Energy that turns every situation into something unexpected

Our story so far: Many months into the renovation of the old Methodist church into our home, it seemed as though nothing was getting accomplished, but it was a big project with a lot of moving parts. In fact, we were ticking off a number of items on our to-do list.

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While the drywallers worked upstairs and the concrete finishers labored outside, I holed up in the basement with creative projects that would find life as soon as Phase Four: Cabinets began.

The kitchen backsplash, for instance, presented a bit of a problem. I wanted something rustic, so glittery glass tile was out. Subway tile, I found too boring. I also wanted something that would coordinate with both the creamy colored kitchen cabinets and the navy beverage bar cabinets.

Nothing was quite right until I found Paramount Flooring’s porcelain tile in Havana, inspired by the cement tiles that lined patios, walkways, walls and floors in 1950s Cuba. To puzzle out the backsplash, I order four boxes of tile in Sugar Cane (white), Havana Sky (blue), Old Havana Blend (mixed colors) and Deco Mix (square decorative tiles).

Havana tile
Turns out, the Havana tile looked like a rustic subway tile.

One quiet Sunday afternoon, Tyler’s cousin and her husband paid us visit. Her husband helped Tyler pull the old sidewalk pieces out of our driveway; the concrete finishers would pour new sidewalk when they finished the driveway. Tyler’s cousin had similar taste in décor, and while the men worked outside, she helped me lay tile on the basement floor to see how the pieces might look as a backsplash. The Sugar Cane tiles carried the day. I figured I’d use a few random Havana Sky pieces to add interest and tie in the blue. The decorative square tiles would be the ideal accent above the stove in a style similar to one I saw on DIY Network.

backsplash stove
A real fan of home improvement TV isn’t afraid to take pictures. I want to give proper credit here, but I can’t remember if this backsplash was on “Stone House Revival,” “Barnwood Builders” or “Barn Sweet Home.”

One more decision, made.

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Today’s headline is a partial quote from former professional baseball player Fernando Perez: “In Cuba and specifically in Havana, there’s a sort of energy that turns every situation into something unexpected.”

Tomorrow: Things get creaky. And creepy. Check it out here.

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