Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Hexagon Tile Saga

This is what the kitchen looks like now:

It's a nice kitchen, but it's just not my taste. Really the whole house isn't exactly my taste right now. It could easily pass as a nice hunting lodge - hardwood floors, wood trim, tan walls, wood furniture, and a very brown on brown on brown kitchen. It looks dated rather than charming.

Some new paint and furniture should help uncover the charm in the rest of the house, but the kitchen needed more of a serious facelift. We wanted to keep the existing cabinets, countertops and appliances since they were all in great shape so we settled on new tile for the floor and backsplash and painting the cabinets a fresh coat of white.*

I knew from the start that I wanted a hexagon tile floor. I really love wood floors in white kitchens, but I just didn't think I could pull off new hardwood in one room when the rest of the house is covered in 75-yr-old hardwood. (I know some people have had good luck matching new and old wood floors, and I'm not saying we won't try it in the future when we hopefully someday completely gut the kitchen, but for now, with so many other things going on, I didn't want the headache of trying to find a perfect match). So tile was the answer. I love the vintage look of hexagon tile, and I thought it would be a good fit in our older home. This was my inspiration photo:

This process should have been a breeze, since picking the tile out is the hardest part, right? Wrong. Turns out the 2-inch hexagon tile I wanted is on backorder until October. We learned this very late in the process - not when we originally chose the tile or when the tile guy came to measure our space, but a few days later when we were ready to place the final order. I was not happy.

It was not just on backorder from one supplier, but it was basically on backorder for the entire country.  I called over a dozen tile stores searching for something similar. I checked several online outlets. I lost sleep. [Apparently the tile world is rather small because there are only so many importers. I learned after it was all over that by calling several other tile stores to see if they had what I was looking for, I really just started a chain reaction of them all calling each other and my tile guy to see if he had it. Oops]. We were left with 2 options - we could either delay the project, which completely defeated the purpose of paying rent in August and moving 4 weeks after closing, or we could choose different tile. I went with option B. I had to pick a different tile. Ugh.

This is the part where I really lost sleep, but I finally settled on the same hexagon tile, but in a smaller 1-inch size. I know it sounds a little ridiculous to fret over a 1 inch size difference (it is), but it does completely change the look of the finished product. I ultimately decided I would be equally happy with the smaller tile, and this allowed me to stick with a hexagon shape, which I just really like. This also allowed me to stick with our original plan to do a pinwheel tile for the border. Luckily, the pinwheel tile and 1-inch hex were not on backorder. Whew.

It will end up looking something more like this (but with much lighter grout):

Traditional Kitchen by Los Angeles Architects & Designers Tim Barber LTD Architecture & Interior Design

One square of this pinwheel pattern will be the border in the main part of the kitchen to break up all the white. It will also cover the entire floor in the small powder room right off the kitchen.

When it was all said and done, Jon suggested I open my own design studio with the tag line, "I lose sleep so you don't have to." He might be on to something. 

I'm sure that's more than anyway ever wanted to hear about tile, but I can't wait to share the finished product with you! I can, however, wait to scrub all of that grout. Someone remind me how much I love hexagon tile when I'm on my hands and knees scrubbing grout lines with a toothbrush.

*This will not be a DIY blog. The only thing I know how to DIY is paying other people to DIY for me. 
Friday, July 26, 2013

The Friday Happy List

A brief list of things I am currently enjoying. 

The Crash Reel. I thought my sister was crazy when she recommended I watch this documentary about a snowboarder. Snowboarding isn't really my thing. I went skiing once. "It's easy," they said. "Anyone can do it," they said. Those were lies. I ended up breaking a pole in half. But back to the Crash Reel. It's about a snowboarder, but it's not really about snowboarding. It's about life, family, loss and learning. I loved it.

What Alice Forgot. This book is solidly in the chick lit camp, but I couldn't put it down. Alice wakes up from a fall at the gym only to realize she has forgotten 10 years of her life. It's pure entertainment - a perfect summer vacation read.

Training Camp. Baseball season has been a disappointment thus far so I'm ready to get back to football. In 5 short weeks we will move into the new house and then football starts the next week. I'm not sure which of those things makes me more happy. Probably the house, but it's *this* close.

Hexagon tile. We ordered tile for the kitchen this week. It ended up being a much more difficult process than expected, but it's done...finally. More on this later.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Blogging Life

I mostly spend my blogging capital over here talking about football, but I thought it was time to dedicate a blog to all things domestic.

I can't guarantee I'll have anything remotely interesting to say. I probably won't. But things are happening - big, scary adult things. We are buying a house, moving to the 'burbs, and taking on our first remodeling project. Eek!

But there is a problem.

I live in the land of historical landmarks:

(That's not the problem. I love a good landmark.)

And the few people who might be interested in the big, scary adult things happening in our lives live mostly among the dive bars, serial killers and people who say "yes, sir" & "yes, ma'am."

And I kind of hate talking on the phone so here goes nothing...