The room that is very often the heart-beat of the home is the kitchen. One of the more over-looked parts of a kitchen that can prove to be among the most eye-catching, beautiful, and inspiring is the backsplash. I have seen some jaw-dropping backsplashes recently, and they’ve made me think of just how unlimited the possibilities are!

One very simple thing to do is to paint the space – either in a smooth continuation of color to match the room or to enhance or contrast if you like. I have seen murals painted on kitchen walls as a backsplash which was definitely a gorgeous idea. The artist tried to replicate Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”, “Irises” and “Sunflowers” along the wall behind the stove and all along the wall behind the cabinetry. It was stunning and added some much-needed color in a kitchen that was completely white before the mural was added.

The most common backsplash by far is tile. Subway tile is a very popular choice and can certainly look clean and uncomplicated. The colors you can choose are also varied. Traditionally subway tile is laid horizontally but it can be laid vertically or in a chevron pattern. The clean lines this can give you can really help the kitchen design come together.

Tile itself can come any number of ways from travertine which has a distressed limestone look to sleek marble and can come in just about any shape or size. One popular choice is larger tile around the kitchen wall with a mosaic medallion. While another would be to use mosaic pieces to create a piece of art – it draws the eye and can inspire accent colors for the design of the room. Tile comes in just about every shape and size you can imagine, so look at as many options as you can; you never know when inspiration will hit.

Backsplashes do not at all have to have a traditional tile look. One fun choice could be a pressed tin backsplash which could go just behind the stove or certainly around the wall with the cabinetry. Pressed tin and other metallic tile strips come in a variety of shapes, colors, and can be easily installed. Metallic tiles of all shapes and colors are popular now because they reflect a lot of light and that can help make a room appear larger.

One thing that is being done more and more is to take that countertop and run it straight up through the backsplash. We see this more with stone tops such as granite and quartz; but it can be done with any countertop. This can be a fun way to draw the eye up to your wall cabinets. I recently saw a backsplash done with treated concrete which had fossil inclusions and local stones and minerals – the result was surprising and very creative.

Backsplashes are, these days, becoming more and more integrated into the architecture of the home as well. Often you will find brick, repurposed wood, back-painted glass, or any combination I’ve written about here (and many I haven't). What this means is that the backsplash in any given home is as individual as the home itself. Ultimately it should speak to how you want to see your home as well as what interests and moves you.

If you have no idea where to start, talk with your designer about all of the elements of the room that you are trying to bring together. What is the wood species that was used on your cabinets? Are they painted? What color are your floors? What about the paint in the room? What are your countertops going to look like? What about your fixtures and hardware? Your designer will help you work through your options and come up with the backsplash that will help complete the look you are wanting to achieve.


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