So excited to share tips and progress on the
DIY Arizona kitchen project where we recently
tiled an ugly wall in the kitchen with
The plan is to take our boring, dated kitchen
from cookie cutter to custom, and I decided
a dramatic *yet natural* accent wall
would turn up the ooh la la.
In the spirit of DIY love,
I am humbly sharing a few tips,
not because we’re experts but because
we’re real life renovators who care.
We opted for natural stone for the project to complement
cabinets we painted grey (Behr: Classic Silver)
and the Viatera quartz (Soprano).
The Calacatta Gold is a bright white marble
with cool grey and caramel veining throughout,
and know what I really dig about the color?
For me, it’s beachy, and I do love me some beach.
DIY Tip No. 1
Don’t be afraid to order tile online from a good source.
Begin by ordering a sample…easy peasy.
If you have only shopped for tile in person
(like at a big box store), online shopping
may seem scary, but the quality
and condition of these mosaic tiles
greatly surpassed what we became
accustomed to seeing on store shelves!
Let’s revisit the “before” kitchen images
from the previous owner.
A builder’s special kitchen for sure, with maple cabinets,
mottled tan laminate counters, and a crazy tomato red
faux backsplash (see the little trim pieces near the
window trying hard to fool us?). Wow.
The next image shows the whole expanse of the wall,
which was destined to lose the TOMATO factor
and become a whole lot prettier and natural.
Since it’s an open concept floor plan,
the minute we walked through the front door,
we were confronted with that red faux backsplash.
DIY Tip No. 2
NO backsplash is better than FAUX backsplash.
If your kitchen is backsplash lacking,
there’s no shame in living without a splash
until you have time and budget…a faux
treatment rarely delivers and can drag
the quality of the whole kitchen down.
I was determined to lose the TOMATO factor
and take our wall of shame from faux to fabulous
with beautiful honed natural stone.
Things got better with paint! Wall Paint Color: Valspar Salute (7006-12).
We found a wet saw for the project on sale (score!) and
got to work, and by “we” I do mean “he.”
BTW. Not a single broken tile in the whole caboodle,
so every single mosaic was a keeper, leaving
these DIYers feeling #dangstoked.
DIY Tip No. 3
Before paying big bucks to rent a fancy tool, check the shelf.
If you don’t think you’ll ever use the fancy tool
again, you can sell it on Craigslist or OfferUp.
The photo below is unedited, and you’ll notice
the mosaic tile is much brighter and whiter
than the quartz…yet, I knew they would work
well together once everything was in place.
DIY Tip No. 4
For successful mostly-white decor schemes,
incorporate various shades of white
(a friend recently asked whether
she should paint her kitchen cabinets the same
white as her walls, and I voted NOPE).
We chose white grout for the mosaic to achieve a
more unified and subdued look.
Calacatta Gold adds a warmth in here we may have
forfeited had we safely opted for white subway tile.
DIY Tip No. 5
Think beyond white subway tile.
When living in a neighborhood where
homes exist with your exact floorplan and exterior,
it’s sometimes wise to add customization
which won’t match the neighbors’ customization.
(See me boldly channeling Summer Thornton?).
To set your home apart from the pack for
resale and future marketing,
think creatively about how to keep the
makeover timeless yet distinctly
special and memorable.
Ready to see the makeover?
It’s a gorgeous result, and we love it!
An unexpected sweet surprise is that from afar,
the marble accent wall reminds me of
the lovely work of one of my favorite artists,
who paints these magnificent
contemporary abstracts in hues I love.
You can see that up close, you’re struck by
the geometry of the hex, which recedes to
become a soft abstraction from a distance.
From faux to fabulous, yes?
Still adding finishing touches,
and I joyfully welcome any ideas for
a window treatment and rug.
Discover more stories from our DIY whole house makeover,
and let me know what you think of the accent wall
and whether you have a project of your
own where you may incorporate a mosaic.
Curious about what we did for the countertops? Find that scoop here.
Thank you, kindly, The Builder Depot, for partnering with
us on this project and supplying the most awesome
honed marble a girl with big ideas could ask for.
I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.
Peace to you right where you are.
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