Monthly Archives: May 2010

hgtv house tour


As I mentioned on Friday, The Marion House had some special guests visit the other day. I’m happy to tell you that HGTV dropped by and took some photographs and asked some questions for their own blog. You can see the story here.

Thanks Elana and Alicia for the opportunity to show off our house. We’re tickled pink.

Filed under house projects

cast your vote: kitchen backsplash


OK, it’s time to help out one of my readers with choices for her kitchen backsplash. Trish has an amazing black and white kitchen that just needs to be finished off with a few final details.

Here are some photos of her kitchen:

Pretty great already…right?

Adding in a backsplash is really going to finish this kitchen off. Sort of like adding a few well chosen accessories to an outfit. It can make all the difference.

Trish has basically two choices in terms of where she places the tile. She could either cover the entire wall right up to the ceiling or she could run the tile about a third of the way up the wall to beneath the cabinets. She may also want to consider covering the area behind the gas cooktop in a stainless steel sheet and running the tile around it.

Trish told me that so far she had been considering either using a basic white subway tile as a backsplash or the tile below:

I think we could do better! While white subway tile is a classic choice it is a little too predictable and might look too cold and sterile in this minimalist kitchen. As for the above tile, I like the look and texture of the natural stone but I think it is the wrong colour.

So, here are my suggestions. Please help Trish out and let her know what you like. If you have something else in mind let her know.

Vote away!

You can never go wrong with marble. I think it’s organic quality would be a nice counterpoint the the strong black and white lines of the kitchen. If large sheets of marble are too expensive there are many different sized tile options. 3rd Uncle via House and Home.

This all black kitchen is breathtaking and bold. I like the idea of doing a rectangular tile in black rather than white. It’s more unusual. Via House and Home.

If you’re going to do something in white this handmade ceramic tile in a 2″ x 8″ format is more interesting than standard subway tile. Via House and Home.

It also looks great stacked covering the entire wall. Via Door Sixteen.

Speaking of covering the wall, this simple black mosaic is very effective. The colours in this kitchen are very similar to Trish’s – black, white, and the warm red tones of the wood. Via Emma’s Design Blogg.

Who says you have to use tile. Wallpaper like this one from Cole & Sons is an interesting choice. Via Living Etc.

Here it is again with red accents. Via Door Sixteen.

A painted glass backsplash in a bold colour adds interest to a modern streamlined kitchen while still remaining minimal. Via Living Etc.

An inexpensive alternative is to paint the wall a matte black and then use a pop of brightly coloured tiles behind the cooktop. Or you could run the colourful tiles along the length of the countertop a third of the way up and paint the rest of the wall black. Via Living Etc.

Finally, these beautiful mosaic tiles from Mettro Source are like small works of art. Paired with a simple black or white subway tile they would definitely make a statement.

Hope that has given you some ideas Trish. Cast your vote and let Trish know which backsplash option you would choose for her.

Filed under please, cast your vote

antique weekend


The Marion House had some special visitors over here this morning. I can’t tell you anymore at the moment but if you check back here on Monday all will be revealed. Very exciting!

I’m also looking forward to this weekend namely because the Christie Antique Show is happening on Saturday. This show happens twice a year in Dundas,Ontario and it is huge. I believe there are approximately 10 acres of antiques. It’s a great place to train your eye as you literally have to look at hundred and hundreds of items to pick out the gems you want. I usually go with quasi list in the back of my head so I know what to look for.

Here’s a few things I picked up last year at the show. Oh and bring a hat, it’s a long, hot day in the sun.

Filed under house projects

new kitchen lights


Way back in March I wrote about changing our kitchen lights. In fact, it was the first Cast Your Vote series I did and the response was amazing. The overall winner was the West Elm Globe Pendant Light. Well, I am pleased to say that I followed your advice. We have taken down are old green industrial lights…

and replaced them with these.

I was immediately impressed by how much lighter and airier the room seemed. The Edison bulbs in the pendants also give off a nice warm glow which counteracts some of the coldness from all the hard surfaces in our kitchen. I took these photos at night so that you could see some of the effect.

Of course, I think they really work against the black wall. Harry seems to like them too. He often points upwards and says, “bubbles”. For now, I will hold on to the green industrial pendant lights as I can’t part with them just yet. I’m sure I will find a spot for them somewhere down the road.

Filed under house projects, please, cast your vote