Well, I guess I took more than a few weeks off … more like the whole summer. Doh!
Honestly, it was a move I made for myself and my family overall. The spring was so tough with trying to homeschool and work at the same time, and so many of the summer camps were shut down. Something had to give so that I wasn’t working 24/7 while my kids twiddled their thumbs. I wanted to enjoy being with them a bit, where we weren’t as scheduled. And that thing to give was writing the blog. I hope you all will forgive!
The boys started a new school on Monday. It was a very difficult decision (one so many of you are facing right now) and was made for many different reasons and after much, much soul-searching and prayer. While I’m sad that summer is over, the boys were excited to try new things after being home for so long, and I’m looking forward to being able to focus more on this side (decorating education for my lovely readers!) of my business.
Fingers crossed all stay healthy. My thoughts are with all of you — amidst all the stresses of virtual and hybrid learning. So very, very stressful.
Upcoming Reveals & Press
The Remuddle Remodel was finally photographed for Old House Journal at the very end of June, and I can’t wait to show it to you all! I’ve been given permission to leak some pics early, so stay tuned for the reveals of the Boot Room, the Butler’s Pantry/Laundry Combo, and the Kitchen/Converted Porch.
Also, over the summer, I was very grateful & honored for my little biz to be selected by Business of Home Magazine as the interior designer for New Hampshire in its 50 States Project. If you’re new to the blog and don’t know my story, I hope it provides an interesting read about how & why I got into this business, along with what I try to deliver to my clients and readers!
Sources for Fresh Classic Alternatives to Subway Tile!
On to today’s topic!!! While objectively it seems silly to talk about home decorating when families are under so much pressure, people have died and families have lost loved ones, and thousands of jobs have been lost & businesses closed, interest in making our Forever Homes as comfortable and beautiful as possible has spiked in a big way during the last 4 months. All my tradespeople are completely booked out with renovation projects, if that’s any indicator. I can’t get my own bathroom vent replaced for 3 months!
Anywho! If you read Part 1 of this topic, you know that I have a special fondness for subway tile. IMO, subway tile is the blue jeans of the tile world:
- It goes with everything.
- It’s a proven classic and never goes out of style.
- It can be very inexpensive.
- And it can look like a million bucks when part of a fabulous design scheme.
But there are a number of people out there who DO NOT share my opinion. And even if you do, it’s always a pleasure to find new inspiration for fresh, timeless design!
Be sure to read Part 1 for all the inspiring designer rooms with the below tiles. Today is all about SOURCES. 😉
So for the different categories in the Part 1 post, here come some of my favorite sources, from $-$$$.
1. Square Subway Tile
You can’t beat a look like this for as little as a $1/sf. I like these inexpensive, mass-produced square tiles best in white. Regardless of whether the tile is glossy or matte, the colored tiles just remind me of bathrooms from the ’50s-’60s, but not in a good way.
Stagger your installation for a twist on tradition, or stack it for a more modern look. White or pale gray grout if you prefer subtle, dark gray if you want to make a more graphic (but still classic) statement.
If you want to spend a little more for the artisanal feel of handmade tile, Fireclay has 4 x 4 tiles starting at $15/sf.
2. Glazed Thin Brick
Glazed thin brick is a beautiful option, especially in homes with other brick elements or homes with either an industrial (think brick factory walls) or farmhouse rusticity.
Once again, we see Cle and Fireclay are the big players in the glazed thin brick realm. I think that Fireclay has the most beautiful and variegated colors, as well as the nicest-feeling finish, but there are other options out there, including some pretty reasonably priced look-alikes.
I used Fireclay’s Big Horn ($18/sf) it for the backsplash behind the oven range in my kitchen. I was going for a “renovated hearth” look, and it subtilely blended with my beige paint and let my blue oven range shine. (But you’ll see more of these pics in the coming weeks!)
Cle has its Modern Farmhouse Brick Collection in whites, grays, and blues, and starts at $11.39/sf.
The above kitchen, with it textured brick walls, uses the Cadenza Collection from Tilebar. Great value at $12.50/sf.
3. Zellige Tile
Zellige is a beautifully variegated handmade tile, which I used in my No Plain Jane Powder Room. As I discussed in Part 1, I don’t think this tile is right for every home — it needs a home with either “age” or with a contemporary upscale farmhouse feel.
(I adore my zellige tile floor, but installation is tricky. Make sure to read this post about 3 Important Things to Know Before You Install Zellige Tile.)
Cle tile is the big player in the U.S. for zellige tile, starting at $19.50/sf and going up to $32/sf depending on the color and shape (like hexagon). BEAUTIFUL watery-deep colors.
Riad Tile is another supplier of real zellige. Fewer (but still lovely) colors that start at $16.50/sf.
But I just found this Etsy seller that has a few colors of zellige for an incredible $9/sf!!! Wish I’d known about it earlier!
HOWEVER, there are also some fun “look-alikes” on the market that, from a distance look pretty d*** sweet! You’d never mistake them for the real thing when they’re in your hand, but if the end result is gorgeous, does it really matter?
4. Mini Brick Mosaic (Single Color)
Mini brick is awesome. I really want to use it in a project. I’ve seen marble and glass tiles in this format, as well as typical ceramic. I recently saved this image from Katie Rosenfeld’s IG account.
I mean, it’s a GREEN kitchen, so of course I’m going to love it, but how about that mini-brick backsplash?!
Mini brick is relatively inexpensive. Pair it with a pale gray grout to show the texture, but I wouldn’t use a dark grout — the result would be way too busy.
This one by Tilebar has an almost-rough, handmade quality. Just a little industrial. Love it.
5. Glass Tile
Glass tile is on the more expensive side, but I found one here for $8/sf! I LOVE this tile in showers for a spa-like experience or a backsplash in a coastal kitchen (think sea glass!).
On left: Super White Frosted 3 x 6, $16.95/sf
On right: Ice Blue 3 x 6, $7.95/sf. A total steal for this kind of tile!
The Loft Collection by Tilebar comes in beautiful whites, blues, and dark gray. The “Natural White” is more of a subtle blue-green. It’s really nice and subtle. Well priced at $13.95/sf.
This gorgeous collection comes in 5 subtle colors and 7 different shapes, including stacked brick and fan tile. $15.99/sf.
Fireclay Tile has a GORGEOUS array of glass tile in every color under the sun, including the above “Rosy Finch.” Starts at $35/sf for 3 x 6 size.
(I’ve always thought that rose-colored tile would be so beautiful in a shower. Think about how it would make your skin look all rosy, too!)
So what do you think? Any favorite looks? Like I said, I’d love to do a mini-brick backsplash or a rosy glass tile shower!
Reveals of the Remodel Remuddle will start in just a couple of weeks! I’ll be giving you ALL my sources. Which room do you want to see first?
I also have some news for all of you who have been asking for some sort of DIY Forever Home Decorating Course … yes, it’s coming! And in just a few weeks!
I know what it’s like to be a homeowner/decorator terrified that you’ll make a mistake, wanting to purchase better quality decor but afraid to invest in a wrong decision, paralyzed as to how to make a plan in which you feel confident.
This won’t be a course from a blogger telling you her tips for decorating-on-a-dime budget, but rather a homeowner-turned-pro-decorator guiding you through how to make a plan, how to budget, my inside tips & tricks, pitfalls to avoid, and sources for quality furnishings within a realistic viewpoint that prioritizes your unique needs and wants while balancing your spending.
I’ll even be offering my personal review and advice to a select group who choose to go the VIP route.
But I don’t want to give it all away. I’ll be holding an information sessions in a few weeks with the course launching the last week of September. Sign up for Home Glow’s Saturday Blog in the sidebar to make sure you don’t miss the heads-ups!
See you next Saturday!