Round 2: Backsplash color opinions. (Help get me out of ABB!)

Angie_DIYNovember 19, 2012

I am still trying to sort out my backsplash, and was fortunate enough to have one of the most extensive BS threads that I can recall. A number of generous people gave feedback and made mock-ups to help me out. The original thread, which can be seen here, has just about hit its maximum number of entries. I find that fact incredible, and am really humbled and honored to have so many people help me.

However, as a practical matter, that thread is out of room and I still haven't decided! (Although we have made a ton of progress.) I am starting this new thread in hopes of killing off this decision soon. First, let me recapitulate the most promising ideas generated from the original thread. Then I will show you what I have been up to!

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Okay, now I am going to recapitulate the lessons learned and the most promising results from the previous thread.

One lesson I learned was that I really think the BS tiles should be predominantly set on the diagonal. I agree with those who said the mock-ups that were set square to the counter seemed to "fight" with the floor. The ones with diagonal tiles seemed to flow with the floor much better. (Unfortunately, this eliminates my beloved running-bond 4.25x4.25 scheme.) I could perhaps get away with square-set tiles and diamond inserts.

Another important lesson was that the tile should be warm, something to complement the floor. Probably a parchment/biscuit color.

Another good lesson was that I likely won't be able to work around the wall paint. I am reconciled with the idea of painting it.

Here are the mockups I liked the best from the thread. (Again, thanks so much to OldBat2Be, BellaJourney, detroit_burb, and EAM for their help on this task.)

This one is not diagonal, but I do like the simplicity of detroit burbs idea:

BellaJ's deco idea:

Very interesting decorative band by OB2B:

Give in to travertine by EAM:

Give in to travertine, but have diamonds (EAM):

Okay, I am sure that the kernel of my perfect backsplash is in there.

Here is a link that might be useful: Original BS thread

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 5:41PM
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I finally got the wet saw back out and cut up some tiles to experiment with. Here are some of the new ideas I have been trying.

Note that the pictures that follow use my "tone on tone" checkerboard attempt. I am not planning to use that idea. I am just using that sampleboard because it is more convenient that making up a new one. I will, of course, make up a new one (without the checkerboard) as I get closer to the final choice!

Here are a few that are inspired by BellaJourney's "diamonds with decos" ideas. The greenish color is a Rainforest Green marble tile that I cut up, and the reddish is the same travertine that is on my floor (as per EAM's idea). The tile is biscuit, but we all agree that I need tiles that are warmer than these. (Also, the flash makes these look really stark):

RFG with many squares:

Less-dense squares:

A little color with RFG + coral travertine:

Interestingly, the diagonal length of a 4.25x4.25" tile is sqrt(2)*4.25" = 6.010". Thus, a subway tile would be the same length as the diagonal of a 4.25" tile, making a decorative band made of subway tiles commensurate with the field tiles. I don't think I have come across this fact before, and don't recall having seen a BS that makes use of it.
Anyway, here is a pattern of alternating RFG and travertine subways. Obviously, I could also use all RFG or all travertine or all ceramic tiles of a color that is matching or complementary to the field:

Inspired by this picture from the last thread,
I also made more intricate patterns with smaller triangles and squares:

Note that the pattern on the left is readily available in commercial, mesh-mounted borders. However, they mostly tend to use quite rustic stones. The pattern on the right would require many L-cuts in the field tile. This is not a show-stopper, but would be a factor in the decision. I tried avoiding the L-cuts by only replacing one diagonal field tile with the four little ones, but the pattern looked too sparse and toothy.

Finally, I tried to meld the diagonal pattern of the field tiles with a rectilinear border pattern. I rather like this, and may have some more to say about it in the future!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 5:44PM
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BellaJ's mock up pictured on the right is the best looking one IMO. I guess it corresponds to your less dense sample. I would just do one color of squares. The color of tile that Bella used in the mock up on the right picks up the lighter color diamond in your floor and the square accent seems perfect with the dark diamonds on the floor. It might help to get the same color tile that BellaJ shows and make up a sample board of that.
After so many ideas, I think you are on the right track. Good luck with the final decision.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 7:06PM
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hi again :) still like bellas the best. i also like the less dense version of the accents. her accent color is nice that it ties in with the floor but the rainforest tiles pull in the soapstone correct? i would like to see bellas mockup with the rainforest tiles as accents. not sure wat i like better. that being said- liking bellas the best also means that although i liked the *idea* of ur checkerboard of different cream tiles i think it is just too much with the floor. having the tiles set diagonally is enough to tie in the floor- doing the checkerboard again i think is just too much. and i think the same goes as for doing two different color accents... i think we may just be getting a lil checkerboard happy :) but ideally there should still be some color variation... just not in checkerboard pattern. hope u decide soon- i feel the end coming :) lol

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 7:31PM
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Hi Angie,

Very glad you are continuing the thread, I really enjoyed participating in your first one :) Your sample boards look very polished and professional, you must have had fun putting them together. Here's the first, on the range side. My concern is that the tiles look too cold/white/grey. I'd love to see some warmer tiles. I prefer the tiles on the diagonal, think you're on the right track, just need to figure out the right color(s). (Of course, I'm not there IRL, so can only speculate based on what I see).

Best, oldbat2be

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 7:56PM
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I'm just visiting from the bathroom forum and wondered if this photo of accent tile in my masterbath shower might help you visualize one layout option using 4 x 4's with decos....

It's 18" wide including the pencil moldings at the top and bottom.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 8:34PM
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Sorry if the photo is sideways. It's rotated correctly in Photobucket so I'm not sure why it this happens(?)

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 8:38PM
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Well you've been busy! I may have found tiles that you can use if you decide to go with travertine. The Tuscan Ivory is a 4" x 4" mosaic $5.45/sf, and the Scabos is a 2" x 2" mosaic $10.99/sf that you can use for accents. You can find both (and more) at the link below.

As far as patterns go, I think I like the diamonds with the squares better than with other diamonds or subways/lines.

Here is a link that might be useful: Trav

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 1:08AM
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EAM44's travertine (scale of squares is off, sorry):

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 7:26AM
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I know that you like the splash set as diamonds but for me there are too many diamonds. When the main body is as squares and a single tone it becomes a backdrop for diamonds as accents, with the background as diamonds and the accents as squares the squares stand out as an odd new element. Googling for examples brought up many of the photoshop variations of your kitchen and having them to view at once the one that stands out as working the best is the short soapstone splash with green walls.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 7:35AM
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I just think there are too many squares, whether straight or on the diagonal. It may be due to looking at so many possible variations, but all I can see are squares. They're in your floor, your stained glass and now the backsplash. I wonder if you would stop seeing them or if it would end up being too much of a good thing.

I don't mind a more homogenous b/s (warmer color), but more and more I find the accent tiles irritating.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 9:46AM
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I like OB2B's decorative band (2nd or 3rd above in the OP) because it is simpler. I agree with linelle, and think that you don't want your BS detracting or competing with your floor and your beautiful window. As far as BS are concerned, I usually find that "less is more" -- unless it is meant to be the only/main focal point.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 10:15AM
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Hi-I thought the second picture, (BellaJ's deco design I believe), looked and felt very balanced. Just MHO.

good luck!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 10:18AM
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EAM U R GOOD! U 2 OB2B! MAN i hope u guys r around when i post my backsplash SOS post lol. i better get my act together and take some pics already b4 my husband just orders the tiles behind my back lol

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 10:47AM
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After seeing OB2B's (you are truly awesome) mash up, I'm leaning toward the pencil line again! I took her images and made a coral red trav pencil - thicker this time - and it looks so much less frenetic; it's calm and pretty, like you had this in mind all along, which in a way, you did.

I've been looking at paint colors too and made an interesting observation. While it is really important to pick the right hue, of course, it is critical to get the saturation right with this combination of materials. More saturated colors look better in your images. I'm posting yellow below because I know you want it. Not sure it's the best choice.

Ralph Lauren Paint in Collector RLVM240

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 10:54AM
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Ralph Lauren paint in King Henry RLVM2107

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 10:57AM
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Ralph Lauren paint in Pomegranate RLVM211

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 10:59AM
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Ralph Lauren paint in Reflecting Pool RLVM271.

I know you're not worrying about paint yet, but changing the background can help you see the tile better I think. Of course, you have to judge these in your own light.

I am excited to see what you ultimately choose!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 11:02AM
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Ralph LAuren paint in Natural Grey RLVM78

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 11:12AM
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Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!

Angie - maybe it's lack of sleep (nieces and nephews came in last light!) but to my eye it's starting to look like Stonehenge in there. Anyway, I wonder if you might be open to a couple of other ideas. I hope I'm not taking you over territory you've already covered and dismissed.

#1 - Copper. A sheet of copper the height of your wall over the sink/under the windows. It would be an Angie-worthy project for sure, and I know you've followed some of the copper DIY work here.

#2 - Glass. I know you don't like glass tile so I haven't suggested it. But it would be a fantastic way to bring your stained glass into the rest of the space. I found this streaky glass that speaks to the color variation you've been seeking, and there are lots of posts on the stained glass forum on using craft glass for bs applications (see the link below). The image below is of 8" x 8" golden pineapple opal pearl glass that you could cut to size (or the dimensions used in your window ala detroit burbs) and mount on to a board, then onto the wall. This piece sells for $6.50 at Esty, but I'm sure you can buy your specific window yellow in bulk, probably for less.

Just a couple of ideas to consider... I hope they are helpful... now off to start cooking...

Here is a link that might be useful: Stained Glass

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 8:07AM
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I'm agreeing with very plain - sheetlike backsplash. I feel like every "special" tile thing that's been put up is competing with the floor and the windows, not adding to them.

Matte cream glass or something light but not shiny? Also perhaps the big tile - the 12, 18 or 24 inch version that matches the lighter color of flooring.

whispers: time to count your clowns?

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 9:32AM
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I think EAM's on the right track with the Pomegranate paint. I believe she pulled it from your darkest, reddest floor tiles, and it gives contrast, richness, and warmth that you don't get with the lighter floor colors as your accent. I think the brick red might work well with the green in the soapstone too.

Nothing is speaking to me with the field tile yet. They're too busy or too cool.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 10:32AM
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I have not read this entire thread(yet) but thank you for starting another one as it took ages to get through the first with all the great pictures !

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 9:48PM
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I stole your floor tile for these.

A couple more ideas based on your above comments and some of my observations.

1. whatever decorative element you settle on, be it liner, squares, or diamonds, keep it away from your stained glass window, as any time it is brought up to the frame of the window it seems to 'interfere' visually. decoration can start just under the cabinets.

2. I still really like your idea of the decoration jogging around the sink window and hope you can make it happen because it is really retro and right.

3. background tile size and orientation look good when they somehow relate to the vertical elements of the stained glass window (I did not depict this in theses images, but did so before)

4. size of decorative element should relate in size to the small squares in the stained glass, i think it would look better a little smaller than what I did above.

I think that you get so much help because many people can relate to the scale of your project and the sweat you've put in. My little secret is that I am ABB for 1 year now. Your plight has inspired me to order more tile samples which are now sitting on my counter. Purgatory. It's where all the good people go who haven't completely finished...

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 7:46PM
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I am exhausted from looking at pictures of white kitchens with marble counters. I have decided on the marble (stains, dents, cracks...I'm good with it). I have shaker cabinets...can do any white thinking BM white dove or cloud white...need help with backsplash!! My floor is dark (chocolate) oak hardwood. My kitchen is wide is a reno from a 1970's kitchen ... not much light (one small south facing wind and a glass door that is west facing (but we are in the north so sun will not really flow through that door! Any thoughts appreciated!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 9:47PM
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Andytommy, it is best to start your own thread. You will get more info that relates to what you are doing. Threads get too muddled otherwise. Thanks.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 9:53PM
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The glass idea is neat!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 12:11AM
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Hi everyone. Happy (day after) Thanksgiving. I am a little sad about the update that I will share, but first let me respond to your continued generous efforts.

(Fellow) Badgergal, thanks for the vote and encouragement. I agree that only one color accent is better. I had hoped that alternating would tie things in better, but I think it looks, well, it just looks wrong. Not sure why.

Veevs, another Bella deco vote! The rainforest is supposed to tie into the green of the stained glass, plus it has red veins that tie in with the floor. Yeah, i am abandoning the tone-on-tone checkerboard idea. In a way, it is a shame I ever thought of it; it was just an offhand idea to incorporate two different inexpensive tiles. Unfortunately, a fair amount of GW brainpower went into dealing with it that could have been applied elsewhere.

OB2B. Thanks for your continued stalwart efforts! I agree that those particular tiles are too gray. I am not at all tied to them. I think they do look better in real life than in my pix, especially if my flash goes off. But I think if I go with a warm neutral, it will be a lot warmer than that one, like maybe camel or something like that.

Treasure: Thanks for the visual! That is a lovely bath -- is it yours?

EAM: Thanks for the trav. tiles and the NICE mockups. I am really excited about the pencil liner one. See my comments at the end.

AthomeinVA: Diamonds aren't a girl's best friend? ;-) I do think your point that the ACCENT tile is what stands out the most is insightful.

Linelle: Thanks for the observation about the squares. I think you may like the direction I am heading below...

Legallin: Yeah, the BS is definitely not meant to be the star.

Karma: Thanks for the thought/vote! Appreciate the input.

Veevs: Seriously, OB2B and EAM are really good with the mockups and the design, no?

EAM, thanks so much for all those color combos and the NICE liner. You are so generous. I think the liner may be a keeper!
As for the copper, you know that I have a copper DW and copper range, right? Don't you think that would be too much copper?
Re: glass. Hmm, interesting idea. I could certainly get the glass from the guy who made my stained-glass window. It certainly wan't inexpensive. (I got the glass for my cabs from him, too.)

Bmore: I had wondered about Kerlite or using 18" mable/travertine tiles for this reason. I just keep thinking that ceramic tile is the right choice for a house of this vintage....

Mayflowers: I am certainly not locked into yellow; will give red tones some consideration. Thanks.

Detroit: Thanks for taking precious time out from nursing and spending it on my BS! Your travertine idea is, indeed, beautiful. Your thoughts are cogent. Thanks so much. Best of luck on getting out of ABB! I am glad to hear you are restarting.

Andytommy, best of luck with your backsplash.

Okay, here is my idea and my sad tale for an update. I had certainly hoped to have a better update to share!

I have been thinking of synthesizing a few of these ideas into one. I want to use a warm ceramic tile (not tone-on-tone), set on the diagonal. I would not use accent tiles, but rather only a monochrome decorative band. Thus, is would look like most like EAM's excellent offering here, but with ceramic tile:
However, for the liner, I would use an element that somewhat incorporates into the diamond pattern, rather than completely interrupts it. I would use half tiles, set like in this picture. However, I would use only one color, rather than the two shown here:

I have a house full of guests over for T-day, which has limited my time to work on this. Now the sad part of the update. It was warm this week, so I got the wet saw out as I noted earlier. On T-day itself, once I got the turkey roasting, I used the down time to cut more tiles. I cut a whole bunch of Rain Forest Green (with lovely red veins) into triangles the size of half the tile. I set them out in the arrangement like the picture just above, balancing the sample board on a box in the kitchen. I grabbed my camera to take a picture to post here.
Drat, the battery was out on my camera. Start it recharging, go back to T-day dinner. Today, I was cooking and caught the seam of my pants on the edge of the sample board. I knocked the board to the floor, and, one by one, the RFG accents broke into pieces. On top of that, a cold front came through, and it went from being in the 60s to the 20s. My wet saw, which is still set up in the backyard, is now frozen over. I can replace the RFG tiles, but I cannot cut them. Bummer - I am stuck until it thaws! (Worst comes to worst, I can put it in my basement.)

Anyway, there is a lot I like about that idea. Don't you think the alternating triangles both fit in with the diamonds, and also form a kind of a "pencil" liner? (It would be 3" wide.)

I am not tied to the RFG, although the colors do go well. I may instead use a complementary ceramic tile.

As for colors, I am still thinking warm field tile with green or red liner. However, another thought is to use field yellow tiles, RFG liner, and paint the walls something else altogether, perhaps cafe au alit or something other warm neutral. Or one of EAMs paint schemes.

Thanks so much for your help and for listening!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 12:43AM
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You must have had a great Thanksgiving, as you didn't mention having dropped or freezing your turkey :)

I hope your tile saw thaws out ok. This cold is a hard change from the lovely weather we were having in Iowa.

When you first posted your "traveling triangles" I liked them right away. I like the mockups that have the linear pencil bullnose to encase the tile at the top too. Whenever the tiles are shown without the cap they look like they want to float away. Everyone has come up with great photoshop samples. I have been following along and enjoying reading and looking.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 6:08AM
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I love the idea you have!!

When you said "sad" I was waiting for a tragedy, but it sounds like no one is hurt, not even the turkey, just looks like the frost forced you to take a break, perhaps needed?

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 6:39AM
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Phew, very glad sad news didn't involve any fingers and the wet saw! Here's one option with the triangles and a slightly warmer tile. I know the right grout will make a big difference, you would have more defition to the line.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 9:40AM
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I think I am going to have to stick with my favorite picture in your 1st thread, the one with the short backsplash and the painted board and batten wainscot. That is my fav.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 10:17AM
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I am so glad that the sad part of your update didn't involve a trip to the ER or a ruined Thanksgiving!

You've gotten some great input here... an amazing amount of brilliant suggestions and mock-ups! I don't have any design ideas to add but wish you the best. It's going to be so pretty and I can't wait to see the final choice.

And, yes, the shower I posted is mine. I came up with that tile layout before I knew about the GW brain trust. I kind of wonder what different direction my room might have taken if I had GW helping me design it...!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 10:51AM
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Angie-I really like ob2b's most recent rendition above with the triangle "pencil" liner, but I'm wondering where it will go with respect to the window on the sink run. That placement might be a little tricky . . .

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 11:56AM
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Sorry if I sounded overly melodramatic by calling the news "sad." I agree, it was not such a catastrophe. I was just quite frustrated at the time.

The turkey (and the whole dinner) was fabulous. In fact, we had super meals with the guests 3 days in a row. (Wed: Scallops piccata sous vide, Thurs: turkey etc., Fri: garlic souffle with asparagus and hollandaise sauce. Yum.)

I picked up the pieces and pieced together enough broken ones to complete the pattern. Here is the sample board. This is in the basement, so the lighting is pretty stark:

OB2B: once again, thank you for the photoshop help. I do wish it were thinner, but I like the concept... I could make it thinner, but then I would need to put in very small triangles of the field tile.

Leela: good point. I will check that placement to make sure it is acceptable.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 5:06PM
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Angie, your sample looks lovely. Here's the latest, please let me know if you want me to adjust the scale (i.e., the BS is 3 diagonal tiles high to the bottom of the upper cabinets).

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 5:27PM
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Are you out of the ABB club yet? I saw a post on ranges and looks like tile on your walls?

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 2:18PM
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A2: Oh, I wish! No, that picture on the range thread just had two of my earliest sample boards in it, sadly.

Today, I hoisted my tile saw, which was frozen nearly solid, out of its stand and knocked all the ice out of it. My fingers were freezing by the end! I guess I will have to give up and put the saw in my laundry room/former temporary kitchen.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 3:12PM
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Take care!
Watching and hoping!
We need more alumni.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 7:59PM
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AngieDIY - I feel your pain, the ABB pain that is. I like the 2nd to last that OB2B created. Though I must say that less is more because you have a beautiful floor. Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 8:21PM
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If all you're doing is one straight horizontal line as shown in ob2b's last post, you can make the pencil as thick or thin as you like without complicated cuts as shown below.

I really prefer the pencil line you designed at the outset though. I know you are a DIY queen, but perhaps you could hire someone to do the bs if those cuts are too complicated.

Congrats on making your decision! Best of luck in pulling it all together - can't wait to see the images.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 10:55PM
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OB2B: thanks so much for your latest mock-up with my wide band. I believe you have the scale correct. Thanks for your persistence! It really helps to have a visualization.

a2gemini and motherto3: thanks for the well wishes and the advice.

EAM: (I am mostly just thinking out loud here -- not necessarily responding directly.) One of the criteria I am imposing is that the grout lines line up above and below the liner. If I use the thin, continuous liner that you suggest, then I can meet this criterion by altering your latest suggestion slightly, viz., by cutting the field-tile triangles a little smaller and clipping the corners of the field-tile diamonds. These options would not be hard.
However, if I insist on another criterion, namely, that the grout lines are continuous through the border, then the cuts get more complicated (unless I use the 3" wide liner). With a thin liner and continuous grout lines, there are two ways to do it. One involves simple cuts for the liner and field tile, but there will be small field-tile triangles. The other involves simple cuts for the field tile, but complicated cuts for the border.

Can I ask you for a clarification? You wrote I really prefer the pencil line you designed at the outset though. Did you mean my inspiration:

or my latest effort:

or something different?

Thanks again so much everyone for your help and forbearance. I hope to push through this!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 2:34PM
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Your original pencil line inspiration photo became my inspiration photo, so you know what I vote for ;)

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 3:09PM
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I'd never seen your pencil inspiration pic - it's lovely, and the pencil is awesome. I was referring to your drawing at the top of the previous thread, copied below.

I totally get why you are thinking of making the line thicker and using one single line - it would be much simpler. And if you decide to do this you could use the layout in my last post

I am not certain I understand the issue with cutting the pencil liner - can't you buy pencil liner that is the size you want (1" x 6" etc...)? Am I missing something?

You get to pick where the pencil goes, and that helps a lot. One thing that might make it easier still, would be to keep the thickness of the grout lines the same throughout, and go for a square tile orientation above the liner. That way you have no cuts above the pencil, and you get to choose the cut (1/2 tile) below the pencil, with the dropped line tiles below the window a little less than 1/2 a tile. Take a look at the attached image - this is hard to write about clearly.

Also, if I'm helping, great. If I'm complicating things unnecessarily, just let me know.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 4:07PM
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Angie, I haven't participated in this thread although I have been following it since the outset. I LOVE the pencil liner inspiration for your kitchen and think it fits your kitchen to a T. EAM44 has posted a nice compromise since you are wanting to use a diamond tile. I would keep the diamonds small so they do not compete with your floor for attention.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 4:14PM
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OK, you didn't ask for these, but I just posted on hobokenkitchen's thread and thought of you:

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 11:44PM
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And the range area...

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 11:45PM
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Driving by again...

The more I look at it, the more I feel that you have enough complicated/ pattern elements. That gorgeous floor really lends enough, and the soapstone is also a beauty point that maybe isn't being played up enough. Then there is the stained glass. I think that less backsplash, very simple, is the way to go. Especially now that I am aware of the copper appliances--you've got a lot going on.
Maybe using more soapstone (as has been suggested I think) a bit up the wall, and then playing off the color of the soapstone in the color of the paint. I am wondering how a warm, medium to light grey would look-- you'd have to find a shade that looks good with the copper appliances as well, I have seen one that I think would work (sorry can't tell you where or what). I think it might set off the stained glass very well. Then, maybe do your dark pencil line just along the top of the soapstone backsplash, and perhaps around the windows?
Way earlier I think someone posted a lighter yellow cream color that looked good too, it played off the floor more, and using that you could use a bit of the floor tile for a backsplash and not too dark liner tile.

If you start out with a "less is more" approach, you can always add if you need to. But remember the adage about wearing jewelry -- put it on, but always remove one item before you leave the house!

Don't forget to let us know your decisions!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 1:21PM
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Hey Angie - what did you decide to do? How'd it come out?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 3:03AM
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Oh, gang, sorry for not responding earlier. I wanted to have something concrete to offer, at least more sample boards, before posting again, and I don't. Thank you so much for your help and continued interest. I am grateful for the support.

My current game plan is to use a pattern very close to what EAM posted on 11/25 @22:55. Just a single, slim pencil liner bisecting tiles set on the diagonal:

I plan to make one sample board that has the pattern like she showed, and another with the field tiles clipped a little bit so that the grout lines above the liner are collinear with the grout lines below the liner. (EAM, this is what I was trying to describe by "grout lines lining up above and below the liner" in my last post a while back.)

The next question/quest is to find the right tile and the right liner. Still leaning towards a warm, neutral ceramic field tile, hopefully with color variegation, and a liner that is cut from either Rain Forest Green tile or Rojo Alicante tile. Of course, a coordinating ceramic liner is also a possibility. Walls would probably be repainted to a pale yellow.

The other possibility I circle back to is a pale yellow tile, much like Circuspeanut's:

In that case, the walls would have to be repainted to something complementary.

DebraK and corgimum, thanks for the pencil liner vote of confidence. They helped convince me. And, of course, EAM.

OB2B: I do like the color and the pattern on that BS of hoboken, but, sadly, I think it looks too busy in my application. Thanks for mocking it up! In fact, your mockup of my wide, triangular liner helped me see that the thinner liner would be better.

raee: thanks for the thoughts. I agree that less is more, and I like some of your color ideas.

One of the self-imposed deadlines I had was to be done by this evening. I am hosting a dinner party, and wanted to have the BS done before that. However, I had a number of other things to do to get ready; when it became clear that I was not going to make my BS deadline, I triaged and concentrated on other aspects. The good news is that I finished constructing 4 custom picture frames to display the art I chose for the kitchen! I made two of the frames from wood left over from the original door casing, which got torn out in the demolition.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 10:14AM
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I hope you do a kitchen art reveal and show us your frames too. Good luck with your dinner. Are you getting snow? Aren't you in MI? SIL is traveling north of the Twin Cities today and it is snowing around there. Not here in central Iowa. It is Too dry!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 12:02PM
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Just searching through old threads, bumpity bump fpr Angie:) Time to get back to the drawing board?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 8:53PM
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Oh, OB2B, thanks for thinking of me. That was sweet of you.

Yes, I am still ABB. I am still hemming and hawing on trying to find the right tile.

And then there is something else. Family circumstances have changed, and we MAY be looking to move. I had a realtor in to look at the house and, for resale purposes, she said "Just do subways." If I do decide to move, I may just take her up on that.

The other thing is that I have left a sample board of my tone-on-tone diamond checkerboard pattern in one part of the kitchen lo these many months. I have gotten completely used to it being there, such that I don't even see it anymore. After the realtor came, I looked at it again with new eyes. You know, I rather like that pattern! I know it got somewhat panned earlier, but I think it could work. I am still planning (evidently on a glacial scale) to put more work into finding machine-made, hand-painted tiles to give subtle color variation, but it is somewhat tempting to just do the tone-on-tone and be done with it!

I am going on vacation tomorrow evening for a week, so don't be alarmed if I don't reply! I am sooooo looking forward to this trip! :^)

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 12:03AM
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Debra Wright

When I look at your pictures I find the kitchen to be very busy. If you are considering moving, I would either put a plain subway tile or consider not putting anything at all and let the next owner decide.

I think adding more texture and pattern would just overwhelm the space.

Good luck on deciding.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 11:27PM
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Been there, done that - Keep looking and the right tile will pop!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 5:35PM
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Angie - I was thinking of you (and circuspeanut's tile, btw) and was wondering what's up. This is hand glazed Cuerda Seca from Santa Barbara Ceramic Tile in Lemon Satin Matte sized 4.5" x 4.5" that is on sale for $0.99 at Tierra Y Fuego. They have limited availability so if you're interested, buy some samples. If you think it could work for you don't delay. It's beautiful stuff.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tierra

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 7:51AM
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That is so sweet and kind of you to remember all of us ABB folk. You are very generous.

That is a good deal! Handpainted tiles for $8/sq. ft. is pretty reasonable. They have some other colors at that price, too. My concern is the fact that they are also handmade tiles, and will require wide grout lines. Perhaps I should get some samples and see how much the sizes vary. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 2:13PM
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