Jessie, who recently moved into a new home, wrote in asking for help in choosing a backsplash tile for her gorgeous, new kitchen. Help with selecting a kitchen backsplash has been a common question from readers over the years. It seems to be one of those kitchen details where a lot of people struggle with indecision.
Before we dive in to addressing how to go about selecting tile for a kitchen backsplash, let’s all pause to drool over Jessie’s beautiful kitchen!
There’s already so much good happening in this space from the contrasting island and custom range hood to the copper metallic accents!
While Jessie knows what she likes design-wise, she’s struggling to nail down a backsplash tile. She wants to find a tile that will coordinate well with both the granite countertops and the off-white cabinets. She’s not really sure how to tackle the selection process as there are so many variables in play.
A backsplash is one of those finishing details with huge visual impact in a kitchen. I don’t necessarily think there’s a right or wrong way to go about it; as design like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But hopefully this post will help you to feel more confident in making a selection.
Your Kitchen’s Design Personality
First and foremost, I think it’s important to take a step back and look at your kitchen as one whole statement. Rather than focusing on the color of your cabinets or countertop and trying to find a tile to coordinate, look at the big picture and figure out what you want your kitchen’s personality to be. Are you going for a fun, happy space? Or do you want your kitchen to feel modern, sleek and industrial? Everything in the kitchen doesn’t necessarily need to fit a specific design style, but it’s important to nail down what the overall vibe is that you’re going for in the space.
For example, a stainless steel subway tile will bring in an industrial vibe whereas a classic off-white subway tile that matches the cabinet color would be a classic, timeless look that makes the overall design lean towards more of a modern-farmhouse feel.
Supporting Role or Main Player
Once you’ve nailed down your kitchen’s design personality it will make it easier to narrow down your tile options. Now you’re ready to make the next decision, which is do you want your tile to be a main player or do you want it to have more of a supporting role? Basically, is the backsplash the design element you want to take center stage or would you rather that it blend in and act as a compliment to the other elements in your kitchen.
(as seen on Fixer Upper, Design by Joanne Gaines via HGTV photo by Rachel Whyte)
In Jessie’s case, a patterned tile could be really fun and add even more personality to the space. Her design style feels lively and inviting, and a patterned tile would definitely add to that vibe.
Patterned tile is really making a comeback, but it does require some design commitment. It’s a bold choice, but one that pays major dividends in the individuality of your home.
Although a more subdued tile choice that blends in a bit with the kitchen cabinets and the countertops could be just as beautiful. A simple cream or off-white colored subway or mosaic tile would finish off the space nicely and act as a nice compliment to the hood and copper island lights. Supporting elements don’t have to be boring. Just because they allow other design elements to really shine doesn’t mean they can’t be cool and interesting. A cream glass subway tile would add some nice shine and reflection, blend in nicely with the off-white cabinets and allow that gorgeous hood to stand out even more. Glass tile would also be a nice change from the traditional ceramic but would still be a timeless choice.
Is There a Right or Wrong Choice?
Honestly, there really isn’t. So long as you choose a tile that coordinates with the palette of colors in your kitchen, you really can’t go wrong. It’s truly about going with your gut and choosing what looks best to you.
While subway tile is still a bit trendy, it’s a classic style that works with any design style. In going with either a glass tile or a smaller matte version you get something a little different than the norm thought it’s still timeless. Both of the patterned tile options would be stunners and would coordinate really nicely with the other elements in the space.
What backsplash option would you choose? Or would you recommend something completely different?
If you have a design dilemma and you’d like some help brainstorming ideas, shoot me an email at Carmel@ourfifthhouse.com with “design dilemma” in the subject line.