I’ve heard it said that the kitchen is the heart of the home.  That is absolutely the truth in our home.  It’s the room where children and puppies beg for treats, where my hubby and I sneak kisses and chocolate, and where food simmers and heirloom cookbooks come alive.

When we purchased our house, the downstairs had been completely remodeled and was virtually a blank slate.  The kitchen was fresh and shiny with new cabinets, basic appliances, and a very nice pantry.

But it was very plain.

White walls and very little color.

I’m not one for crazy paint colors, wallpaper, and faux finishes and I don’t have the overwhelming urge (or $$$) to buy all stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops just to make a change, but our kitchen needed a little something to feel more like “us”. I’ve done a few things here and there to add a little color.  I made curtains and purchased a few things to keep us organized.  Countertop clutter is a huge problem with our busy family and baskets and bowls keep some of that mess in check.

I have big plans to paint the white walls, but we’ll call that Phase II.

My first real project in the kitchen was finding a backsplash that I liked.  I’m what you might call a big dreamer that approaches projects 2 ways:  I either start something and take forever to finish it or I plan and plan and plan and change my mind before I even get started.  The kitchen refresh has stalled out a few times because I never could decide what to do with the backsplash.

First I thought about chalkboard paint.  That would be fun.  Then I realized that my kids would be climbing the counters to draw on the walls, and that seemed a bit counterproductive.

Then I thought about punched tin ceiling tiles.  I changed my mind when I remembered that our house is more craftsman than Victorian.

I put our backsplash on the back-burner (pun intended) again.

Until this weekend.  I found what I was looking for at Marden’s.

Peel and stick vinyl flooring that looked like a deep cherry hardwood.

Aha!  Backsplash inspiration hit and I bought 3 boxes at $10.44 each.  I didn’t want to run out and I had no idea how much I would need.  I also thought it might be good to use on the wire shelves in our pantry (yet another project in the works…).

All I needed was a little time and a utility knife.  Sunday afternoon was wide open and the project just took a couple of hours.

After I cleared the counters, washed dishes, and gave the kids a snack, I prepped the walls by wiping them down and removing the outlet covers.

Then it was pretty much peel and stick from there. A few pieces had to be trimmed to fit around molding and outlets, but the material cut easily with a pair of sharp utility scissors.

About halfway through the process, I took a break and put dinner in the oven. This was my stopping point…

It was looking better already!

After dinner I finished the other side of the kitchen around the stove.  This side required a bit more measuring, but went quickly.

And that was it.

Instant backsplash.

It’s waterproof, easy to clean, and if I don’t like the color I can still paint it.

If I don’t like it in a year, I can peel it off and do something else.

I only used half of one box of flooring.  That’s less than $10 for a warmer and more welcoming kitchen. I’ll probably return one unused box and save the other for my aforementioned pantry project.  I think it will line my pantry shelves nicely.

But that’s another project for another weekend.

Here’s how it turned out:

You’ll notice that the counter-clutter and mounting dishes returned pretty quickly and our house never skipped a beat.  It was a quick little project with very little mess.

While I refreshed the walls I also baked a chicken, handed out snacks and juice, watched part of the Super Bowl, and even sneaked in a kiss or two from a grateful and encouraging husband.

Not too bad for a Sunday afternoon.

Now I need to find a paint color that I like.

There’s always next weekend…


Winter is a great time to plan household projects and even tackle a few.  I’ll be painting our kitchen walls next and giving my little girl’s room a facelift in a couple of weeks.  You can follow along on the Graceful Mess Facebook page or on Instagram.  





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