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I'm sick about my backsplash

Posted by gemini16 (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 15, 11 at 21:03

Backsplash went up today. It's gorgeous glass tile (Vihara Karuna irridescent) but it doesn't go with the counter (cambria windemere). It has all the colors in the counter but together, it's just not working. I'm sick about it. I picked everything so carefully and love my kitchen - right up till now. I don't know what to do. In truth, I like the tile better than counter. Can you change out a counter without damaging the cabinets and backsplash? Would I be insane to do that and spend the money all over again? I feel like I've ruined my kitchen. I was so happy with it all. Now I just want to cry.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: I'm sick about my backsplash

If somewhat mismatched tile and counter make you sick and drive you to tears, take solace in the indisputable fact that you quite probably have the world's smallest problem.

You need to take a deep breath, and get a grip. Look around, and count your blessings.


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RE: I'm sick about my backsplash

while I appreciate that advice, I think you're in the wrong forum. I've made my donations and do my volunteering and am entitled to my feelings about something I've worked and saved for 3 years to have done.


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RE: I'm sick about my backsplash

Why don't you leave, urobos, and visit a forum where people are discussing matters you feel are weighty enough for you, rather than cluttering up this one with stupid remarks?

OK, here are your picks, gemini:

The first thing you need to know is, most people react negatively the first time they see any strong design element in their homes. If you ever work with an interior designer, you will see that he or she will show up the day your carefully-chosen couch is delivered, because you will hate it. It's due to the simple shock of change. Afterwards, you acclimate and will love it.

Second, never judge a backsplash until it's grouted. Is yours grouted yet?


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RE: I'm sick about my backsplash

Goodness, this again? We all know we are fortunate to have place to live, and the funds to spend on luxuries like decorating. Spare us snotty replies.

Gemini, I'm sorry for your upset. A kitchen is a major expense and a place where we all spend many hours ... It's important.

I would think it's easier to redo tile. But first, live with it a few days. Maybe accessorize it? Glass tile is tricky, it morphs with light, perspective and grout.


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RE: I'm sick about my backsplash1

Trying to reply for the 3rd time - keeps rejecting for some reason. Anyway, it's not grouted yet and I holding out hope that will change the way I perceive it. And it does look amazing behind the stainless stove so maybe some accessories will help.

I can't explain my choice when I see the pics together! I really did think they looked good and so did DH and we looked at dozens of tiles.


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RE: I'm sick about my backsplash

Hi gemini, I just wanted to give you some sympathy too. Heck, what's this forum for, if we can't talk, complain, worry about our kitchens?!
I would be sick too, if I felt like the tile I spent many hours picking out didn't look right!
I come on this site because I don't have any friends, who are remodeling their kitchens, so can't come close to relating to my (knowingly small, insignificant) decorator problems. Since this is called The Kitchen Forum, I feel free to express my frustrations, worries, and delights in everything KITCHEN!
Keep asking your questions. Some of don't mind. I think MOST of us don't mind.
Good luck!


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You are not the only one who has gone through this. I also had tile installed only to have it removed the next day! I too thought about changing the granite. It really did not go with my white cabinetry. (Listening to the granite guys."EVERYTHING goes with white!" With DH agreeing.)
But, the thought of damaging my brand new cabinets held me back. I know that counters can be removed safely, and even in one piece but I did not want to take the chance. Also, this was a thousands of dollar purchase, while the tile was hundreds of dollars.
I know people are telling you to live with it. And, this has worked on occasion. But, my gut feeling is telling me that you already know that it is not working and you feel it is a mistake. Can you post pictures so we can ge a better idea of what you are talking about?
((((HUGS)))))


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WOW, I didn't mean to be snotty, I just meant to say that if you're CRYING over mismatched colors in your kitchen, you need to put things in perspective.

After you get a hold of yourself, then you make a calm, non-emotional decision. Go think about something else, walk away from your mistake, and see it again tomorrow with fresh eyes. You might like it much better next month. Sometimes the jump from small matching samples to large scale installed materials can be appear jarring at first.

I've made my donations and my volunteering too ;-)


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RE: I'm sick about my backsplash

Every time something new was installed in my new kitchen, I experienced the sinking feeling that I'd screwed it up. I was in tears over my cabinets. I thought my floor was too dark. My sink was too deep. I love it all now that I'm used to it. I think the newness was too shocking. This is the first time I've redone an entire room all at once. Maybe that's why the process is so stressful.

I hope you walk into your kitchen next week and realise that the tile looks lovely with your counters.


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RE: I'm sick about my backsplash

My heart goes out to you. Just reading your post I felt a pang of recognition of that awful feeling you described.

So, the first thing is, it's is alright to feel sad, but not to beat yourself up -- it is extremely hard to pick colors and patterns that work well together. There are many ways to make mistakes in doing a kitchen and I bet that just about everyone on this forum has made some mistakes. I know I have -- plenty!

If you decide you cannot live with it, you will find a way to fix it. I do not mean to understate the pain, the cost, the frustration, any of it -- have know too much myself to tell anyone else to get a grip! But, it can be fixed, and if you decide it must be fixed, you will fix it.


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Gemini it's especially hard when you put so much time, and thought into the decisions. I'm going the "easy" route with modern. Black/white/chrome.

I noticed you posted just shortly ago, so you haven't even had a chance to view it during different times of day. Hopefully that will change your prospective. I remember getting my granite installed and I was like "oh no it's way to dark". As time wore on, I liked it better and better (my DH wanted the granite, so I was never in love with it). Accessories go a long way in pulling it all together. I hope this all works out for you.


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I'm so sorry! You know, that's EXACTLY what i did 3 days ago. My river white granite looked so grey, and clashed completely with my light beige/brown travertine backsplash with the copper and glass accents. Isn't that the first rule of design? Don't mix grey and brown, or cool and warm? Sigh.
I emailed everyone, and one of my friends started googling images. I felt better after seeing the same tones in a GW'er's kitchen. I went back, and realized that it was ok, i'm so short that the backsplash is much more visible to me than the granite, and it actually looks ok, since they both achieve that very light, close to white look i'm trying to achieve. Plus, i keep telling myself the garnet accents in the granite re picked up by the copper accents. It'll be fine, you'll love it very shortly! Hang in there!


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totally feel your pain. I always seem to have buyers remorse!

I would wait till the grout is done and give it some time to see how you feel. I found that with my backsplash, I have so much on my counters, you can't even see them anyways.


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RE: I'm sick about my backsplash

The reader who posted the question "have you grouted yet" was right on target with a possible solution. Looking at the photos that were posted, the backsplash appears to have brown, taupe, and almost a bluish gray producing an overall cool look. The counter appears to have yellow/green, gold, and a warm putty neutral background which produces an overall warm look. If you choose a warm neutral grout you will help to 'shift' the perception of the backsplash colors. I suggest trying to find a grout that closely approximates the warm tone in the background of the granite. I would definately not use white as this will further emphasize the difference.


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RE: I'm sick about my backsplash

Its ok to feel regret and sadness when you saw it installed. I say live with it for a few days. See how you like it after the weekend. Can you have a small section of it grouted to see if that helps? The backsplash hopefully wasnt too expensive and if thats the only regret you have so far, its totally fixable. Not to worry. Can we see pics?

One thing I've noticed with our new house is that I notice EVERY single nick and detail when something first goes in. Then, after a few days, I settle and realize I'm freaking out about nothing. Your backsplash reaction sounds different, but I think you should try some accessories to see if it breaks it up. If that doesn't work and you don't want to have it grouted, then you can still go another direction.


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I recommend put dry grout, the powder into an area of the tile BS, then look at it for a while. It may not work together and it will be easier and less expensive to redo now if you don't like the colors than after you have grouted and have to break it all out. Less damage to counters too. But really try many colors of dry grout and see if that makes the colors work together. You can blow it out with hair dryer. My tile guy showed me this secret!


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Thank you all for the sympathy and encouragement. I so appreciate the oppty to vent and hear that others have gone through this. DH has been supportive even tho the tile ran $1500 (hence my sick stomach). I'm definitely going to try grout and accessories and wait a bit.

I'm going to call the tile store designer and ask her to bring out the grout samples and help me choose today. I originally selected a light silver but Colorlady, I thought the same thing (overnight while I wasn't sleeping) - if i pull in a warmer color, it might help. The greys and blues in the tile seem a completely odd choice but what I was trying to do is pull the greys out of the counter and tie in my charcoal (deep blue-ish) island and blue stone fireplace.

Again, thank you all so much. I will try to figure out how to post pics and add some today.


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From the two pics that were posted, I'm afraid it IS far too busy of a backsplash for your busy granite, IMO. I am in the process of choosing my BS and found this link which someone posted very helpful. Good luck...

http://colourmehappyblog.blogspot.com/2010/12/which-backsplash-tile-goes-with-granite.html


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RE: I'm sick about my backsplash

My sympathy! Tile might seem like a small thing, but our emotional response is often set in the context of the zillions we spend on these remodels. It's quite understandable that a detail like this will throw you for a temporary loop; I think we've all been there.

I helped a friend tile her shower and she had a similar concern with gray tile that wound up skewing cold when it was installed next to her warm ivory colored tub. (I think we went with Bone instead of Warm Gray, Mapei brand, if that helps any.)

I have total confidence that your experienced tile designer will be able to find you the exactly correct warm color -- this happens quite often and good tile folks understand how to make subtle corrections.

Pictures! We demand pictures! :-) (You can just go to a free site like http://www.tinypic.com and upload a picture, then paste the "HTML for websites" code from the top box on the tinypic uploaded picture page into the text box here on Gardenweb, the same box you write your words into.)


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I chose Cambria Windermere too, and while I am not experienced enough to offer advice, I just have to say that I am looking forward to seeing a picture of yours. The advice about dry grout is smart.


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I too feel your pain. But the initial shock does wear off once it settles in. When I installed my blue iridescent mosaic backsplash I panicked. It was suddenly too busy, didn't "go" with my counters, had too much blue from what I thought, and worried about it being "dated" in a few years. But after living with it, it just faded into the background. Plus it is one of the least expensive "updates" that can be made in the future. Not to say that $1500 for tile is inexpensive, but compared to counters it is. I agree with grouting and then see how you can pull the warmth out with other objects. I bet you will like it in the end! You have a right to vent (and share your excitement) here about your projects, that's what were here for!!!!


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I hate when this happens, and I am completely experienced with the, "Uh-oh, I thought this would be perfect, how could it be SO off." However, I have to say this has now happened 6 or 7 times (the first was when the ENTIRE exterior of our new house was painted before we saw it. We pulled around the corner and my son said, "Wow, that is going to take a lot of paint remover." Sadly, I felt the same way! We lived with it for a few days, and I have to say, it was the right color. The list goes on and on, some things big deals, some not so big, but the bottom line has been that for the first day or two after installation of big things (especially color related), I have thought it was a royal screw up. They have all worked out once I've gotten used to them. Also, don't forget, you are looking at it all in isolation --- you chose the colors because of the island and fireplace and right now they are all seen individually. Once you accessorize and bring in a couple of other elements, it will all look pulled together and you might feel like an absolute genius!

I think the grout idea is so smart too. Pics and maybe some of the design experts can give you a couple of tips to really pull it all together!


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I can certainly empathize with you! Here's hoping the grout will be the answer. Sometimes the "color" of your lighting can make a difference. I think your counters are beautiful!

When I first saw my counters, I was so disappointed. I was certain they hadn't used the slabs I had selected for the perimeter counters, and it didn't seem to "go" with the island. When I picked out my slabs, I had a dear friend go with me. The first thing she said when she walked into the new kitchen was "I don't think the used the right slabs". I called the granite fabricator, and they seemed a little put out that I would even suggest such a thing, and got the story how diligent they were in using the customer's selections. But when I go to the website, the slabs I picked out are still available (by number). It's starting to bother me less and less, and after I added the backsplash, it seems to be better. But I sure know how you feel.


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RE: I'm sick about my backsplash

uroboros5, I didn't take your post as negative at all. If you had said that to me, it would have helped. I took it as....look, it's a countertop...it's tile. It can be re-done...it's OK. I didn't see you as being preachy.


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RE: I'm sick about my backsplash

assuming that the grout is going to save the day, I suggest you take some of the leftover tile, and adhere it to a piece of wood (or drywall, or something) and test out different grouts to see what they look like before you choose the right one. Since the grout can totally change the look of the tile, and this might be your "last chance" to save this tile, then I say proceed slowly--baby steps.

The back splash can be tricky thing to "get right". This is why so many people put it off until the end to be chosen. Did you have your granite installed when you picked it or was it all picked at the same time? Reason I ask is that so many people have to choose it ahead of time and go through this same thing. Some people even wait years to make the decision.

You have come to the right place, people here "get it" and can offer you good advice that will help you, since that is what you want.

Regarding not being able to post so quickly again, just change the subject line...


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RE: I'm sick about my backsplash

We used the Vihara tile also. I agree with beekeeper in that you should test out different grouts. We liked the white grout on the sample but ended up going much darker than anticipated. We used this tile as a wide accent strip with a silvery slate/quartzite tile and I must admit I didn't love it when it went up, but I do love it with my undercabinet halogen lights! HTH


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RE: I'm sick about my backsplash - PICS!

Update! I haven't posted all day but I have been reading and you really are a supportive crowd. Thank you all for listening to me whine and encouraging me and sharing your war stories.

So....we revisited the grout early this morning. We changed it from a silver (almost white) to a warmer color called birch to pull in the counter top. It made a big difference. As things progressed I liked it more and more. I'm not in love yet with the counter and tile working together, but I'm in like. My daughter came by with a friend and they both liked it - could see what I meant about them both being busy but still liked it. And my mom said the same (she likes odd things anyway so knew she'd say she liked it).

I'm over the crisis mostly thanks to you. Yes, those who said take a deep breath, it's only tile are right. But to get to the end and feel like I messed up this final decision AND the stupid remodel will drag on longer and cost more money...need I say more? Here's a couple pics post grout.

Kitchen

Bksplsh w grout

Bksplsh w grout1

Blsplsh w grout 2


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Your pictures are wonderful! The backsplash and countertop go together much better, than I thought, from the previous pictures. The new grout is going to be great...and I'm sure you're going to love your new kitchen! :)


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I think the backsplash is dramatic and gorgeous, and I don't hand out compliments easily. I love what you've done.


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Your recent pictures are great! You have many lovely elements in your kitchen, including your backsplash, and I think people will mostly notice what a pretty kitchen it is. I hope you grow to love your backsplash because it really is attractive.


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Dear Gemini -

That back splash is drop dead gorgeous!! I can see why you chose it. I'm the worst at pulling things together so will offer no opinions on whether it works or not. Just enjoy the beauty that drew you to it in the first place.


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Busy yes, ghastly - definitely not. If your kitchen was bigger the combo might have been a little over-bearing. But it looks great and you have a ton of colours available to pull out for accessorizing.
I just have a "mind your own business" suggestion. The cupboard with the opaque glass in it - instead of putting all of the colourful (ugly) boxes in it and adding yet more pattern/colour to your kitchen - do you have some plain glasses or dishes that you can put in there instead? Or dishware that will pull out the colours of the BS or granite?


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Oh, my!! I am in serious lust with the combination of tile and countertop and I do not impress easily. Love them together with the grout you chose.

Great job! Even if you don't love it, I do!!


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I agree with the poster in re the opaque glass. Your kitchen will look great as long as you keep it toned down with white, cream, glass.

I am pretty finicky and I don't really care for granite, period. But I think the kitchen looks really pretty. The range photo looks great, and interestingly, the close up with the copper pieces is my second fave. You've done well, relax and enjoy.

Whenever I think ive made a mistake, i just imagine some celebrated designer saying something like "for the unexpected, we paired the hot pink stove with yellow cabinets to make them pop" or somesuch, kwim? When they break the rules they are ground-breaking. When we do we are dummies.


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Glad you feel better. I am now doing my toldja-so dance about the grout.

I'm in vehement agreement with the suggestions above to keep your color palate extremely limited in that kitchen. If you still feel it's a bit busy, maybe add a collection of creamware canisters or perhaps a platter against the BS. Sometimes it takes removing only a very small area of an element to make it calm down.


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Thank you! Thank you!

Blfenton - yes, I was waiting for someone to call me on that. That was a mistake but one I can easily change. It was late in the decision making process and i just settled for a glass. Fortunately, I only paid $120 for that and I do plan to replace it with something you cannot see thru. This was the only cabinet that made sense for glass in terms of size and it stores food. Not so pretty.

Mtnrdredux - i'm stealing that line! Now all my mistakes will "ground breaking."

I'll post the full before and afters when we finish the few items left. Thank you!


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I think the grout was a perfect choice--ties in nicely with the granite!


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I was going to say the same thing as LL - didn't look like the combo would go well together in the top pics, but the ones you posted today look good - enjoy!


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Your backsplash is absolutely gorgeous. It's always a cr*pshoot to figure out what components will look good together, when we don't have the perfect mockup kitchen in the showroom where we can say "yes, I will take that kitchen." But I think you pulled it off. Mainly, the colors in both backsplash and countertop are so complimentary.


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It's gorgeous!

The granite is a bit busy viewed close and above, but from a short distance, the color match is good. That granite would have looked busy with any backsplash.

The iridescence works well with the stainless steel.


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Normally I do not like "busy" back-splashes as they compete with the granite counter-top (especially ones that are very busy themselves). But in your case, I actually like the combination of your back-splash with your counter. Perhaps it is because your granite is not really as busy as some that I have seen here. At least on my monitor, the combination looks good (though admittedly the pictures that Marcolo showed of the combination did not look right). You need to at least live with it for a while before deciding it is not what you want.


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Whether something is too busy is simply a personal preference. I think these look great together. Not too busy to me! :D Grout color makes a HUGE difference on how a tile installation looks, and you got it spot on! I think the copper pot really unites the warmer tones of the backsplash and counter- why not get a bigger copper piece to pull it together even more? If you want to save your glass money, on the backs you might try that liquid etching stuff for glass at the craft store, which should make it not-so-transparent. :D It's not too expensive and Michaels/Joann usually has coupons. Congratulations on your gorgeous kitchen!!!


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Well ... I'm in love with it. Haven't read all the so-any posts, but it looks as if many agree.

So interesting what a big difference a "small" change can make.

Congratulations, Gemini: you will love it for a long, long time.

Ooof: I shouldn't take the time to write this out but it's in my head now and down it's dropping to the fingers....

This reminds me of a rather seminal moment in my life! It was an awful lot of years ago now but I was taking a pottery class and hand-built a set of four bowls that I just didn't like at all. I took a hammer to two of them and was starting in on the next when I heard a shriek and felt my hand caught: the way-best potter in the class, I mean someone I just idolized, was clawing at my hands and screaming to stop. *She* told me to stop, that she loved the bowls. Whereupon I just offered them over to her and she got angry then. She told me to take them myself, that she promised in a year they would be my favorite possessions. I'm guessing it's kinda obvious where this story is going: those two bowls are if not my favorite possessions, they're awfully close. When you factor in the morality-tale maybe they are at that. I just unpacked them tonight and the story ran through all over again, 20+ years later.

Sometimes the ugliest things turn out to be your favorite. Maybe it's the paradigm shift from what you're used to? Dunno. But it's true; most everything is relative and you really can learn to genuinely love something even if it wasn't at first sight. Love, that is.

I am guessing in time you will love this backsplash *even more* for the moment of panic you had that it was all wrong. You had to work to love it and that makes it all the more special.


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I wasn't sure I was going to like it, but I definitely do! I think the grout warms up the BS and brings out the beige tones that go with your countertop. And the copper really ties it together nicely. I love the BS behind the SS range--stunning! Love your cabs and floor, too. Can't wait to see more pics!


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I am in love with the gorgeous backsplash and cabinets. I can't wait to see more picture when the tile is grouted knowing that will be what will pull the look together. That tile is to die for!


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What a lovely kitchen!

Your comment about switching out the glass reminded me of a recent post on Kelly's Kitchen Sync. Check out "Granite" and "Crocodile Hide" at the link below. They do a good job of concealing what's behind the glass.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kelly's Kitchen Sync - 5 Glass Patterns for a Glass Door Revolution


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Oh my.. total mistake!

Looking at your first photo's I gulped, and wondered what you were thinking...

but looking at your finished picture.. RELAX! It looks great and you have no worries! Once grouted and accessories are added... BEAUTIFUL! GREAT JOB!


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I think it's funny that everyone is calling your counter "granite". It's quartz! :oD
I can't wait until my kitchen looks as nice as yours. Thank you for posting pictures. The stock photo on the net of Cambria Windermere looks quite green, but it isn't in real life. My favorite part of your backsplash is to the left of the window, where it looks like a rainbow.


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Aliris' pottery story

Aliris: that was a neat story, and very relevant, I think.


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I agree with everyone. It looks very nice!


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I was reading your posts and was imagining the worst. When I saw your recent posted pics, I was thinking to myself "wow . . . that looks great". I think the grout idea was a good one and once you get some of your stuff back in the kitchen it will look gorgeous! Good job!


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Gemini - I think it looks gorgeous! If you had just gone plain vanilla tile, it would have been..well... a very pretty kitchen. That backsplash really kicks it up, and gives it some character. That's the jewelry to the outfit right there. Love it!


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I think the grout made a remarkable difference. It is the exact right color to tie it all in. It also is close enough in shading to make the small format tile less busy!
You really "stuck the landing"!

As for the glass cab, you can try using the spray kind of glass frosting on the inside to see if that helps obscure. You may want to try baskets of some sort for the interior because with all the little items, it can make finding things easier by bringing them down to counter level before picking out what you want.


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What a difference the grout makes! I was worried for you when I first saw the backsplash, but it looks very pretty now. I am having Cambria Windermere installed in a few weeks with creamy white cabinets. Seeing your photos makes me very excited! There haven't been many photos of this quartz installed out on the web! I am, however, going the (boring) safe route with the backsplash - a 1X4 stacked ceramic in the same color as the cabinet but with a crackle finish.


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An aside about the glass doors - before you trash the glass (if you're seriously considering replacing it), could you try painting the inside of it? One coat of your cabinet color paint might do the trick. I've never tried this myself but have seen it done with good results.


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Wow, I think the recent pics look great!!! Enjoy your kitchen.


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Dream It Can be: i can tell you that I LOVE the cambria for two main reasons. 1) you can never tell its dirty. yes, I shouldn't admit this but I don't always wipe up right away. Everything disappears on this counter. 2) no worries at all. I know granite is sealed and shouldn't stain but I know for sure that this won't. I've been handwashing my dishes and leaving them on a dish towel to dry without any concern. I might not have any problem with granite but I would still worry. I think you'll love it too. Oh and a 3rd reason - everyone who comes in actually thinks it's granite. The Cambria designs took a big leap forward in 2011.

On all who posted on fixes for the glass doors - I'm going to investigate some of your suggestions this weekend. I'll let you know how that works out.

Lastly, how kind you all are. You were encouraging and supportive before the final pics. never did you say, "OMG what have you done?" Only now that the final product has turned out well (love is in the air) have you admitted that you too were worried! I love it. That's the kind of friends one needs during a kitchen remodel. :)


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I'm so glad you love it now, gemini. I think it looks lovely. It's amazing how the right grout changes everything.


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Just wanted to chime in too. I really like it! Very attractive kitchen in every way.


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Oh yes, the grout made the difference! Seeing them installed instead of the isolated 1st 2 pics works. I think when the window treatment is up and everything is installed, you'll love the warm and cozy feeling I feel from your pics. Now you can sit back and enjoy and say "WHEW! Dodged that one cleaverly." :)


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Love it!! Your counter is not as busy as I expected and that is some gorgeous tile! Excellent idea about the canisters or large platter.


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That is so stunning and lovely. I can only hope mine looks so lovely when its done!


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RE: I'm sick about my backsplash

I'm not sure why this popped up a month later, but I missed it the first go round. Your grout is a good choice, but I wanted to tell you what I was thinking looking at your photos. First, the glass tile is very pretty. It has a soft, cloudy look and is not nearly as busy as so many glass mosaics. The counters remind me of drizzles of melted caramel -- very appealing for a kitchen and again, no nearly as busy as some of the counters I've seen (I have a neighbor who was so proud of their new counters and all I could think was it looked like puppy barf -- LOL We each see things in our own way). Those caramel colors are in the tile too -- they really come out in that close up with the copper oil can. The grey pulls out with the stainless and at times you see them both. So you have a caramel sundae with chocolate sprinkles! Sometimes you get more caramel and sometimes you get more chocolate, but what's not to like about either?

Hope you're them both.


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RE: I'm sick about my backsplash

gemini16, did you ever consider using windermere as the backsplash? i'm considering that so that i don't have to make a choice about the backsplash!

also, what paint color did you choose to go with the windemere?


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RE: I'm sick about my backsplash

Just to let you know, we are renovating our kitchen and was looking at windermere countertop and mother of pearl backsplash. I love your kitchen!


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