Creative Backsplash Ideas
Creative backsplash ideas are on display in many homes, with good reason—they can add tremendous personality and visual interest to any kitchen.
Take a Closer Look
At first glance, Kristy Socarras Bigelow and Brian Bigelow’s Denver kitchen looks pretty classic—subway tiles, open shelves, oak floors. But a closer inspection reveals this room is far from ordinary. When the Bigelows started designing their kitchen, they contemplated a neutral palette. “I loved the idea of a clean and simple room, but I knew I wouldn’t be happy unless it had some spunk,” says Kristy.
There’s a breakfast nook with seat-to-ceiling tiles in graphic patterns, a nod to Kristy’s Cuban heritage. There’s an armoire painted aqua and bright yellow chairs. “What can I say? I’m from Miami—I can’t live without color!” says Kristy, who owns three trendy Cuban restaurants in Colorado.
Sleek Peninsula and Multipurpose Art
“On most Sundays, we invite friends over for a casual dinner,” says Kristy. Guests sit at the granite-top peninsula on metal stools—leftovers from one of Kristy’s restaurants—while she plates food. The wood panel on the wall is actually one of the dining table’s two extra leaves. Kristy painted it yellow, and when it’s not being used to expand the table, she hangs it displays the kids’ art.
Your options for creative backsplashes are just about limitless, and ultimately the only constraints on the distinctive backsplash you choose will be your imagination and your bottom line.
Before deciding on a style or materials for a creative kitchen backsplash, you'll want to define the size—both physical and economic—of your project. Measuring the surface area of the walls above your kitchen countertops to determine the square footage you want to cover is a good place to start, but keep in mind that you don't always have to cover the entire kitchen wall with the backsplash (in fact, that design might be too overwhelming, especially if your intent is only to get creative and feature an eye-catching backsplash). When it comes to surface area, many homeowners choose to cover only the portion that will actually get "splashed" during cooking or daily kitchen activities—depending on your kitchen's layout, that may be the whole wall, half of it or only a small portion.
Once you've settled on the scope of your creative backsplash project, you're free to start brainstorming ideas for the materials and theme of the backsplash. It's definitely possible to install a creative backsplash using common materials like ceramic tile or stone in traditional styles like mosaic or subway, but if you're looking to flex your creative muscles, you'll likely want to explore more non-traditional materials. Reclaimed and repurposed materials—from punched tin ceiling tiles to things like bottle caps, coasters, used gift cards and even pennies—can make for an impressively creative and visually appealing backsplash in your kitchen. Most creative backsplash ideas that incorporate found materials like these will require some DIY investment from you in terms of time (to research and find the right materials) and budget (to purchase the materials, unless they're already in abundant supply). But what you spend in terms of sweat equity and research time, you'll more than make up for in cost savings by not having to hire a contractor or pay high prices for more traditional materials.
Creative backsplashes don't have to be made from found items, though—they can be much simpler, but just as colorful and visually appealing. Many homeowners looking to add a uniquely creative design to their kitchen have begun to feature "paper" backsplashes. Featuring interesting designs and bold colors on materials like heavy duty scrapbook paper, old newspaper pages, or even magazine image collages, these backsplashes provide plenty of visual punch at a fraction of the cost of ones constructed from tile, metal or stone. If you find this approach appealing, all you'll need to do is procure the paper, glue or paste it to the wall, then coat it with a finish that will protect the paper and allow you to easily wipe it clean.
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