Desperate Design!

Candice Olsen, I’m not.  I can watch hours and hours of design show reruns and still not have an ounce of design sense in this old brain.  I mean, Candice would NEVER wait until the walls were painted to pick her cabinet color, would she?  Or the counter top color?  Or the back splash color?  Or whether or not to even have back splash, right?

I’m sure you’ve watched the design shows like “Divine Design”?  Well,  my version would be called “Divine Intervention Design”!  And then there’s “Design on a Dime”, which I could absolutely wrap my cheap brain around, as far as money goes.  I got the “dime” part down pat!  Then there’s, “Color Splash”, and I’m stuck on Delta Fog, so that was a no brainer for me.  Is there any other wall color?  Just kidding.

For all the things in life that I micro manage without a second thought, interior design is just not one of those things, and it’s a darn good thing I don’t have to do it for a living.  I kept imagining Candice with her room full of samples and the wire basket she puts each color swatch into as she whips out a design for some family in dire need of a living room makeover.

There I stood, at several local DIY stores, starting up at the tile samples on the wall, floor samples hanging on a rack, not a smidgen of my paint color in tow–only my memory to serve me.  These are the options I came up with.

Here is my meager attempt at putting together a design portfolio for a room; namely, our new kitchen, and I desperately need your help.

To the right is the wall color, Delta Fog.  To the left is a 12-inch by 12-inch sheet of glass tiles being considered for the wall behind the stove.   The small glass tile colors are clear, black, and sort of gray.

To the right of the square tiles is an accent tile, and the glass in it is a very pale, light blue-green color.  That tile would run along the back of the counter top, against the wall under the cabinets.  I’m sure that has some official name, like back splash, but I’m just not savvy, okay?

The black square in the middle of photo, is my counter top color choice.  Down here, black granite called “Uba Tuba” is all the rage.  However, a person who accepts volunteer help in order to stretch the house-building dollars is not a person who can afford granite.  Never fear!  WilsonArt has a line called High Definition, which mimics the look of granite without all the fuss and expense.  There are about 20 HD colors from which to choose; however, my choice was made easy by the cabinet maker.  He said that the Uba Tuba copycat color is Raven Gemstone, and that is the sample you see pictured here.  Please note that the HD product is not as smooth and shiny as some of their more beautiful colors, but a professional told me that eventually, that shine rubs off, especially if you use your kitchen a lot, which I do.  So, the counter top choice is a done deal.

The cool thing about Raven Gemstone, is that it has some of the Delta Fog colored flecks in it, AND it is out of comfort zone, so I’m living dangerously for a change.  My current counters are WHITE, stark, plain white, so I can bleach them.  No joke.  This will be a big change for us.

And I don’t know why, but the paint chip of the cabinet and trim color did not make it into the photo.  It’s Behr Paint’s “Moon Rise”, and it’s a white that goes with greens.

Here is Design Option Number 2:

The only difference in the two designs is the 12 x 12 tile choice.  This one is also glass, but is more like seashells.  It has hints of the Delta Fog throughout, and blends well with the smaller tile to the right.

Remember, the 12 x 12 glass tiles are only going on the wall behind the stove.

Here are both choices, side by side:

What I need from  you is some input about which 12 x 12 I should choose and why.  I know it’s not a lot to go on, but I’ll appreciate your advice.  you’ve been watching the house go up since January, and I’d really like you to help me make this decision.

Would somebody please tell Jody to come get his trash wagon?  It’s in the way of the lumber truck that will be delivering the interior doors today.

I’m going to take the advice of friends and take a day off.  I won’t have internet access, so I’ll be back here Saturday night to see your choice.

Your desperate designer,


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  1. I like option 2 because it offers so many possibilities for decorating with different colors. The black and white look would get old fast for me, while the other is restful and looks more natural. My two cents 🙂

    How neat that you’re at the point to start making these choices. It has to be exciting.

  2. I like choice number one but if your kitchens anything like mine, will the dust show more on the darker choice? Remember, I have camo curtains and ceiling fans so you cant see the dust as easy so my influence should probably not be taken. I absolutely love the black and gray.

  3. I’m sitting here wiith my jaw hanging down. I have NEVER had to do anything like choose countertops, etc.

    Thank goodness.

    I regard COOK as a four-letter word. So is clean–if you count the double vowel as just one because it makes only one sound.

    Have fun!

    (I’d probably try to make the indoors an extension of the gorgeous outdoors colorwise.)

  4. You really don’t want my design ideas. People used to ask us about paint colors when we were painting there homes, and we learned real fast to say. “Just remember, it’s something you’re going to have to look at everyday.” So I will bow out on this. Besides…I’d be too chicken to use glass tiles anyway. It’s very trendy, but I think I’d tire of them fast. I’m just a little too conservative. So, the best I can do is say, “Just remember, it’s something you’re going to have to look at everyday”.

  5. Next? No tile. Think grout. Then think mildew humidity etc.
    Think termite invasive bacon grease. Hello Mark? get your input in here quick. Sheet style formica stuff comes in a lot of zoomy colors etc.

    Next time you build a house start a blog and we loyal readers will design it based on what we know of you and what we know from being here now.

    Behind the range use some fire board stuff. You aren’t thinking ceramic tile on kitchen floor are you?

    It’s getting cold here again. And that Iceland volcano is gonna make global warming a forgotten thing.

  6. I agree with the others about you being the one who has to look at it and clean it. I do know I would hate to have to clean splattered grease and the humidity/steam carried elements off of glass. I would love to have stainless steel behind my stove and on my cabinets since granite is so not affordable. Darn stuff chips too.
    I have some fake brick fire board in the bathroom behind the wall heater and it is a dust magnet. Stick with smooth surfaces.

  7. I like the counter top look for behind the stove too,I would not want anything with small grouted squares and light colors to clean,BUT I tend to be very messy when cooking too.

  8. I like number 1, but I am so bad at design choices which means you should probably do the opposite of what I suggest. You need my sister for this. She puts stuff together that you’d think would never work and it comes out absolutely beautiful.

  9. I like #1. My friends have glass tiles in their kitchen behind the stove/prep counters and they don’t seem to have trouble keeping them clean. That said, I hate the bathroom in my apartment bath because of all the tiny tiles. I am NOT a grout cleaner. So exciting that you are to this stage of things!

  10. Your first choice is striking and beautiful. Go with it. I always used to look for “versatility” in colors, and all it led to was a non-descript look. If you worry about cleaning grout, seal it before you start cooking.

    You’ll enjoy your kitchen even more if it excites you!

  11. Yes! Seal that grout. Experience is speaking, here 😉

    I also approve of tile floors in a kitchen, but if you spend hours and hours, good mats or rugs are a necessity, and that leads to even more cleanup.

    As for the other questions, I’ll have to bow out because the first thing I’d change would be the color of the countertops! But they’re the given, so the best advice is: choose what makes you feel good!

      1. Oh – it’s pure, personal preference. I prefer red granite to black granite. I’d be doing terra cotta tile and sandstone paint and a copper back splash. Well, that is I would if I had a house and a kitchen.

        You know – it’s sort of like I prefer BeauSoleil and my mama prefers Benny Goodman 😉 She turns on big band documentaries on PBS and I plug in my earphones 😉

  12. Hi Everyone! I’m back from my little holiday, and am so excited to read all your responses. I’m taking all the advice into consideration, and rethinking my plan. About grout: Not excited about cleaning it. About Glass Tiles: Easy to clean with a little window cleaner. About Wall Tiles: Not dead set on having them About other materials: Back to the drawing board? About floors: NO CERAMIC TILE About counter top: Too late to change my mind, I think.

    Anything else?

  13. I agree with no grout. I have that now in our new house and it’s very stained from the people that owned it before. It’s a easy way to do a counter top but I think it’s high maintenance. See you soon!

  14. Being a typical guy (lacking the designer gene), I agree with Cammy. I say, Steel everywhere! Definitely SS back splash for stove and sink if no where else. heck a SS counter top would make life too easy. SS is the easiest to clean and maintain and nothing grows on it. Make the kitchen functional, make the living room pretty. Who wants to spend all that time cleaning as well as cooking?

    Also, do not do like some idiot did here (rolls eyes toward the ceiling) make sure you install the range hood fan AND insure it goes outside unobstructed the first time. Its not something you want to come back years later, find out about and re-do.

    Of all the places in the house, make sure you have more electrical outlets located above the counter than you can ever use. No matter how many you install, they will not be enough.

    I know you asked if folks like plan 1 or plan 2, and we are all going off in different directions but a kitchen should be a joy to cook in, not an un-necessary cleaning nightmare, I don’t know a single person who likes to clean.

      1. You know its been awhile since I worried about any of this, it is all together possible that there has been some improvements in that time. LOL. Stainless was my upgrade from Formica when I built 20 years ago in Odessa.

        Friend said her daughter just remodeled and used a new type counter top that is crushed recycled glass suspended in a clear epoxy. Of course for her it would be about the green or environmental impact.

        She said they did the same thing to her flooring, said it was called something like Terrezzo.

        She said you should also strike up a conversation with one of the salesmen at your local restaurant supply, but she said it might be a little late for that. They do take in used equip from professional kitchens quite often. If they don’t they will know where it goes.

        Just passing it along, heaven forbid I make a building suggestion, I have a ruff cyprus kitchen, I should have been a lot smarter than that.

        1. Terrazzo has been around forever. It’s expensive and very durable, but last forever. The fire station Hubby was stationed at in 1972 had Terrazzo flooring in the station AND the Engine room. Fire truck parked on it…I’d say that’s durable.

        2. “Vitrazzo” recycled glass counter tops were my FIRST choice. Diane Huhn and I even made a special trip to a place in New Orleans to see some on display. And then we found out the price — FOUR TIMES THE PRICE OF GRANITE. And that is why I’m not going green–it costs too much. And it’s very different from Terrazzo. Well, thanks for the advice about SS; however, upon further reflection last night, I recall a friend who had it in an old house in Houma. I spent a few nights there one time, and I remember not liking the cold, industrial feel of the kitchen. To each his own, I guess. I do appreciate the input, though.

  15. What ever you choose will be great. You will be the one cooking & cleaning in it so, the final say will have to be yours. Just make sure you have lots of storage space that is easy to get to.
    I will be very excited to see the finished product!!

    1. Well, wow, if you’re a real designer and like those choices, then maybe I’m doing something right after all! You wouldn’t just be saying that now, would you ? LOL!

  16. You’ve probably already bought it and installed it – but I vote for #2. It will be a nice design between the dark countertops and the lighter colors. And, best of all, go well with Delta Fog!

  17. I’m not much help in the design area–I love daydreaming about my “real” kitchen one day, but have no practical experience. (I only know that I want wood countertops!)

    My only suggestion is to pick what you can live with every day since it will be in your kitchen every day!! Good luck w/ the decisions and the house is looking great!!

      1. Only in the virtual world! I was the (very appreciative) winner of the Mardi Gras Community Coffee and grew up in South East Louisiana.

  18. Wow, I just found this page too by coincidence. The strange thing is I am dealing with the same color scheme and bought these same glass tiles today to bring home and compare with my uba tuba granite countertop to see which one I liked the best. I am still not sure as nothing really popped out at me and took my breath away. The second choice for me would be less expensive, so I am leaning towards it. I’ve got to know, what did you finally do? I am an HGTV fan also! Have a blessed day!

    1. Hi Deborah! Welcome to this bayou blog and I hope you become a regular. Always something going on here. I ended up not putting a stone/tile/glass backsplash at all. If you go here, you can see that the cabinet maker just put the black countertop material up against the wall, and that is how I left it. My cabinets turned out so lovely, I thought that adding anything else might be too “busy”. You can find similar posts under the category called “New House”, where the posts are listed from most recent going backwards. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! BW

  19. Oh, by the way, my husband was born in the swamp close to Raceland, Louisiana. He pretends to have an accent sometimes and his “Justin Wilson” side comes out. He is the cook too! LOL