Pour Your Personality Into Your Backsplash

by Blake Herzog

One thing kitchens don’t usually have a lot of is exposed walls — which can make them a great place to experiment.

Between all the appliances and cabinets found in that room, there’s only a little bit of vertical space, set off from the rest of your house, which makes it the perfect place to add a pop of color or texture that’ll make it glow without disrupting the flow of the rest of your abode.


Backsplashes, whether they’re confined to the space immediately over the stove or unfurled around the perimeter of your kitchen, can be composed of the classic white subway tile in horizontal or vertical patterns and look perfectly beautiful. You can also try any kind of colored tile, brick, stacked stone, river rock, floral graphics, pressed tin, wallpaper to simulate any of these effects, or just about any other substance you can think of.

Your preferences and priorities are really the only limits to what you can do. Are you seeking an earthy look or abstract art? Do you value ease of cleaning over detail? Do you want cozy or captivating?

Here are just a few ideas:

A little goes a long way
Shown here just after installation, this backsplash leans on simple, square white tiles but sprinkles a few tiny earth-toned pieces at the corners, using a consistent pattern to highlight the purity of the look without overwhelming it. The colors can be coordinated to the countertops or bring in just a touch of your favorite color to make the space your own.

Mosaic mode
Mosaic squares can introduce all kinds of elements into your backsplash. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and compose patterns that are simple or complex. This one incorporates shades of green to introduce a clean, organic vibe to the kitchen to go with the fresh food you’re preparing for your family. Mosaic tiles are made of stained glass, stone, metal, or acrylic, and it’s easy to mix colors and materials to make sure yours is one of a kind!

Special effects
Don’t forget about the power of lighting to make your rooms look completely different at different times of the day. This mosaic pattern already pops with the dark tiles accents, but the under-cabinet lighting is adding a dramatic golden sheen. Well-placed lights beneath cabinets or elsewhere in the room can pick up the shimmer in glass or metal tiles and add a halo effect to your kitchen.

Splashy backsplash
Most of these examples keep a consistent theme throughout the kitchen, but you can also go with the original meaning of the word “backsplash” and define the space above your range, however subtly or visibly. This one uses a boundary to define that special part of the kitchen where most of the magic happens, plus a special raised-pattern tile detail that can set the mood for the rest of the room.

Colorific
You don’t have to keep the splashy color confined to the backsplash either. This kitchen pulls off two jewel tones to create a vibrant heart for your home. But be sure about what you’re doing before you commit. A 3D design simulator can be a great way to take colors and patterns out for a test drive.

Spread the love
Of course, there’s no rule against your kitchen detail splashing into the rest of the house, especially if it’s open-concept (as most are these days). This kitchen shares its stone mosaic with the accent wall around the fireplace; the neutral tones meshing perfectly with the sandy floors. Now this is how you coordinate your home!