10 Backsplashes That Add a Touch of Flair to the Kitchen
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10 Backsplashes That Add a Touch of Flair to the Kitchen

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By Duncan Nielsen
These backsplashes—though obviously not an afterthought—are the cherry on top of these kitchen designs.

In the kitchen, the space behind the range or above a counter presents a homeowner with an opportunity to make a statement without having to shout. It's one of the best places to subtly inject a bit more personality into a room that, above all else, demands functionality. These ten backsplashes from the print archive show how a small application of materials, texture, and color can liven up any kitchen space.

A Jewel Box Home with Rubber Flooring as a Backsplash

Charles de Lisle, of the interior design firm Your Space, designed the kitchen backsplash of PVC rubber flooring embedded with stainless steel "plus" signs. The restaurant supply table is flanked by steel-and-wood Lem Piston stools from Design Within Reach.

Charles de Lisle, of the interior design firm Your Space, designed the kitchen backsplash of PVC rubber flooring embedded with stainless steel "plus" signs. The restaurant supply table is flanked by steel-and-wood Lem Piston stools from Design Within Reach.

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In an otherwise mostly white kitchen, the mirrored concrete tile backsplash introduces an unexpected element. The floor is also covered with the same tile from Mission Tile West, giving a fun, almost disco-like vibe to the space.

In an otherwise mostly white kitchen, the mirrored concrete tile backsplash introduces an unexpected element. The floor is also covered with the same tile from Mission Tile West, giving a fun, almost disco-like vibe to the space.

Painting this diamond-plate steel backsplash a charming pink color makes the material feel less cold and industrial.

Painting this diamond-plate steel backsplash a charming pink color makes the material feel less cold and industrial.

In a moody apartment in Berlin, multi-toned charcoal gray subway tiles make up the backsplash, which contrasts with the pop of rosy color on the kitchen cabinets. The pink is a custom hue.

In a moody apartment in Berlin, multi-toned charcoal gray subway tiles make up the backsplash, which contrasts with the pop of rosy color on the kitchen cabinets. The pink is a custom hue.

"The kitchen is pretty astonishing, really, considering it’s 40 years old," says resident Louise Jenkins. Large square tiles in green with sunflowers compliment the cabinets' natural wood finish.

"The kitchen is pretty astonishing, really, considering it’s 40 years old," says resident Louise Jenkins. Large square tiles in green with sunflowers compliment the cabinets' natural wood finish.

To complement the white-washed custom cabinetry in her kitchen, architect Julie Salles Schaffer has designed a tile backsplash to resemble "melting butter in a white pan." 

To complement the white-washed custom cabinetry in her kitchen, architect Julie Salles Schaffer has designed a tile backsplash to resemble "melting butter in a white pan." 

The owners of this home selected a geometric-patterned glass tile backsplash by Island Stone. The glass tile keeps the space bright, and the pattern adds interest.

The owners of this home selected a geometric-patterned glass tile backsplash by Island Stone. The glass tile keeps the space bright, and the pattern adds interest.

Subtly textured and tonal, a metal backsplash can be a great idea in a range of spaces, from industrial to moody and sombre.  In this particular kitchen, the backsplash and drawer pulls were fabricated by 12th Avenue Iron. The cooktop is by Miele.

Subtly textured and tonal, a metal backsplash can be a great idea in a range of spaces, from industrial to moody and sombre. In this particular kitchen, the backsplash and drawer pulls were fabricated by 12th Avenue Iron. The cooktop is by Miele.

The dark green marble countertop and backsplash, though not original to the Mies van der Rohe-designed home, replicate what he often used in projects of that era. 

The dark green marble countertop and backsplash, though not original to the Mies van der Rohe-designed home, replicate what he often used in projects of that era. 

The space is just off the kitchen, which was moved and updated. Bradley paired cabinetry of his own design with rupee-shaped tiles from Heath Ceramics.

The space is just off the kitchen, which was moved and updated. Bradley paired cabinetry of his own design with rupee-shaped tiles from Heath Ceramics.