So the other day when I was having my Oprah “a-ha” moment that basically amounted to me realizing that I’m a good person and I can do better than living with walls like this:

and this:

(which, by the way, resulted in this), I decided to take a casual stroll down the tile aisle. And BAM! These glass beauties were staring me right in the face. So was their price tag- $4.99 a square foot! True, that doesn’t even touch the price of traditional white subway tiles ($2 a square foot- or on sale, $1 a square foot- ouch) but since I’d only seen these glass ones for around $15 a square foot, I was pretty stoked. I bought a sheet, just to take it home and make sure I liked it.

What was I thinking- of course I liked it! I liked it this much!

So later that night when we were making an emergency HD run (I realized that using a rough roller can give your walls that bumpy look  that makes them look like they belong in a locker room), we raided the tile aisle again. At first I thought there were only 4 but then we discovered there was an entire secret stash behind the first box. Jackpot! Around a hundred dollars later I had 20 shiny glass sheets in my possession.

Since my good friend Kristin just bought a townhome that needs just a touch of TLC, she was interested in learning the tricks of the tile trade. She came over and helped me on Friday night, and the two of us busted out the south wall (sink side). As I said before, Woot!

Then the next day Stan helped me put in the tough little pieces around the outlets and light switches (the worst part) and we finished the stove side. Then my kitchen looked like this while the thinset cured for the next 48 hours:

By the way, not to be a Negative Nancy, but I forgot how much I hate tiling. The cutting, the mess, the obsessive straightening and re-straightening… Working with glass was different, too. In some ways I liked it better than ceramic or porcelain- it’s so smooth and easy to clean grout off of, but it also chips easily and sometimes those glass chips end up embedded in my hand and stay there until I notice them later while sitting in the car after eating Costco pizza. You win some, you lose some.

Back to the task at hand- after the thinset had cured, it was time to grout. A marvelously messy job. I chose Delorian Gray (light gray). Here is the stove side mid-grout, complete with trashy Beware of Dog sign:

Even though my stove has a high back, I tiled down to the level of the counter tops. Who knows- one day I might own one of those sleek stoves with no back. You may notice the piece of wood that I screwed to the wall so the tiles wouldn’t slip right after I put them up.

Here is an action shot of the sink side mid-grout (the left hand side isn’t done yet).

And here it is done!

Not bad for DIY! The edges around the cabinets will have to be fixed, maybe with a scrap of matching wood. The outlets and switches will also need a little bit of finagling, as the wall is now deeper.

Time for a close up- I love the shadows. They give depth.

I know I said I was going with white subway tiles (which I happen to love) but I just couldn’t pass up the glass at such a great price, and I wasn’t totally in love with the white in my particular kitchen. I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it again- I’m not a designer and I don’t think I’m particularly good at designing, so my style is just to kind of pick things I like and hope they somehow all tie together when it’s all said and done. There are a few more finishing touches for the kitchen, so we’ll see if I can accomplish that!

For now, I absolutely cannot wait to make a tomato-based sauce and just splatter to my heart’s content. Or mix up a cake batter and lift the mixer out ever so slightly so that cake batter flies all over the place. This backsplash will be a pleasure to clean!

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