Hello, Gentle Readers! Last time, I told you about the amazing discovery of this Chinoiserie tile.
Actually, it isn’t tile, per se: it comes in PANELS. Big, huge, gigantic panels. (Well, big and huge from the standpoint of my galley kitchen, anyway.) That appealed to me, because it makes the backsplash a piece of art, rather than, well, a tile backsplash.
The panels can be as large as 6.5′ x 3′. My challenge was that the wall where I envisioned the Chinoiserie is 8′ long.
I thought about doing a panel that doesn’t cover the whole wall — just behind the range, for example — but I didn’t want to. Go big or go home and all of that. (And what would go on either side of a small center panel? White subway tile? I couldn’t do it.)
So I did what any self-respecting art historian would do. I requested a triptych: 2′ on the left, 4′ behind the stove, 2′ at the right. All 3′ high.
That should work pretty well.
This decision was the turning point for the whole kitchen design. Obviously the Chinoiserie becomes the STAR of the kitchen. The show stopper. Everything else has to support it.
This means no colored cabinets in the main part of the kitchen.
I did think we could get away with a color in the newly created butler’s pantry, though, so those cabinets will be navy blue ;) I committed to those before finalizing the Chinoiserie color, but I was pretty sure I wanted to go with the red. The other colors are amazing, but I love red in a kitchen.
Detail of Chinoiserie tile panel in Winterberry Red
So navy cabinets should lead well into the main kitchen without competing.
(I did think about dark green for the butler’s pantry cabinets, but brass hardware with navy blue feels fresh but classic. We’re moving the Foyer chandelier to the butler’s pantry…
…and for some reason, I like it with blue. Amazing how many decisions just come down to your gut, isn’t it?)
Anyway, back to the Chinoiserie.
After many weeks and much, MUCH communicating with a tile vendor in California (this is a new product for them, I think), I received this draft:
I mean. Gorgeous, right?
I requested very few changes:
- I requested that the dragonfly become a butterfly. That’s actually a longer story, but it’s not interesting.
- I asked for another bird on the right so the tree wouldn’t be lonely.
- I requested more color going up the leaves of the trees. This is where it gets tricky, because if the artist thinks color should stay near the bottom, I should respect that. However ;) I asked the artist for a little more color.
- I also requested that some of the purple flowers change to blue to help the transition from the butler’s pantry.
- I wanted to see where the cuts would be to ensure that I wouldn’t be staring at a decapitated bird as I stir my pasta.
So this was the revision:
There was little change on the color front, but everything else was great. I’m just going to entrust this to fate. Also, this is a draft, so I’m hoping that the final red is closer to the sample tile.
This was a BIG decision, Gentle Readers! A big, BIG decision. I’ll have a little knot in my stomach until the panels are safely installed, I’ll admit. It’s being painted in China, and I just think the potential for breakage and what have you is large. And it will take roughly forever (Thanksgiving-ish?), so that’s a long time to have a knot in one’s stomach.
I hope it will be worth it.
Next post: demo!
Bossy color | Annie Elliott interiors is based in Washington, D.C. We create outrageously beautiful homes, starting with color.