Monday, July 16, 2007

Reader Q & A - For Julieta (definitely a she)

Julieta writes:

Hi (Jules),

I only know you go by Jules because I read the Julian snafu. Since I
also go by Jules, I remembered the nickname.

So, I know the last thing you want is another kitchen, but I've been
in back splash/design purgatory for 1.5 years. We started the
remodel when I was practicing as an attorney. Mid-way through the
remodel I decided to stop practicing to stay at home with our son (we
now have a new baby, also a boy). Because of my sudden career
change, our plans/budget for the kitchen changed. Needless to say,
the cork floors we wanted were quickly replaced with VCT (commercial
grade vinyl tiles you see in supermarkets, Target, etc.), the window
treatments were what we could find at Target, and my decorative
corner cabinets remained empty. All this knowing that once we
regrouped we could finish these last pieces to our liking.

The back splash? We just can't decide. Any ideas? We planned on
subway tiles. This is an older home and we tried to keep the kitchen
fairly traditional to flow with the architecture of the house and
contrast that with modern accessories and fabrics. My goal was to
have a kitchen that looked like warm cookies and a glass of milk--a
place for our boys to create fond memories of their childhood.

The before picture is from the week we moved into the house. The
"after" picture was taken in the dead of winter, so it is darker than
usual. That said, we're still considering changing the wall color to
a simple creme to add more light due to northern exposure. The
vintage tablecloth we no longer use, and any other accessory you see
can be replaced.

I know you've already done kitchens, so my feelings won't be hurt if
you tell me to pound sand. Well, maybe they will be a *teensy* bit
hurt if you say it like that! :)

All the best,

First of all, don't let Julieta fool you. She's definitely creative in her own right as shown by the amazing progress she's already made on her kitchen (See the before and after photos below) not to mention her great way with verse via The Poem Company. A great source for original invitations with a little rogue custom poetry.

My backsplash suggestion was twofold. First, a simple white subway tile behind the stove area as shown here:

For the rest? Orla Kiely's Blossom Wallpaper available at Anthropologie for $88.00 per roll.

From there I went with this fantastic Butterfly Shadowbox at Anthropologie for $48.00.

For a dash of color and coordination I would pick up a couple of these Fantasia Butterfly Dishtowels, $18.00 each at Anthro.

I love the fact Julieta uses a tablecloth in her kitchen and wanted to find the perfect fit. This wasn't hard to do. Anthropologie has covered all the bases. I love this damask stripe tablecloth in neutral for $58.00.

For display in her cabinets, a set of these yellow Wild Cabbage Cups & Saucers for $18.00 each.

And last, but not least, this Green Owl Gocco Print from Sugar Loop for $12.00 matted and framed in a gold leaf frame with a similar finish to the Butterfly Shadowbox.

I hope this helps Julieta. You have a beautiful kitchen. Feel free to offer your own suggestions in the comments below. :)


Anonymous said...

This is great. Love the colors.

- Sas

Julieta said...

Thank you so much, Julie. I love everything! :)

michelle said...

Those are great ideas! Have you thought about stainless st? It comes in sheets and it looks so fresh and nice and easy to clean. I really like the subway tile idea as well, classic would look lovely with your kitchen also.

Another Shade of Grey said...

So glad you liked it Julieta.

Thanks Sas and Michelle. :)

katiedid said...

Great ideas! Anthropologie is such a life saver!

Ann K. said...

Just wanted to say that I'm really enjoying these entries addressing readers' design issues. Keep 'em coming!

Another Shade of Grey said...

Thanks Katie.

So glad you are enjoying Ann. :)

Anonymous said...

Julieta, I love your kitchen just the way it is! Putting up wallpaper or a really extensive backsplash would cover up the lovely paint color (though painting the ceiling to balance out the expanse of cabinets is brilliant). I like that it's tri-chromatic (cream, dark, green). I'm of the belief that simplicity is best in kitchens, to counterbalance the inevitable clutter -- unless you somehow keep it that clean all the time.

Another Shade of Grey said...

Great suggestions anonymous. Julieta and I discussed leaving the backsplash as is. I love the paint color too. But she wanted to add something to it, so we decided on the wallpaper and the tile under the cabinets only. The remainder of the kitchen will remain the lovely shade of green she has painted. I think with the large expanse of white cabinets reaching to the ceiling and the fact that she has a solid counter, the paper will be a nice touch. :)

becoming-home said...

Wow, that kitchen looks so similar to mine.. only much nicer!

And bonus, I was struggling with weather or not to install the 4 inch granite backsplash like Julietta has but was worried what it might look like.. now that I've seen this picture I may just go ahead with it.

I am also planning on doing a white subway tile backsplash above the small granite one, but hadn't thought about wallpaper.. definitely something to consider!

Like the previous poster said, this new Q&A series is great!.. you may find a long email from me with a list of design conundrums in your inbox Julie :)

Julieta said...

Thanks for all the compliments. :) The back splash is soapstone. A dark, dark green/black with white marbling. Since it needs to be oiled every so often, my husband convinced me to get the 4 inch back splash--he seemed to think it'd be easier to keep the oil from the future back splash. I have to admit, he was right.

And, Anonymous, my kitchen never, ever, looks like that. I wish it was so clean! I came to a design realization the other day: I can't have tchotchkes in my house because it promotes more clutter. I'm getting rid of everything on my counters and using the wallpaper as decoration--otherwise I will mess it up. :)

Another Shade of Grey said...

I would be happy to help you in any way I can Ariana. :)

becoming-home said...

Ah yes, of course its soapstone -so warm and beautiful.

What I meant to say but wasn't very clear was that I was wondering whether to add a backsplash to my (granite) countertop the way you added one to yours. I'm glad to hear you're enjoying the utility of it.. makes me want to do it even more.

Julie, you are so kind. And you are soooo going to regret that ;-)

Seriously though, I'll have to save it for something really good so i don't wear out my welcome.. but there are so many to choose from it will be hard to pick just one!

Julieta said...

Becoming home--I knew what you meant! :) I strugled w/ the 4 inch splash--it's not a very popular choice these days. And I know what you mean about saving your question for something really good...I'm going to stop posting comments in hopes Julie will forget who I am and won't notice when I slip in a question about my living room and the fireplace from HELL. Hah!

Anonymous said...

Oh these posts are so helpful! I hope Juliette will show us the beautiful wallpapered "after" picture if she chooses it---that and the butterfly are my favorites. What a beautiful site this is.

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