Kitchen Update: Subway Tile Backsplash

Why I chose subway tile kitchen backsplash-Holly on Hummingbird

Subway tile backsplash

I’ve been looking forward to sharing this post with you! What started out as a broken dishwasher turned into a new subway tile backsplash–and it turned out better than expected!

We have some major plans for our little kitchen, but will updating it in phases as we can afford it. It’s going to drive me crazy, but I promised to reign it in and be patient. I know that I’ll regret making that promise at some point… I’m more of a rip-the-band-aid-off kind of girl and unfinished projects just eat at me.

A great example of this is when the dishwasher needed to be replaced. Obviously we needed to get a really nice stainless steel Bosch, but that would look ridiculous with the remaining outdated black appliances, right?!  So I suggested that we get a new refrigerator and then found an uh-mazing deal on a range that we just couldn’t pass up. 

But, since the range was a slide-in and we wanted a vent hood instead of a built-in microwave, it left two really ugly untiled spaces in the backsplash. So it was only natural that we tear out the ugly green and brown mosaic tile and replace it with subway tile.

Subway tile backsplash-before and after


Our kitchen isn’t awful–it’s just that whoever picked the finishes had absolutely horrendous taste. So luckily, we can make some cosmetic changes and end up with a pretty nice kitchen.  I picture lots of white with black accents, and a built-in banquette.

why I chose subway tile

Subway Tile

I have a little bit of an obsession with subway tile. I used to think it was boring, but I inherited a lot of it with our house in Denver and I guess it just grew on me. It’s so much more versatile that you’d think, but it’s also classic.

Subway tile will never go out of style–it’s definitely a safe choice in that regard. But you can get super creative with it and take risks with the grout color and tile pattern. I really wanted to go with black grout, but I was afraid it would be too much of a contrast for the kitchen so I went two shades lighter (right in the middle on the grayscale) and I’m so happy I did!

BEfore and after-subway tile backsplash DIY


The white tile immediately opened up the whole room and brought in so much light! It was unexpected to see such a drastic change. And the gray grout provided that bit of contrast and style that I was looking for.

Under 200-Kitchen Backsplash

For a basic mosaic backsplash tile, you’re looking at spending between $5-$10 per square foot on the low, low end. Subway tile, however is only $1.84 psf at Home Depot! We only spent about $100 on tile, so after grout, mortar and a few other supplies, we were able to install a new backsplash for less that $200.  

White Subway tile kitchen backsplash-holly on hummingbird

Why I chose white subway tile for my kitchen backsplash

Phase two will be painting the cabinets and changing out the hardware, so be sure to subscribe over there on the left so that you can follow along! 

Bathroom Remodel Inspiration

Bathroom Remodel Inspiration

I just share my master bath makeover with you, and it sounds insane, but we’re planning a bathroom remodel.

We’ve been so busy the past month dealing with a little plumbing problem (which I can’t share too much about) and we’re pretty much forced to go ahead and do the bathroom remodel now. It’s been crazy hectic calling contractors, meeting with them and getting quotes! We’ve also been working with a space planner to ensure that we’re utilizing our square footage to the max, and we’re now on round four… But, it’s also super exciting!

I’ve spent lots of time searching for inspiration and trying to figure out what I want, which is a ton of fun but also a little overwhelming.  Especially since I have such expensive taste! I think I’ve finally got a pretty clear picture of what I want to do, and lucky for me, Mike and I generally agree on these things (I do have great taste, after all…)

I love all white bathrooms, but I’ve really been into black and white lately.  I’d love to incorporate brass hardware as well, but that’s the one thing Mike didn’t agree with, so I’ll let him win that one.  And by win, I mean that I’ll do it in the guest bathroom instead. ;)

I will share our space plans with y’all next week, but in the mean time I thought I’d share some of the photos I’ve been swooning over.  Whenever I’m looking for ideas and inspiration I generally have a few go-to sites: Pinterest, Houzz, MyDomaine and Apartment Therapy.

Here’s some of my favorite bathroom remodel inspiration:

Mixed Media

I love how they mixed up the metals in this bathroom. Chrome on the vanity lights, brushed nickel on the faucets and drawer pulls, and then the glass knobs on the drawers. It just goes to show that you don’t have to be matchy-matchy.


White cabinets-bathroom remodel

 (Image via Pinterest)


Tile Patterns

I love creating texture with tile, and I can’t get over the way they used different patterns and textures within the same color scheme.  Notice the hexagon pattern on the shower floor–that’s a must in my new shower!

mydomaine bathroom photo

 (Image via Apartment Therapy)


Wood on white

I have really found myself drawn to this trend of wood on white, and this bathroom is ideal. I love how they’ve incorporated this amazing vanity (I’m seriously in love) into the all-white color scheme. Based on the comments on this post, it was custom made in NYC, so it likely cost the same amount as my entire remodel budget… I’ve gotta find someone to make this for me!

midcentury modern bathroom vanity

 (Image via Houzz)


Subway Tile

It’s so basic, but I just love white subway tile. It never goes out of style and it’s super cheap. Lowe’s sells it for 72 cents a tile–you can’t beat it!  I’m definitely going to be using it in my new bathroom, but I’m on the fence with the black grout. I go back and forth on it–what do you think?

white subway tile-bathroom remodel

 (Image via Pinterest)


Black + White Geometric Tile

This is a seriously bold look, but I really love it. I think it adds character and definitely some style! I’m thinking that maybe I’ll use something similar for the shower floor.

white-black bathroom remodel inspiration

 (Image via Pinterest)


Tile Accent Walls

I really want to do a tiled wall above the vanity.  I think it’s a great way to create a really elegant look, and would be an ideal spot to use some of the more expensive tile I’ve found since it’s just a small area.  This is the tile I’ve been dreaming of for this.

tile for bathroom remodel

 (Image via MyDomaine)

We have so many choices to make! Stay tuned to see the space plans next week and to find out how this bathroom remodel turns out later on.