Friday, November 25, 2011

Back splashes, what are my options?

This is possibly one of the most common questions asked by my clients, this eye catching element is a feature of utmost importance. It is sometimes the first introduction to 'a real color' and requires a huge commitment, unlike paint or soft furnishings which can easily be changed up.

When choosing a back splash there are many things that need to be considered, it is not simply a single choice of material. There may be multiple materials chosen with varied heights required at installation, and because of this the floor plan needs to be studied carefully and lighting needs to be installed accordingly.


In this London home, it was paramount to take advantage of the windows (and the building was protected) so I created a 2" upstand in the same honed black granite as the countertops, mainly to stop items from falling into the recess.
(Photo courtesy of House & Garden UK)

Behind the Wolf range, I used a mosaic back splash, it is relatively busy but toned down with the Absolute Black granite counter tops.

You may wonder what the lighting has to do with the back splashes. Let me explain, if you have chosen a tiled or mosaic back splash the grout has a busy grid effect, choosing a strip light 'washes' the back splash without creating the 'V' shapes formed by puck lights, same would go for a marble back splash with a naturally busy veining running through the stone.
However, if you have chosen a sheet glass or a manufactured stone back splash such as Silestone or Ceasarstone, the 'V' shape lighting that puck lights create will create more interest than a light merely 'washing' the back wall.

This project of mine shows a glass tile back splash going all the way to the ceiling.
(Photo courtesy of House Beautiful.)

Another consideration is that the back splash must not fight with the rest of the materials chosen, for eg the counter tops and the flooring, and the coloring should be sympathetic to the soft furnishings in the kitchen and the breakfast room, den and any adjoining rooms.

In this Maryland beach house I used white glazed subway tiles, since the ceiling was very high we took the height of the hood as our guide line for the height of the back splash and we wrapped the tiles around the room. This is a very easy to clean, and fresh looking idea.

In this Hamptons project I opted for this gorgeous marble counter top and back splash featuring a custom stainless steel back splash and vent hood for even more wow factor!

On the window side there was no space for an upstand ;  I'll take the views any day!

If you have alot going on in the kitchen, I like to use the same material as the countertop for the upstand, as shown in the image of one of my Manhattan apartment projects below.
If the kitchen is neutral, the backsplash is a great area to introduce color and texture.

To create this matching veining we literally 'folded' the marble and matched the counter top with the backsplash. The under cabinet LED lighting brings the marble alive.

 I always recommend getting professional help from a designer for any kitchen renovation, a designer will be able to present you with multiple choices for materials, colors and layouts. All which will add value to your home and daily pleasure.

Questions? Leave a comment with your email address and I will get back to you! :)

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