For as long as I’ve remembered, there was a “project” going on in the Sainton household. I wish I had a “before” picture of the house I grew up in, in Grand Prairie and then an “after” right before my parents moved out in 2008. No surface was left untouched. Recently, a friend posted an old picture on Facebook and I could not figure out where the picture was taken. Turns out we were in front of the wet bar that later became the tv/media built-in cabinet.
My parents have been in their new house for 2 and a half years now and have only renovated the half bath and they’re almost done with the kitchen (only my sister and I are shocked that this is ALL they’ve done).
Now that I have a degree and am I licensed interior designer in the state of Texas, I can’t help but spout my ability to my dad–who is a contractor that builds custom homes throughout the Metroplex. He often is inspired by a recent project (“Hand scraped wood flooring is the only way to go,”) or has extra materials that make their way into our house (our foyer had the marble tile left over from Robert Tilton’s house). We compare our industry resources (“Who’s your Daltile rep? I don’t know her…”).
When it came time to pick the tile for the kitchen backsplash, Mom finally put in the two cents I’m sure she’s been holding on to for 35+ years. She wanted something different, she was tired of tumbled marble 3” x 3” tiles at a 45 degree angle with an accent tile every 4 tiles. She wanted little glass tiles, but we couldn’t afford to do 100% glass. Dad still wanted exactly what Mom didn’t–Dad loves a tile on an angle. Here is the beautiful half bath flooring that Dad designed:
One Saturday, the three of us made a trip out to Daltile in North Dallas. After a few unsuccessful laps around the showroom, I suggested a mosaic blend I’m considering for a project at work: Stone Radiance, a blend of natural stone and glass linear tile. Mom loved it, Mom wanted to do the whole backsplash with it (as did I), then Dad brought our “tile high” down when he crunched the numbers. We decided to mix it with a larger tumbled marble tile (the same light beige used in the mosaic blend) and spent far too long sketching and doing math (5/8” plus ⅝” and then a row of 3”…) we figured out 3 rows of 4” H tile with 2 accent strips of the mosaic blend at 3 rows high. We all started to hate the idea of 4” x 4” tile (but we JUST figured out the math!) then Mom laid the mosaic strip on top of a 12” x 12” tile–Eureka! We got the 12” x 12” cut into 4” x 12” tiles and then had a much larger scale, more modern pattern.
I got to see it complete a few weeks later when I showed up before Mom was home from work. I asked Dad what he thought of the results (because I loved it and I knew Mom was happy), he said, “ [pause] it’s okay.” We pushed poor Dad out of his comfort zone! He really does like it all right AND he gets to choose everything else for the kitchen.