Joni’s condo kitchen: Choosing cabinet color and backsplash tile

The cabinet is down, the light is up, and thoughts now turn to the cabinet color and backsplash tile.After the overhead cabinet came down in Joni’s kitchen, and sunlight from the back yard flooded in, she said: Ten years! I’ve wanted to do that for 10 years!

With a $1,000 budget, she wants to update and brighten the kitchen, giving it what she calls a coffee-house feeling of comfort. Now, it just looks drab. Joni’s friend and fellow nurse, Patti, is helping her do the remodel. The biggest job will be staining the wooden cabinets and maybe replacing the hardware.

With the cabinet down and the new bendable track light up (see top two photos), it’s time to decide on the cabinet stain. Patti took a door of the cabinet that came down and took it to the local paint store, where a talented color expert there has been helping her figure out how to get the layered brown and green paint job she saw on a side table at Pottery Barn. The plan so far calls for a dark primer, a layer of brown paint, and then the green paint mixed with glaze.

In the bottom two photos you see the door Patti is playing around with and some of the tile choices she thinks Joni might like for the backsplash. If you’ve ever looked at kitchen books and magazines, you know there are endless ways the backsplash tile can be applied: a simple strip above the counter, all the way up to the upper cabinets, a mix of large and small tiles.

Joni seems to be conservative in her tile use. She’s leaning toward a strip about six inches high just above the countertop. The trouble with choosing one color and style of tile is that you are letting go of all the other beautiful choices. And that’s a hard thing to do.

Meanwhile, Patti finds herself having a lot of fun with this project. It lets her express her artistry and creativity in a way her nursing job does not. But she also has to watch that she doesn’t spend too much time on it. Intense creative work too late in the day makes it hard to wind down at night. But Patti better get it figured out because other friends are beginning to hint that they, too, would like some help with their projects.

The project so far:

1. Watch a video of Patti explaining the remodel goals
2. Check out Joni’s lighting choices
3. See a slide show of the track light going up and the cabinet coming down

The budget so far:

Budget: $1,000


Sanding sponge: $5.38
OSH track lighting: $54.65

Balance: $939.97