counter & tile options & $30 shelves

by | Sep 29, 2017 | All Things Home, Decorating, Kitchen, My House, Organizing | 34 comments

Yesterday, I needed to run some errands and play some catch up, so I didn’t have a chance to start painting the kitchen island.  I must admit that it’s nice to have a break from cabinet painting, although I’m looking forward to having it done!

While I was out, though, I picked up samples from Home Depot to “try them on” in my kitchen.  I can picture design elements in my head pretty well, but it’s nice to be able to see something in place and get a feel for how it relates to the colors and textures already happening in a space.

I picked up a Grecian marble floor tile and beveled subway tile mosaic backsplash…

When Jeff saw it, he commented how much be loved the beveled subway tile, but he raised his eyebrow at the floor tile.  “We’re not going to use floor tiles for our counters, are we?”

I had to laugh at that; that he felt the question even needed to be raised.  I have been known to have some crazy DIY ideas, though…

“Gosh, no!!  That’s just to use as a sample of the kind of slab I would want!”

It’s going to be a while before we get new counters and tackle the backsplash, but it’s fun to dream about for now.  I’m going to get a quote for the counters soon, though, so we know how much we need to save.

I did install the new glass knobs on the cabinet doors and drawers this week, though, and those make a big difference.  I love that they lend a cottagey-look to the kitchen, but still work with the traditional styling of the cabinets.

After installing these, though, I can say that they are a total pain to work with!  The place in the handle where the screw is inserted must be glued on by hand, because no two are the same.  That meant that I had to drill larger holes to allow for the inconsistencies.  It took me a couple of hours to get it all done, so it was slow going, but worth it in the end.  You just have to really want these knobs, because they take some patience and gentle coaxing!

They are perfect, though.  The bar-shape of the handles references the straight handles on the appliances and they add a nice sparkle against the white paint.

And while I was picking up the tile samples, I also bought two $30 plastic shelving units for the laundry room closet.  One day, we’d like to rip that closet out and replace it with built-ins that maximize the space, but this makes the closet more practical in the meantime.

All of the contents on the shelf were stacked around the sink and on the floor, so now I can do laundry without tripping over paint cans!  And I can actually see the sink!  I was washing out brushes in there last night and my youngest did a double-take.  “Oh!  I didn’t know there was a sink in there!”  It was that bad!

And I am finding, that as much as I want to get paint on the walls and projects done, I’m really craving organization.  Even though we’re pretty settled, there are still lots of boxes to unpack, half of the contents of our garage are still a mystery to me, and most of our stuff is wherever we made the split-second decision to put it on moving day, some of it still wrapped in plastic.

So, once the cabinets are done, organization is next on my list.

Before I sign off, I wanted to share something…

The first time I met KariAnne Wood of Thistlewood Farms, she was hanging out of her truck window, honking her horn and joyfully howling at anyone within earshot.  Those who have had the pleasure before smiled and said, “Well, there’s KariAnne.”

And I came to learn that she was a lady who knew how to make an entrance, knew how to make a room full of people laugh, and knew how to rock some red lipstick.  Mixed with all that is boisterous and fun, there’s also a savvy entrepreneur and a woman with a heart for encouraging others by simply being real with them.

Her new book, So Close to Amazing, is an extension of all of that.  If you need a pick-me-up, I would suggest checking it out…



  1. Jan

    What color did you paint your kitchen cabinets? They are beautiful.

  2. Brocanteuserose

    I love the new knobs! The silver was just throwing me off, it just didn’t seem you. It stopped my eye in its tracks,and for such a little thing it sure looks a million times better and more mustardseedy to me! So pretty!

    • Kimberly

      ^This.^ I thought the silver handles themselves were very pretty and I did like them, but they also threw me off somehow and didn’t call “Miss Mustard Seed” to me. These beautiful clear glass handles are PERFECT, and very MMS. They are gorgeous on the cabinets. I’m loving the progress of the kitchen thus far, and that range is gorgeous. I’m a bit green with envy over your laundry room, I’m still living in an apartment and must schlep my laundry up and down stairs to get it done. Ugh! 🙂

  3. Sandi

    You so industrious! Amazing! When do you sleep ?

    • Chris Moore

      I have always wondered that! LOL!

  4. anita

    Read KariAnnes book! Awesome!!!

  5. Darcy Sexson

    My friend actually DID tile her counters with very large floor tiles and it looks awesome! It was a fraction of the cost too. I think if you had something really ugly/not functioning, and needed a budget friendly fix – it’d be something worth doing. 🙂 Your kitchen progress is looking amazing!

    • Jan M Brunette-Hunyady

      I use absolute black granite floor tile with black grout and the matching bullnose for the edge. It reads as a solid piece and only cost me 400 bucks. In 5 yrs we are doing a complete gut of the kitchen and I was undecided if I want black granite or white marble. I now know that I want white marble for my counter tops and black granite on my island. I would have made a big mistake had i done the complete gut right away because I would have gone with absolute black everywhere.

  6. Jeanne

    Love the subway tile–does Home Depot have samples like that or do you just have to buy a piece of whatever it is you are considering?

    • Marian Parsons

      I just bought one piece.

  7. Robin Emineth

    Hey Marian,
    I just love seeing your daily posts and on how things are coming along with your move. We moved recently too, and it’s fun to see where your at in this journey compared to ourselves.
    We moved in on August 6 and decided to jump right into a kitchen remodel. So for the last almost 8 weeks we have been working away at one project or another. This weekend the hub’s will grout the subway tile backsplash and the kitchen will be done. If you interested in options for solid surface for your countertop take a look at Silestone quartz, we bought this in the Lyra model and just love it. It looks like marble with a small grain.
    Our garage is a mess, we have more unpacking to do and yes organization is up next on the list here too.
    Good luck… can’t wait to see your next post.
    Thanks for sharing

  8. Stephanie

    Your kitchen is really coming together. And it’s amazing. I will definitely check out KariAnn’s book – I bet it’s as fun as she is.

  9. Dolores

    You could consider US sourced soapstone for your counters- I absolutely love mine!

  10. Karen

    Your kitchen is looking good! Loving those new handles. I bought mosaic subway tiles for my kitchen and even though I thought they were full sized tiles in a sheet when I ordered them, LOL I ended up loving them. A happy accident. Mine are ceramic though. The cabinets look really good too. I really love watching you transform things.

  11. Teresa

    Thanks for giving a nice shout-out to KariAnne and her new book. I look forward to reading it as she is such a talented writer and storyteller not to mention amazing décor blogger.

    Love the marble subway tile you chose but then again I might be a little prejudiced since this was the same subway tile we chose for our recent bathroom renovation. Cant wait to see you put it all together!

  12. Kathryn

    If you want marble don’t settle for something else​. Marble is amazing….nothing compares!

  13. Lisa

    Hi! I used the exact ones from Home Depot for my kitchen. They brought together the LG Viatera Minuet counters and BM white cabinets nicely. I’m very happy with the way they came out! Happy to send along a pic if it helps!

    • Lisa

      *BM White Dove painted cabinets

  14. MaryLisa Noyes

    I love the marble subway tiles. Make sure you use several coats of sealant as marble will stain. I found out the hard way on my bathroom floor tile! Looking great!

  15. Lorrie

    Love the handles!! We just installed Silestone Quartz, in a marble pattern. I am loving the quartz it is so durable, really no maintenance, and much cheaper than marble. Everyone thinks it really is marble when they see it!

  16. Charry

    Your choice is very pretty. I used statuary white for the counters and a large 4×16
    Pure white subway tile with a pale gray grout…..I love it but, the counters are very hard to keep from etching…….the worst is kids pouring milk and soda.
    Your and I love all the same thing. I have the same little mustard crocks you have with all my vintage butter knives in them.

    • Marian Parsons

      Yes, I have heard that. I’ve also heard, though, that over time, the etching blends in…sort of like scratches in a leather sofa. I just love the soul of marble and don’t think it’s present in the marble alternatives. I think I would regret not getting it, even with the etching and stains.

  17. JC at the uncommon pearl

    The handles were worth the trouble. They look great along with your marble samples.
    I’m reading KariAnne’s book now, and loving it!

  18. Brenda

    Loving the new drawer pulls. They are perfect. Well worth the hassle, for sure.

  19. Colette J.

    I love that tile! We used white subway tile in our kitchen. I was actually looking for something with a bit more character, but hubby insisted on the white subway, which turned our great btw. I love that yours has a hint of color. I’m going to look at it for the cottage that we’re renovating!

  20. Chris Moore

    I love everything you have done, as usual! But the backsplash tiles, aren’t they the same as you had before? Don’t you want something different? They will look great of course, but new house…

    • Marian Parsons

      No, I had a herringbone mosaic before. 🙂

  21. MEM

    We have white Quartz in our two kitchens and four bathrooms. Everyone thinks its marble but is very low maintenance.

  22. Pam

    There is also the new Secolo Porcelain Slab by Walker Zanger. Has all the look of marble but not the maintenance. It is thinner though. It looks like you can also use as it as backsplash as well…pretty stuff.

    • Jo Ann Strosnider

      Will it stain like marble does? I am wondering how you keep marble free of stains when using on kitchen counter tops.

  23. Kay

    How fun is it to inspire others the way that you do! I love the look of a platter hanging over a stove + am thinking I’ll do the same in our kitchen! We have red glass pulls on our white cabs. I was inspired by the colorful kitchen in Allison Kandler’s (SP) Santa Monica home.

  24. Jenny walker

    I just used that backsplash from Home Depot in a kitchen flip! Looks like the color of mine may be a little different color but same tile. It turned out beautiful but mine tile guy just about killed me…it’s not just a “put grout on and wipe off” you have to go around every tile and get out grout so bevel will show. A little more work but worth it!
    I was going to post a picture but it won’t let me!

  25. Sonya Moreau

    I love your choices… getting ready to build a new home so I’m watching what you choose :)…. question for you, what do you think of soapstone for the countertops?

  26. Drew

    Floor tile on your counters would be an interesting choice. Glad you didn’t go in that direction!


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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