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Backsplash, table and more decorating

This blog chronicles my entire kitchen renovation from start to finish. Greentea Design has provided me with their solid wood kitchen cabinets, and I'm taking care of the rest.

If you'd like to be brought up to date, check out the archive in the sidebar for previous posts. I posted recently about a few more completed items and some finishing touches, and now for the backsplash, dining table and yet more decorating.

Last Friday the backsplash was installed. I was excited to not have to see the unfinished edge of the countertop finally, but the result was very disappointing. I decided to use the quartz of the countertop and have about a 4" high piece installed along the back of the countertop. The guy that installed it showed up and started bringing in these really short pieces of the quartz which had me a tad confused. They were not the length of each cabinet section. Turns out there were 6 pieces, each one exactly half the length of each cabinet section. Meaning there was a seam down the center of section. Then I watched him silicone everything in place, and then tell me he was all done. I said "HUH? You aren't going to fill in those seams??" He says nope, they just silicone backsplashes. ALLRIGHTY THEN. He left and I called the shop and was told that they had told me they were going to use offcuts. I wasn't told the whole story then if that was the case. I said it looked totally unfinished and the seams weren't filled in. Turns out in the new year they will order a slab of the 3/4" (which is what I had wanted but they didn't have enough of so they used the 1 1/4"), and redo it. I can live with it for now and hope to see a proper backsplash next month. So these photos show the seam, and hopefully one day soon I can show you what it SHOULD look like. (Luckily with the kitchen counters dressed, it's not as noticeable).

NOTE (end of March 2009): I waited and waited and never heard from the countertop folks, Planet Granite. So I called, about 15 times over 2-3 weeks and finally spoke to the owner. I was told they'd have to wait until someone orders quartz, which hardly ever happens, and I think they expect me to pay more money for the strips to be cut in the correct lengths. It is now the end of March and I still have the same backsplash as in the photos below.

It's just before Christmas and I finally have a dining table. It's actually not completed yet but it's useable and I'm very excited about that. I can now eat meals not hunched over my small marble table that was WAY too short to eat at. Also, the kitchen was designed so that I could use it as a second office because the office at the back of the house is cold in the winter and I wanted to be able to work at the dining table and watch the TV in the living room. My contractor built it, and suggested a pedestal base, which was a BRILLIANT idea because you don't see legs from the living room and the top looks like it's floating. It still needs a couple pieces to make it more sturdy because it's quite tippy right now, especially when the porkier of the cats jump from the counter onto it. YIKES! (I should mention as I'm sure some will notice, that the table is warped. My contractor made it in a hurry and then brought it over and it warped quite a bit in the cold/heat. As a result he won't charge me for it...but I'll give him something because it is usable).

I decided to do something on the wall to the right of the stove. I installed one of my stainless shelves I had used in my last house, and then tried a couple pieces of art. I really wanted to use the African (?) painting I got at a flea market for a few bucks, but I think it's too big. I snatched one of my Tretchikoff prints from my chick wall and tried her and I think smaller is better. If you guys have any ideas or want to let me know which you prefer, I welcome your feedback.

I love the marble table I was using as a temporary dining table (it used to be in the corner of the living room), so I thought about trying it under the window between the living room and kitchen. The cats love it there so they can perch and look outside. Underneath it is Cheeks' favourite spot because there is a furnace vent there and he's obsessed with heat.

The hatch is now working with some shocks or whatever they are that my boyfriend ordered from a car parts shop. It works like a DREAM. I may use his camera one day to film a little video of it in action. LOVE THIS.

The other day I went to a local Asian and mid century shop to look for items for the kitchen and living room and picked up a coffee table, small cabinet, lantern, mini bench and dried flowers. Just enough to spice things up around here.

Thought I'd add a few photos of how the kitchen looks now. Love it. Cannot tell you how much. A dream come true. Just in time for Christmas. And happy holidays to everyone who has followed along in this process with me.

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I am amazed at this kitchen transformation! You have is so beautiful!
It's fabulous! What a great Christmas gift for you! I love all of the accessories and the small painting looks great. How very fun!!!
Thanks Amy and Heidi Jo!
Congratulations. It looks gorgeous.
The kitchen looks AMAZING. I can't decide which painting I prefer... they both look great, but you're probably right about the scale of the smaller one looking cleaner. I adore the accessories you purchased. Congrats and have a great holiday season in your new fantabulous kitchen!
Thanks siobhan and Sam. Have a great holiday too.

I have the day off and was going to do some Christmas baking and put this kitchen and my new pro oven to use but it's -28c with the windchill so I'm not that interested in going to the grocery store. :P
I could spend hours in your kitchen! Everything has come together so beautiful and warm. Such a harmonious mix of old world and modern. Love it! (The cats are super intrinsic to the decor as well.) ;)
The kitchen is gorgeous, and it has been amazing to watch the transformation! As for the paintings, I prefer the size of the smaller one, but both paintings feel cold to me. What about hanging a piece of textile art there instead?
I came across this blog recently and I absolutely love it! I live in Jamaica but I find a kindred ecclectic spirit in the ideas put up for viewing. I just wish I could force your hand a bit in posting more stuff. As for your kitchen redo, I must admit that it is now beginning to look a bit more 'owned' and taking on more personality. The only drawback for me is a fear really - that the decor of the kitchen is becoming a tad one-dimensional with the use of earth-tone accessories (area rug, table runner,vase, etc.) In other words: More eye-candy please! It seems such a radical depature from the fancy of the yellow-green chair in the background and the edgy hot pink cupboards. The use of white artifacts is refreshing and does give the eyes a bit of rest, and it evokes another kind of interest. You've got a lot of beautiful things around your house, come on - mix them up and try them out.
-- Shoshana
i love that you did something different with your kitchen, including all the asian elements everywhere. i think my mom would drool over it if she saw it :) the look is absolutely refreshing from all the stuff i see around these days.
Thanks C.! The cats are everywhere so they for sure end up part of the decor and in every freaking photo I take.

Thanks KSO! Over Christmas I will look for something smaller to put over that shelf - textile art is a GREAT idea!

Thank you soshana from Jamaica, where I wish I was right now on this FRIGID day. I totally agree with you about all the earth tones. I am definitively going to try to add a bit more to the kitchen and for sure in the living room when I redo it. I'm thinking for sure more jewel tones.
Thanks Lovely Paper! I like that I managed to stay away from the typical Ikea kitchens you see everywhere these days. While they are affordable and look great, I've got to agree that Greentea's kitchens are a refreshing change.
It is simply gorgeous! I've been following with awe and envy and it's even worse now that it's done!

Happy Holidays!
It's lovely and warm. I like the bigger picture over the shelf, actually, lends some weight to the wall.

But then I'm always partial to large art.

Also, I need that vase with the pussywillows in it for my dresser, right now. I literally just bought some branches (though they've got fake berries instead of puffs), and I haven't had luck finding a vase that works yet. That one is perfect. SIGH.
To pick up on Shoshana's suggestion and your comment, Kim, about introducing more jewel tones in the kitchen, personally what sounds most appealing to me, in theory, would be introducing crisp minty green through accessories to make kitchen and living room feel more cohesive. (If I'm not wrong, your couch appears to be of a minty green colour - but I know pictures can be misleading, so forgive me if I'm wrong). Just my two cents, but I love what you've been doing with the kitchen so far, I find the earth tones work very well in terms of giving the space a rustic feel to contrast and balance out the more edgy, modern, industrial appliances and lighting.
Take care!
Thanks Collette and happy holidays to you too!

Tasha, that vase was a score for a few bucks at a flea market. I had no idea it would look so damn cute on the counter. It was up in my teal dressing room previously. It's cinnabar, and my favourite accessory in the entire space. (I got the pussywillows at the dollar store).

Thanks Ornit! That couch is leaving this space as quickly as I can replace it. It doesn't work - it's as you say, minty green which I never liked much, too narrow and too 50s looking for the rest of the decor. So hopefully something in it's place will help with cohesion.
Kim, Kim, Kim...well...what can I say? I mean honestly! I am really shocked by you and your indifference to having MY kitchen installed in YOUR home and making no efforts to rectify this situation. I can only guess that you're in the process of making the necessary plans to move me in. Silly me! Look how hasty I've been! OF COURSE you're letting me move in! But when? ;)

Seriously, Kim...the loveliest dream kitchen EVER, EVER!!! I worked in Asian Antiques for years and this is making me crazy with joy! The Japanese Tansu-style cabinetry is PHENOMENAL! Pat yourself on the back over and over and over! I'm smitten!

ps - I really like the smaller Tretchikoff print above the little shelf.

pps - I will be dreaming of your kitchen tonight...I SWEAR! :)

LOL!!! Uncle Beefy, didn't I tell you I made space for you under the kitchen sink? - figured you like the kitchen so much you might as well live IN it! :) And seriously, thanks so much for the comment. I'm glad you like it that much. If you're ever in Ottawa (HA), stop on by and see it for yourself. I might even cook ya something.
I am impressed with how much personality the kitchen has now as we see the kitchen finished (or very nearly finished). I've enjoyed following along and loved each choice along the way, but I had no idea how it would all come together. Now suddenly it is clear! Your confidence in your own taste is a joy.
No one else is moving in or having it. I have first dibs. Always have. When you immigrate to Australia you can bring it with you :) Seriously you have done a wonderful job and the guys from Greentea make an astonishingly beautiful product. Congrats all round.

I like the Tretchikoff but I'd even look at leaning something else art wise on the shelf across one corner if you're worried about size.
Yes Jo, after all we've been through I think you deserve first dibs. Maybe you and Uncle Beefy can both fit under the sink cabinet?

Thank you so much 'a little sewing on the side'!
It looks fabulous! That rug works beautifully with your gorgeous cabinetry. Great job!
Jo...I thought the hatch to the basement was for you? TEASING! You're like..."Back off, Beefy!" Hey...I'LL gladly live in the basement if you and Kim will allow me the occasional snack or cup o' tea at the table...?;)

I could look at these photos forever! And, Kim...I have friends in Ottawa. So don't tempt me!
Beefy baby this cat is too big for the hatch :P With 6 cats already I'm sure Kim can fit in another couple of cool cats like us ;)
Kim--It is truly amazing. I mean, I loved the pink kitchen too, but this is spectacular. I'm so happy for you that it was all done before Christmas...I know how stressful it can be to face the spectre of Christmas without a kitchen!

Your story about the backsplash installation reactivated my "contractor rage"...seriously, my eye is twitching with anger on your behalf. They actually thought you would be okay with those seams? I'm telling you, Ottawa contractors NEED to get a sense of pride of workmanship. There is a market for it here now. We are not the little lumber town we used to be. Time to smarten up. Anyhow, the backsplash looks great otherwise and I'm glad you insisted that they come back and fix it.

I love the subject of the African photo but the size of the smaller portrait.

Sorry, that doesn't help much, does it? Why not just switch them up every 6 months?

Take care!
Uncle Beefy, you actually know Ottawans?! Then you've GOT to visit them and stop by....maybe not anytime soon though cause you know the saying "when hell freezes over"...well, Ottawa is hell right now. And yes Jo, I welcome any cool cats, of the 4 legged or 2 legged variety.

Thanks whyioughtta! You know exactly how it feels - although I think I had an easier time with my contractor than you did with yours from what I've heard. Luckily mine is my younger sister's friend so I know where he lives IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. LOL And I agree about the art - if I could cut the African print in half it would be perfect! (P.S. Once your kitchen is done I'd love to come by some time and take some photos to share on the blog...and make sure Jack has photos of the table/chairs to show me at work when you get them!).
oooOOO!...really? You'd want to put our little ol' kitchen on your amazing blog? I'm flattered and, now, terrified. But yes, absolutely!

The table and chairs were supposed to come today but, of course, that ended up being postponed until Tuesday (weather). Then I just have a few odds & ends to fix up (my odds & ends have taken 11 months as it is).

I'll get some pix of the table to you!
I love how everyone here blames the weather for not doing anything on time. Jack says you're getting a light for over your stove from Restoration Hardware. :) LOVE their lighting.

re-found you via the house&home write up and just *love* your kitchen reno. i "had" to go back and follow process from before to almost after. and those cabinets are envy- inducing .. yes, i'm a not-minty shade of green. your eye for the details and putting it all together - amazing:)

have fun celebrating the festive season in your lovely kitchen!
Your kitchen looks great! It seems to define your style so well.
Thank you helen and Lindsay!
Kim! It looks so fantastic. So fun to see it decorated. I think I prefer the painting with the village over the shelf - looks a little Asian to me - like maybe from Vietnam?

I adore your Asian pops you added to the living room - like how it flows from the kitchen. The coffee table and the cabinet and, of course, the Buddha head are all fab. The table is wonderful. Love the base, and live your fruit bowl. I love the direction your decorating is taking you.
Wow - I am amazed by the basement hatch. Hadn't checked back for a post on Friday because I was busy. Loved reading through the comments this morning.

I also love seeing the cats in the pictures.

Looks great. I look forward to the replaced backsplash and putting this project to bed in the New Year. Going to be busy busy busy writing when I'm back from Christmas vacation. Going to be fun to set up the kitchen walkthrough and study for the Greentea site. Our graphics guy is going to have a fair bit on his plate getting pics touched up. Luckily Kim takes good photos - but we've got sooooooo many (that we had asked for of course).
Kim, it is so wonderful to see your reno coming together so beautifully. I am so sorry for the backsplash fiasco, but the table is looking great, and hopefully, you will have your backsplash corrected soon!
Thanks Peggy! I might try and find another place in the kitchen for the I think it's African painting. I want to keep the cabinet area open and that painting is kind of doing the opposite. I am SO excited to get the living room organized now that I have some direction.

Mike, I realized I don't have many photos of the hatch area to show how much it's opened the space. I'll have to take and post some over the holidays. Hopefully I can find some good before photos too. I think I owe you some more recent photos too.

Thanks Courtney! The backsplash isn't anything to worry about - the folks at the shop are great and I'm sure will get it replaced as soon as they can. In the meantime I'll just strategically place objects on front of the seams. LOL
your kitchen is great! Such a professional job! It's a successful mix of modern - industrial - traditional and ethnic elements.
Merry Christmas And a very Happy 2009!!!
Thank you Aris and Merry Christmas and Happy 2009 to you as well!
Happy New Year Kim! I'm catching up on my reading and I'm positively stunned by the transformation. Your kitchen is simply gorgeous. Congrats and enjoy!
Happy new year to you too pretty*practical! And thanks! I am enjoying this kitchen more than I can even begin to express.
ohhh, if only my house were immackulet(?) and spotless like that :/
jessica, I won't tell you how much time it took me to clean up before taking these photos. ;) I do have to say I'm WAY neater with my new kitchen than before it was redone.
Kim, I just came across your blog and I LOVE it. I have built a lot of kitchens recently for clients and I have never come across Green Tea before. I love it. I am always trying to make my clients kitchens reflect their personality and I have to say that from looking at your kitchen photos I can really get a sense of your style. Nice job and keep posting...
PS I really like the smaller portrait piece of ART ALOT!! Keep it...textile art hanging in the kitchen seems like it would get dirty quickly and absorb smells.
Thanks MCM. I have to say that Greentea's products are phenomenal. I have such a hard time imagining selling this house and not having this kitchen anymore. As for the art, here is a photo of what I went with (And you're right about hanging textile art).
They are very fantastic pictures. Definately they will bring good sense of home improvement tips
Its terrible looks so fabulous and beautiful kitchen. Thank you for sharing...
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