Inspired Question: Which backsplash should I choose to finish this kitchen renovation?
Oct 25, 2010
What is it about that last little bit that's so hard? The final steps can be the most difficult, whether you're getting in shape, writing a novel, or as in Georgia's case, renovating a kitchen. She wrote:
I love your website. Thanks for the ideas. I am attaching my "nearly" finished kitchen photos and am anguishing over backsplash tile. Ideas I have considered include:
•subway tile (4 x 12) buscuit with brownish grout
•"copper rust" color that has a shimmer (squares, either small or large or mix) with grout to match counter
•subway style "bowed" tile in off-white (Fiji)
My countertop is honed Caesarstone Lagos Blue, which looks greenish. I have yet to paint the walls but will probably do a Benjamin Moore buff, and one wall perhaps a peachy tone (colors from Agnes Sims Indian print). I am attaching my nearly finished kitchen but I am STUCK. Help! This kitchen has been in limbo for 2 months… Due to cost I think i will just do the backwall in back of the hood. Any ideas? Should i just do squares?
Here's Georgia's not-quite-complete kitchen renovation. There's a lot to love about it already…
This is a very small kitchen, but the layout is smart. Recessed and under-cabinet lighting were the right choices here. The floor has a dominant red tone. Let's keep that in mind.
I really like the simplicity of the cabinetry for a space this small, and I love that the upper cabinets have been built up to meet the ceiling— no awkward spaces to collect dust. Plus, this gives the cabinetry a custom look.
There's the print Georgia referenced in her email. I like how it blends with the reddish tones in the flooring.
And here are a couple of the samples she's been playing with:
Above, bowed subway tile. I think this is a cool tile, but it's not right for this space. The lines in the cabinetry and appliances (which are a dominant element in a space this small) are very straight. This tile seems out of place. Also, it lacks color, and I think the backsplash is a good way to introduce just the right amount of color into an otherwise neutral space.
Above, copper rust square tile. I like this very much. The tones of red and gray pick up hues from the flooring, counters, and appliances. I like this smaller size also. The proportions seem right for the space, particularly if you'll only be tiling the space above the stove.
The "biscuit" subway tile you mentioned but did not picture sounds like it would be too bland. The bulk of the space is neutral, so go for it on this focal wall! Here are some other ideas you might consider…
- Any tile with subdued red tones will help balance the strong color of the floor, so if you're not quite happy with that last option, use it as a starting point and look at tiles with similar tones.
- Porcelain tiles with a metallic glaze are interesting. This textured coppery porcelain tile by Apavisa would look great highlighted by your under-cabinet lighting. It is also available in a listello tile if you like the proportions of the subway tile. Ask your tile supplier to see similar options.
- Backsplashes don't have to be tiled. Consider a copper-toned metal backsplash. This material is more affordable and much faster to install, so you could afford to do the whole wall if you want. Check out the metal panels by Frigo Design available at Home Depot.
- Paint the wall any color you like, then have glass fitted to the wall behind the stove. This maintains an open look and couldn't be easier to clean. The space is so small, that I would paint a single color on the walls. I like the idea of pulling a peach tone from the print. Keep it pale. Next to those white cabinets even a hint of peach will stand out and nicely complement the green tinge in the countertops.
One Last Tip
It looks as though the soffit and molding above the cabinets is a slightly different white than the cabinetry. Maybe this is because you haven't painted yet, but I would make sure to paint those the same white as the cabinets to enhance the illusion of tall, custom cabinets. And don't forget the fifth wall: your ceiling! If you choose an earthy tile for the backsplash, that ceiling would sing covered in a copper-colored aluminum nail-up ceiling tile like this one.
Hope that helps you reach the finish, Georgia! You've done a beautiful job so far. Send after photos, please. —Diane
Have an Inspired Question of your own? If you can sum it up in a few sentences and send me 2-3 photos, I may feature it with ideas and solutions on Room for Inspiration. First question is free! All I ask for in return is a little social networking love. Email questions to designer Diane Kolak.
TAGS: small kitchen renovation remodel classic style white cabinets cabinetry backsplash selection choice interior design edecor edecorating e-decorating ask a design question
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