Tag Archives: tile



I don’t know why, but I typically don’t take lots of before photos,

+ believe me, there have been really horrific ones, like this,

in our main bathroom downstairs:

bathroom -- main before

The befores make the after photos so much more dramatic!

bathroom -- main after

Wow — viva la difference, am I right?

Earlier this week, I forced myself to grab the camera

+ head upstairs for some epic before AND during photo ops.

Let’s start with the bathroom’s tub + shower surround,

which are already finished + are actually afters.

I chose white subway tiles because they are classic + timeless.

My design for the window surround turned out well, I thought, modestly:


I’ve already shared the Sherwin-Williams paint we chose:

Unusual Gray (at the bottom) for the walls,

paint green sage

with Contented (third from top) at 50%, for the ceiling.



Very neutral!  Very pretty!

But as often happens in a room’s during stage, it’s kind of a blah!

What does it need?


I’m not sure, but here’s a start.

These IKEA cabinets in white contrast nicely

with the darker-than-I-thought-they’d-be Unusual Gray walls:


I’ve already shared my love for the tall cabinet’s black legs.


They, combined with the black in our floor tiles,

mean I need to repeat more black, for continuity purposes.

How about a black metal mirror for above the vanity?


I’ve chosen this one, because it’s modern yet rustic at the same time.

Another disclaimer: this was $90-something from Target,

but they’re out of it online,

+ you’ll have to search for it in their stores.

mirror of black with shelf

We are going to Target right now, so stay tuned!


Trips to 2 different Target stores ensued,

+ we ended up buying this one, which was $35-ish!

Have you shopped for mirrors lately?  That’s a great price!





Now it’s time for G.O. to hang the bathroom door.

Here’s what that looks like, about midway though:


He sez that all this wood stuff is called door casing,

+ it’s taking longer than I’d hoped.


I have to remember that he is a perfectionist, so I shan’t ask him to work faster.

HA!  Most of the time, I don’t!

Here you can see where the finished woodwork will be positioned:



Here’s a wider view, looking to the hallway + bath.


What’s up with that embossed-looking wainscoting — you’re wondering?

Here’s a close up:


It was surely very beautiful when the house was built,

but right now, parts of it are in rough  shape.


Speaking of being in rough shape, notice our beautiful-but-sad staircase

+ how the wainscoting extends down those stairs!


Back to our upstairs.   Right now, my goal is to find an even grayer gray/green.

I want something more neutral for the upstairs woodwork,

but I don’t want just gray; we’ve got that downstairs.

As always, I shall head to Pinterest first + see what others have chosen.

Stay tuned!



Plus Sign Tiles In A Nashville Loft

It’s time for an inspirational bathroom post.

I just discovered Apartment Therapy’s Homes Across America,

in which there are several home tours from select major cities, + whoa.

They are all super swoon-worthy!

apartment therapy homes across america

There’s so much buzz about Nashville these days, so let’s start there

with a Remarkably Remodeled Industrial Modern Loft.

Every single room is wonderful:

loft in nashvillle

Granny’s going need a nap soon, so let’s focus on one room only.

I’ve chosen this one, with most wonderful black + white tiles, ever!

From floor to ceiling, there are classic subway tiles with dark grout.

Subway tiles + dark grout = classic vintage style!

floor -- black ith white pluses

Check out the black vanity with its window sash drawer pulls!

But seriously.

That black + white plus sign floor!


Have you ever seen anything so cool?

Yes you have,

if you read my recent blog post

about a bungalow reno in an HGTV pilot show.

plus sign floor

Let’s look again.

Yes, there IS a black + white tile floor with plus signs!

plus sign floor bigger

Oh, what the heck.

We might as well continue our journey down plus sign memory lane,

so here are a couple more plus sign tiles in my go-to color:

red cross shower wall with box

red cross shower wall

Well, that was fun, but I digress.

Let’s head back to the Nashville loft bathroom that I loved so much!

Please.  Did you see this?

The mirror looks built in, because it’s been framed with accent tiles!

floor black with white plusses

I’m so not worthy!

The plus sign floor + white subway walls flow into a walk-in shower,

+ with extra credit for its built-in niche:

floor black with hite plusses

And in conclusion, it looks like there’s a water close across the room.

I wish we had a water closet.

floor black with white plussi water closet

Stay tuned for more Homes Across America home tours!

Peel + Stick Subway Tiles


I shan’t lie —

our canned ham counter top re-do was a real morale boost!


I couldn’t wait to see how swell those groovy, new black counter tops

would look with the white subway tiles we’d chosen for our back splash . . .


. . . so we didn’t wait.

Fast forward to this afternoon.

Behind those crazy scribbles (?), there’s G.O., installing our peel + stick tiles:


Yes, it looks like he didn’t want his photo taken (sorry!),

+ I’m pretty sure he was swearing like a sailor at this point.

Turns out those tiles were insanely difficult to install!


Think contact paper, in hell.

 But they look pretty fan-tastic, don’t they?

Perhaps it was worth it.


NOW I can’t wait to see our sink + our new faucet back in place!


Stay tuned!

Our New Star, The Main Bath

Update:  we finally finished the main bathroom.





Of course, I am very pleased,

but let’s get this out of the way before I share more:

I know it skews granny, but I don’t care!

I love it!


That gingham wallpaper is tres awesome, don’tcha think?

I found it at a garage sale last summer.  $5.  2 rolls.  Yay!

The hook rack for our towels was an old window or door top:


Notice the buttery accents (yum!) that tie the room together:

My sister, Kathy, made that (called a “pineapple”) ornament:

We bought the vanity/marble top + sink set from Menards.

 I purchased the cross-handle (my fave) faucet online,

probably from Signature Hardware:

And now, check out my crazy splurge:

Yeah, that’s right.

I actually paid $50 to have this way-cool flush handle on our toilet!

Speaking of price tags, I can’t remember what I paid for this enamel tissue bin:


Our more modestly priced, vintage-style medicine cabinet is from Home Depot:

It’s been such a long time ago, I can’t remember where I got our pendant lights.

Aren’t they cute?

Meanwhile, this style of awesome wall-mounted mirror is usually $100+:


Ours came from IKEA + cost less than $10!

It’s nice + heavy + does not look or feel cheapie in any way.  So get one.

We use this vintage black cabinet for storage:

G.O. found it at an antiques mall — score!

I was going to strip its runny black paint job + re-paint it white,

after which I would stencil a large red cross on the door.

(Betcha I never do, but stay tuned!  Youneverknow!)

Enough about that — now let’s view my beloved plates:


I have been trying but failing to find the perfect spot to hang them,

but I just couldn’t commit.

After the wallpaper went up in the bathroom, that was it, for me:


They’re perfect!

And finally, looking down, we spy my beloved tile floor!

I’ve always loved this style of floor tile — it’s so vintage!


We searched + searched for it without success,

but I finally found it on Amazon.

Who knew?

Our tub + shower surround subway tile was from Home Depot.


That tile surrounding the window was quite an accomplishment,

if I do say so.

Thanks (again), Pinterest!

You’ve always come through for me when I needed help!

The good news is that even G.O. loves our new bathroom!

Earlier this morning, he said, without being prompted at all,

“That bathroom is really the star, isn’t it?”


Thanks for reading!

Beautiful Stone

Another morning, another walk with Chloe the Dachshund:


Here she is, admiring the tile sidewalk

at the entrance of a former movie theater-turned-church in our downtown.


What a neat feature, don’t you think?

I wish I knew more about it, like what material it is

+ how it stays so good-looking through our area’s long, cold winters!

Next, here’s a church message board that caught my attention.

JAZZ?  Yes, please!


Actually, I’ve seen this post before — several times, in fact.

Each time, I make a mental note to attend said jazz service,

but I’ve not yet made it.  Stay tuned.

But back to the church.  Here is a photo of its front facade:


Here’s a close up of one of its windows.

Notice the wedge-shaped stone in the middle, on top:


Architectural fun factoid:

that feature is called a keystone.

Geography fun factoid:

Pennsylvania is known as “The Keystone State”,

+ the distinctive shape is often seen in various logos, like these:

keystone penn

keystone penn 2

Now we’re all set, just in case the Final Jeopardy category is State Mottoes.

You’re welcome.

Perhaps, if you’re really paying close attention,

you recall that our house’s beautiful stone foundation

is nearly identical to that of the church.



Interesting, no?

Once again, my curiosity is piqued.

What kind of stone is that, + was it locally sourced?

Is one person or company responsible for its installation?


I also need to find out the year in which our house was built.

Stay tuned!

X Designs + Stairs

Yesterday I heaped lavish praise on this past week’s Fixer Upper project.

Its exterior makeover was epic.

fixer upper white brick house before


The interiors were just as beautifully done, of course.

Let’s enjoy the new kitchen, paying close attention to the X as a design element:

fixer upper x motif in kitchen

Both the island + pendants above it are sporting their own X motif.

I love it!

But wait — there’s more.  Look at the staircase re-do.

fixer upper stairs from upstairs

Once again, there’s the X motif.

Here’s another before + after look-see:

fixer upper x staircase 2

I think we can all agree that the new stairs really nailed the X motif.

Do we love it, or what?

Of course I do, as I have always been a fan of the X design.

Here are some of my favorite photos of X’s:

x motif  centsational girl

Centsational Girl

x motif 3

x motif porch 2

Hooked On Houses

 Excellent, am I right?

 Now please view a most adorable cottage right here in my hometown!

x motif porch

Need I say that I love it + want it?

The only negative, for me, is at the railings of the porch steps.

See how the distance between the posts is wider that those at the top of the steps?

The X is getting too stretched out!

And yes, that’s my only criticism of those new stairs in the Fixer Upper house —

stretched out X’s going up the stairs.

See for yourself:

fixer upper x staircase 4

See the X at the bottom of the steps?  It’s cute, right?

But the X on the railings go upstairs gets stretched too wide.

fixer upper x staircase 3

My thoughts are that if the vertical posts were closer together,

the X’s would be more pleasing.

How about 3 X’s going up the stairs, instead of 2?

fixer upper stairs from upstairs

What are your thoughts?

Kitchen Tile — Up + Running!

Look at our kitchen back splash!


We love it!


If you read my recent post about the view from our kitchen window,

here ’tis:


Hi, nice neighbors!

Meanwhile, it’s time to order the light fixtures

for the wall above those windows.


Here’s my choice — the Logan sconce from Ballard Designs:

light fixture for kitchen

Red, please!

* * *

But back to the tile.

I chose it because the glaze looks like it was done by hand — so pretty!


Best of all, it’s crackled, which I couldn’t love more!

This adds a lot of vintage style, in my opinion,

+ makes those tiles look as if they could have been original to our house!


Oh, + that pretty but pesky grout left a few traces on the tiles, but no worries.

These can + will be removed later today.

Meanwhile, one more look:


Next up: a DIY range hood project!

Stay tuned!


If you’re a regular reader,

you’ll recall that we recently suffered a tile snafu at the Dutch colonial —

it being something about the space between the counter top + the window trim.

It wasn’t working with the 3″ x 6″ tiles I’d chosen:


When I leaped ahead to Plan B, which was penny rounds . . .

tile penny round marble -- new ravenna

. . . this had G.O. promising to change the wood trim

or anything, really, to avoid penny rounds!!

Can you imagine how difficult they must be to install?

So.  Back to Plan A.

Check it out, in progress:


If you think they look great here,

wait until that protective pink paper goes away!

The grays of the tiles + the counter tops look smashing together!

The gap below is the space for our range:







So.  What color grout will we use, you ask?

White, like that in my inspiration back splash, here:

white kitchen with gray tiles -- heavyontheveggie


LOV-ing that pretty runner, which is a “thing” now, for kitchens.

I like this one from Overstock.com — called Cross Stitch.

It’s indoor/outdoor, which would be perfect in a kitchen, don’tcha think?

runner cross stitch overstock

Stay tuned!

My Kitchen Rug Obsession

Quickie update:


 Because of a 1/8″  disparity in size between our dark + light tiles,

our checked kitchen floor hopes + dreams were dashed.


Thanks to some quick thinking on my part, plan B happened.

Here ’tis:

1. All the dark tiles have been laid in a running bond pattern.

2. The lighter gray tiles have been returned to our local build-o-rama, Menards.

3. We now wait for more darks so we can complete our task.


Part most of me is glad we’ll have a plain Jane floor,

because I am obsessing about patterned kitchen rugs.

Maybe you’ve noticed that they’re a ‘thing’ now.

From Apartment Therapy:

kitchen with rug - fuscia blue tiles apartment therapy

More specifically, kilim rugs in kitchen are a thing.

One of my designer faves, Emily Henderson, is on board:

rugs in kitchen

Ditto for This Old House magazine:

kitchen with orange rug -- this old house

Since I’ve been a fan of kilim rugs for years,

their surge in popularity is good news for me!

Here’s one I bought way back in ’06:

rug -- kilim in living room

As you can see, it has all the ‘Kay colors’, as I like to say.

rug -- kilim in living room with typewriter desk

Yep, that rug really tied the room together.

big lebowski on rug

HA!  Did you recognize that quote from one of my favorite movies,

The Big Lebowski?

If not, rent it.  Watch it.  Thumbs up!

* * *

But I digress.

kitchen with turquoise southwestern rug

Check out the wallpaper on the ceiling here — yay or nay?

kitchen with rug navy with ceiling wallpaper apartment therapy

Apartment Therapy

I’m going to vote ‘yay’,

 but would our relationship survive our attempting to wallpaper a ceiling?

While we ponder that query,

let’s have a look-see at another rug with the ‘Kay colors’:

kitchen rug -- southwestern style red blue pb

From Pottery Barn

This version of the ‘Kay colors’ is lighter + more now

than those in our current living room.

.The pretty, pale-ish blue of the PB version would play nicely

with our kitchen’s blue ceiling, don’t you think?



kitchen rug -- pb close up

Plus, it’s an indoor/outdoor rug —

pretty much a must-have for a kitchen in my little world!

Luckily for us, indoor/outdoor rugs seem to be a ‘thing’ now, too.

The choices are endless!

Time to go online shopping — stay tuned!

Major Tile Problem — Solved!

Imagine my excitement earlier today,

as we finally started laying our checked tile kitchen floor!


We’d chosen Daltile’s Color Scheme 12″ porcelain tiles —

1/2 in Black Speckle + the other 1/2 in Desert Gray Speckle.


Everything was going swimmingly — up until the third tile,

when G.O. discovered we had a major problem.

The lighter tiles were maybe 1/8 of an inch larger than the darks!

surprised boy


But how can 1/8″ possibly be an issue? — you ask.

Well, when 1/8″ is multiplied over dozens of tiles in an entire room,

it definitely becomes a major issue.

Meaning: goodbye, checked floor.

Meaning: now G.O.’s mad!

(Thankfully, not at me this time!)

cat fight




Somehow, I decided on a suitable Plan B, within mere moments!

See for yourself:



We’d use only the dark tiles + lay them in a running bond pattern!

And I owe it all to my extreme indecisiveness!


My extreme what???  — you ask.

Well, over my many months of kitchen floor planning,

before finally settling on the checks,

I had seen several that I really loved.

They looked just like this!


So it’s not so much “GENIUS” as good fortune,

but I’ll we’ll take it!


And while the plain black speckles aren’t as retro-charming as the checks . . .


. . . the plain Janes add a nice modern country look that I love.


Crisis averted!

(As long as we can get a couple more boxes of tiles

that look exactly like + are the same size as these!)

Fingers crossed, so stay tuned!



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