When we left our house in Cincinnati two years ago this August, we were in the middle of various projects, one major, most minor. The kitchen was certainly major. It was almost a complete gut save for three existing plaster walls that were in good shape. I think the space, with the wall removed between the dining room and kitchen, turned out pretty great but I did have to leave it somewhat unfinished. Not unfinished in a "rough around the edges" way, but unfinished in that I wasn't able to put everything into it that I had originally planned. Here are a few pictures of the space that I took several weekends ago after the old tenants moved out.
Some of the unfinished dreams . . . I had wanted to replace the refrigerator, but the old white fridge was working just fine so why drop a lot of money on a fridge destined for renters, right!? I had also wanted to add a range hood, a luxury I haven't enjoyed since living in Brooklyn in 2006. But, alas, I'd been living without one for so long that spending the money to buy one and have it installed just didn't seem very practical at the time.
Neither did the tall pantry cabinetry I wanted to install around the refrigerator, or the custom floating shelving, or a tiled backsplash . . .
Ahh, the tiled backsplash. Now that seemed like something I could certainly tackle myself in the five days between the old tenants moving out and the new ones moving in. I called up a good friend, a super talented designer pal, and we went tile shopping. At our first (and only) stop, I picked up four options. I had originally thought I'd use white subway tile but started to second guess myself, thinking that, installed just 12" high, it might look a little flat in the large space.
Three of the options I brought back to the house were some variation of white subway tile, just in larger sizes and with varying proportions and surface textures. The fourth option I brought back was a stone and glass mosaic. It definitely wasn't what I expected to end up with but I loved it.
So I headed back to the store to pick up the 23 square feet I needed, plus all the requisite tools and supplies. The next morning, while laying out the tile, I discovered that not only did they give me four sheets of the wrong mosaic, but that the remaining tile sheets were from two different lots with different edge conditions. And even some of those sheets were completely unusable, with more than half of the pieces on them broken or chipped. After several phone calls to the store where I complained and they remained utterly useless, I had to return the tile. Now I'm bummed. I'm not sure if I can get past my disappointment with the store and go back, order the tile I need and wait for it to be shipped OR if I should start looking for something else. This post brought to you by the trials and tribulations of home renovation . . .