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Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Kitchen is completed!

Drum roll please....... Our kitchen is done!

A good thing that results from expecting visitors is that I have to get my house "visitor ready" in other words, super duper clean. So, I couldn't help but take advantage of that sprucing up by also taking some photos of my cleaned kitchen. The reason I wanted some good photos of my kitchen is that while Wally was away, I finally finished our kitchen remodel! I had tile back-splashes installed! Jorge Rodao (originally our plumber) does great tile work.  The name on his business card is OkTUbre, his cell number is 094 561 194
He has done a lot of tile work for us and I have always been happy with the results. The week before Wally arrived I did have to scramble to get the kitchen done. The tile company made a mix up on our order and only gave us 1 meter of tile, instead of 2 and then they ran out of that pattern and had to order more to complete the job. So it came right down to the wire, time wise, to get the "surprise" kitchen back-splashes done.

Trends come and go in the fashion industry and that includes the newest home decor designs. One year it's dark wood kitchen cabinets then the next it's white and painted. The same goes for tile and surface materials. For a few years now glass tiles  have been in vogue for kitchen and bath use, versus ceramic. I don't really care. I just wanted something I could live with for a very long while, meaning it needed to look good and be functional. I looked around at the available ceramic tile here but my neighboring shops only seemed to have large square tiles, the kind I would use on the floor. There weren't any "cool" subway tile designs or ceramic mosaics (that I could find). They did however have a variety of border tiles that were made up of glass tiles. I looked online and found out that back in the USA designers were using these glass tiles as whole wall coverings. So, I took the plunge, a glass tile backsplash is what I wanted. The color is a rich mix of browns.

Jorge tried to tell me that in Uruguay they were only using these tiles as a thin border band mixed into regular ceramic ones. Yes, I knew that and I liked that look very much. It was just that I couldn't find any ceramic tiles for my kitchen, that I liked. Since I was trying to get this done in a hurry before Wally's return, I didn't have the time to go searching through stores in Montevideo. Plus, how would I carry home heavy boxes of tile, since I was not driving? So, I asked Jorge how much I needed to buy and he said 2 meters. He drove to the tile store and  I bicycled there to meet him. He put them in his car for the job later. They were kind of expensive because I thought I was getting the 2 meters for $2750 pesos but I was really only quoted the 1 meter price, so double that amount and the job proceeded.

Jorge brought his son Jorge Jr. along so he could see what tiling a kitchen was like. Since it was a small job he thought his son would make a good helper and could learn something. Also, using the border tile as a total wall covering was just odd enough that he wanted him to see the completed job.

Here are some "before" and "after" pics of my kitchen.

The area behind the stove definitely needed a back splash. I would have loved to have put a tile mural behind this area but not finding any for sale, I settled for the tiny glass tiles instead.

I decided to extend the backsplash under the hanging cabinets as well. Wally wouldn't have done that do to the expense, but he wasn't here, so having saved up the money for the job, I indulged myself!

Wally originally wanted the backsplash only above the sink, taking the word "splash" literarily. He had mentioned that he wanted the tile to wrap around the sink window ledge so I took his words into account. I ended up going with that idea and tiling the little window niches as well. As mentioned before, I had talked about tiling the stove area and  had wanted a tile mural but since stoves here in Uruguay come with a hinged glass lid that you lift up when cooking, he didn't see a "real need" to tile that area.  Again, I know it was the expense of the materials that he was thinking about. That is why I secretly saved up some money. I knew I had to complete the job before Wally's arrival.

As regards the finished job, I love the way the glass tiles pick up the light and shimmer. The brown color makes us both want to sink into the kitchen and let it surround us with dark coziness, yet it's also bright, as it sparkles with the play of light bouncing around off the tiles. I'm delighted with the results!

As I predicted, Wally loved my vision and the completed kitchen. Wally loves to cook and he was glad that I had free reign to tile away.


Anonymous said...

...Wally and Denise....i must say the kitchen is looking good....well done. Did you find everything (fixtures and fittings) in UY?


Wally said...

Everything done here, locally.

Anonymous said...

great kitchen indeed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
old lady also retired

Anonymous said...

greetings Wally and Denise. I will admit to not having read the bulk of your blog, but the kitchen discussion caught my attention. It was my impression that getting higher end goods in Uruguay was neither simple nor cheap. did you have to have all that stuff imported or was there a local place that supplied it all?

Wally said...

Dear Anonymous (may I call you "Anon"?)- everything you see in the kitchen (with the exception of the old time telephone) is from Uruguay. They quarry and have very good quality granite and marble. The kitchen cabinets are good quality, especially for the price. The tile is readily available, as well as the appliances. The bar stools were even made locally. So, you can have quality in Uruguay, if you are willing to accept what is available....

Anonymous said...

nice kitchen. I have loads of questions I'd love to ask and I have no way of knowing how many of them might have been covered over the years in your blog.

we have a very tentative 7 year plan (or dream perhaps) of retiring to Uruguay. we've been there twice.

is there a place I can send you a message directly and not through th blog?


Wally said...

Dear Anon- if you will post a comment, with your email address, I will respond and not post the comment (so you don't reveal your email. Then we can correspond directly....

Fm Señales said...

La cocina les quedó hermosa, felicitaciones. Un abrazo Mario

Anonymous said...

super duper pretty kitchen, great job Denise!!!