The next step was to choose the tiles themselves. What a challenge! There are so many gorgeous options. We must have visited ten showrooms, some more than once. I ended up selecting a creamy 6"x6" travertine for the field tile. It's a beautiful pale cream color with pretty veining and spots of variation throughout. The cream color picks up on the light spots in the granite counter top and is a nice contrast to the dark brown cabinetry. I used a coordinating travertine bar for the rectangular frame.
Next, I had to find the perfect mosaic tile to complete the design: something with shades of brown and cream that incorporated both glass and stone. Talk about "easier said than done"! The perfect mosaic just didn't exist. Time for some DIY work! I ended up selecting a 1/2" tile pattern that was predominately brown with most of what I was looking for, and another pattern that was mostly cream. The second palette was used to swap out the unwanted gray tones in the brown mosaic. The cream tiles really helped to tie the mosaic design in to the field tile. The tile rep said it would be a simple project, "just pluck the tiles off and trade them out". Not true! It was a tedious process, but well worth it because the resulting color palette was perfect. Keep this in mind when you want a pattern that is completely custom. You don't need to settle for tile you aren't in love with. Just turn on a good movie, grab your pliers, and get to work!
Tile in hand, I met with the installer to work out the pattern. We laid out the basic design and I left the rest to him. Thankfully he was incredibly talented because the design was much more complicated than I originally thought. He did a great job though and we couldn't be happier with the result. See for yourself!
There's one more thing to point out in the picture above - the outlet covers. When possible, it's a great idea to choose an outlet cover that matches your tile. There are some great options now that help to hide unsightly outlets! Those little details can make all the difference.
This particular design element was a lot of fun to create and I'm looking forward to my next kitchen project. With all the shapes, colors, and materials out there, the options for tile work are endless.