Updated: Jan 6, 2018
It seems like every January after the Christmas tree is gone and everything back in its place I get the urge to change something in the house. We've been here for 15 years so there are always things that need updated or repaired. A couple years ago it was a new sink and faucet for the kitchen. Last year it was wall paint. This year we're ready to replace the kitchen backsplash and laminate countertops. The two-tone tan checkerboard tile backsplash I was so in love with in 2003 is now the bane of my existence! And the countertops are just plain worn out.
We have maple cabinets with Shaker cottage style doors. They might not be the height of today's style but I still like them and I *hear* wood cabinets are making a comeback. So we're going to keep them natural and find a tile that works with them. Subway tile seemed the obvious choice. Its timeless and I always like it in other people's homes. We bought glossy white and biscuit samples from the hardware store but they were totally wrong. Next we went to a tile store to look at matte subway samples. There were several good options but the associate still took us around the store showing us everything else. I was a little annoyed -- I knew what I wanted after all! -- and I mentioned that our kitchen was farmhouse style with a lot of vintage. I'm glad I did because he said, "if you like vintage you should look at this" and took us to the floor tile section to show us this sample. (Those aren't my feet; I found the photo online but it shows the scale well).
I might have gasped and immediately began mentally redesigning the whole house around this tile! I mean, it was nothing like what I was planning, but the only thing I had seen that got my blood pumping. Terry liked it too and we decided it just might work (even without a whole home redesign) so we brought a couple tiles home to live with for awhile. It blends with both our beige sink and black appliances (we're planning a dark countertop color too) and somehow even works with the rustic galvanized tin on the back of the peninsula.
After a week I still love it but it's just scary to commit to such a specific design! Our kitchen is small enough that it won't be too costly and we'll do the work ourselves (or Terry will; his skills as a former contractor comes in handy) so worst-case scenario we'll have to do it again in a few years when we get tired of it. And it will probably be in January!