Luxe HQ has recently undergone a bit of a makeover.
For those of you out there that are self-confessed decorating addicts like me you will all understand the necessity to keep things ‘fresh’. I am pleased to say that Mr Luxe has all but given up trying to deter me from new projects now. However he did have a few things to say about the kitchen splash back idea I had…
So the splash back has had a number of looks over the last year or so. We started off with boring white which lasted a grand total of 5 minutes. Oh so long you say, well I had to get the lid off the paint tin didn’t I!? From white it went to gold metallic. This was OK, a bit so-so. A bit ‘hmmmmm it’s nice but it’s not WOW’.
The next part was the stage where it went right off the ‘definitely not magnolia’ richter scale and we entered uncharted waters. It was incredibly satisfying painting the terrazzo pattern and even more so peeling the masking tape off afterwards. In fact, this particular splash back incarnation stayed for a number of months.
Gone went the pink ombre wall (much to the disdain of several Instagram followers, sorry guys) and in its place came a (surprisingly) calm and grown-up décor. There was a mass de-cluttering spree that should have really culminated in a skip but instead meant several trips to the local dump. Much of the living area became more paired back and colour palettes were tamed.
But do not for one instant think I have gone all vanilla on you. I’m starting to realise that being brave doesn’t always mean using ‘out-there’ colours or brash patterns. Sometimes it can be something as simple as introducing a different texture or a more daring finish.
I lived with the space for a while, you know maybe six or seven minutes. I’m joking! Then decided the splash back was an area where definite impact could be added. It was a closed off space that didn’t interfere with other walls or living zones. It is also the center piece for the kitchen which it is framed by.
Unfortunately the budget was its normal one week children’s allowance and this included labour. Luckily my hourly rate is a measly green tea and jammy dodger so we were well under way! I sourced the tiles online via a company called Home Lava.
To say I was dubious was an understatement. The website looked OK but there was a definite feel that they sold everything and anything and probably nothing too well. The tiles I chose had a gold finish stainless steel coating in a mosaic style with mesh fiber-glass backing. I put my money where my mouth was and ordered a square meter, not being quite sure if they would ever arrive.
A week or so later I received a telephone call from Guanzhong in China. The lady spoke English reasonably well and we managed to confirm the quantity needed. To my surprise the parcel turned up a few days later. With a mixture of total trepidation and excitement I opened the box. To my absolute delight the tiles were completely stunning and looked much more expensive than their actual cost.
The fun part was convincing Mr Luxe of the method I believed they should be installed. When the tiles arrived they were supplied in a conventional tile format backed onto mesh for ease of installation. This meant that each tile had a 5mm surrounding gap to allow for grout.
This was not the end look that I had in mind. Mr Luxe wanted to cut the tiles so that they started on a straight line parallel to the work top riser. My eyes nearly popped out of their sockets when he suggested this. Cut the tiles dreams were made of? I think not.
I wanted more irregularity, no straight lines and definitely no grout. I hate and loathe grout. It’s messy to install and always needs to be frequently replaced. So when Mr Luxe was away working for a few days I decided to put my master plan into action.
I removed all of the tiles from the mesh backing. This is a pain to do but once I had a system going I managed to only incur a couple of cuts to the fingers.
As I mentioned, grout was a definite no-no. I have no tiling experience whatsoever so decided to go with an adhesive that said exactly what it was on the tin – No More Nails.
The hardest part probably was getting the actual tube into the gun dispenser. Once this was done it was incredibly easy to attach the tiles to the wall.
Only a small dollop of No More Nails adhesive is needed in the center of the tile.
I arranged my tiles in a haphazard style with no pattern and as little symmetry as possible.
And to be honest, that was that! The adhesive is absolute no nonsense so be certain of where you want the tile to finish up before touching it to the wall. Avoid touching or cleaning the tiles for a good few hours after completion. I left mine overnight then simply sprayed with a glass cleaner and buffed up with a microfiber cloth.
Hope you enjoyed my little 'how to' tutorial! Until next time, lots of love, G x