorry to say, but I always thought the white in your old, super-lovely kitchen looked a little odd. I cannot beat remodelFla's description of a "quilted wall of white."

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 1:37PM
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kaysd

I was afraid the gray might look too busy, but I like the subtle effect. It's like a shadow line for the bevels.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 2:01PM
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mamasheshe

I'm almost afraid to comment, because with some of the crazy choices I almost made in my kitchen, I doubt my opinion carries any weight, but I prefer the gray. I can see why once you've had the arabesques, everything else pales. Either choice will look stunning!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 2:08PM
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Linelle

Having previously voted for white grout, I'm rethinking it.

First of all, it never occurred to me that it looked like concrete. I don't like the look of sanded grout, so if you can get a smooth surface, it will make a huge difference.

I'm a little sorry I didn't go darker gray for my grout. It looked spectacular while it was wet, but then dried to a much paler gray. It's fine now and very safe looking, but I loved the subtle pop when it was darker.

The gray with your bevels does enhance the shape of each tile.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 2:20PM
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lalithar

I like the gray grout but I wonder if a different paler shade of gray would be better. I like the definition it provides to your voluptous ladies but feel a paler color will be more layered.. Have you seen Antique white on spectralock colors?

another wild idea.. any possibility of shimmer in grout?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 2:56PM
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p.ball2

I like it a lot in the pictures without the flash. As long as that is what it looks like with the lighting in your kitchen I say go for it! I am not loving the look with the flash but the flash is obviously distorting the colors.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 3:04PM
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p.ball2

I think I got flash and no flash mixed up so to clarify- I like the later pictures better than the first ones you posted with the yellowish lighting.

Of course the all white will be great if you go that route but I am liking the white with grey grout.
I would wait until it fully dries- whoever said that has a point as it may continue to change color.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 3:10PM
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annac54

Keep playing around with it till you like it. It took 5 sample boards before we found the color we were happy with (yes, waiting a couple of days in between for them to dry).

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 3:33PM
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kmmh

I think it looks great!
I've never put up a backsplash before but once it's up and ungrouted, will you have a better sense how it would look with white grout? If it seems to plain for you, go for the grey!
I think you should think about what it looks like in the last picture, which is how people will see it (not many people will be so close to it)
Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 3:36PM
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mom2sethc

Oh my!!! The tile with gray grout is gorgeous!!! It adds a little something to the "quilted wall of white"! No question. Not to mention how beautiful it ties in your counters!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 4:06PM
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hobokenkitchen

I could go either way, but am probably leaning towards the grey grout - it looks wonderful and not at all like concrete!!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 4:50PM
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beekeeperswife

Oh my goodness. Thank you all for the split vote! I don't know what to do. I know that neither will look bad. Well, at least I think that...for now.

I will keep you posted.

bee

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 5:00PM
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rhome410

You mentioned in another post, I think, that more than one person came into your old kitchen and thought your bs was sheets of something, rather than individual tiles, which means those people, in real life, see the same thing Remodelfla and others do in photos...The white coming off as a solid mass. You didn't really say how you felt about that, but I would hate it. Some kind of textured sheet goods (faking tile) seems like a chintzy way out and these tiles aren't that. I think the gray adds depth and a little interest without making it seem busy. If you're seeing 'busy,' maybe a lighter gray would help, but still have the same advantages.

But if you like the white and will always 2nd guess the gray, don't do that to yourself. ;)

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 5:03PM
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ivaniphone

I agree with the person who said the grey grout would be LESS competing with the white.

I also agree with:
>> It's like a shadow line for the bevels.

The grey make it flow, not compete.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 5:12PM
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2LittleFishies

bee- I love the grey! Really! (Don't you LOVE when you get 50/50 votes?) : )

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 6:09PM
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berardmr

Oh Bee, I think you finally got it perfect. I love it!
So happy for you!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 6:36PM
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beekeeperswife

The quilted look....I used to refer to it as looking like a quilted Chanel handbag.

What is the lightest gray grout out there? Anyone know?

And you guys don't even know the level of stress....our friend who basically ran the show when we instaled the last one was planning on coming and helping us again. His real job is flying charter planes. He just told me he is flying for 16 days starting next Monday. So what's the big deal? The local magazine called today. Yes indeed. The kitchen won the contest. They need to photograph it...soon. I really don't trust any of the tile guys around here. Especially the "best" one they sent me for my bathroom and laundry room--remember him? Trying to score and snap MARBLE, then told me he hoped I didn't pay a lot for this "cheap tile" because it is just crumbling. I'm pretty sure my realtor helped me out of the house so I didn't kill him right there on the spot. Needless to say, he is not allowed in our house. Ever.

So, after I encouraged Slush to do her bs as a DIY, I'm thinking we might have to do it too. At least, we have the experience of doing it once before.

I am waiting to hear from the photographer. I want to see what his drop dead last date is for doing the photography. Perhaps we can push it all the way until the end of the month. The editorial deadline is 11/8, so I'm hoping. I wonder if he could photoshop the tile into the pictures, if I give him all those high resolution photos of the tile from the last house....oh that's a good idea.

O

M

G

I'm having a slight meltdown. But trying to keep calm on the outside. Time for an adult beverage and a bath.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 7:15PM
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slush1422

Sorry for your stress! I would be freaking out too. My DH had almost no experience with doing tiling and our friend that helped out did the tile in his home (current and previous) but that's it and with your email tips and photos they said it was very easy to install. DH kept saying he thought they were doing something wrong because it was almost too easy. The tiles are soft as you know and were cut with the wet saw like butter. They started work around 9am and were done by 5pm. BUT we do not have any outlets (they are all under the cabinets) so the only "cutting around" was around our pot filler so that made it go very quickly. You know since the white grout fills in a good amount and is so forgiving, that not having to be exact made it easier too. We waited a week to grout because we could only work on weekends but again, once we started grouting, it went really quick with me and DH working together. The piping bag didn't work for us, so DH just slapped on the grout and I went behind him with my fingers and "pushed" in the grout and pulled out the excess. We worked in about 2-3 foot sections.

Still I hope that your friend will be able to help you out - or they can push the date for you. If not, I'm SURE you will do a great job!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 7:34PM
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secondhalf

Can we see a larger sample and then ask oldbat2be to photoshop it? Because I don't think the gray is right. I think it will be too much going on.

If it's any consolation, MY stomach is kind of in knots over your backsplash...sad but true!! And for a while, I wondered if you were in a post-arabesque era.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 8:33PM
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slush1422

Mosaic just posted a FB "special" on the tile. only $15.95/sq ft for the next 7 days. MAN I wish it was that price when I bought mine.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 8:39PM
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susanlynn2012

Bee, I love the white grout with your prior kitchen but with your current kitchen's counters having so much gray, I really do like some kind of gray grout to have the white tiles blend the cabinets with the counters.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 8:53PM
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beekeeperswife

Every time I read a comment, my mind changes. The wine and the tub did not clear my mind.

This is all I can think of

Flip Flops

That's me

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 9:07PM
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a2gemini

Bee- I tend to be a garanimal -matchy, matchy... My first inclination would be white-But loving that grey with your countertop. So exciting!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 9:14PM
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starinasgarden

Exactly! I love the white.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 9:24PM
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gsciencechick

I really like the grey.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 9:26PM
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pharaoh

Use white grout.
The shadows will highlight the sculptural nature of the tile. No need for a contrasting grout...

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 9:30PM
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ellendi

Good point pharaoh! I still vote white.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 9:35PM
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beekeeperswife

Now you are doing it on purpose, aren't you all?

Chatted with our friend. There is no way he can come.

now I'm going to bed.

the next vote is for "gray", by the way. Who wants to cast it?

Until the morning...

good night.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 10:06PM
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peonybush

I'll cast it! I like the definition of the arabesque with the grey grout.
You've lived with the all white. It's familiar.
I say step off the edge and take the plunge for the grey.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 10:37PM
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KristinF2012

Bee, can you post a picture of your kitchen in this thread? I need to see the pictures side by side... I'm definitely leaning towards the grey though - If I remember your kitchen correctly I think this time around is calling for that extra definition.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 11:00PM
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badgergal

The all white was beautiful in your previous kitchen and it would look good in this kitchen too. But you have been there and done that. Now is your chance to make a new statement. I think that what might be bothering you the most is the texture of the grout. Try a different gray grout that is smoother and then make your decision.
I cast my vote earlier for the grey grout and now I showed this post to my husband and he said, "No question about it. The grey looks great", so I am submitting his vote for grey at this time.
Can't wait to see what you decide.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 11:13PM
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2LittleFishies

bee- I'm cracking up (sorry!) about your flip flops and the fact that every time you read a post you change your mind!!

I do it all the time! On my yellow/white debate for tall cabs I swear every post I read I thought, OK, that makes sense. I'll do that. Then the next one would be the opposite. It near killed me. lol

Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 11:43PM
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phiwwy

I really like the grey. I think it pulls your countertop into the BS and ties it all together. Yes a picture of the whole kitchen will help, but the grey is just stunning. Good luck with your decision!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 6:03AM
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hobokenkitchen

Bee, I think what it boils down to is that there is no wrong decision! You literally can't go wrong with either choice.

Let your DH decide or flip a coin. If you flip a coin and feel disappointed with the result then you'll know you should do the other - you can't lose.

It's going to be beautiful no matter which you do. Really. : )

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 6:30AM
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hermajesty

Ok I 'm in the camp with those who say you can't go wrong with either choice. But I know that doesn't help you.

I think the gray is beautiful! I do not think it would be busy, it just helps highlight the beautiful shape of the arabesque. It sounds like you are concerned with the grout texture so if there is a smooth alternative, try it and see what you think.

Ask yourself WHY are you considering something other than white. Were you tired of it? Has it become too popular and you want something a little unique? What is your gut telling you? Listen to your inner voice Bee!!

Whichever you decide your kitchen will be spectacular!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 7:09AM
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secondhalf

Remember when we all fell in love with another tile for bees kitchen and then someone photoshopped it for her and we all immediately saw it was not the right choice? I'm afraid an entire kitchen of those edges emphasizesd with grout will compete. Bee if it can't be photoshopped can you take a pic from your old kitchen and pencil the grout lines?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 7:18AM
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caminnc

Either will be great but I think the gray would be stellar.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 8:28AM
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beekeeperswife

Well, I am so glad that we have reached a decision! Oh wait. No we haven't.

Some of you have asked for a picture of the kitchen. I apologize for boring the rest of you with the photos.

Here's a shot of the tile with the white grout in the last house. I couldn't find this picture before, it was buried in my PB account.

This shot kind of makes the white grout look gray with the shadows.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 8:46AM
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MarinaGal

I vote for gray grout. The gray provides more depth to the tile and, for me, is more visually harmonious with the depth of color in your countertop. While I love the tile with the white grout, it is more of a single note, and provides a "flatter" surface which I don't think complements the countertop as well. (of course seeing something on line can be misleading!). So exciting about the photo shoot - good luck!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 8:51AM
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autumn.4

Bee-I am new (to posting that is not to lurking) and I have never been bored looking at your kitchen (or the rest of your home for that matter). In fact this just makes it easier to find when I am googling to find it. ;) Good Luck!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 9:04AM
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Snbtwins

I vote for the gray grout. I think it looks amazing with your beautiful super white counters!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 9:20AM
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beekeeperswife

Marinagal, double posting does not get you double votes.

;-)

thanks Autumn

Thank you all for taking the time to chime in and vote for your choice.

Once the decision has been made...I might not even report back until it's done.

Tiling will probably happen next weekend.

So keep on voting.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 9:28AM
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AboutToGetDusty

Gray grout! Love it and it's light enough that it won't look stark. But yes, wait a few days before deciding (if you can). And some photoshop help might make your decision easier (wish I could help in this department). Either way your kitchen will stunning.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 9:33AM
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may_flowers

The grout lines look wide so I think the gray grout would give the arabesques the look of that other tile everyone oohed and aahed over--the one Michelle was going to use. I like that look from a distance better than the quilted look. It will be a lot of gray, so I'd go with the lightest silvery shade possible.

In this kitchen, you have the gray island, so the gray grout complements it and makes gray a stronger accent color. Do you want the gray to be a strong accent?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 9:48AM
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michelle16

Bee- I say go for the gray because it is different from what you had last time. Even though the white is safe, because you know what your getting, wouldn't you want something different to be excited about? the way I look at it, is they are BOTH fabulous, but the gray will look diff. from what you had and be more forgiving with dirt. go for the change!! Michelle

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 10:29AM
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claybabe

I vote for gray, maybe even a slightly lighter gray or silvery gray but definitely gray. Of course I also liked the darker arabesques you had a while back. Mostly though, I like how the gray picks up the stainless, the counter top, chairs, and ties the backsplash into those items instead of standing alone on the wall. (And I am a fan of the first kitchen/all white as well, I just like the little bit more texture of this kitchen and think a hint of gray would be lovely.) Your kitchen is so yummy I don't think you can go wrong, I just prefer the gray.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 10:54AM
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MarinaGal

Bee - that was my IPad voting the second time. It doesn't listen to me and couldn't even come up with an original response!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 10:59AM
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beekeeperswife

I agree with all of you. About everything.

and Marinagal...ok, if it was your iPad voting on that 2nd post, I'll count it.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 11:06AM
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debrak_2008

gray

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 11:44AM
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slush1422

What did your DH say? AND your kitchen will never bore us. It's gorgeous :)

That is disappointing that your friend can't help you at all. You know we will all be checking GW non-stop waiting to see what you decide! Take lots of pictures of your install.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 11:50AM
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susanlynn2012

Bee, I vote for gray grout since it goes best with your counters and like I said in a previous post, it ties the cabinets in with the counters and the stainless steel appliances. Both would look nice so you have to make the decision.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 12:16PM
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beekeeperswife

slush...he's not back until tonight

We do have another friend who can help next weekend. We figure the more hands on deck the better. And he has a very nice wet saw.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 12:19PM
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maggiebkit

If it matters-
I did a quick tally and you have 10 white votes and 39 grey votes. Now I understand some peoples vote may have more weight, and you need to do what will make you happy, but just thought I'd share! Good luck!!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 12:24PM
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mtnrdredux_gw

I vote grey if the choice is between grey and white. I think it ties in better with the stone.

But IMHO, and I hate to say this, I would keep looking. I certainly wouldn't let the local newspaper thing sway me; you don't need a b/s for that.

I think if you wanted to repeat arabesque, you wouldn't have looked for something else. I think you have a different kitchen and should get a different b/s. My 2 cents.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 12:41PM
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lavender_lass

I vote for the white! The gray is nice on the small sample, but over the entire backsplash...I think it would be too busy.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 12:50PM
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Laila619

I vote gray! Looks great.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 12:50PM
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berardmr

Bee, I can't believe I laid in bed and thought about this last night-:) I like the gray but I'm concerned about 2 things and they lead me back to all white:

1. I worry that it might make your kitchen look too matchy-matchy, like you tried too hard.

2. You have a lot going on with the detailed shape and depths of the arabesque. I think the outline of gray might push it over the top.

You know you are safe with the white. Besides, grout isn't typically something you want to highlight anyway.

I have always found that I'm never disappointed when I choose something interesting but stay on the softer, conservative side of that choice.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 1:09PM
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purplepansies

I like the gray grout, too - but I also liked the gray tiles better. I don't think a light gray/silvery grout looks too busy or pushes it over the top at all.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 1:25PM
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beekeeperswife

mtnredux, you know I value your opinion. But I have the tile. It is here, stacked in the garage.

The reason I ended up coming back to this tile is because I realized every tile I brought home I compared it to the beveled arabesque. I had that in mind when I was designing the kitchen and I guess that's why I couldn't find anything that worked better.

thanks for the votes.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 1:25PM
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mtnrdredux_gw

Oh goodness, I am so daft. Sorry!

I hope you go with gray. And it will of course be lovely! There was never any question of that.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 1:31PM
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corgimum

Bee- f you want me to photoshop the grey grout on a full backsplash, send me some high resolution photos of:
1) that straight on view of your old kitchen with the stool that you posted above (I will take the tile from there and add the grout color)
2) some straight on shots of your new kitchen in a horizontal view. Select a photo where you think you could make a good decision from. As long as it's high res I can send you some close-ups, too.
3) the grey shade you would like to use

I can work on this on Sunday so if you can't get it to me until then, no problem.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 1:58PM
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beekeeperswife

corgimum, you've got mail.

:)

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 2:36PM
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Claudia77

White. I agree with berardmr and the reasoning.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 3:02PM
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localeater

When someone has difficulty choosing a granite, I always hear people saying you'll know it's right when you see it. You need to LOVE it.
Should that be true of your backsplash? I hear angst. I hear time pressures. I am not sure I hear your heart singing.
I am sorry if this causes you more anxiety.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 3:26PM
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starinasgarden

Somehow GW ate the majority of my post above, and it ended up a nonsensical one liner..

Bee, you compared your white grouted arabesque to a quilted Chanel purse. I agree. It is beautiful, textured, fascinating, pristine and perfect. It doesn't need the embellishment of colored grout.
This is coming from a woman that does not care for tiled backsplashes, and in particular, white tile backsplashes. There are very few exceptions. The arabesque in your previous kitchen is the exception for white BS. The light plays over it so beautifully, highlighting the texture with shadows.
All of this, of course, is just my opinion ;-)

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 4:16PM
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steph2000

Okay, I'm voting! I'm in the gray camp. (I also really loved the gray tiles, though, back in that stage). I just really like how the gray grout connects to the counter and it is just different enough from your last BS to be unique and fresh. That said, the last BS was beautiful and if you want to replicate it exactly, it will look exactly as beautiful as it did in your last lovely kitchen.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 4:22PM
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enduring

Steph2000 can't stuff the ballot box! Surely she doesn't have a voting smart phone too?

Here is my 2$ (where is that cent sign when I need it?) Nothing profound. With your old kitchen the white looked fine, the shadows played like a gray grout in a way. Now with the gray it just punches it up a notch. The shape is lovely. I think if you planned the whole thing with this tile in mind definitely keep it. I love the gray. The white looks a little flat to me in your old kitchen photos. But it still shows off the shape because of the shadows. This kitchen looks a bit more glam. I think the gray would be like waring eyeliner with your mascara. Where as your previous kitchen you just had the mascara on.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 5:07PM
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SAND92107

The gray looks elegant...even considering it for my super white.
Can't wait to see what you decide...so I can make my decision ;)

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 6:09PM
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1929Spanish

I didn't mean to offend with my "rustic" comment in one of your earlier posts.

I love the gray grout, but I think it looks more rustic. I would go with white and I think it will look great.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 7:39PM
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bellsmom

Oh, well, I guess I just want to join the party.

I prefer the white. First impression I liked the grey. But when I look at the tile on the walls of your old kitchen, the shadow lines make their own ''grey'' grout. Maybe, the very lightest grey would be a nice accent, but do you really WANT a pencil line of grey distinctly darker than the soft shadowlines?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 7:53PM
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melissastar

OK, Bee, I've resisted weighing in for so long, because I thought both were great. But I just looked back at the pictures of your two kitchens and I see one big difference that leans more toward the grey. Your previous kitchen had some fairlylarge areas of dark brown, above the cabinets, for example. Your current kitchen is overall paler and the cabinets go to the ceiling, leaving one with the impression of solid white walls. I think it needs the contrast and slight patterning of grey grout. I do think it will be busy...it's a large, but very regular pattern that will give an overall impression. And I do think it plays very nicely with the countertops.

FWIW.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 8:05PM
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northcarolina

I think you should install the tile and then decide once you see the tile in place with the dark ungrouted spaces in between. That's what I did, and it was very obvious to me that I wanted grout a little bit darker than my white tile. BUT my tile is flat squares and my cabinets are also white, so it really was going to be a wall of white if I'd used white grout.

In your case I am leaning toward white grout because the bevels will give you shape definition and shadow contrast without having to use different colored grout. I think it might look too busy with gray grout. But again, I'd have to actually see a wall full of the tile to know... maybe the photoshopping will help.

Good luck :)

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 8:33PM
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susanlynn2012

Bee, I agree with Melissastar that what made the all white grout and tile look so great in your prior kitchen is the dark gray on the wall and the fact the cabinets did not go up to the ceiling. I feel your new kitchen will look beautiful either way but the gray will give it the added color it needs to tie in the cabinets with the counters and the island. Just my two cents. I think this is my third post trying to help you out but the final decision is yours and whatever you do, the kitchen is gorgeous already.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 8:34PM
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farmhousebound

A vote for the gray grout :)

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 9:04PM
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beekeeperswife

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 9:14PM
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berardmr

Oh my, what's a girl to do? It will be beautiful either way, Bee!

I think a good photoshop will help with your decision quite a bit.

In the end, follow your gut (it's there, just let it out) and you will know the answer. Or you could always ask the question to the little black ball I played with when I was a kid. I just hope it doesn't say "Ask me later."

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 9:34PM
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niffy

You asked about specific grout colors... Try Laticrete Silver Shadow. It's a nice light gray and I am pretty sure ours is unsanded (I think it comes both ways).

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 9:38PM
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KBSpider

Gray, gray, gray! (I know that only counts as one, but still...) :)

I agree that an even lighter gray would make it less obvious, but the one you showed looks great as well. So really, your only decision should be do you stick with the current gray or a slightly lighter gray? Yes, another decision, BUT...one step closer...

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 9:55PM
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nhbaskets

In our first home I wallpapered our bedroom with this pastel swirly paper. When we built our current home I again used the same wallpaper and regretted it for the 10 years I had to look at it until I convinced DH that striping wallpaper was not difficult.

It's time for a change. I vote for gray.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 9:59PM
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mermanmike

Thinking, thinking, thinking....gray.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 10:03PM
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peonybush

Oh look...she has on a grey blouse. There's grey on the the phone and the monitor is grey. It's a sign for sure.
Do I get another grey vote for being observant?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 10:12PM
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senator13

Bee, I know this is not what you probably want to hear, but I don't think either are right for your new kitchen. I think the white with the grey is too matchy-matchy. I love the way you have orange accents in your kitchen and I think that is the idea you should aim for with your backsplash. Not orange, but something that still allows your counters to shine, while adding a subtle color or texture. I think the white on white will leave you feeling unsettled, or maybe that is just how I would feel. Your backsplash set the stage, but I think if you pick it again, you will always have that "grass is greener" feeling when you see other ones that "could have been". Just my two cents. You have fabulous taste, so I am sure that you will pick the right one.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 10:26PM
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gardenamy

I can resist no longer...gray is my vote. It is not too dark of a gray and will play nicely off the granite. Love the white in the other house but with this granite I like the gray. Put some up without the sample board, just lean them on the counter and let your gray walls show through. Might help your visual.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 10:29PM
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lalithar

My tile guy is doing another job where he is using one of the dazzle colors from Spectralock pro line. The sample he showed me had a couple of different samples called silver and pearl. These can apparently be added in at the level you want but they gave the palest sheen to make the grout a reflective as the tile itself. If you are mixing option.. something to try.. It may look classy with your polished tile..

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 10:50PM
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beekeeperswife

senator....do you mean try something like....turquoise grout? You do know I have 65 sq feet of this tile in the garage, right? Do you mean a different tile?

Btw, dh saw the tile. I told him he didn't have to tell me his opinion right now. But he isn't thinking about it like I am. I think he may have forgotten!

Yes.

Forgotten.

Is it from the airplane air?

Maybe tomorrow I"ll get an answer.... Maybe?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 10:56PM
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ladeeda

Decided I'd chime in too after keeping up with all this! Better than HGTV!
(Gardenamy wrote out many of my thoughts)
I vote gray, even lighter perhaps, but gray ;)
FWIW, I explained your situation to DD11with pics and she likes the white lol!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 11:02PM
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slush1422

AHHHH can't believe he didn't give you his opinion. I feel for you!

I love the suggestion from northcarolina of "waiting" until you see the tiles up on the wall un-grouted and go from there. You have to wait for it to dry anyways right?

Now go have some wine!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 11:15PM
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senator13

Sorry Bee, I thought you just had the samples. I missed the part that you had the order in your kitchen. Carry on! You have amazing style. And with that, I vote for white on white!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 11:26PM
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slush1422

OH and BTW I'm torturing myself by following this thread. Of course I take any negative comments about the all white personally, especially after I've had my own wine haha...but I KNOW not every one has the same taste, so take it with a grain of salt.

I'm sure whatever you decide will be great. I really don't think you could go wrong with the tiles. xoxo

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 11:27PM
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ivaniphone

>> Oh look...she has on a grey blouse. There's grey on the the phone and the monitor is grey. It's a sign for sure.

This cracked me up !!!

And I always agree with rhome410's opinion after she says it:
>> You mentioned in another post, I think, that more than one person came into your old kitchen and thought your bs was sheets of something, rather than individual tiles, which means those people, in real life, see the same thing Remodelfla and others do in photos...The white coming off as a solid mass. You didn't really say how you felt about that, but I would hate it. Some kind of textured sheet goods (faking tile) seems like a chintzy way out and these tiles aren't that. I think the gray adds depth and a little interest without making it seem busy. If you're seeing 'busy,' maybe a lighter gray would help, but still have the same advantages.

My new-to-today opinion:

Also, from the vantage point of the 2'nd picture down that you recently posted, the grey would pick up on the island drawer front tones as the sun bounces off them.

Grey is such a sophisticated color.

And this IS better than HGTV !!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 11:48PM
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williamsem

Any pics of the grout when it's dry? Not sure how long that takes.

I vote gray.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 12:05AM
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CKGM

Grey please!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 2:39AM
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rikerk

I really like the arabesque with the light gray grout I thin it plays very nicely with your counters

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 6:53AM
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deedles

If grey or white is the choice, I'd go grey. Like it with the stainless and also it seems to pull from the blue island.

Whoever suggested a different color has an interesting POV...although, I'd have no clue which color.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 8:14AM
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smiling

One of your signature design accents seems to be a tasteful bit of bling. I'm wondering if you could do up a sample board with this bit of Spectralock Dazzle (perhaps the silver or the mother of pearl) added into a gray grout. Here's the clip from their site:
http://www.laticrete.com/homeowners/technical_services/faq/planning_a_job/spectralock_grout.aspx

"What is the LATICRETE SpectraLOCK PRO Grout Dazzle component?

LATICRETE SpectraLOCK Dazzle is an optional component for use with LATICRETE SpectraLOCK PRO Premium Grout and LATICRETE SpectraLOCK PRO Grout. LATICRETE SpectraLOCK PRO Premium Grout and LATICRETE SpectraLOCK PRO Grout are available in a range of 40 designer colors, but by blending in a LATICRETE SpectraLOCK Dazzle component, the color pallette expands to over 170 options! LATICRETE SpectraLOCK Dazzle is available in Gold, Silver, Copper, Mother-of-Pearl, and Glow-In-The-Dark. The LATICRETE SpectraLOCK Dazzle metallic flake powder replaces some of the standard LATICRETE SpectraLOCK PRO Grout Part C filler powder to produce a unique, light-reflective grout joint that can enhance many tile applications. The LATICRETE Dazzle Glow-In-The-Dark will make your grout glow at night if the grout gets a sufficient charge of light during the day. NOTE:There is a limitation for the Gold, Silver, Copper, and Mother-of-Pearl Dazzle components which may tarnish from strong alkali and acidic cleaners so their use is typically limited to wall applications only. "

Here is a link that might be useful: Dazzle in your grout

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 8:54AM
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Rybren2

I was picking up my Artistic tile sample which has glass inserts and the salesperson suggested glass grout. It looks beautiful and very delicate. It would give a translucency to the grey (or even white) grout that would ensure it wouldn't look like concrete and would be slightly different then your last kitchen if you did go with white grout. The best way I can describe it is that it was like tiny beads of glass compressed together. Many pale colours that might be appropriate for your application. I have a sample somewhere so will look and repost with more details.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 9:42AM
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Rybren2

It's StarGlass grout. Pictures don't do it justice. I know nothing about how it performs over time but just thought it would give you another option.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 9:56AM
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chitown_remodel

I haven't read all these responses so sorry if I repeat anything but I really like the grey. The light grey grout makes like actual individual tiles and accents the bevel of the arabesque in a nice subtle way.

The white grout makes the tiles blend into what looks like a puffy quilt that almost looks like a sheet of fabric that has been put on the wall.

Both looks are nice but I think the grey grout makes the backsplash look a bit more elegant.

Good luck with your decision.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 10:09AM
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melissastar

Just reread my post and realized it should have said "I do NOT think it will look busy." And I definitely think rhome has a point about the white with white potentially looking too "solid". Combined that with the to-the-ceiling white cabs and, it's too much.

The idea of a glass grout or something with a teeny bit of shimmer is intriguing.

I sympathize with the dilemma...but ain't it a grand dilemma to have?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 11:08AM
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vidyaram

Bee, the room looks stunning! I can see your beautiful taste throughout your new house. I was on a break from gardenweb for some time and loved your new pictures. May I ask where you got your coutner stools from? They look stunning!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 11:06AM
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vidyaram

Bee, the room looks stunning! I can see your beautiful taste throughout your new house. I was on a break from gardenweb for some time and loved your new pictures. May I ask where you got your coutner stools from? They look stunning!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 2:11PM
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