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  1. Meryl
    June 7, 2018 @ 1:02 pm

    I love all of it and I empathize emphatically (like that?). I have lived with open shelves, pot racks, etc. and all you have to do is make stovetop popcorn once and all those pots pans plates cups ladles lids get a film that requires soap and Bon Ami to clean. Every single time you want to use one of them, you have to clean it first. Or so I have found. I guess I COULD tarp it all whenever I cook, but seems even worse.

    That round sink, though? I WANT!!!


  2. pamela
    June 7, 2018 @ 1:07 pm



  3. Jana
    June 7, 2018 @ 1:28 pm

    Hello Victoria, I have carrara marble subway tile for my kitchen backsplash, which I love. I used the identical tile in our master shower, and there is a scant grout line, which is exactly what I prefer (truly never looks anything but pristine). This was a new build, and I had “professionals” install all the tile in our bathrooms.

    I found a great resource online for the tile, less expensive than ANYWHERE, and the tile arrived perfect, no broken pieces, on time, and again it cost me under $200 for my entire kitchen backsplash! This company sends e-mail pics of the slab/tile that is spot on to what it looks like “in person”. I installed it with a friend, and it was a fast easy install. The tile was cut by the company to be as perfectly even, flat, and crisp as you would get with a ceramic subway. I’d tiled in the past but did not want to undertake a marble job. However my quotes were insanely high, and it did not look very difficult. The tile is a good match for my carrara countertops. I’m happy to share the company info as well;, NOT not “Builder’s”. The tile is easy to wipe clean and with barely a grout line, (I chose the lightest grey). I have pics I’m more than happy to share. In my opinion, humbly open shelves look great in photos are on trend. However, the dust, and grease regardless of how often you cook will make this just another chore to add to your list. Unless your open shelves come with a housekeeper, enjoy your mirror. Make that the star, get some uppers to the ceiling that you will love!


  4. Jessica
    June 7, 2018 @ 1:38 pm

    I have a DEEP OBSESSION for chinoiserie wallpaper too but haven’t found a place to use it either. I’m hoping to use it on removable panels in our dining room inside some fancy (way too complicated & detailed for our 9’ ceilings) form of full wall moldings. I say go for it, some cranes would fit beautifully into your house & you can get antique handpainted chinoiserie paper and use it on removable panels 😉


  5. Bernie
    June 7, 2018 @ 1:43 pm

    I would be thrilled with 9′ ceilings….I’m stuck with 8′

    Think Nike….Just Do It!

    Easy for me to say….I’m obsessing between stone/wood/whitewashed brick for a mountain house fireplace.


  6. BeBe
    June 7, 2018 @ 2:32 pm

    Like the subway tile with light grout idea. How about antique scroll work wrought iron brackets? Spray paint them the color you prefer. Black or navy would add interest and contrast. Forget glass shelving unless you or your housekeeper (?) enjoy the task of cleaning off the grease and junk that accumulates quickly, especially in a kitchen with no vent hood or downdraft. I’m not being critical, just practical. I share your distaste for vent hoods and with my kitchen reno in 2005 chose a chunky Jenn Air duel fuel range with built in downdraft. Love it. I collect antique tole trays and the first large one I bought in 1988, I immediately envisioned as a back splash over my range in my future dream kitchen. ‘Tis there now, my inspiration piece, surrounded by the antique copper molds I’ve amassed. I am under 5 feet tall, so overhead cabinets are wasted on me. Plus, was 56 at time of reno and did not want to be kicking around a foot stool to reach any items on second shelves or above. Fear of falling creeps in as one approaches this age. 69 now and no regrets. For storage, I reclaimed a pantry the previous owners used for the fridge. The only lower cupboard I have is under the sink. I opted for drawers, big deep ones that hold everything from pots and pans to my everyday dishes! No back strain. Look forward to your blog and enjoy you humor and writing. Wish I knew how to attach a photo. Keep your eye on the prize and know you will have the kitchen worth waiting for, the kitchen you and the multi-talented and skilled St. Paul designed and worked like Trojans to achieve.


  7. Lisa Smith
    June 7, 2018 @ 2:51 pm

    My former occupation was a cleaner and restorer of stone. Marble is a really poor choice for a surface that gets regular use as it is very susceptible to acid etching and also very soft and porous. Unless you want to get someone like me out there every couple months to diamond hone and polish it, consider granite or quartz and use an impregnating sealer at least yearly. Also – I echo the dust, grease and grime issue with open shelving. If you have a cleaning service, great….but in my experience they are often ignorant of how to properly clean delicate surfaces and items without damaging them and when stuff has to get moved for dusting frequently, the chance for breaks and chips goes up immensely. I also like to have storage for my “less beautiful” kitchen equipment and food/spices where it is well hidden. I loved the glass front bookcases though, and they would help with the dirt/grime issues. I love the piano island and think making it the star and focus of the room would be fabulous.


  8. Teri in the UK
    June 7, 2018 @ 3:10 pm

    TRAIN TRACKS ALL THE TRAIN TRACKS COVER THE ENTIRE WALL IN NOTHING BUT TRAIN TRACKS OH MY GODFREY CAN YOU IMAGINE . . . . . . ok I just had a brain explosion – I blame it on all the talk about Subway tiles. Subway tiles in England were used for basement public toilets and I smell that smell when I see 18 trillion gazillion pics of subway tiles. I even had to google for train Racks.
    love you lots xx


  9. Carrie
    June 7, 2018 @ 3:20 pm

    “It is a puzzle to find all the right pieces to fit together… liking them individually is surprisingly unhelpful.”

    SO… MUCH… THIS!!!

    Designers in articles are always saying, “Just buy what you love and it’ll all fit together!”


    This is why I have 46,322 ginormous vases that dwarf every table in my small apartment. And two gorgeous Brutalist ceramic boxes that I cannot find a place for ANYWHERE in this Palm Beach color-splosion I call a home.

    It is very hard to be an aesthete… .


  10. di
    June 7, 2018 @ 3:34 pm

    i have to say I much prefer the framed shelving seems to me to be fancier and neater, containg and framing what ever you put on them. And floating shelving the same colour as the wall makes it less obtrusive glass will highlight dirt and dust. The big open shelving takes away from the fancy turning this beautiful kitchen into an indusrial looking thing. Just my opinion of course and self is self but you invited opinion añd thats mine


  11. di
    June 7, 2018 @ 3:56 pm

    Also love the subway tiles oh yes and open shelves with cats…. fur traps and climbing frames = smashed dishes dust and cleaning everything before use every time…..


  12. Shirley
    June 7, 2018 @ 5:33 pm

    Somehow, Victoria, I just can’t reconcile the clean, precise and minimalist aesthetic of the rest of your house with the implied visual clutter of open shelving in your kitchen. Sorry, Love, it just does not compute!


  13. Robin
    June 7, 2018 @ 5:37 pm

    My son (a designer) suggested getting a very good quality wallpaper for our backsplash – then using a sheet of glass cut to size to protect it. Easy to clean, and to remove when I get bored and want a change. I ADORE the funky hidden creatures in the handmade paper by Grow House Grow.


    • Funky Cold
      June 8, 2018 @ 1:47 am

      That’s exactly what I’m planning to do! I loathe grout lines (I have penny tile flooring which has put me off grout for as long as I live), so a sheet of glass is perfect, and like you say, it’s easy enough to change if ever needed.


  14. Peggy
    June 7, 2018 @ 7:31 pm

    Marble-looking subway tile laid in a herringbone pattern is downright “fancy”!


  15. Holly
    June 7, 2018 @ 7:35 pm

    OK, here’s the deal with subway tile: it’s timeless and, of course, it’s perfect for your house. Duh.
    It must be flat, not beveled like post-1920 tile, and the grout lines must be tight. That’s the way my subway tiles are in our 110-year-old kitchen – it’s on our walls and ceiling, also in the original bathroom and up the back stairs. Find this type of tile online at
    Also, if you decide to go with marble shelves, would love to know how you hang them. Can’t find any marble thinner than 3cm thick and my dream of marble shelves with gorgeous nickel brackets is slowly vanishing…


  16. Mary
    June 7, 2018 @ 7:55 pm

    I love subway tile. Mine is light grout and in a herringbone pattern.


  17. Claudia Young
    June 7, 2018 @ 10:12 pm

    I just do not like any of the pictures of the open shelves. They scream messy and dusty. I have fur children and a fur grandchild who visits almost daily. My refrigerator is full of their hair. There is hair on the stuff in the cabinets at times. The bathrooms are full of fur and they never are in there. And you have kitties. Won’t they climb on them? Oh well, I hope they work out fabulously . Obviously you are gifted decorator so I’m sure they’ll look beautiful.


  18. Ingrid
    June 7, 2018 @ 10:33 pm

    I love subway, been using it for 30 years. My fav marble source is builder Depot direct online, but I think in your neck of the woods. They have big sizes too. I just did a shower in them, love it. I can’t believe the fabulous photos you found! I want that round sink. It’s a GFT you must have!!!


  19. Dana H
    June 7, 2018 @ 10:37 pm

    I’ve just come to need a stopper for a vintage pedestal sink. Though I’ve never been, this place is close to me.

    A little scary because there are hardly any prices.


  20. Funky Cold
    June 8, 2018 @ 1:44 am

    Subway tile is fabulous! And, as far as backsplash tiles can go, it doesn’t have to be terribly expensive. I’m planning a kitchen reno for my Edwardian home, and gave subway tile some serious thought, but have finally settled on a period appropriate wallpaper with a clear glass overlay.


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