Smart Design With Suzette: Backsplash Beauty

Decorative backsplash. Courtesy photo

Los Alamos

Backsplash designs are an extremely important element to consider during a kitchen renovation. The right backsplash design should be a focal point of your kitchen and really tie the whole room together.

Kitchen backsplash design should really incorporate your own personal style. Many people have trouble choosing a backsplash. I’m here to help. I’ll show you examples of what’s tending now and guide you to make an educated decision that suits your personality.

Popular Materials

Subway Tile
Glass or ceramic, subway tile is still the favorite among most people. It is a classic look that will endure the test of time. Horizontal subway tiles have been a popular kitchen design choice for years, but don’t be afraid to shake things up by creating a unique backsplash pattern. Try installing those subway tiles in a herringbone, chevron or vertical pattern. It’s a new twist on a classic look.

Brick backsplash can really give your kitchen a rustic look that is unique and cozy. Brick veneer is recommended over real brick because it costs much less and gives you more flexibility in style. The red hues of the brick blend nicely with white or gray cabinets, which gives a vintage feel.

Intricate but hardworking, an embossed concrete tile backsplash creates a sense of formality in the kitchen. Large, bold kitchen backsplash tiles are extremely in style right now. The pattern and the deep black of the tiles bring life to the space. The black design on the tile is important to break up the white counter top and cabinets.

Recycled Glass
A great example of design that reduces, reuses and recycles is recycled glass. The use of recycled glass is on the rise. In addition to being eco-friendly, it is extremely durable — a great material for avid cooks, small children and messes in general.

Current Design Trends

Extend Backsplash
Running the backsplash up behind the hood or up the wall behind floating shelving is a great way to bring a beautiful aesthetic to your kitchen. Cover as much wall as the budget allows.

Electrical Outlets
Keep electrical outlets out of sight. Try to avoid showing electrical outlets because they can break up the flow of your backsplash. Mount outlets underneath the kitchen cabinets, next to the under-cabinet lighting. It’s convenient, easy and you’ll never even know the outlets are there.
If you do disrupt your backsplash with an outlet, try to at least keep things flowing in the right direction. Most plugs are installed vertically, so they really stand out if you’re using horizontal tile, such as subway. Install the outlets horizontally.

Geometric Patterns
Geometric patterned tile really spices up a modern look. The inconsistent geometric pattern is extremely unique and looks great. The vibrancy is a great contrast to the simple counter tops and cabinets. The light teal adds a splash of color that really brightens up the room. The white of the cabinets, chairs and table combined with the wooden cabinets and accents are very elegant, but the geometric tiles keep the kitchen from being too bland or simple.

Chevron patterns
The brown and white chevron backsplash tile looks amazing against the white counter tops. Although the chevron tile could work in any color of your choosing, the brown and white creates a very calming effect in this kitchen. The brown shelves on the left side and the white shelves on the right are a great way to complement the colors in the tile. The height of this backsplash looks great in this setting, although it extends much higher than a typical backsplash design. When you are using a patterned tile, keep other aspects of the kitchen simple to ensure a subtle elegance.

Moroccan style
Arabesque shaped tile is a beautiful kitchen decoration. The shape of the tile exudes a Moroccan feel that influences the entire aesthetic of your kitchen. As shown in the photo, the shades of blue balance well against the white counter top. A wet bar backsplash generally only takes up a small part of the kitchen, but this design would work in a larger capacity, as well. This particular style would complement walls and cabinets in several colors so you can get creative when planning your own kitchen remodel.

The wooden look and blue cabinets make this room appear warm, cozy, and welcoming. The shade of blue used on the cabinets is a great choice because it complements the wooden look and white walls beautifully. Kitchen backslash design ideas that feature a herringbone pattern are very popular and stylish. Herringbone looks slightly similar to chevron and you can achieve this look by placing rectangle kitchen tiles in a zigzag pattern. Your eye will immediately be drawn to this pattern and the backsplash will be the focal point of the kitchen.

Under-cabinet lighting is essential to highlight your beautiful backsplash. It’s easy to hide the lighting and electrical outlets by installing a trim piece underneath the upper cabinets. There are several different kinds…puck lights, LED rope or strips. I have LED strips that have a two-way switch. A high setting for bright task lighting like cutting meat or vegetables and a lower setting for ambient mood lighting. I recommend under-cabinet lighting to all my clients. It’s a must have!

A kitchen backsplash can transform the appearance of your entire kitchen. Whether you prefer kitchen backsplash design ideas that are traditional, modern, or rustic, I hope I provided inspiration for your backsplash.

Feel free to contact Los Alamos Interior Designer Suzette Fox to suggest specific design topics or for help with your home.

For more information, find her on Facebook at and on her website

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