Design & Inspiration
Installation Stories: A Vintage Splendor's Kitchen Reveal
All Images: Bethany Nauert
Staying true to her vintage meets modern aesthetic, Annette Vartanian of A Vintage Splendor opted for our Escher pattern for her kitchen backsplash. The kitchen was actually the driving force behind the renovation and they wanted to change everything. Annette and her husband Alan wanted a modern kitchen that payed homage to their 1959 Mid Century Modern Ranch home's roots and decided on the classic walnut and white look; the pop of pattern being our Small Diamonds in White Gloss.
To start can you tell me a bit about about yourself and A Vintage Splendor?
I'm the editor of A Vintage Splendor a lifestyle blog which showcases my vintage meets modern personal style – from my home and wardrobe to travel and motherhood. I launched A Vintage Splendor to inspire and teach readers to shop and integrate vintage into their wardrobe and home for a unique style. I now offer vintage shopping tours in person (and through Instagram stories too) and teach people how to hunt for finds and how to style the pieces they buy.
This is Annette & her husband Alan:
Here's a bit more about Annette:
My style can be described as...Cher meets Carrie Bradshaw.
My design philosophy is...More is more!
I got my start...By following my passion for vintage and making it relatable for people.
I find inspiration in...Books and vintage magazines.
I can't live without...Coffee and ice cream.
My best design advice would be...If you love it, then buy it; you'll find a space for it!
I love tile because....It adds texture, color, pattern, and a luxe feel to a space.
Now on to your project:
Can you tell me about this home? Were you remodeling the entire house or just certain rooms?
Our home is a 1959 Mid Century Modern Ranch home which we purchased from the original owner. It had about 10 years of deferred maintenance on it so there were a lot of things that needed to be fixed. The kitchen was the biggest project and it was the driving force behind the renovation. We didn't do the entire house, but we fixed up the exterior, refinished wood floors, updated the guest bath, decorating the nursery, replaced the vinyl tile with terrazzo tile in the entryway, and earthquake retrofitted the house. Next up is turning the upstairs rec room into a master suite.
For your kitchen remodel, what were you working to change?
THE WHOLE THING! Really everything had to be replaced and we wanted to open up the kitchen to the dining room. We kept the same galley layout, but opened up the wall so when you're cooking at the stove, you can see into the dining room, patio and deck. It's made it a perfect space for entertaining.
What type of look or aesthetic were going for?
We wanted a modern kitchen that stayed true to its mid century modern roots. We decided on the walnut and white kitchen and added pattern with the backsplash.
What made you go for our Small Diamond in an Escher pattern? Were there other contenders?
Alan: Annette had seen a picture of a bar with a similar pattern backsplash and fell in love.
Annette: Alan tracked it down: #HappyWifeHappyLife
What made you go for White Gloss with a contrasting grout?
We both wanted the Escher pattern to pop and the dark grey grout helps achieve that look. It also ties in with the terrazzo flooring and is a nice color balance between the white and walnut.
Design tip: Have a window in your kitchen? You'll likely need some form of trim to go around it. Annette and Alan chose 1x6 flatliners with a glazed edge to go around theirs, for more ideas on trimming out your window, check out this blog.
How did the installation process go? Did you face any challenges?
Overall our kitchen installation process was really easy with a couple of hiccups. Originally our tile mason thought he could create the diamond pattern by cutting it from ordinary square tiles. Not surprisingly, it turned out to be too complicated to cut (even in the shop), so we had to decide if we would settle for subway tiles or hunt down the diamond pattern we wanted. Fortunately, Alan found Fireclay, but we had to wait a wait a month to finish the backsplash while we waited for the Fireclay shipment to arrive. However, the diamond Escher pattern was exactly the look we wanted as a design statement, and everyone who visits comments on it, so it was definitely worth it.
Lastly, are there any other of our color/shapes/patterns that you're hoping to use in future projects?
Yes, we love the Ogee Drop Tile in Teardrop pattern. We'd love to use it for our master bath renovation (hopefully coming up soon) in Bora Bora or Basalt. Two totally different looks, but that's what we love about this pattern.
Tile Shown: Ogee Drop in Bora Bora
Tile Shown: Ogee Drop in Basalt
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