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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. Amy says:

    What will the counter and that sink be used for? Food prep, craft time, cleaning up muddy kids, rinsing out sprite bottles. Each will require different wall accessories. Who wants tons of groute lines covered in finger paint splatter!

  2. Lisa says:

    This is a design I like and I can envision it easily as tile, or paint, above the counter. For some reason, when I saw the wall, this is what I pictured:


  3. Michelle says:

    How about an opaque glass splashback. No grooves, clean, modern and they can keep a cup full of colourful whiteboard markers nearby if people want to indulge their artistic talents.

  4. jaimie says:

    what are the cabinets for? maybe paint and then use the wall to display some of the kids' artwork nicely framed? since it's in the basement you can have a little more fun with it.

  5. Abby says:

    I know what you are going through because I recently remodeled a kitchen with IKEA cabinents. It wasn't easy. I love the idea of a tile backsplash! I've seen the small square tiles look really nice, but they seem hard to clean with all the little grooves. My choice would be the one color uniform stacked tiles, less trendy. Anyway, looking good!

  6. leslie says:

    here's what i did with my kitchen: white cabinets, black countertops, white marble subway tile backsplash, brushed nickel hardware. not too traditional, not super modern. see it here. (hoping my link works)

  7. Erin D. says:

    Dude, that is a huge horking wall. I think tile would be overwhelming. Maybe some horizontally-oriented, possibly 3-D artwork and some nice paint?

  8. Iris says:

    I like the multi-sized rectangles. It's interesting.

  9. Danielle says:

    My five year old says, "put pictures up there, pictures that say I Love You."

  10. We have those doors throughout our house. Best of the worst builder options made available to us.

    Rectangular tile would be great, with a mirror above. No blue or grey tile, though, I'm thinking.

    Have you checked out Canadian House & Home for inspiration? Am I allowed to say that here, or is that crass?

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