Get Splashy With Kitchen Backsplashes
I’ve been designing a lot of kitchens lately, and one of my favorite parts of doing that is helping clients choose a kitchen backsplash.
Your backsplash can really be the fun part of your kitchen design because it’s more of an accent than a part of the working kitchen like your countertop is. Except for the space over your cooktop, the backsplash – despite its name – rarely gets dirty.
Glass backsplashes are really popular right now, although you have to be careful with glass because the color combinations can become dated. If you are in your “forever home,” you can go Technicolor with your backsplash against your white cabinets, for example, but if you plan to move within five years, play it safe with neutrals. Also, consider moving away from 1×1 glass tiles and go for something more interesting, such as staggered colors in a rectangular shape placed in a mosaic pattern.
But glass is only one type of kitchen backsplash. I recently designed a kitchen (see picture at right) that used several different kinds of materials. Over two areas that wouldn’t see any water or cooking, I used 1×1 wood in a mosaic pattern that provides texture and movement. Plus wood is unexpected in a kitchen, which makes it more creative. Over the areas where the homeowner might splash while cooking, I used glass and stainless subway tiles. The subway tile size and the metal material are both a trend right now. And why not? It’s a sleek, unfussy look.
Backsplashes are also higher than they used to be. Forget about the 4-inch height—we’re taking them up to 7 or 9 inches now, which protects the wall and also gives the room more design. But beware: using the same material—such as the same color of granite—for your backsplash and your countertop is a no-no.
If your home has a Mediterranean style, travertine tile in a glazed, pillowed effect can make for a beautiful Mediterranean style kitchen backsplash. The “fluffiness” of the pillow helps the wall feel less flat than old-style ceramic tile. This is a great choice if you need to stay neutral, because the tile’s shape provides the visual interest without creating a color barrier that might turn off your home’s next potential owner.