In The Design Studio: Kitchen Backsplash Beyond the Subway Tile

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This is a sponsored post by Anna Gibson, owner of AKG Design Studio and an award-winning, certified kitchen and bathroom designer. AKG Design Studio is a boutique design firm specializing in kitchen, bathroom designs and cabinetry sales. Contact her at 571-989-2541 or [email protected], and follow her work on HouzzPinterestFacebook and Twitter.

A quick and easy way to update your kitchen without a big expense is to update your backsplash.

A backsplash is like that one piece of jewelry that gives every outfit a final touch. It adds a flair of personality and a great layer of design to your kitchen. Since tile install can be an easy DIY project, the backsplash can be replaced more often than you think and ensure your kitchen is as fashion forward as you are. Just a quick facelift of the backsplash (and maybe the hardware while you are at it) and you have an updated kitchen.

While selecting backsplash, the latest “safe” trend is the classic white subway tile. I challenge you to show your own personality in the backsplash and think about what statement you want to bring to your kitchen. Maybe you need some more bling in your life or simple elegance, or something to add a more sophisticated look with a bright twist. The options are endless.  

If you must use a rectangle/subway tile, look at creative ways to lay it out. Play with the layouts to create a look that matches your kitchen style — herringbone for a traditional look or stacked straight for a contemporary look. Find a different texture like crackled glass or a handmade look.  

The tile industry has finally started thinking outside of the 4×4, and geometric shapes are popping up everywhere from penny round, honeycomb arabesque and puzzles! Look at this geomantic pearl.

Laser-cut tiles are tiles that are cut by lasers to produce elaborate designs that are pieced together like a puzzle. Many of them are made from marble, so the price maybe steep. You may want to look at ceramic options of geometric tile that can give you the same effect for less cost.

Many companies like Fireclay from California now offer custom tile designs in affordable prices! You can pick your pattern and your own color or four, creating one-of-a-kind custom-designed tiles just for you.  

Beyond porcelain or glass tile, there are plenty of other materials that can be used for your backsplash from wood, wallpaper — yes, it’s making a smashing comeback! — chalkboard paint and different recycled materials, such as those skateboards we used in this Arlington project.

In The Design Studio - March 24, 2017  

Maybe you can’t decide on tile or are looking for a cleaner look with easy maintenance. Think about running your countertop up as a backsplash as well. This will not be as cost-effective or easy to replace, but it sure creates a stunning backdrop to your kitchen and a conversation piece.  

In The Design Studio - March 24, 2017

Whichever product you end up going with, make sure it vibes with the countertop, since your backsplash will always be right up against the counter. If you are going with a busy countertop such as granites tend to be, go with a solid backsplash color but add pattern. But if you go with a solid color counter as quartz, go with pattern and color to balance the blank canvas of the top.

No matter what, remember to have fun, be bold and show your style!

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