Before and After Awesomeness

I'm FINALLY getting to share this fun Tyles before-and-after with you. It's so great to be able to show off a true step-by-step process that made a huge difference in the look and feel of a space. 

I'm lucky enough to have really great people in my life, extending as far as my choice in pediatricians! Over the years, I've become friendly with Dr. Hai Cao and his husband Matteo Trisolini, the brilliant team behind South Slope Pediatrics. Matteo -- the design-driven part of the duo -- has been interested in Tyles from the beginning. When I released the Renovated Souk pattern, he jumped at the opportunity to get it for the practice's new kitchen space. 

The before (above) was pretty stark. While the cabinetry was great, the abundance of white walls screamed "doctor's office" -- and that's not at all how their office feels. They needed to up the warmth and style of the space, and quick. Matteo was kind enough to let me document the process, and so I came in to apply the Tyles.

Armed with my Tyles gear and accompanied by my friend and photographer, Lindsey Turner of Lindsey Victoria Photography, we set out to bring in the magic. (By the way, when I say gear, I mean some blue painter's tape, a ruler, a pair of scissors, and a pencil. That's all.) I cleared off the countertops, cleaned the walls, and removed the plates from the outlets.

Everyone can apply Tyles the way they see fit. My personal process starts with blue painter's tape. I line the Tyles up on the wall, and eyeball them to see if they're straight. 

If there is something to cut around, like an outlet, I'll do it while I'm aligning the first row. To cut Tyles, all you need is an Exacto knife or a pair of scissors. Sometimes an Exacto is easier to use while the Tyles are taped to the wall. 

Once the first row is up and the alignment seems right, I start to apply the Tyles to the wall.

Tyles come in a sandwich of three parts: the front transfer tape (clear or opaque), the Tyles vinyl pattern itself, and the backing. To apply a Tyles square, you first remove the backing, then smooth the transfer tape and vinyl down onto the wall. After using the included plastic applicator to apply pressure over the top of the transfer tape and smooth out any air bubbles, you pull off the front tape -- leaving the pattern on the wall. 


(A good shot of me using the applicator to smooth down the transfer tape.)

To finish off the end of the wall, where I had to cut the Tyles to fit, I measured the space and then used the level/ruler  and a pencil to draw the cut line. 

I aligned these cut pieces the same way I aligned the other Tyles. 

And it was finished! The full backsplash was done. And what a huge change it made to the space!


My favorite part was the reaction Matteo had when he saw the finished product. He was so excited! However, we weren't completely done. Nope, Matteo had big plans... He wanted the rest of the wall to be covered in Tyles, all the way up to the ceiling. 

So, I came back another day. This time, without Lindsey -- so I could only take some fabulous cellphone pics. =) Sorry that they aren't quite as good. 

As you can see above, I started to work on the sides of the upper cabinets first, and then started working on filling in above them to the ceiling.

I lined up the Tyles in the same manner as I did originally. 


And while I don't have professional pics, I do love the photo above, which I took while removing the front transfer tape. It gives such a great illustration of the process.

And the space was complete! The overall pattern gives quite an impact. It's almost a completely different room.

And just so you can see it without going back to the top, here is the before and fully-finished after of the kitchen at South Slope Pediatrics. It's so satisfying to know that Tyles can really change a space -- professional and personal alike -- so profoundly. I hope you enjoyed it too!

Nicole Block

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