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It’s taken a few days—scratch that. It’s taken many, many, many days and countless hours of toiling through pages and pages of instructions that don’t make sense to assemble the new cabinetry in my sister’s basement. I think my brother-in-law is ready to strangle me. I don’t blame him.


Yes, there’s still a tiny bit more work to be done: the kick boards need to be put in place, and obviously there’s a door missing. But considering that this thing came in 800 different pieces, I think my brother-in-law deserves a beer even though he wouldn’t drink it.

TOTALLY against the BYU honor code. Maybe I’ll buy him a huge Sprite.



Is it custom? Of course not. Custom is not in the budget. But you know what? The custom cabinetry that the previous owners of our house installed in the kitchen in 2003 is currently falling apart. So custom doesn’t always equal quality. That’s called design expertise by experience! It’s a design philosophy I like to call Kids Destroy Things.

Before I even took on this project my brother-in-law had already ordered doors for all the rooms in the basement. And they look like this:


A little bit country, not at all rock-n-roll. Like I said previously, I think one of my main challenges with this project is marrying my sister’s traditional style with my modern taste. So when we were thinking about cabinetry I wanted something that could combine both design styles without looking like a neglected stepchild.

So we chose a shaker-style door with a beech veneer and coupled it with sleek stainless steel hardware and a smooth black countertop. It’s simple and clean, and it leaves us a lot of room to play in terms of what we do with the wall above it. Internet, WHAT DO WE DO WITH THAT WALL?

I’m thinking of a glass tile backsplash, either in a square or rectangular pattern:


Or, do we sand that wall and just paint it? Do we hang some mirrors? Perhaps etch a skull and bones with the blood of a goat? I mean, the possibilities.

What is your experience with this kind of space?


Design Inspiration

72 Responses

  1. likeitaged says:

    I would use the doors and the 2nd tile sample (top row, 2nd over). First, I would trim the wall surface over the cabinets in 1×4's. Then put the tile in verticall, tying it into the doors vertical lines. The colors used in the trim, tiles and doors can tie them together with the cabinets and cabinet top colors. I think if you don't go overboard with the paint, it could turn out nice. Have fun, likeitaged

  2. ShanneBarcott says:

    It all depends on what the function of this space will be. If it's bound to be a kitchen then a glass backsplash with some open metal shelving would look nice.

  3. Judy Kelly says:

    The glass tile in the upper right corner is what I would choose. The color is great and I love the clean look. The cabinets are awesome. Wish I had them in a room that I am transforming into a space for furry foster animals.

  4. Can't wait to see the finished room! But really I just want y'all to click my name, read my blog so maybe one day I can make $40,000 a month…

  5. Katie says:

    I like the rectangular glass tiled back splash (the third option) and some shelves. They should think about how some day they will sell that house and it should look like a wet bar, so even though they won't display beer steins and wine glasses, they could display regular glasses and any art pieces they have. I don't know about mirrors if the BYU wall is going to be opposite in the family room. That would just be too much BYU going on.

  6. [...] more: Design Happens » Archive » Tackling a Blank Slate  March 18th, 2010  admin   No [...]

  7. EFeDesigns says:

    I disagree with some of the commenters…that wall is not too big to cover in glass tiles. It would however be expensive, so it depends on what your budget is. I could see using a multi-colored glass mosaic tile and adding a few shelves into the mix (one long thin one with a shorter thin one above). It would make for a good place to accessorize.

    If the sink isn't used much though, you really don't need to go as heavy duty as tile. Paint would suffice. But if you're going for visual, glass tile will certainly give you that.

  8. erikka says:

    what if you paint it with chalk board paint so people can use it as the important dates, things to do, shopping list area? add two borders of colored tiles…just a thought for all that wall.

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