WRITTEN BY JAYMI NACIRI
Tired of seeing white subway tile on every kitchen backsplash? You’re not alone. And while the tile will always be a classic (even if it feels overworked right now), there are a number of options that will add a fresh, new look to your kitchen.
Create a showstopper
In a kitchen where everything else is neutral, or at least a bit tamer, an eye-popping backsplash can be just what you need to create a killer kitchen.
Moroccan tiles and other brightly colored and intricately patterned confections are everywhere, but it can be overwhelming to think about running something so bold throughout your kitchen. Identifying one key spot where you can let it rip may be the answer. “Minimalism loves maximalism, translated, is a peripheral trend toward a clean, simple design framework which features a single, bold focal point of colorful florals or other bright patterns or colors,” said Design Milk. “It’s a pleasant antidote to straight lines and introduces color, warmth and visual emotion in a surprising yet modern design statement — a backlash from recent years of minimalism in our interiors.”
Especially if you’re going with concrete for your countertops, running it up part or all of the wall can create a winning look. “Concrete is making its way up from the floor to the countertops and we love the look,” said Emily Henderson. “Concrete gives you quite a bit of liberty when it comes to customization as well as color and it is also a very affordable option. But it isn’t just for counters, your walls can look just as chic in the material. These lighter toned walls with a slight texture are so beautiful and have a wonderful color variance to them.”
Yes, “The marble mosaic flooring popularized in 1920s Art Deco architecture is back,” said MyDomaine, and it looks better than ever. “Now we’re seeing it spill over into tiles as well, which is an easier to install and cheaper alternative to the real deal.
“What area comes to mind when you think of backsplash tile? The space between the countertop and the underside of the wall cabinetry,” said Sebring Design Build. “If there was no wall cabinetry above the countertop, then it was common to still place the tile straight across in the same location as if there had been wall cabinetry there. Perhaps by instinct or tradition. But it’s time to break the mold and bring that tile all the wall to the ceiling. Ceiling-height backsplashes can give classic tile a fresh and modern look by highlighting a single area of the kitchen, creating a focal point, or help a large patterned tile sing loud and proud. Higher backsplashes will unite all aspects of the space, and brighten up the space with the reflective qualities of the tile itself.”
Use marble in a new way
While marble is nothing new, different applications can make it feel fresh. Especially if you’re worried about the maintenance of marble on a countertop, using it on the backsplash is a great alternative. And, the options for complementary materials are endless.
A mirrored backsplash can make a small space look infinitely larger by bouncing light around the room. Go metallic to add just the right touch of luxe to your space.
If you’re not ready to give up on the idea of subway tiles but want something with a little more flair, go big. Instead of the standard 3×6 look, you can go to a larger format 4×8 version, or even a 4×12.
“A large format subway tile backsplash can be especially helpful for a small kitchen where the large tiles create the perception of space,” said Sebring Design Build. “Large format subway tiles can also help in creating a feeling of continuity especially if you are extending the backsplash to the ceiling; besides, let’s not forget the ever favorite…fewer grout lines to clean.”
Use some color
Another way to do something new without veering too far from the familiar is to stick with the subway tile shape but in an unexpected color. The black backsplash tile brings some great contrast to all that white and “makes the neutral kitchen more interesting,” said DigsDigs.