I recently received a question from a reader and well, it's such a great example of how planning out all the details before you begin is so important, that I wanted to share today.
This is a pretty farmhouse style kitchen with some interesting details and a really spacious layout. I think this homeowner got a lot right with her space here, but when she got to the end and tried to figure out where to end the backsplash, she had a problem.
Now, I don't want to have a field day allowing critiques of her kitchen, this isn't about that. This IS about what is the best solution NOW with everything in and done the way it is, maybe suggesting a few doable tweaks here and there to help her get the end result she desires.
That's the main goal of my Designed in a Click and Designed with a Consultation services. I don't want to reinvent a space, I want to address the question that a client may have without going overboard. (Although I often add extra tips and bits of advice if I can see another direction that might work out well.)
You can read how I advised her, below.
I've struggled for 2 years now with where to start and stop my backsplash. The kitchen is only lower cabinets, barn beam shelf at upper height, the back wall has a door in the middle and all of the cooking and wet stuff is on the right side of the door. Should I backsplash the right side only-and if so should I start at the left end of the counter or at the sink?
I think you should consider doing a partial height splash because you really don't have any end walls where a full height tile splash could end. You have those shelves installed also and the door is between the two countertop areas, it would make for a lot of transitions that would have to be carefully addressed and would That would keep it to a more minimal expense too.
I actually like the idea of a square tile, maybe a cement or patterned ceramic. I think a subway style will just look sort of cut off too short at that height. I would come up either right below the sill of the window, that would keep the outlets above the splash. Hopefully you can find a tile that would work with that height, maybe two tiles high then?
I would suggest making a few other changes just so your new splash could clear some of the shelving, brackets and decor properly and now so that your hood area will be more of a focal point. I feel like there, at the hood, you should take the tile to the ceiling.
Run the tile to the ceiling at the hood, like in this photo.
The shelf next to the hood will be sort of heavy and distracting there and compete with the backsplash at the hood. Something simpler and less heavy, perhaps some plates on the wall or art on both sides of the hood, to frame up that space, would be desirable.
You could move it where the cup rack is or just relocate elsewhere in the house. You'll have to move the cup rack up higher if you leave it there with this height of backsplash.
The idea is to make the backsplash work with these elements without making it look cut off, too tall or too short and insignificant.
You can just keep it the same height on the other side too. Make sure to do trim/bullnose pieces on the exposed edges to finish the splash off nicely.
While I would love to see a full height backsplash here with tile to the ceiling, the heavy shelves are already installed and the door is between the two countertop areas. It would make for a lot of transitions that would have to be carefully addressed and would take a lot more tile, labor, and money to make that happen.
She could have also gone for a slab backsplash, maybe like this one, and then have just done tile at the hood. However, that would need to have been done at the time of the slab countertop installation to use the same material.
Now, if you go back in time and start at the beginning, perhaps these items could have been addressed in the design of the whole or at least, gotten her a backsplash installed before two years went by. :-) At this point, however, I think the advice I offered is the best solution.
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Are you a designer who wants to add in more one-time consultations to your practice? You might want to read this post.