Backsplash ideas from

slate tile gold beige brown backsplash tile 

Kitchen Makeovers on A Budget


Before, left, and after a kitchen countertop upgrade.

Renovating a kitchen is like cooking a gourmet meal. Take on too much, and the work can mushroom out of control, busting your budget and your patience.

While we can’t choose your recipes, we can help focus your renovation on the elements that give the most bang for your buck: the countertop and backsplash.

Above, near-black soapstone replaced dingy white laminate. Because it cuts and shapes with woodworking tools, the only cost was for the stone—$24 a square foot from M. Teixeira Soapstone, which also sells a DIY tool kit at For the backsplash, the home­owner chose easy-to-clean solid surfacing milled like beadboard from Swanstone. One 3×8 sheet cost $556 and went up with a jigsaw and construction adhesive. Completing the makeover are a new stainless-steel undermount sink from Elkay and pull-down faucet from Grohe.

Other countertop options

Above left: Unlike most natural stone tiles, this sandy-hued engineered stone-look tile never has to be sealed. About $12.60 per square foot,

[Thinking about replacing your countertops? Click to find the right contractor now.]

Above middle: Even more manageable than a soapstone slab are 12-by-12-inch granite stone squares, which lay out in a grid just like ceramic tiles. Use unsanded grout for tighter joints and a smoother surface that better approximates the look of seamless stone. Granite tile looks high-end if you finish the edges with a 1½-inch bullnose. And compared with about $90 a square foot for an installed slab, it’s also a bargain. About $25 per square, Benissimo.

Above right: The dramatic veining of this slate tile rivals marble, and because it’s less porous, it’s stain- and bacteria-resistant. Starting at $6.50 per square foot,

Other backsplash options


In contrast to the high-tech solid surface used in the kitchen at the top, other stylish and DIY-friendly backsplashes are made from age-old materials: glass, metal, and porcelain.

Above left: A backing on these light-reflecting glass subway tiles prevents trowel marks from showing through. About $21.50 per square foot, Artistic Tile.

Above middle: The 6-inch repeating pattern on this clear-finished metal ceiling tile makes it ideal for a backsplash, hiding cuts along the grid seams. $12 and up per 24-inch square panel, The American Tin Ceiling Co.

[Time to remodel your kitchen? Click to find the right contractor now.]

Above right: Mesh backing on these porcelain mosaics makes installation a snap. Beige bricks: About $21 per square foot, Home Depot. Mint penny rounds: about $8 per square foot, American Universal Corp.

Other faucet options

Inspired by commercial kitchen faucets, pull-down residential models can’t be beat for function. And thanks to ergonomic controls like thumb-touch sprayers and a range of designs and finishes, they’re also tops for comfort and style.

Above left: This arched gooseneck in Tuscan bronze has three spray functions and traditional styling. About $230, Price Pfister.

Above middle: The 59-inch pullout hose on this minimalist faucet eliminates the need for a dedicated pot filler. About $340, Cucina.

Above right: The 22-inch-high arch and commercial look of this chrome faucet suits a modern kitchen. About $276, Danze.

More sink options

It’s easy to keep a counter tidy. Just sweep crumbs and spills into an undermount sink, rather than worry about gunk collecting around a drop-in’s lip. Some of the most durable undermounts are made fromstainless steel and copper. For steel, the lower its gauge, the thicker the basin’s walls. So pick 20-gauge or lower to ensure that it won’t dent. For copper, hand-hammering is a telltale sign of top quality.

[Upgrade your kitchen with the help of the right contractor. Click to find one now.]

Above left: This stainless sink’s removable drying shelf frees up counter space that would otherwise be occupied by a dish rack. About $825, Elkay.

Above middle: This handmade copper sink offers a rugged texture and a finish that will darken over time, but you pay for it. About $2,725, Native Trails.

Above right: Two stainless-steel bowls let you wash in one and rinse in the other. About $340, Franke USA.



Seattle’s Own “Spite House” gained international admiration!


In Spite of it all, the Spite House in Montlake sells!

A little known jewel and local legend, known as the “Spite House” recently went up for sale.

The Spite House is 803 square feet, wedge shaped, and believed to have been built out of spite! Legend has it, a woman won a partial land settlement in a divorce, and her ex was allowed to keep the rest of the property including their home. We all can imagine how she felt about that. So out of spite, the woman built a little house wedged between her old life and the new.

Nonetheless, it’s a lovely little house. The listing price on the house located on 2022 24th Avenue East sold this past weekend at $397,500!  Can you believe the narrowest point is 55inches.

A little house built out of spite or unyielding love, we’ll never know. One thing is for sure, the Spite House is getting international attention for its uniqueness.


5 projects that LOWER your homes value!

It’s Selling Time and you want your home to look great, in all its glory.  But beware not to flush money down the drain by taking on projects that won’t gain you a better bargaining position to increase your sell price or attract more buyers.

The 5 projects that LOWER you home value are:

  1. Bedrooms need to remain as they are. Don’t create another space with a bedroom, buyers like bedrooms and they want to see that room as clean and open as possible.
  2. Hot Tubs – if you want a hot tub, get it! But when its time to sell, take it with you! The honest truth is that hot tubs can turn some buyers off, because they don’t want YOUR hot tub, nor, to they want the hassle of disposing of it. So just take it with you, when you go 🙂
  3. Colored Trim or Textured Walls – Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past 10 years, you’d already know that when it comes to selling your home, simple is best. Simple nude colors on the walls and trim should always be white, off-white, or beige.  Anything else, will make your home look old and dated.
  4. Themed bedrooms, unless you have a stack of 5,000 dollars plus you’re probably not going to hire a muralist to paint your kids bedroom, but in the case that you do, just know not all kids like Jumanji or Lion King. Stick to the basics, simple and chic will always win.
  5. Garden of Eden, instead of making your home look like the Garden of Eden with an over the top fountains and shrubbery, keep it simple, clean and as low maintenance as possible.

Check out the  video!

And don’t forget to comment, repost, and revisit 😉

5 Biggest Home Inspection Mistakes

Just like cars, your home could be a Lemon! Unlike a car, your home is usually your biggest and most important purchase, so why wouldn’t you want an inspection?

The following article speaks about the importance of Home Inspections, common pitfalls, and buyer mistakes.