When we built our house seven and a half years ago, we did it on a very tight budget. One way we were able to build our dream house was to not do all of the aesthetic, big ticket extras right then. Namely, the kitchen. I did get the cabinets that I really wanted, knowing they would be a good foundation.
We started off with white textured laminate countertops, as a temporary, affordable fix. A couple of years ago, we added unhoned granite countertops. Unhoned simply means that they are not shiny. We chose this style because black shiny granite tends to show every fingerprint. I've been very please with our choice.
Our final step was to add the tile backsplash. After pouring over many idea magazines, I knew that I wanted subway tile, in a brick pattern.
I also liked the look of wide grout. I didn't want the tiles to look like they were attached or stacked on top of each other. Our friend Joe did an amazing job. I had no idea how much of a giant puzzle tilework is!
yeah, that's better!
This is my desk area. Otherwise known as the dumping ground. I've tried to control the clutter with the basket (a yard sale find!)