One of my favorite bloggers, Anna Dorfman, has been reading my mind lately and sharing some affordable, temporary options for kitchen backslashes in rentals (check out this post, this post, and this post). This is a very tricky subject, I think. Should I bother to fix up something like my kitchen backsplash in my apartment, where I will probably only live for a year or so?
I feel very strongly that no matter how long I live somewhere, I need it to be pleasing to the eye, or I get sad all the time. Anna shared two really easy and affordable temporary backsplash options that I could totally do (more on those in a minute) and I’m tempted to rush out and buy the stuff ASAP so I don’t have to look at that hideous beige and speckled linoleum for one more second.
But part of me (also the part I’m married to) thinks that’s silly. Rand and I have agreed that although this is a great starter apartment for moving to a brand new big city, but we are hoping to upgrade next summer after we’ve had a year to look around and find the perfect place. Our current place is pretty perfect in a lot of ways, mostly the location and price, but for the great price, we had to sacrifice a few things we love, like an outdoor space/balcony, washer and dryer hookups (we have them onsite), more windows/airflow, and electrical outlets in the bathroom (geez, how did I miss that?).
Okay, so I could just ignore the ugly backsplash and save some money. Rand and Dave Ramsey would definitely approve. But I just…am I shallow? I feel the need to spread pixie dust everywhere I go, making everything I see a little prettier and happier than before. So let’s look at these options before we make up our minds, mkay?
Option A: Temporary Wallpaper or Contact Paper
This is by far the cheapest option, depending on which way I go. Anna suggested a wallpaper company named Kitchenwall, with some pretty options, but the link from her blog post doesn't appear to be working anymore. Those wallpapers have some perks, like being heat resistant easily removable and coming in all those fabulous designs. Here are an example from her blog post:
If I ever manage to locate Kitchenwall, I'll be sure to share it. I'm not too worried, though. There are lots of removable wallpaper companies out there. In face, here's a list from Apartment Therapy.
This could be a good option, however, the price is a little high. I don’t think that would be too much of a problem, since I’m only needing to cover about eight square feet, but still. That’s not so thrifty.
But idea!! What if I used chalkboard contact paper? Not heat resistant, probably a fire hazard. I should look into that. But didn’t the folks at Yellow Brick Home do that? Well, actually their's was paint, but same end result. They just drew all kinds of cutesy stuff on theirs, which isn’t really my style but is still not bad. I would probably just leave it black or draw a design on it, maybe something like this design from Anna's previous kitchen. Your thoughts?
Option B: Smart Tiles
I’m a little giddy about this one, but I need to think it through. These are sheets of fake tiles that look pretty good in the pictures. I guess they could look stupid when they get here, but I could return them, so that’s a pretty small risk.
The Smart Tiles website assures me that the tiles can be removed with little or no damage to the wall, depending on what the surface was to start with (I think my linoleum backsplash would be fine.)
Here's a link to the Smart Tiles gallery. I would go with either subway tile or the hex tile. And after reading the reviews, I’m leaning towards the hex tile, the site calls Hexago. Reviewers say the subway tile is strangely smaller than standard subway tile, making it look obviously fake. Looks darn good in the photos, though.
Mmm. If I could, I would put this ALL OVER EVERY WALL. You know I loved tiled walls.
What should I do, blog friends??!! These are the big decisions in my life. #firstworldproblems