One Room Challenge | Week Five | Art Dilemma and Tiling Progress

May 03, 2018

Okay – week five. I can see the finish line on this One Room Challenge, but there are still so many things to finish before next week! My kitchen makeover is moving right along, but my to-do list seems to be getting bigger not smaller which is stressing me out. In fact, I’m taking this Friday off work in order to get a head start on the weekend in the hopes of getting most of it done.

Let’s see, what can I update you on? I finally finished all the wall prep. It’s not perfect, but it’s many, many times better than it was and I’m hoping nobody will look too carefully at the wall. My building is almost 100 years old, so imperfect walls are to be expected right??

Galley kitchen primed white
My kitchen when just primed is very boring and institutional looking.
I’m hoping I’ve come up with a solution to my hardware dilemma. Late last week I took my handles to Canadian Builders Hardware in the hope of getting them plated. I won’t be able to get an exact match to the Delta faucet I bought, but I’m hoping it will be close?? I won’t know until I get them back though so there could still be some late-night spray-painting in my future.

Plating colour options from Canadian Builders Hardware
The colour options available at Canadian Builder's Hardware. The hex pull on the right is an approximate match to my Trinsic faucet. here's hoping the end result is alright.
On Sunday I went to Olympia Tile and purchased the tiles I’ll be using on my backsplash, and have finally started on this big part of the makeover. I ended up going with the 2x8 tiles instead of my original plan of the 3x6. I think they’re slightly more modern, and let’s face it – my high-gloss cabinets are not traditional in style by any stretch. I bought a hand-held tile cutter and it’s working fairly well, but as this is my first time attempting to tile it’s a bit of a slow moving process.  I spent a bit of time watching YouTube videos and found this one helpful when it came to actually tiling, and this one for tips on using the hand-held tile cutter. I still have to find one on how to properly grout tile, but one step at a time.

I have run into a hiccup though when it comes to the tiles I bought. Last night I opened the box of tiles that contained my edge pieces and discovered that instead of giving me my requested 10 bull-nose tiles that I wanted to use to edge the nib walls I mentioned in last week’s post, they gave me 10 corner pieces. So I have to go back to the store to exchange them. Grumble. I also still need to decide on grout colour – my original plan was white, but maybe, since my counter top is grey I should go with a pale grey to break up the big expanse of white?

White 2x8 back splash tile in progress
I've started the tiling of my back splash. I think the small and narrow cuts will be very hard to do. I hope I bought enough extra tiles to cover breakage. 
With the last of the major construction-y- stuff under way I’ve turned my attention to trying to decide on pretty things like art. I had originally used a wonderful piece by Leslie Weaver in my mood board, but between the plumber, electrician, hardware, tile and other material costs my budget is beyond blown. That said, I really want something big and colourful to go on that back wall – otherwise I think the kitchen will be boringly monochromatic and rather stark and institutional looking. I could try my hand at something DIY (I even have a blank canvas in my storage locker), but I don’t know that I’ll have the time if I want to get this kitchen makeover complete by next week.

I’ve spent a considerable bit of time online and surprisingly I’ve found quite a lot of downloadable art that might work. Did you know that a number of Art Institutions around the world have digitized some of their collections, and even offer some images for download? Here are a few works that I think could work in my kitchen. I think I can probably get it printed rather inexpensively at Staples or Walmart, and put it in a basic Ikea Ribba frame for under a hundred dollars.

Printable art that's free to download
1. Joséphine-Éléonore-Marie-Pauline de Galard de Brassac de Béarn (1825–1860), Princesse de Broglie by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, via The MET 2. Edna by Robert Henri via Los Angeles County Museum of Art 3. Coney Island by Joseph Stella via The MET 4. Peonies by Charles Rennie Mackintosh via The MET 5. Makaro by Gordon Walters via The Museum of New Zealand 6. Faustine Léo by Henri Lehmann via The MET
When I increased my budget a bit and started looking for art I could download and print for a reasonable fee (and by reasonable I mean $20 or less) there was quite a lot of choices. A lot of what I found was word art which I’m not a huge fan of, and not really the ‘look’ of what I was going for, but I did find a number that I liked. Here again I could print it and put it in an inexpensive frame.

Printable art for less than $20
1. Peonies via Jenny's Print Shop - $15 2. Orange Square by Paradigm Art on Etsy - $8 3. Floral Lady by aljahorvat on Etsy - $15 4.  Abstract by DanHobdayArt on Etsy - $11 5. Blue and Pink Abstract by DanHobdayArt on Etsy - $11 6. Australian Native Print by LilaxLola on Etsy - $7 7. Columbine Flowers Flat Lay by Vicuschka on Creative Market - $10 8. Dragon Fruit by LilaxLola on Etsy - $7 9. Pellegrino bottle by The Crown Prints on Etsy - $6
What do you think? Would you put any of these in your home? (I've got quite a few more free and reasonably priced art pieces saved on Pinterest if you're interested)

So, with one week to go before the ‘big reveal’ what do I still need to get done?
  • Finish plastering/fixing walls
  • Prime walls
  • Paint ceiling and back wall
  • Pick wall tile
  • Purchase wall tile, mastic, grout and all needed supplies
  • Finish tiling the walls 
  • Grout the walls
  • Clean up ALL THE DUST
  • Figure out what to do for cabinet pulls
  • Install cabinet pulls
  • Hang ceiling fixture
  • Figure out some art for the walls to add some colour
  • Remove old faucet {This was literally a ginormous pain the neck!!}
  • Install new faucet
  • Add baseboard to the back wall
Oy – still so much to do! And at some point (hopefully in daylight, and not with my phone) I also have to take pictures so I can show you the *hopefully* finished space next week. Wish me luck!

Want some more One Room Challenge makeovers? Make sure you check out the 20 featured designers doing the One Room Challenge, and the other One Room Challenge Guest Participants

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  1. Tiles and art options look great, Michelle. Is the former wall of tiles a distant memory? Hope so! Backsplash is looking great! Have you ever thought of regrouting the floor with dark grout? Just a thought.

  2. I love the modern look and the art is amazing! Great find. I love the super modern direction you’re going in.

  3. Great minds think alike! I've been trying to find printable art as well and am not thrilled with the offerings. I love your sources!!
    Good luck getting everything done. We're almost to the finish line.

  4. Wow, printable art looks great, I wasn't aware it's available for download. Good job and good luck with further makeover!

  5. It looks like you're making nice progress! Your tip about the art collections is really cool. I know that libraries digitize their materials, but I had no idea art museums do the same thing. My favorite would have to be Makaro by Gordon Waters from The Museum of New Zealand. It would be perfect for a bright modern, even coastal look. I can't wait to see the pics when everything is done!

  6. I pretty much LOVE all that art! Especially the portraits. There is so much good free/cheap art... nice finds

  7. I did not know that they had handheld tile cutters! We are doing a mini kitchen makeover (just cosmetic, nothing major) and I have been DREADING the backsplash because of needing to cut the tiles so I will definitely be looking into one of those!

    We're doing a white subway backsplash too, and I'm thinking of going for a dark grey grout - I've seen some AWESOME inspiration pics on Pinterest and since we're going for black countertops, I think it will look great. Can't wait to see your final kitchen!

  8. The tile looks fantastic Michelle!! I looked at printable art too and you found a ton of great ones! Jenny's Print Shop has some beauties too, I bought one to use for my ORC but then ended up buying a framed print on canvas and then painting over it a bit (because I can't leave well enough alone!) I love the options you have here and think your space is going to look gorgeous when you're done with it!

  9. I love the art you have found! I bought a hand tile cutter to for this challenge and had to watch a video on how to use it, lol!! If you can put up the tile, grouting is a breeze!! I can't wait to see the final reveal!!

  10. Your tiling looks great and love the modern direction you're taking. Can't wait for your reveal!


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