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Let me start by saying that I have the best daddy in the world. Yes, I said “daddy.”  I’m a Southerner through-and-through and that’s what we call our fathers — especially the doting, do-anything-for-their-kids type. There’s no home-improvement project he can’t conquer and I’m proud to say that I inherited my can-do gene from him.

My 1950′s kitchen has seen quite a few upgrades in the five years I’ve owned my home but the backsplash has always seemed lacking. So this summer, I decided the time had finally come to install a tile backsplash. Because I like to go big, I chose marble subway tile — fragile, costly, moisture-sensitive Carrara marble. Probably not the best choice for my first tiling project, but that’s how I roll.

My parents made the drive from North Carolina so my Dad could teach me the ways of the force while I did my research and sourced all the materials we’d need so we could knock it out in a long weekend.

Before: Not bad but it could be better. The paint color is Valspar Jekyll Club Pulitzer Blue, if you’re wondering:

kitchen backsplash before

After: So much brighter! I had can lights plus a ceiling fan plus halogen lights over the sink installed years ago so, even with a somewhat dark paint color, the kitchen was bright before. But I LOVE how the marble reflects light: marble kitchen backsplash

I was a little concerned that the high-end marble would look out of place with my (not-so-high-end) laminate countertops but they actually look great together:marble kitchen backsplash

 I especially love how my thrifted Blue Willow and Rose Chintz teacups look against the new backsplash:marble kitchen backsplash

Here’s a final wide shot of the Before :kitchen backsplash before

And the After:Finished marble kitchen backsplash

Much better, don’t you think? Total, the cost of all materials plus renting a wet tile saw for the weekend was $650. I needed enough tile to cover 33 square feet so you can adjust your cost estimate (more or less) based on how many square feet you need.

Ready to show your kitchen some backsplash love? Don’t worry, it’s easier than you think: I’ll teach you how to install a backsplash step-by-step. Don’t have a weekend to spare? We have many more kitchen projects broken down into doable time frames for you in our Fast Fix: Kitchens feature.

38 Responses

  1. Briana@HGTV says:

    Wow, what a difference! The backsplash really makes your kitchen. Nicely done! :)

  2. Lovely! I would marry carrara marble if I could!! That sounded weird… anyway it was the inspiration for our master bath remodel http://www.at-altitude.com/master-bathroom-remode

  3. Mins says:

    They should've gotten rid of the blue at top

  4. veta says:

    I can't believe that the tiling was the next thing on your list of kitchen upgrades over 5 years! I would have painted those cabinets out and put on new handles within a month! With the new tile, they look even more horribly outdated. Please tell me you're planning on changing them somehow!

  5. [...] DIY Kitchen Backsplash: Before and After HGTV Design Happens Wed, August 22, 2012 2:12 PM UTC HGTV Design Happens Rate Share (function(){var [...]

  6. Diane says:

    Love the backsplash!

  7. Karen M. says:

    Wow…just beautiful and what a difference. Looks beyond great. And to the person who said something about you painting the cabinets…I wouldn't change a thing. They are rich wood and so classic and the and the handles are perfect. I love them and also those shutters over your window. Love love love. Your kitchen is perfect!

  8. Carrie says:

    You have a great kitchen!

  9. Marianne@HGTV says:

    Gorgeous, Camille!!

  10. Blake says:

    Love it when you show us photos of your home. Beautiful.

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H. Camille SmithCamille is a managing editor for HGTV.com, fine artist and antique furniture devotee. As a former interior designer and Nickelodeon animator, she has a real passion for balanced, beautiful interiors...

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