No matter where you want that extra little something – kitchen, bathroom, or an accent wall elsewhere in your home – backplashes are a great way to add depth, dimension, color, pattern, and texture to the design of a space. And since I know that, while I find playing with colors and patterns and textures immensely enjoyable, it often feels overwhelming; so, here are the steps I take when helping a client choose a backplash.
Step 1: What is the Atmosphere?
No matter what room/space you’re considering putting the back-splash in, the atmosphere of that space needs to be considered. Is it more formal or more casual? Does the style lend itself more towards contemporary or more traditional?
Step 2: Where is it Going?
How will the space nearest the back splash be used? Will it be near a ‘messy’ area like a sink or stove? Or will it be in an area that doesn’t see lots of splashes or other oopsies? Will you be touching it on a regular basis or will it be more like artwork on the wall?
Step 3: Should it Lean More Light, Dark, or Medium?
What is near it that isn’t changing. Thankfully paint is easy to change out, cabinets aren’t however. For example, in a kitchen, if you have dark cabinets and go with a mid to light backsplash. If you have light cabinets go with a mid to dark backsplash. Contrast is always good as it adds depth and interest, plus you’re going to want your beautiful new backsplash to shine!
However, in the right setting, don’t be afraid to break the ‘rules’ for a stunning effect like shown below.
Step 4: What Colors Will it Be Working With?
Again, first take into account the pieces that aren’t changing like big pieces of furniture, counter tops, cabinets, fixtures, etc. Then focus on pieces that you love and would love to decorate a space around. Is there a hint of green that you’d like to focus on a bit more?
Step 5: What Pattern?
Thankfully mosaics build that in, though you can choose which direction to run them (maybe run a rectangle on a diagonal vs. straight?) But if you’re working with larger pieces like 3″x6″ pieces or 6″x6″ pieces you should think about patterns simple and complex. Which pattern will enable the back-splash to add the dimension it needs to the space?
Do you like the sleekness of glass or metals? Or would you rather the rougher texture of stone? When it comes to texture, don’t forget clean-ability depending on where it is going! Stacked stone is beautiful but would be a trap for oil behind a stove.
Remember: natural stones should always be sealed (typically prior to installation)! Due to minimal wear it will take years for a good seal to wear off (a good way of checking is taking droplets of water and seeing if they bead up or soak in.)
Step 7: Will It Need Accent Pieces?
If you’re going with something that is simpler overall, think about throwing in an accent piece or medallion. Liners are a nice way to frame a design out or add dimension without going too flashy also.
A good thing to keep in mind when choosing if and where you want accent pieces is your line of sight and neighboring architectural details (like stove hoods).
Step 8: How Will It End?
Will the backsplash end at an inside corner, allowing the architecture of the home to act as a frame? Or will it end at the edge of a countertop or at an outside corner? Does it need a frame to cover any raw edges or will the nature of the product eliminate that need?
Step 9: How Will It Work Around And With Existing Finishes?
Is there a window to keep in mind? Built in? Vanity? Shower door? Mirror? Architectural details? How will you want the backsplash to work with existing finishes like those?
|What a great idea: a shelf behind the stove!|
I hope this helps! Do you have any tips that I missed? Any questions I can help with?
Mercer Floor and Home of Ellicott City, Maryland