Our 50's Ranch Renovation | Backsplash Inspo

Trying to decide on tile for our backsplash-I'm finding it surprisingly hard to commit!  I love the classic, all white tile with white grout like the image below. I pulled an image of this kitchen out of a magazine years ago, then discovered I had also pinned it more than once, and then found it AGAIN in kitchen design magazine I had when we were about to start our remodel. It clearly spoke to me and obviously influenced the design of our kitchen overall. I feel like a classic approach like this will look good forever.  

I like how this beautiful kitchen (featured in Aussie mag Inside Out) is a bit funkier while still simple, graphic, and modern. I wonder if installation would be a pain though...

For a while I thought I wanted to do a really bold, graphic, encaustic tile behind the stove. I love the black and white cement tiles like in this LA eatery, Gracias Madre featured on Decor8 a while back. I still love this look, but its a LOTTA look and a big commitment design-wise. 

And then there is this gorgeousness. Perhaps my favorite kitchen, ever. I stumbled across it on photographer Jason Varney's Instagram feed last year and it was exactly what I had had in my mind for my dream scenario, which is to use Heath Ceramics tiles. I love the pattern behind the stove- I think they used the Little Diamond Mix from the Dwell line. Its a strong design without overwhelming the space. The simple offset square tiles (I believe they would be from their Classic Field line) along the counter are modern and timeless. Perfection. 

As of now I've only found 2 samples I like in visits to 3 different local tile stores. And I'm not really that crazy about the finish on them, they are pretty shiny in person. I'm always surprised how hard SIMPLE is to find in home design and decor places. Anyway-I taped them up this morning to see how they look. Kind of impossible to tell here but they are a warm white and light charcoal. We're living on the edge here people, I know.  Quick, someone come decide this nonsense for me! I'm pretty sure my poor mom is over hearing about my tile deliberations. ;)



I have a major soft spot for hand crafted ceramics. We have a small collection of Heath Ceramics mugs and wares we use on the daily here. It started with a trip to San Fran for our "familymoon" the fall after we got married. It was our first big trip as a fam (then just David, Nila, and I) and although it was peppered with our usual pathetic travelers' mishaps (seriously, we are terrible travelers) we had the best trip. We stayed at a teeny tiny airbnb in Sausalito and were blown away by the Bay Area and all the great food and design everywhere. We strolled down to the Heath Ceramics factory and toured the space where the iconic American classics are made. It's such a great setup and I love their aesthetic and ethos. We brought a few things home as gifts and souvenirs, thus beginning the tradition of buying an anniversary Heath mug for each other. They are so satisfying to hold and drink from, seriously enjoyable to use and I've been known to refuse coffee until my favorite is clean and ready. That's serious love, people! 

Instagram is such a great way to see ceramicists in action-the process views really makes you appreciate how these are set apart from mass production pieces. Heath shows everything from their behind-the-scenes design phase to the merchandising and retailing in their storefronts and vendors. Portland-based Mazama has great, hypnotizing videos showing their trimming and detailing processes. I've learned a lot about these brands I've loved for years and have discovered lots of new-to-me folks. While my current budget mostly allows for thrifted ceramic pieces (of which I have found some incredible ones) I totally dig curating my obsession online for now. Here are a few from my Insta feed that caught my eye recently. 


  • Kat and Roger have such a fun, 70's graphic kind of vibe. I think this pour over piece would make an awesome gift. For me. Just sayin.
  • Linda Hsiao makes all kind of beautiful things available through her website and Knot Work LA. This porcelain inlay technique is really unique-these are just beautiful!
  • Funky little "baller" vases from Object and Totem. I love the pitchers available on their site, too ((adds to wish list ))
  • I want to buy my bestie one of Paula Greif's mod menorahs. Wouldn't this be an awesome family heirloom?
  • Heath. You can do no wrong.
  • This talisman by Beth Katz of Mt.Washington Pottery is so simple and beautiful.  
  • I LOVE MAZAMA. Their mugs are perfect. Their process videos are great. I recommend buying 2 mugs at a time so you don't have to fight your mate for it every time you make a cuppa.
  • Vancouver artist Janaki Larsen makes moody, textured beauties. It sounds like they are available with some other treasures in the magical Atelier St.George  shop. Their about page is kinda perfect. 
  • UK based Jono Smart has such straightforward beautiful work and the styling is perfect. His instagram feed is serene perfection. Would love to see them in person.