Decorating on a budget

October 19, 2008 7:25:52 AM PDT
According to the National Association of Realtors, an updated kitchen will add value to your home in any market. Problem: A Small Kitchen

Solution: If you live in NYC, chances are your kitchen is small. A great way to create the illusion of a larger space (without expensive construction work) is by incorporating mosaics and iridescent tiles. Here are some budget-friendly options that will work:

Match Sticks: $18 a square foot
Fusion Timothy Straw: $14
Metalic Appalation Trail: $14
Fusion Sand Dunes: $14.50

Problem: Dark, Windowless Kitchen

Solution: Again, NYC kitchens are known for being dark and often windowless. A great way to add some light - and life - into a dark, drab kitchen is by using white, iridescent tiles in a variety of shapes and sizes. This will instantly open up and brighten up the look of your kitchen.

Some Examples

Solid White: $13 a square foot
Ashton Blend: $14.50
Zen Tranquill: $15
Matchstix Winter: $14

Problem: Distressed, Worn-Out Look

Solution: "Shabby" can also be "Chic" - so just because your kitchen cabinets look "old" doesn't mean your kitchen can't look hip. Accentuate the positive with some "shabby chic" backsplash tiles for an instant updated feel.

? Some Examples o Fusion Sedona Redrocks: $14.50 a square foot o Metalic Copper Peach: $14 o Zen Cider: $15 o Metalic Etched Field Blend: $14 Problem: Boring Kitchen - No Style

Solution: Modern, updated tiles will infuse some interest into a dull, out of-touch-kitchen. Choose some colorful and modern glass tiles and mosaics. There are lots to choose from at budget-friendly prices.

Some Examples

Zen Ferrari: $15 per square foot
Nimbus Grey: $14
Jelly Bean Blend: $13.50
Pebbly Boy Blue: $19

Do-It-Yourself Tips

If your're somewhat handy, you can take a stab at tiling yourself.

Remove old tile:
- Using a putty knife (you can purchase at hardware stores) slide the blade under the tile and pry up gently.

- If the tiles don't budge, use a flat head screwdriver and a hammer to chip out the surrounding grout.

Apply tiles with glue:
- Spread a layer of tile adhesive over the desired area (it's important to use white adhesive, color will show through the glass tile).

- Apply tiles to the area, pressing firmly.

- Let set for 24 hours

Apply Grout to Tiles
- Spread grout across tiles. Let it set for 15 minutes

- Using dry paper towels, wipe the surface of the tiles. Any grout left to dry on tiles will not be removable once it is set.

- Let it set for 2-3 days

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