And so, we continue the kitchen saga! After we got the cabinets up, and the paint on the walls, work stalled. Richard went away to Kenya for a few weeks, and then I joined him for a little 10-day trip (photos coming soon, I promise!). After that, we sort of just got used to the walls the way that they were – all bare plaster and drywall. But, we had plans for them! Richard and I are both big fans of subway tiles and thought that they would suit our 1920s flat. Modern and historic at the same time, no?
However, I didn’t want just white on white, since our cabinets are already going to be white. I wanted to do a contrast grout for a bit of drama in our little space. I looked around at inspiration and settled on a medium grey tone for the grout. I didn’t want to go too dark as I didn’t want it to look busy, but dark enough that you could actually see the grout.
white subway tiles with contrast grout from Patchwork Harmony
Once we had our plan in place, we started shopping around for tiles. We decided to go with Tons of Tiles as they had the best selection of smaller-sized subway tiles and fair prices – plus they did sample tiles! We ordered their beveled mini metro white gloss, mini metro white flat, and Rustico white gloss. Richard was really into the beveled tiles, as they most closely resemble the authentic metro tiles here in the underground. My only concern was that the uneven edges when they’re cut would make the corners and edges of our walls look wonky. I like the idea of using beveled tiles, but only on a single wall.
My personal choice would have been the rustico tiles – I love the wonky edges and handmade look. However, Richard wasn’t as big a fan of them. I still think I’ll use them someday – maybe in a bathroom or other space in the future. I love the way they look in these two spaces that Emily Henderson designed. But with these tiles, I wouldn’t use a contrast grout.
In the end, however, we decided to go with the simple, flat metro tiles. Classic, and understated – the perfect tiles to go with our grey grout. Now, we just had to tile the kitchen… simple no? Well, after weeks of thinking about doing the tiling, contemplating renting the equipment, and learning how to tile – we decided to just pay someone else to do it.
Now, don’t think we’re lazy or anything here. If we had a few rooms that required tiles, then we would invest in the equipment and learn to do it ourselves. But, as we only have one small closet and a shed to store supplies like that, we decided that it wasn’t worth the effort. Someday I will learn to tile (I’ve always wanted to), but today wasn’t going to be that day.
We ended up hiring Jack from Bespoke Plumbing & Tiling Solutions, who we found online. He had great reviews and was super helpful in answering all my questions. After chatting with him about grout, we chose Smoke by BAL, which he sourced from Topps Tiles. It’s a great mid-grey that I think looks perfect once dry.
Once all the details were sorted, we arranged for him to come by on a Saturday when Richard would be around. Unfortunately, I had to work that day and left Richard with detailed instructions on what I wanted. See, I’m really picky about things like how the tiles line up, etc., and wanted to make sure I wouldn’t come home to something that would make me upset.
I could have just gone with a simple brick pattern, but that wouldn’t be my style 🙂 As I had this idea of the tiles fitting with the 1920s flat, I wanted them to look a bit more historical. That got me thinking about the types of details you find in old brick buildings. They always have those vertical bricks above the windows, either straight or curved. I looked it up, and it’s called a soldier course. But those don’t always happen above windows and are sometimes found at the top of the ceiling line, or along the edges as a trim. For our space, that meant a row of soldier tiles along the one outside corner by the door, and above the window.
I really like the look of them at the top of the wall, but thought it would be a bit much with our crown molding (which we will add later). Doesn’t it look great in this bathroom?
It’s a subtle addition, but I really like it. What do you guys think? Was it worth the hassle to add the vertical tiles above the window, and along the wall?
Sorry for all the close-up photos, but I don’t want to give too much away until the whole room is complete. As you can see in the photos, we’ve added hardware and started trimming the edges of the cabinets. Soon we’ll paint everything and dress it up a little with accessories.
Not quite finished, but we’re getting there! 🙂