Saturday, December 21, 2013

Working With What You Have

One of the bloggers ( that I read on a regular basis often features "Working With What You Have" projects on her blog. These "Working With What You Have" posts feature ideas to inspire us to see potential in what we already own. Emily also provides different design tricks to help us make the best use out of what we already have or can easily (and inexpensively) transform. As she notes, "Most of us aren’t living in houses we’ve built specific to our tastes and needs. We’re living in real homes, decorating around other people’s design choices or a builder’s ideas. Or, maybe we’re living with hand-me-down furniture or a set of couches that we invested a lot of money in before we discovered design blogs and our tastes completely changed . . .  While small changes and updates are feasible, most of us aren’t working with the budgets or DIY skill sets that it takes to completely redo, remodel or even reupholster." 

I was so happy to have my very own kinda sorta "Work With What You Have" experience yesterday. Other than minor cosmetic work (painting, updating fixtures/appliances), the renovation of our home excluded the master bathroom and the kitchen. Those are huge projects (and very important to the resale value of our home) and I really want to think about design, cabinetry, tile, etc. before we bite the bullet and renovate those rooms. Maybe Kevin would like to have some input as well! 

For the most part, I have decorated the master bathroom (a new area rug, sheers and accessories made a huge difference!) to a point so that I can live with it for a while. And it might be for a long while considering how much money we spent on the renovations completed to date and the fact that we have two teenagers heading off to college in a few years. I am also okay with the kitchen but, again, to a point. All of the appliances are new, the walls are freshly painted and, although not my style, the cabinets and the counter-tops are in decent condition. I have hung some prints as well as a painting that we bought in Vietnam on the walls, moved a chest that I bought from Tibet into the room and reupholstered the chairs - it is definitely cozy and comfortable and reflects my tastes.

That being said, these tiles on the back-splash have bothered me since July. They are almost as bad as the wallpaper that we had removed from the kitchen.
There are three groupings of them in the kitchen and each grouping is about 8" x 8" square.  

I don't remember them being an issue when we lived in the house 8 1/2 years ago but, considering that I liked that horrible wallpaper then, who knows? Maybe I liked the tiles then too. But not anymore. Each and every time I walked in to the kitchen, I saw them and fixated on how ugly they were and what I could do to get rid of them. However, short of either replacing all of the back-splash (which was not in our budget or plan at this time) or somehow removing those particular tiles and trying to find white replacement tiles to match the existing (too much work!), I didn't know what to do about them. Over the past few months, I thought of several ideas but none that I was completely wild about. Then, Thursday morning, while I was wandering around Kirkland's looking for nothing in particular, a set of prints caught my eye and BAM! There was my solution! 

Although this is not a permanent solution, it is much better than what was there and I am very pleased with how it looks. Even better...each print was marked down to $5.99 so I spent less than $18.00 on the fix. I must confess...once I had my solution in hand, impatience set in and I simply stuck duct tape on the backs of the prints and pressed them on to the tiles. The prints are light enough and duct tape is cheap enough that I am not going to worry about it if they come unstuck.

Not everyone in my family (in fact, no one) was as excited about this transformation as I was. In fact, I think they were all happy simply because they won't have to listen to me complain about the ugly tiles anymore. Now I need to find something else to fixate on.

And another holiday funny for Saturday. I have seen and saved these throughout the year and now is my one chance to post them! 
Have a great Saturday! 

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