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Last week we received a follow-up call from the landscape contractor about our outdoor living space. (This is where I first mentioned that project).

The small city that we live in has a regulation that only 25% of your property can be hardscaped.

Hardscape refers to hard landscape materials in the built environment as opposed to softscape, the horticultural elements of a landscape. This can include paved areas, driveways or retaining walls. It can include materials such as stone, concrete, etc.

Currently we are at 25%, which means we cannot add on a larger seating area, fireplace or pergola.

Oh wait, that’s not true! We can if we present our plan to the city council and then beg, OR we can rip out the cement driveway OR we can tear up everything we currently have and start over.


The area we have is fine and wonderful so as of today we are going to drop that project and maybe re-visit the idea some day in the future.

All I can do is take a big disappointing breath and move on to the next project on the wish list.

Luckily, I am equally excited about this next project.

Drumroll please…….A new backsplash in the kitchen!

Did you even know that our current backsplash is painted? Someone with a lot of talent painstakingly created this.

But is has run its course. There are spots and areas that will no longer clean up nicely. And when I say they don’t clean up, I mean they are really bad.

Cleaning is not my greatest strength. Oh who and I kidding, it’s not even in my Top 10. I can overlook, and flat-out ignore small spots and stains, but even for me this backsplash is past its prime.

Something needed to be done, so where else does one go if they are looking to tile their backsplash?

The Tile Stop.

This is where God presented me with a gift from Heaven.

He calls himself Chub.

Knowing very little about tile, Chub was a wealth of information. Not to mention a great listener and a patient man.

Like all of my projects, I have a vision. But I depend on others sometimes to make my vision a reality.

I described my vision to Chub and we talked though what my current cabinets and counters looked like. Thank goodness I could refer to the Home Tour 2015 pictures so he could totally envision the area.

After walking basically through the entire store (I told you he was patient), these were the first two sets of samples I brought home.

I quickly eliminated the sample on the left. It was too light and didn’t “add” anything to the kitchen. The other sample is a quartzite stone also in a brick pattern. Each and every brick has a different look and feel. And if I don’t like a particular brick, I can replace it with one from another sheet.

I think this might be “the one”. Stay tuned.