Reader Deb and her husband are in the final stages of their DIY vintage style kitchen remodel. It’s coming together just beautifully — but now, they are stuck on a final design decision: Shoudld they add adorable 1940s style Bradbury & Bradbury wallpaper to the backsplash? Or will it be too much? They want to hear from the ever-helpful tribe of Retro Renovation readers. To wallpaper or not to wallpaper, that is the question. Read on to hear Deb’s story and to weigh in. Pam and I will hold back and post our photoshopped ideas at noon.
We’re in the final stages of our kitchen redo (having done all the work ourselves except for the sheetrocking) and we can’t agree on whether to use this wallpaper from Bradbury as our backsplash or not.
I love it but my husband thinks it is too busy and takes away from the nickel outlet covers (which he has some strange attachment to lol). Behind the stove will be new/old fan with a sunburst stainless steel panel. Is this all too much? The wallpaper would be vinyl coated for protection and used only under the cabinets.
Also, I want to let you know that your explanation and pics of doing the metal edging on your counter tops helped immensely when it came time to do ours.
The original kitchen had the washer and dryer under the counter and a “Diana” Youngstown sink unit. It was too far gone to save but I did manage to pry off the the Diana emblem and will be putting it on my new sink cabinet. I know I said that we did it all by ourselves but that isn’t entirely true. We had the floor installed and we bought the RTA cabinets from Barker Cabinets in Oregon. Barker also has slab front cabinets and they are a joy to do business with. Shipping took seven days from Oregon to upstate New York.
The walls are a very light blue. We have a Big Chill fridge in Buttercup yellow (ebay) that hasn’t been put in yet. The woman I bought it from in New Jersey, had won it in a raffle and could not fit it in her kitchen.
If anyone wants to know the particulars of putting in linoleum counter tops and stainless steel edging, my husband is willing to share what he did. It’s taken 1 year and 3 months of no vacations, working every single weekend and a lot of evenings to get to this point. And best of all my DH and I are still talking to each other.
Pam asks: What are you doing over the stove?
A Nutone exhaust fan (new old stock) and a stainless steel panel with a sunburst design.
So readers — now we need your thoughtful opinions — what should Deb do with her kitchen back splash?
Through the magic of Photoshop, Kate made some mock-ups of Deb’s kitchen to help her visualize how it would look with the three variations wallpaper and the sunburst stainless steel backsplash:
1. Sunny Day Combo:
For the first mock-up, we put the stainless steel sunburst backsplash over the stove and Bradbury & Bradbury Apple Betty wallpaper between the cabinets and counter top. This looks pretty nice… but we feel like the drama of the stainless steel backsplash might be overwhelming the rest of the kitchen design, which is so lovely. Hmmmm….
2. All wallpaper:
For the second mock-up, we extended the wallpaper all the way behind the stove and up to the ceiling. Deb wasn’t planning on having the wallpaper extend this far up, but if the stainless steel backsplash is not used, it would be a more finished look to have the wallpaper extend all the way to the ceiling, instead of being cut off at under cabinet height. We’re kind of digging the vintage charm starting to come together once this wallpaper is added…
3. Add a shelf to the combo:
Deb could also add a shelf for knick knacks — made using the same red linoleum and metal edging from the countertops — an idea that is similar to the shelf in Pam’s kitchen:
4. Shelf plus stainless steel backsplash
If Deb’s husband still isn’t sold on the wallpaper, this option is for him. Combining the sunburst stainless steel backsplash with the shelf provides a more toned down look, while still allowing space for Deb to display vintage knick-knacks. Maybe paint the backsplash the same yellow as the refrigerator coming in… or tone the yellow paint down a bit… or, a shade similar to that of the floor might work, too.
Pam and I both agree on this one — the Bradbury & Bradbury wallpaper that Deb chose is just perfect for the space. The pattern picks up the red from the counter tops, the blue from the floor and the buttery yellow from her Big Chill refrigerator. The space above the stove and fan is just calling out for a shelf to fill it — one that Deb could use to display some cute vintage knick-knacks. If it were our kitchen, Kate and I both are loving mood board number three.