There are 15 Home Depot receipts sitting on my desk. And that’s not even all of them.
I keep them because there is a code on each one that you can use to enter to win a $3,000 Home Depot gift card (THE DREAM!), and I love winning.
All of these receipts are from recent excursions to the Depot, as I like to call it. That’s because we (mostly Cedric) just finished installing a brand new backsplash in our kitchen. Apparently, this requires multiple trips to the Depot.
On the one hand, owning a home is fun because you can renovate and upgrade almost anything.
On the other hand, I know absolutely nothing about interior design and home decor. It can be very overwhelming.
A few months ago, we replaced our peeling laminate countertop. First, we had to determine what we wanted to replace it with. We agreed on quartz, but then we had to pick a colour. We “narrowed” it down to grey. I say “narrowed” because, it turns out, there really are 50 shades of grey. In fact, there are many more than 50 shades of grey. We ended up picking out our desired grey based on a very small sample, no larger than my cell phone. We crossed our fingers and hoped it would turn out as we pictured – luckily, it looked great.
(As an aside, when replacing countertops, remember to budget for a new sink and faucet – both are deceptively costly and require a host of other decisions. I’ve never contemplated kitchen sinks so thoroughly in my life).
Our sleek new countertops looked like a million bucks, but our greeny beige tiled backsplash suddenly seemed way more prominent. Let’s just say it didn’t bring out the best in the new counters. We’d come this far – why not replace that backsplash as well?
Although I don’t really know what I’m doing when it comes to decorating, Cedric and I generally had an inkling of what we wanted when it came to choosing a paint colour, picking out furniture, choosing blinds, and narrowing down the shade of grey for our countertop. But backsplashes had us stumped.
I turned to Pinterest for inspiration, and I have to say, I was somewhat underwhelmed. Everything seemed to be a variation of subway tiles. I liked the look of grey marbled subway tiles, but I wasn’t in love. But then again, who is really in love with their kitchen backsplash?
Flipping through a Consumer Reports kitchen reno magazine, I dog eared a page with a kitchen that had the light grey marble subway tiles. Then I flipped to the next page, which featured another kitchen with light grey marble subway tiles. In total, there were about 6 kitchens with various iterations of light grey marble subway tiles. Suddenly, I realized that if we picked light grey marble subway tiles, our kitchen would forever scream “this backsplash was installed in the winter of 2017!”. For some reason, this bothered me.
We returned to the store where we’d purchased our backsplash – Solo Designs in downtown Squamish. Now, I obviously love Home Depot, but when it comes to selection for countertops, tiles, flooring, and the like, there is no contest – Solo Designs is THE place to go. There selection is astounding, and I knew that they’d carry more than just light grey marble subway tiles. We must have spent an hour flipping through samples of backsplash.
Solo Designs opened our eyes up to many new possibilities. It turns out, there is a land beyond the subway tile (though they have plenty of those, too). There were tiles of multiple sizes, of various finishes, and in all kinds of textures. If you want your kitchen to look like a modern art museum in Berlin, you can totally do that. We narrowed it down to four or five samples, which we brought home to test in our kitchen. Eventually, we settled on one – but of course, it was not that easy.
The particular sample we liked came in four shades. It also came in four different textures: smooth and glossy, smooth and matte, bumpy and matte, or stripey bumpy and matte. To further complicate matters, it came in various shapes and dimensions. By the time we’d settled on our final iteration, I’d spent more time thinking about backsplash then I had spent deciding what university to go to.
The tiles eventually came in, and we were very pleased. They still had shades of the light grey marbled look I like, but their size and texture made them feel a little out of the ordinary. We made a few more agonizing decisions (what size spacers to use? what shade of grey grout to buy?) and then Cedric got to work.
The result? WE LOVE IT!
Of the gazillion possible combinations we could have went with, we are super pleased with how this project turned out. Home Depot is super pleased that we have made their store our second home. And I’m super pleased that I won’t have to think about backsplashes for a very, very long time.