As I mentioned 2 weeks ago, it was raining outside and we were going to look for simple projects around the condo…. well we skipped straight past simple and decided to put up a back splash in the kitchen.

After a quick trip to Lowe’s, we decided that we wanted to use the ever popular subway tiles.  Of course there are easier options for DIY back splash – like the sheets glass tiles – but unfortunately Charles and I found these options uninspiring. So we went the more difficult route and bought tiles, adhesive  grout, caulk, and a tile cutter.  Having never done a tile project before we were fairly nervous, but mutually agreed that with two college degrees between us we should be able to figure it out.  Charles was in charge of calculations and I served as the project’s creative director.  No, this doesn’t mean that I didn’t get my hands dirty: the work was 50/50.  It took us about 6 hours, but we had so much fun together.  As a final touch we installed under counter lighting. The end result is beautiful – It went a long way to brighten up our small galley kitchen and added the functionality of easy clean up.  I love the effect, and it has made cooking in the kitchen a whole new experience.

The back splash isn’t the only new addition to the house, we also received a desk from my parents.  Little known fact: my Mom has a small furniture store in her basement.  Seriously, one could furnish a one bedroom house with its contents. It is comprised of pieces that she has replaced with newer furniture in recent years.  A few months ago I asked her if I could have one of the replaced desks for the condo.  Knowing my Mom, she was all to happy to give me the desk, but didn’t really feel it’s current finish would be the “best fit” for the condo.  I couldn’t have agreed with her more, but I was just so excited about the prospect of a new desk.  Our old one had a broken leg, and had seen much better days over the last 4 years.

She decided to get the desk refinished for us.  She pulled inspiration from the candlesticks in the sun room that Tracee gave me for Christmas.  As you can see they are a white washed and distressed wood, and they sit on a chest across from the desk in the sun room.  The color of the chest they sit on is the original color of the desk, and is also a gift from the Laurent collection.  Any decorator will tell you that not all woods in a room should match and they typically recommend 3 different woods per room.

After Mom picked a color, she found the perfect design in a magazine and formulated her plan. From there she shipped the desk off with her vision to the man that built her kitchen cabinets and bookshelves.  The result is a beautiful distressed desk that Charles and I love!  The fixtures are an oiled bronze and also hand picked by Mom.  Such a wonderful gift: we could not be more excited to have a “big kid” desk to support the iMac.  It was always a bit nerve racking having it on the old broken desk.

Looking forward we are not quite done with small house projects.  We are going to remove the surround sound speakers in the living room, and that will require us to patch the dry wall.  I am also taking on the project of repainting the kitchen cabinets.  40 years of cooking in there has diminished their luster.

Of course, if I fix the cabinets  I know my focus is going to fall on the floors.  They will be the only original surface left in the kitchen at that point… and lets just say I have never felt affection for them. I will table that thought for now and focus on the tasks at hand.  We will be sure to share the results… Don’t worry we have a handy-man on call should we DIY ourselves into a project we cant solve together!


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