Friday, October 24, 2014

Kitchen Mini-Makeover: Tiling Details

**Disclosure: This post was created in collaboration with Uncommon Supply Company. All opinions and commentary are 100% my own.

So, what did you think of that little kitchen update? I have been wanting to update the backsplash in our kitchen for a while, but the whole tiling thing intimidated me. My DIY skills tend to be more painting, wood refinishing and simple sewing projects (the hubby does the basic electrical updates and helps me with building the masterpieces I see in my head). But tiling? Neither of us had any experience, so we tackled it together! #teamwork

Thoughts from our first DIY tile job | One Mile Home Style

Let me tell you right from the start, this is such an easy DIY project, ANYONE can do it. And I am not just saying that, it is so easy, you just have to get started and you will agree, and then you will wonder why you waited so long to do a tile project. Here are my thoughts and the process we used for tiling the backsplash in our kitchen, we are not experts, but maybe something we did can help you in your tiling adventures.

The first step was to pick out the tile. We chose to go with a local company, Uncommon Supply Company, that carries a wide variety of tile samples (and also flooring and countertop samples) and can help you with special orders. The biggest advantages of doing it this way instead of using a big-box store are the personal attention, knowledge of the sales people and you are not limited to what they have samples of in the showroom. You can flip through the entire tile book and order sample of anything that catches your eye.

Uncommon Supply Company

Searching for the perfect tile

I knew what tile I was going to pick as soon as I saw it. But, to be safe we picked a total of 3 samples to look at in our kitchen, just to be sure. That was the easy part, then I had the task of choosing a grout color, who knew that choosing tan grout could be so difficult? We used premixed grout, which was awesome, because the idea of mixing grout in the correct amount and to the correct consistency sounded like a lot of pressure for this first-timer.

Here is the kitchen before all the work started:

Kitchen backsplash before

Once we had all the supplies in house, it was time to get to work. I started by removing the old backsplash tiles. I didn't use any fancy tools for this part; a utility knife, flat head screwdriver and a hammer (probably gloves would have been a good idea, hence the bandaged finger you see below). Before attempting to loosen the tile, I ran the utility knife along the top of the tile to cut the caulk and keep it from peeling more the the paint off the wall. Once the tile started to lift away from the wall I ran my knife along the top again, and also along the grout line between the tiles. Then I carefully pulled the tile and chunks of drywall off the wall.

How to remove a builder basic backsplash

This next part about made the hubby crazy. You should lay out your tiles so you can make sure you like the layout of the full pattern before you put it on the wall. Me being me, I had to make sure that none of the glass tile touched each other, and that there was not a concentration of all dark or all light tiles, it had to be a nice even mix. I opened both boxes of tile in the living room and laid all the tile out together, then as we did each wall section, I laid the tile on the floor directly under the wall we were working on.

Laying out the backsplash tiles

We borrowed a tile saw from some friends (thanks Courtney and Jason!), but I also bought tile nippers and a glass cutter. We realized as we got started that we really were not going to need the tile saw, and with glass tiles we were going to need a different blade. So, we the hubby cut the tile by hand, and it was a pretty simple and easy process. The best part of these 12x12 tile sheets is that you can cut the mesh backing with a utility blade first and then use the tile nippers to get a straight edge. (BTW, I highly recommend the tile nippers and glass cutter that we used, they worked way better than we expected, especially the glass cutter.) Tip: To lessen the amount of clean-up you have to do, cut the tiles over a box (the one the tiles come in works perfectly). This also makes for a good collection area for the little end pieces, or any smaller sections you cut off the big sheet, you will most likely need those little bits and pieces to fill in gaps, or replace broken pieces later. Tip: If your tile is ending on an open wall, like ours did, you can make your cut end pieces look perfect by cutting them to the correct size, and then peeling them off the mesh backing, spinning them around and placing your cut edge on the inside, which places the uncut edge along the out side.

Cutting mosaic tile with tile nippers

Now for the fun part! You will definitely want to make sure you are wearing your paint clothes for the rest of this project. I am messy when I work, I use my fingers to clean up drips, and then wipe my hands on my shirt or pants. I'm pretty sure I had tile adhesive in my hair at one point during this project.

You want to put a thin-ish, even layer of the tile adhesive on the wall and then comb the notched end of the trowel through the adhesive to give your tile a nice base to stick to. Tip: Do not put the adhesive on super thick! The first sheet of tile we put up, we had tile adhesive squeezing out between the tiles like crazy! A nice light coat is more than sufficient. Tip: Spread your adhesive a little bit past the area you are working on, that way you always have a nice transition from one tile sheet to the next.

Applying tile adhesive to the walls for a new backsplash

First tiles are up. You can see in the bottom few rows where the tile adhesive came through, and you can also see that we needed to go a little farther past the tile with the adhesive so that I didn't have to smear the adhesive right up next to the tile with my fingers. Tip: Be sure to leave room around the electrical outlets and light switches so you can unscrew them from the wall and move them out to be flush with the tile. (Tutorial for that is coming soon.) Tip: You don't have to make perfect cuts around your outlets, trim the tile enough so that it doesn't interfere, but it doesn't have to be straight.

First section of backsplash tiles up on the wall

You will have to wait 24 hours before you can start grouting, which is another messy part. I didn't get any pictures of this process, mostly because the hubby was out of the house working that day, and my hands were covered in grout. I didn't realize how big of a mess grouting the backsplash was going to be, so consider yourself warned. As you are pushing the grout between the tiles, any that gets squished out (super technical term there) falls onto the counter or the floor. And since this grout has a wet sand type of consistency, it felt like there was sand everywhere! Tip: Place waxed paper on your countertops to catch the extra grout and make clean-up a little easier. Tip: Refresh the water you are using to wipe down your tiles frequently, this will help you get the tiles cleaner, faster. Tip: Once you have wiped down the tile to remove all the excess grout, take a dry paper towel and gently wipe down the tiles to remove any water spots and any haze that has appeared. We used Mapei FlexQ Pre-Mixed Grout and it actually leaves little to no haze on the tiles, which is awesome!

Here she is all finished up! The last part of this project is adding spacers to the electrical outlets so they sit flush with the tile, I didn't cover that part here, but you will be seeing it here soon.

Kitchen backsplash after

Here is the breakdown of the costs for this project:
Daltile Stone Radiance Tile - $449.75
Mapei Type 1 Setting Compound - $15.59
Mapei FlexQ pre-Mixed Grout - $49.50
HDX Tile Nippers - $9.97
QEP Glass Tile Nipper - $12.97
*This post contains affiliate links.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Kitchen Mini-Makeover: The Reveal!!

Small Changes, Big Impact Kitchen Mini-Makeover

This kitchen mini-makeover has been much needed, I just didn't realize how much it needed to be done, until it was finished. We haven't updated anything in our kitchen since we moved in almost 5 years ago (unless you count removing the upper cabinet doors on purpose, and a couple of the lower doors on accident, oops!) Everything is pretty builder basic; a row of square white tiles for the backsplash, and the ever popular boob light above the sink.

I was so excited when Misty from Uncommon Supply Company in Mission, Kansas contacted me about partnering with her company on a tile project. Misty has been awesome to work with, from ordering tile samples, to selecting the tile, to determining the which of the multiple shades of tan grout were going to look best, she has been great. If you live in, or around, the Kansas City area I highly recommend contacting them for your tiling, flooring or countertop needs.

Now, onto the before shots of our kitchen, not horrible, but not anything exciting either.

Builder basic kitchen before

Builder basic kitchen before

Builder basic kitchen before

And, now for the after! I just can't get over what a difference a little tile, a new light and new curtain can make.

Kitchen Mini-Makeover - Tile backsplash and warehouse pendant, chevron barstools and curtain

Kitchen Mini-Makeover - Daltile stone and glass backsplash

Kitchen Mini-Makeover - Daltile stone and glass backsplash and warehouse pendant

For the backsplash we went with Daltile Stone Radiance, in the Morning Sun/Tortoise/Mushroom Blend. I love that it has a mix of glass. stone and marble, it brings nice texture and color to the space. I also liked that it is different from all the shiny glass backsplashes you see everywhere.

My search for the pendant light took a little while. I wanted something industrial looking, not too small, and not super expensive. I found this warehouse pendant at Home Depot, it was exactly what I was looking for, and for around $30, the price was perfect too.

Kitchen Mini-Makeover - Daltile stone and glass backsplash, warehouse pendant, chevron curtain

Kitchen Mini-Makeover - Daltile Stone Radiance backsplash

Kitchen Mini-Makeover - Warehouse pendant light

Kitchen Mini-Makeover - Sunflowers and tile backsplash

What's a good makeover post without a little side-by-side before and after? I just can't get over how a couple of little changes made such a huge difference in our kitchen.
Kitchen Mini-Makeover - Before and After
Be sure to come back on Friday to see the all the details of our first tiling project, and maybe pick up a pointer or too. 

**I received product and/or compensation from Uncommon Supply Company to complete the project in this post. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Glow In The Dark Halloween Art

Glow In The Dark Halloween Art with Mod Podge

I teased in my Halloween decor post that the new art I made had a hidden surprise. Not only is it festive art during the day, at night it is a glowing masterpiece.

 This fun project is brought to you by the great people at Plaid, they sent me a box full of Mod Podge goodies to get crafty with. It was super exciting to see all the fun products they sent, my mind was spinning with ideas and trying to figure out which of the Mod Podge items to use first, once I decided on the products it was time to get to work on my artwork.

Here is what I used to create my art:
Mod Melts
Alphabet Mod Mold
Mod Podge Glow in the Dark
FolkArt Multi-Surface Paint
Hot Glue Gun
8x10 Canvas Board
Assorted Scrapbook Paper

Mod Melts, Mod Mold and Mod Podge Glow In The Dark art supplies

First, I used the Mod Melts and the Mod Mold to create the lettering for my art. The Mod Melts work just like hot glue sticks, stick them in your hi-temp glue gun and go. Using the Mod Mold took a couple of tries to really get the hang of using it. The trick is to not be afraid to put the tip of the glue gun directly into the mold. You want to be sure to fill the mold completely as you work your way up. Let it sit for about 10 minutes and pop out the letters (if necessary, trim up any glue strings that are hanging on).

How-To Mod Melts and Mod Mold

Once I finished up the lettering, I ripped up sheets of red, orange and yellow scrapbook paper and used the Mod Podge Glow in the Dark to attach the paper to the canvas board. I put a layer of the Mod Podge on the canvas board first, then laid out my paper and put another two coats on the top of the paper. (The more you use, the better the glow effect.)

Mod Podge Glow In The Dark Art Project

Once everything was dry, I glued my "Happy Halloween" letters on over the paper, and using the FolkArt Multi-Surface black paint, I painted on a spooky fall tree. During the day, the vibrant fall colors are cheery and fun.

Glow In The Dark Halloween Art with Mod Podge

But, at night (or under a black light), the glowing canvas provides a spooky background for the fall tree and the Happy Halloween message.

Glow In The Dark Halloween Art with Mod Podge

And, because the Mod Melts were so much fun, I couldn't resist adding a fun little touch to the candy dish pedestal. #boo

Mod Melts Halloween Candy Display

If you are looking for more fun inspiration, be sure to check out these project links too:


Still looking for more inspiration? Check out all the fun you can have with Plaid!





**This post was written as part of a paid campaign with Plaid Mod Podge and Blueprint Social. As always, all opinions in this post are my own.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fall to Halloween Decor Transition

I shared my fall decor home tour back in September. Now, I am here to show you how I am decorating for Halloween, and how I transition my decor.

Fall to Halloween Home Decor

The first and easiest change I made was to switch out the simple fall wreath on the front door, to my more festive Spooky Halloween Wreath.

DIY Spooky Halloween Wreath with Black Crow

We also went to the pumpkin patch this past weekend, so now we have all sorts of pumpkins on display on our front porch.

Assorted pumpkin display

In my quest to stock up on discount supplies, I hit up Michael's after Halloween last year and picked up some pumpkins, spider cut-outs and spooky black fabric.

 The spiders are now climbing the walls.

Spiders and Halloween Chalkboard Display

Spiders and Halloween Chalkboard Display

Spooky fabric is draped on the mantel.

Halloween Mantel and pumpkins

The black cat candy dish (the boys' favorite Halloween decoration) has replaced the crystal candy dish, and is full of treats.

Halloween cat candy dish on pedestal display

 And our  friendly ghosts are out and about too, right next to a favorite Halloween picture of the boys.

Cheesecloth ghost - Halloween decor

There is also new artwork that combines my fall colors with with some Halloween fun, it hides a festive surprise...but you will have to come back on Friday to see what it is!

DIY Happy Halloween Art in Fall Colors

The best part of this transition is that is it easy to combine with the fall decor that is already up, and when Halloween is done, we are back to fall for a few more weeks.




Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Artwork On My Walls

By now you know that I love to paint. But, that love of painting is not limited to walls, furniture and anything I can spray paint.

 I have always had a love for creating art. Aside from the photographs on the walls in our home, the artwork was all done by me (except for the kids' rooms, they made their own art). So, just for fun, I thought I would share with you, the artwork that is currently hanging in our home.

These are all in a variety of different sizes. The top two I did on canvasboard instead of stretched canvas, I want to see how well they frame since I don't tend to frame my canvases. I have always worked in acrylics, but want to start trying out watercolor more. All of these are in acrylic, except for the tree, that one is watercolor on canvas, and was a fun experiment that turned out pretty well.

Anyhoo, here is my artwork:

Navy and Light Blue painting

Citron and Light Blue painting

Gold and Green painting

Watercolor Autumn Tree painting

Acrylic Drip Painting - Green, gold, blue and silver

Black and White abstract painting

I keep toying with the idea of selling original paintings. I have a couple at a small art gallery right now, but I am trying to decide if I should jump in and attempt selling some either from my blog right here or putting some up on Etsy. I will be sure to keep you posted on what I decide to do.


Friday, October 3, 2014

Month In Review - September



September was a pretty busy and productive month around our home. I still have a few bigger projects I am working at the moment, so October is looking to be just as busy. I have found with this last month, that the updates I am making to our home, no matter how small, are having a big impact on how our home feels. I feel like I am in a good decorating groove and I am focusing more on how I really want a space to function and look, and it is awesome! So, let's take a look back at the goings on for September.

I started the month off with my second desk makeover, this time for my oldest son's room.
Refinished Kid's Desk - White and Navy

Then I shared my tips for making the process of decorating your home easier, and why I choose to not name my decorating style.


We went on a quick little tour of my home to see the fall decorations that are out. Now that it's October, these are slowly going to transition more into Halloween decorations.
Vintage books and red flowers - fall decor

I dug out my sewing machine and made a few new pillows for our living room. I couldn't believe how much I loved them and how they made the space feel so much more pulled together.
Navy blue mixed pattern pillows - plaid and floral

For the Inspiring Home Space series, we took a look at a few outdoor spaces (1 and 3), brightened up our living room with a single color (2), and learned how to give your kitchen a bright update with a couple of budget friendly options (4).


Thanks for visiting this month! I hope you come back and see what I am up to for October. I can tell you right now, there is one makeover coming up that you do not want to miss!!