In this post: Need inspiration for an elegant white kitchen renovation? Try marble kitchen backsplash tile for an updated French or farmhouse kitchen.⇒
One of the keys to balancing your taste and your budget is knowing where to save and where to splurge.
This is the harmony I needed to strive for with the renovation of our kitchen. The remodel was one that was in large part cosmetic as I didn’t like the dark (and in my opinion depressing) kitchen that came with our townhouse and I knew this from the day that we bought it.
In fact, it was a pre-condition of our purchase. Hubby and I agreed that if we bought the house, a reasonable kitchen makeover would be part of our plans.
Still, we were never looking at gutting the kitchen and had several tactics in mind for saving money.
But before I move forward and share the backsplash details, let’s just take a step back for a minute to review how we got to this point.
We had started with the dark cherry kitchen above, with even darker granite counters, a muddy faux terra-cotta floor and the most curious (dare I say ugly) backsplash.
My goal was to convert this very dark room into a bright and uplifting white kitchen!
Kitchen Backsplash Tile
With smoky blue grey tiles that didn’t match anything and a cheesy sheen that made it hard to look at, this backsplash was among the things that drove me the most nuts about this kitchen.
But worst of all was something I consider a cardinal sin. Rather than extending the full 18″ between top and bottom cabinets, the bottom of the backsplash had a 4″ piece of granite that you often see in bathrooms where they’ve omitted a proper backsplash.
This was simply non-negotiable.
It had to go.
The first thing we had ripped out was this small granite piece, no small task given we were keeping the granite counters.
There is also a second bar counter above the sink that was staying in place, so the strip had to be removed between the two counters. We had this done by the counter fabricators when they came to install the island counter.
Next the tiler came to do the floors and I was thrilled when he finally finished and turned his attention to ripping out the rest of that backsplash.
The new tile I chose was an easy choice, something I was certain about from the very start.
It was the same backsplash we put in our butler’s pantry, a renovation you must take a look at if you’ve never seen it. (We took a basic storage closet and turned it into our dream French country butler’s pantry!)
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And frankly, this is where the balance came in.
The backsplash tile is my favorite marble, calacatta gold in 2″ x 8″ pieces, set on the wall in a stepped brick layout.
This was the one place in the room I was sure I didn’t want to compromise. A relatively small area that wouldn’t require a lot of tile, I determined that it was worth a bit extra to get what I wanted. The view of it would be close up and I could appreciate it every day.
I was saving money by not ripping out my cabinets, I was saving by only partially replacing the counters and I was saving by keeping all of my appliances.
The marble backsplash would be like the jewelry in the room. This is where I chose to splurge.
I was already loving the difference from the minute I saw it, but those dark wood cabinets were still killing it for me. Still, when I covered them from view, I began to imagine the realization of my vision.
And I knew when it was all done in that sea of mostly white, that gorgeous veining in the backsplash tile would be stunning to feast my eyes upon.
When it came time to grout, we went as simple as can be. A clean white.
I think this tile is exquisite in it’s natural soft and varied colorations. No faux would do the same job here.
And sometimes it’s just nice to get the real thing!
By this point, I was starting to think about the styling that I’d be doing in the finished kitchen. To maintain the look of the rest of our home, there will be lots of pretty but functional antique pieces.
But first we had to address the cabinetry.
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