The "Drink Your Way to Success" Award

Who: Jamie and Matt McCarthy
Where: Portage, Michigan

Jamie and Matt wanted a warm, natural backsplash that would contrast with the busy granite counters in their new kitchen, and cork seemed to be the perfect solution—until they priced 12-inch tiles of cork and found out they cost $20 a pop. Not ones to quit, they fired off a mass e-mail asking friends to save their wine corks. "Lucky for us, our friends are huge wine drinkers," says Jamie.

After a long and, one would guess, intoxicating summer, they amassed nearly 100 corks. Jamie sliced them like shallots, glued the disks to the wall, slapped on some polyurethane, and then grouted over them. "Now we have a custom backsplash for a fraction of the price," says Jamie. And a year later, friends continue to show up with bags of wine corks.

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