Tag Archives: open shelves

Our custom splashback – a performance review

Happy Monday! I’m writing to the sound of a lawnmower somewhere down the road, and I like it! Even though lawns need mowing most of the year, it does feel like a summer sound still.


I’ve had a few readers ask about our custom splashback, so I thought I’d do a post on what I think of it, a couple of years down the track. Do I still like it, and how is it holding up to cooking mess, and general wear and tear?

Just a quick heads up on what we chose, and why…

I wanted something here that would make an impact, as it is the only real area of colour in the kitchen. Our cabinets and benchtops are all white, and the open shelves (which I love!), as you can see are timber. So the splashback needed to make something of a statement, to make this kitchen ours. Ideally, I wanted a glass splashback so it would be very easy to clean, especially because we have the extraction system set into it. I have heard tiles, which can look amazing, can also be annoying to maintain.


A quick check on prices for printed glass splashbacks (where a pattern, or photo is applied directly to the back of the glass) put that option out of our reach, but there is nothing like a budget challenge to make me get my creative hat on.

I then rung around for prices on a clear glass option, explaining that I intended to fix it to the wall in front of some wallpaper. I already had my eye on this mid century patterned wallpaper (although I shopped around for a significantly cheaper price).

It seems the standard way to fix glass splashbacks to walls is by smearing glue all over the back of them… so I had quite a few adamant replies of “No, we can’t help you with that sorry lady”. But I had a plan, and when I have a plan it’s hard to throw me off it (for better or worse!) so after talks with Andre and his dad we figured out a way to do it, giving me a comeback for those doubting splashback manufacturers!

We had the glass cut with screw holes in each corner, and used some capped screws to fix it to the wall. One thing we learnt in the process was to cut small crosses in the wallpaper, so it didn’t tear when drilling/screwing into it.


Then the key to making this work is to silicone around all edges. As soon as possible!


The one regret I have is leaving a couple of edges without silicone for a few days, because this happened:


Bugs. Little, tiny, irritating bugs. Somehow they made their way in and there they stay to this day! I initially thought they might shrivel a little and drop to the bottom, but actually, they haven’t budged.

I must admit, despite our best efforts at siliconing everywhere pesky ants etc might get in, the original few fruit flies have recently been joined by a couple more. We have both an extraction fan grill, and a power outlet set into this splashback, and I’m pretty sure we sealed around the grill, but for safety reasons we didn’t seal around the outlet. Perhaps this is where the two or three have got in?

They do annoy me, I’ll be honest, but having exactly the splashback I had in mind makes me forget those bugs most of the time! We get so many comments about it, and I’m very glad I persisted with those doubters and I do feel like I’ve proved them wrong for the best part. There were predictions of doom and gloom and ants nests!

There are no ants nests. Just awesome mid-century pattern which adds personality to our kitchen and makes me smile while I cook!

The thing is, even if things do get worse from here on out, it’s a simple matter of slicing off that silicone, removing the glass and wiping away the bugs. Put the glass back, redo the silicone and it’s as good as new.


You have the look of a fancy custom printed or tiled splashback, for far less cost!

A couple more posts planned for the week… I’ve taken way too many photos of our less than perfect but I love it very much Christmas tree, and some long-awaited deck progress updates!

All in the open

We’ve been having some gorgeous spring weather lately, and the other day I got inspired to clean and rearrange the open shelves in our kitchen… Lighten them up a little, to go with the sun streaming in the windows across the other side.


I won’t dwell on the cleaning process, but it is the only definite disadvantage to open shelves in a kitchen. Ours also happen to be right above the stove. There was a lot of ick, but I’m still in love with them and wouldn’t have our kitchen any other way. How amazing is that?!


When these clever-husband-built-shelves were first installed, they got loaded with every single plate and drinking vessel we owned, plus recipe books and sundae dishes and jugs I never used. As a testament to Andre’s design and build skills, these shelves held up without so much as a groan, but I never intended for them to just be a place to put things. So the sundae dishes have gone to my charity box, and most of a dinner set and the recipe books got put away elsewhere. Now my cupboards are well and truly stuffed full, but I just shut the doors and admire my pretty open shelves! 1113_8518

A while back someone asked me about our in wall extractor. Does it work? Are you happy with it? To be honest, I don’t think it works as well as a range hood, but it was the best option for our kitchen, and I’m happy with it. The functionality and prettiness far outweigh the little bit of extra cleaning that is required. I used this homemade cleaner on the shelves, and it worked marvellously.1113_8519

Love these shelves, love my kitchen!

And… I’ve just painted a third coat on another little laminated timber project that I hope to share after the weekend… can’t wait!

For a less permanent and much smaller taste of open shelving, a plate rack is a cute idea too – like this photo from Mousehouse.

1, 2, 3… kitchen complete

Finally, finally, finally I can say the kitchen is finished*!

Over the last week the final pieces have been put in place, and I’ve unpacked the last of the kitchen things to put away.

For many weeks we’ve had this going on in the kitchen, plates on the bench and “towel rails” sticking out of the wall at right:

But finally after baby steps of cutting, sanding, joining, thicknessing…

…more baby steps of sanding and sealing:

And finally the installation begins:

And then the arranging of crockery and glassware! The current arrangement is the everyday dinner set, glasses and mugs on the bottom, the second dinner set in the middle, and more decorative and least used items up the top:

I just love the grain in the timber – it adds a warmth to the kitchen that wasn’t there before!

Here is a bit of an overall shot to finish off with:

*Disclaimer: Finished in our house means there is loads more trim, windows and another top coat on the walls to be painted.