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desk plank 1

We’ve always planned on adding a backsplash to the desk area in the kitchen. Without a backsplash, the upper cabinets looked odd and disconnected floating on the large wall. I knew a backsplash would be the perfect link to visually tie the upper cabinets to the base cabinets.

As for choosing a material for the backsplash, I knew I didn’t want tile like the other half of the kitchen. I spend the majority of my blogging time at the desk and tile felt too cold and too sterile for that kind of environment. I wanted something that would designate this area as a workspace but still feel cohesive with the rest of the kitchen. I also wanted something that would act as a backdrop for inspirational images and quotes. I’d love to have a constantly evolving inspiration board in my workspace. It doesn’t happen a lot but sometimes we use the countertop as a buffet when we’re entertaining. So a material that could handle potential food splatters would be a good idea.

Cork in a herringbone pattern was a front runner for a long time. But I couldn’t pull the trigger because it just didn’t feel right. It would have looked amazing but once I started pinning stuff to it, I think it would have looked really busy and that’s the last thing I need in my workspace. I work best in an organized, uncluttered environment. I wasn’t so sure about cork’s ability to withstand possible food messes either. And while it would have looked awesome in the context of the desk area, I wasn’t sold on how it would look in the overall kitchen and open concept room. It needed to feel in line with the adjoining living room.

When we finally got the ball rolling on the TV wall, it hit me. A painted tongue and groove backsplash! It met all of my criteria and would tie in with the rest of house picking up on the planked TV wall in the living room and the planked wainscoting in the mudroom. I told HH it was what I wanted for my birthday {last month} and he delivered this past weekend after he finished up the TV wall. When HH picked up more tongue and groove to complete the TV wall, HH also grabbed a few extra boards for the backsplash.

desk plank 3

I was so surprised when I came home from an afternoon of running errands with the kids to find the TV wall and backsplash completed. Best belated birthday present. Ever. HH is out of town for business this week and I forgot to ask before he left but, from what I can tell, he used a finish nailer and adhesive to install the backsplash.

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The electrical outlets had to be extended with box extenders. Once the backsplash is primed and painted white, they won’t be as noticeable. HH ran the backsplash to the edge of the countertop and tidied up the ends with simple wood trim. We had box extenders and wood trim in the garage {I’m not kidding. We could probably open up a well-stocked home improvement store in our garage.} so those were “free”.

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Once it’s primed and painted white, it will be the perfect backdrop for my workspace and the occasional buffet. I’m so happy I waited it out. I think I would have gotten tired of the herringbone cork real quick. That’s not to say some cork won’t make it into the desk area.

desk plank 2

Even as-is, don’t the upper cabinets look less floaty? Less lost? They look grounded now. The entire setup has a hutch feel to it – which I like. I also like that the backsplash will tie into the ceiling, TV wall and mudroom wainscoting. There’s something to be said for repeating design elements throughout a home.

desk plank 6

My goal for the beginning of 2014 is to organize and style my home workspace. I’ll be doing just that and sharing it all with you thanks to Wayfair. An idea board and more details to follow after the new year! I really want to dive into blogging next year and having an organized, inspiring space to do that in will be essential. I can hardly wait.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

33 Comments

12.December.2013

Looks fab! Can’t wait to see it painted. Good job HH! I might just have to hit up my own husband for a home improvement gift.

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12.December.2013

Looks so gorgeous Dana! Can’t wait to see it painted!

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12.December.2013

Looks really great! I can’t wait to see it when you have it all styled, too! This may be a silly question on my part, but is it better to paint the tongue and groove after you put it up? For some reason, I would have thought to paint it and then put it up. I am not sure why…just hit me with the installation over the mantel and now this one and I’m curious. Love both by the way!!

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replied on December 12th, 2013

We have always installed it first then primed and painted. Mostly because we would need a ton of painting space and we don’t have it. It might be more difficult to get painted boards to lock together if there is paint on the tongues and grooves. I wonder too if the boards would warp at all if painted first??

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replied on December 12th, 2013

Good points. I also wonder how much retouching you’d have to do after installing in case anything got chipped or scratched in installation. I just was curious because of the option to stain…thinking about it seeping through to the walls or something. Anyways, I can’t wait to see how well it turns out once you paint! I hope you have plans to throw in a splash of *gold* in your workspace. ;)

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replied on December 12th, 2013

Oh yes.

12.December.2013

Love, love, love!!

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Looks great! I can’t wait to see the end result!

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12.December.2013

Hey Dana,
Why don’t you DIY a herringbone-patterned cork board for your work space?? I’m thinking of those rolls of cork with adhesive on one side – using a sharp rotary/utility knife to cut the pieces, then stick them to a piece of masonite or something and frame it!
Leah: )

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12.December.2013

lovely.and.perfect.

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12.December.2013

Yes, I really like tying in the same elements again and again (especially paneling). Will you just pin your inspiration ideas into the wood? Ooh, you could totally use magnetic paint with white paint on top, and make your wood magnetic. Actually, I have no idea if you can do that, just got carried away thinking of ways to avoid pinholes…

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replied on December 12th, 2013

I love this idea, magnetic paint would be way cool!!

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12.December.2013

Oh my gosh, it’s so perfect! I love that feeling when you know it’s “right”. Isn’t it so odd that what’s right looks so obvious once it’s in place, but can take months or years to figure out? I feel like 80% of my house is in that looong figuring out stage…

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replied on December 12th, 2013

It’s also obvious when something isn’t right. Not as fun. And that’s happened to me a lot. Trial and error, baby.

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12.December.2013

Looks wonderful! I love the look of the tongue and groove planking on both the fireplace and the backsplash. Our kitchen backsplash is our Christmas break project. I’ve decided to go with the classic subway tile but have been considering placing it in a herringbone pattern. I’m afraid it will look too busy though and I’ll get tired of it. Mind if I ask what swayed you away from the herringbone pattern?

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replied on December 12th, 2013

We never considered a herringbone tile backsplash in the cooking part of the kitchen. We just wanted something simple – almost basic.

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replied on December 14th, 2013

Oh, thanks:) I was referring to the herringbone cork that you alluded to in the post. I don’t remember you discussing that idea before so I thought I may have missed something.
Can’t wait to see the planking painted!

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replied on December 14th, 2013

Oh, sorry! I thought you were talking about the rest of the kitchen. Miscommunication on my part. I don’t know…it just didn’t feel right. Too busy? Too trendy? Wasn’t sure about installing it then covering it up with photos / notes?

12.December.2013

What a gift! It’s already looks wonderful and will be perfect when it’s painted.

jbhat

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Once it’s one color I think it will look so much more built in. What a fantastic solution- I love it.

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12.December.2013

Love it! Did you ever think about staining it the same color of your island?

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replied on December 12th, 2013

Thought about it but decided it would be too dark to stare whilst brainstorming. That’s just me!

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12.December.2013

My favorite part of this post is you mentioning you are going to dive into blogging! I’m so excited because I love your home and blog and can’t wait to be even more inspired!

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13.December.2013

Love this! totally matches the fireplace wall now! I also love the magnetic paint idea mentioned above! Genius!

Have you considered planking the area under the desk. I keep looking at it and that area just sticks out to me! I think it’d be great planked and then painted to match the bottom cabinets!

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13.December.2013

Great idea and what am awesome gift idea! I need a HH! I love watching this space come together with its layers and richness of textures. Tile is lovely and easy to clean but can be overdone.

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13.December.2013

I love this, and I love the suggestion of the magnetic paint. Have you considered painting the back splash a soft dove grey? I think it would look fabulous (as well!).

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13.December.2013

I know you’re planning on painting it, but boy I love how it looks unpainted!

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15.December.2013

I love the wood!

I recently saw an episode of Kitchen Crashers where they weathered and painted the wood in a bunch of different colors.

http://www.houzz.com/photos/1217497/House-Crashers—Painted-Shaker-Cabinets-eclectic-kitchen-los-angeles

Definitely my idea of a great backsplash!

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replied on December 16th, 2013

So cool!

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16.December.2013

[…] weekends ago HH installed a tongue and groove backsplash in my home workspace {sounds fancy but it’s just a desk area in our kitchen} and this past […]

09.January.2014

Hi. Just found your blog and I love it! We are renovating a house and have very similar tastes. Thanks for the great pictures and inspiration. Can I ask where you got the lights above your island. That is exactly what I have been looking for! Thanks!

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replied on January 9th, 2014

They are the West Elm globe pendants. Very happy with them!

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