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Renovated kitchen with grey black and white tile floor nad mint walls inspired by Tom Newman

Arlene and Dan Fox’s kitchen in their Idaho home. They found inspiration for the plaid tile floor in their newly renovated kitchen from a post Arlene saw on Cococozy!(above)

Above, is the adorable kitchen that Arlene from Idaho designed herself for her family home and had her husband Dan build by hand…right down to the stunning plaid floor.

Below, is the high style kitchen in the stately Los Angeles Hancock Park home of designer Tom Newman and his partner Ricky Strauss that inspired her.

Kitchen by Tom Newman with black, white and grey terrazzo tile plaid floor, white cabinets and drawers, black counter tops and stainless appliances

Inspiration kitchen designed by Tom Newman of Los Angeles architectural firm Newman & Wolen Design for his own home. It features an eco-friendly black, white and grey terrazzo tile plaid floor…the very clever design statement in this high style gourmet kitchen! (above)

Two very different homes in two very different cities. Design inspiration, can successfully translate, it seems, from a chic Los Angeles high style home directly to a small town comfortable family house.

Here is the story behind Arlene and Dan’s brilliant kitchen remodel and what inspired them…

Outdated and cluttered kitchen before a remodel
Before remodel, Arlene and Dan’s kitchen was outdated and cluttered.(above)

A little over a month ago, I got this very sweet note from a Arlene, a reader from Idaho…
“Hi, Coco. I have been viewing your site all along as I piece together my new kitchen in our 1906 house that I have longed for 30 years. I duplicated this floor (below) to a tee and it looks fabulous in my kitchen, also. I also am doing a shabby-chic chandelier from your ideas.

The reason why I am writing is that I thought this was some professional designer magazine. I only just now read where you are not a pro but just like helping out others. I want to thank you for all the help you have given this stranger in Idaho!

I’ll send you a picture when we are completed. My poor husband is doing most of the work when I say “Honey, look how cool this is. Can you do it?” And he does.

Thanks again for your fabulous eye for decor!

Sweet note…right?

Just last week, Arlene wowed me when she sent in these awesome photos of her kitchen remodel. Arlene, like me, is not an interior designer…she just had an eye for something she liked (in this case the plaid floor) and a nice husband who spent his weekend and nights making her vision come true.

Kitchen during a remodel
During the remodel, Arlene laid out the kitchen floor she saw on this blog and Dan, her husband, installed it! (above)

Kitchen after remodeling with plaid floor, white lower cabinets with recessed panels and glass upper cabinets and black quartz countertop
Besides the plaid floor, Arlene chose white lower cabinets with recessed panels and glass upper cabinets. She also chose a black sparkling quartz for the countertops…Silestone, Stellar Night. (above)

Kitchen after remodeling with white upper cabinets with reeded glass fronts and accent lights
Upper cabinets are flush to the ceiling. Top row of cabinets have reeded glass fronts and accent cabinet lighting inside!(above)

Classic pressed tin ceiling mounted kitchen light from Schoolhouse Electric
Classic ceiling mount lighting is from Schoolhouse Electric…these wonderful fixtures help illuminate the fantastic pressed tin ceiling in the kitchen that Arlene and Dan tore out of an old building…the ceiling is also in their living room and cost them about $200 because of the fact that it was reclaimed (eco-friendly designing!).(above)

Kitchen after remodeling with a crystal chandelier
The crystal chandelier was found from a store on eBay that uses crystals from old lighting to make up new designs. (above)

Kitchen after remodeling with a crystal chandelier, Diamond Tech-Metal Series Mosaic Octagon Dots tile backsplash, black counters, white cabinets and a stained glass accent piece
Arlene made the stained glass accent piece that sits in the over-the-sink kitchen window. It adds a wonderful pop of color to the space.

Kitchen after remodeling with a breakfast nook with a white table with a black insert
Arlene and Dan have lived in their Idaho home for 31 years…and this is the first time they have had room for a kitchen table! The breakfast nook includes a great table with a black inset that matches the kitchen color scheme and a wonderful bench window seat. (above)

Kitchen after remodeling with stainless steel tile Diamond Tech-Metal Series Mosaic Octagon Dots backsplash
The sparkle of the kitchen continues in the backsplash…with a fabulous Diamond Tech-Metal Series Mosaic, Octagon Dots pattern. (above)

Mint kitchen after remodeling with black, grey and white tile floor, black countertop, Diamond Tech-Metal Series Mosaic Octagon Dots pattern backsplash, white cabinets and a crystal chandelier

With all of the fabulous design bells and whistles in this kitchen, Arlene still says her favorite part is the floor. She thanks Tom for showing off his own kitchen remodel and for the incredible design inspiration!

Great kitchen Arlene and Dan! Thank you SOOOOOOO much for sending in the photos and for your lovely note. You were inspired by Tom’s design…now your design will inspire others!! Thank you!

Just a note to readers for further inspiration…Arlene and Dan did this remodel themselves…neither are contractors or designers…they just found something they loved and did what they had to do to make it their own! Maybe you can do the same


  1. Arlene, it is bedazzling!! I love it, but am afraid for my daughter to see it, because as you know, she tends to love to redecorate in just this kind of style.

    It really does look amazing. Great job!

    Linda Roark

  2. Great kitchen! Clean lines, light and friendly. I can invision this as night and with company. A pleasure to see. I will be using a tin backsplash myself and now look forward to intalling it even more! Thank you!

  3. Love it, I posted in the original thread, but wanted to ask again incase it get’s missed: how did you grout the tiles so the grey or black sections don’t have lines, did you use two grouts?

  4. Just talked to Tom Newman who owns the house and is from architectual firm Newman&Wolen. He says no grout was used on the plaid three tone tile kitchen floor. Tiles were butted up against each other.

  5. I’m remodeling my kitchen and came across your site by accident while looking for kitchen floor design inspiration. I think this floor is absolutely stunning and would really like to recreate it, but as the tiles are not grouted, isn’t this a hygiene/tile expansion problem? Were special tiles used to prevent these problems? I’m from the United Kingdom, so may not be able to purchase the tiles used in the design. I was thinking of just using ordinary tiles but that’s probably not a good idea. Would love to hear from you regarding this.

  6. What a great looking kitchen! Do you know where the Fox’s got their kitchen table and chairs? Also, I love the pale green paint they used on the wall – do you know what color it is? Thanks!

  7. Unfortunately, I only now saw these questions, therefore my answers will most likely never be seen.
    The dining set is made by Calligaris. We lucked out getting it on close-out at Macys for less than half. It is sold many places tho’ as on this site.
    The set extends to double the size but of course no room in my kitchen for that. I do extend part way for a serving area. Love this set.
    The paint is by Ralph Lauren, I think ‘celery’ on the walls and ‘ocean’ something or another on the ceiling. We topped the walls with Lauren’s Candlelight topcoat to give it a warmth glow.
    The eco-friendly flooring is Fritz green tile, same as Architect Tom used. A 1 1/2 yrs later, still looks fabulous. I bought it thru

  8. Wow. They should be very proud. They did an amazing job and their room is more unique and beautiful than some rooms designed by a “pro”!

  9. Thanks, y’all.
    Sundloff, I’m afraid there is no tutorial. I laid the tiles in the pattern out in our living room first and my husband would take it into the kitchen piece by piece since he couldn’t figure out the puzzle.

  10. Your kitchen is heaps more chic than the “chic LA” inspiration! I was going to go with a plain black & white checker floor until I found this idea! This is a much more sophisticated pattern. Your whole kitchen is gorgeous, love the ceiling idea, too, your back splash is similar to mine, I went with the glass and stainless steel combo. I’m also using a cool sage as a pallet! Brilliant minds think alike! But see, now YOU are the inspiration! I guess there’s no secret or short cut to laying out a tile pattern…can’t wait to do it! Thanks for sharing!

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