Monday, 16 May 2016

Subway tiles suck

There. I’ve said it. Publically. I might be taking my life in my hands, but I hate subway tiles. I mean, I REALLY hate subway tiles. And every time I clean the shower in our rental house, I hate subway tiles even more. How can a person hate subway tiles, you might ask - they’re classic and timeless! Well, they’re not so classic and definitely not timeless when you’re scrubbing soap scum and dirt out of all of the grout lines between those boring white tiles.

The first thing that pops into my mind when I hear “subway tiles” is a subway station. There’s a reason why these suckers are called subway tiles… they were first used in subway stations in New York City in the early 1900s. This is the ticket office at the former City Hall subway station in New York City in 1904.

ticket stationSource

And over a hundred years later, subway tiles are still going strong in subway stations around the world.


subway 1


New York City…

subway station ig


Budapest too. Dressing them up with a fancy sign doesn’t make them look any better!

subway tile budapest

For some reason, people really liked these subway tiles, and they quickly moved from subway stations into people’s homes – and never left.

subway kitchen ig 2


subway kitchen ig


apt ther subway


Sure, these kitchens are nice, those backsplashes are so boring! With so many pretty and interesting and unique tiles to choose from, why pick boring white subway tiles?

Subway tiles are bad enough with white grout – using a dark grout makes them look doubly bad. Even triply bad. Possibly quadruply bad.

subway kitchen ig 3


rilane subway 2


For the love of god, even on the ceiling?!?!

subway 2


Why, when there are so many beautiful and interesting and unique tiles to choose from, would a person choose white subway tiles? These are some of my design projects – not a single subway tiles to be seen…

tiles 1

tiles 2

tiles 3



ensuite 2

These are big white matte tiles in the shower – easy to clean and not a lot of grout lines to clean. I highly recommend big white matte tiles for every shower!

shower half wall out[8]

OK, I have to come clean – I did use subway tiles once. But it wasn’t my fault – I was designing a bathroom on a tiny budget and in a tiny time frame. Subway tiles fit the bill because they’re cheap and easy to find, and I had to buy everything for the bathroom in one day. But I laid them in a 1/3 offset pattern to make them look a bit less subway station-ish. Plus when the star of the bathroom is massive composting toilet, subway tiles don’t look too awful. And no need to worry about cleaning grout :-)

cottage toilet

cottage subway 1

Wanna curse me and my dislike of subway tiles? I’m ready, bring it! :-D

kb logo 1a

Sunday, 8 May 2016

From brown & old to bright & bold

dresser makeover

A couple of weeks ago, I met up with my friend Victoria who was in Lunenburg visiting Wendy from Front Porch Mercantile. Victoria and her brother own The FAT Paint Company and Wendy sells FAT Paint in her shop and is also the FAT Paint distributor for the Maritimes. So after spending time with these two paint ladies, I felt a need to do some FAT painting :-)

I picked up this dresser at a garage sale last summer with the plan to paint it. Which I kept putting off doing. Until a couple of days ago when I finally goy my butt in gear and got ‘er done.

dresser before

If you know me, you know that my favourite colours are purple, turquoise, and green. I was going to paint the dresser turquoise, but then I decided I needed to move out of my comfort zone. And boy, did I ever! I picked up a few cans of paint from the new Amanda Forrest collection…

FAT paint

And then cracked open a can…. Orangeapalooza anyone? :-D


I gotta be honest, there were some moments when I wondered what I was thinking – this is no shrinking violet colour! I broke up the orange a bit by painting the drawer fronts Blushing Bombshell.

I gotta be honest again –  I was too lazy to fill the holes in the drawer fronts and I couldn’t find any pulls I liked that fit the 3” spacing. So I picked up a can of Krylon spray paint and just painted the existing pulls and knobs gold.

knobs     pull

A coat of wax and some buffing, and voila, my new Orangepalooza & Blushing Bombshell dresser…

front view

side view

top drawer

And there you go – from brown & old to bright & bold!

kb logo 1a


Linking to…

Between Naps on the Porch Metamorphosis Monday

Friday, 6 May 2016

Bon Voyage Picton Castle!

We were driving home around 7:00 last night and I saw a ship in the bay across the road from our house. I ran inside and got my camera to snap some pictures. Unfortunately, it was grey and drizzly and the ship was kind of far off, so this is the best I could do with my zoom lens…


Looks kinda like a pirate ship, doesn’t it? :-) I posted the picture on Facebook, and a friend told me that the ship is the Picton Castle – which happens to be my favourite Lunenburg ship! As it turns out, Picton Castle is heading across the Atlantic on a three month voyage to France and was anchoring in the bay overnight.

I was hoping to get some better pictures this morning, but I had no idea what time she was leaving. I went outside to check the bay around 8:15 and she was still anchored in the same spot. Woot! I got my camera and drove up the road a bit to hopefully get some closer shots. But when I got there, she was gone. No problem, I’d already picked out the perfect spot to see her sail out to the open ocean. I got there in about five minutes, and I was right – it WAS the perfect spot! There was the Picton Castle right in front of me…. surrounded by fog. CRAP! So much for best laid plans…. I took a bunch of pictures and played around with a couple of the better ones to try and make them less fuzzy. This is the best I could do…

in the mist pm2a


in the mist pm4a

And then a few minutes later, she was completely hidden by the fog….

waves and fog pm1a

Here’s a better picture I took of Picton Castle when we were in Lunenburg in 2009.

picton castle 3

And a few recent pictures that were taken on a less foggy day in Lunenburg :-)

picton castle 1


picton castle 2


Bon Voyage to Picton Castle and her crew! And here’s hoping for a sunny day when she returns to Lunenburg in a few months!

kb logo 1a

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Kitchen contemplation – Cabinets

We’re still a long way off from decorating our house – it’s not even a hole on the ground yet! But I’ve been saving inspiration pictures for the last 1-1/2 years, and thought it would be nice to take a break from the build stuff to share some of my ideas.

First up is the kitchen. This is a tough one – it’s one of those rooms where you REALLY want to make sure you get it right, because it’s not so easy to change it up a few years down the road. That being said, I’m seriously leaning towards blue cabinets. We’re only going to have lower cabinets, no uppers. The main kitchen wall is going to be all windows from the tops of the countertops up to the ceiling, so there won’t be a tiled backsplash. So blue cabinets would be a great way to bring colour into the kitchen.

I really like the combination of cobalt blue, grey, white, and light wood in this kitchen.



This kitchen is very similar to the one above – is that even the same stove?!

love it or list it 2


These cabinets are more of a navy blue. Hey, what’s up with these stoves!?

Navy, white & brass kitchen - Studio McGee


This was my original thought for the kitchen – grey cabinets with a navy island.

indigo island


I was also thinking of maybe going with light stained wood cabinets, but I think we’ll have enough wood in the house with ceiling beams and hardwood flooring. Although I do really like this look too….

light wood cabinets


And let’s not even get started on countertops and appliances and faucets and flooring… so many decisions to make and we’ve barely started!

What do you think about blue kitchen cabinets?

kb logo 1a