For those of you who want the backsplash to be the focal point...

steph2000November 9, 2011

I ran across this image at Houzz today. Interestingly, it turned out to be from my locale here in Anchorage. The granite here is so evocative, it almost seems to be a landscape.

asian kitchen design by other metros design-build Grayling Construction

Which got me thinking about a kitchen I saw a while back, which was actually an Asian landscape in tile across the entire backsplash. I've been searching for a while for the picture, but I'll keep looking. It was quite spectacular and in great taste.

Anyway, I got to thinking that perhaps it would be fun - and inspiration to at least some - to start an idea thread here to contrast with the subtle-subway-tile-to-highlight-counter-as-focal-point movement (which I actually like, BTW) with one that reverses the order. This time, backsplash rules, counters take a backseat. My example is not a great way to kick that off, as the counter and backsplash are actually the same material.

Any eye candy you'd like to share, either of your own kitchen or inspiration photos?

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Steph- Not my style, but a beautiful backsplash! I wouldn't have chosen to use the red with that granite, but the wood and stainless steel are perfect.

Even though they're the same granite...the backsplash is much more striking. I think people forget that you often look at the kitchen 'sideways' while sitting at stools or a table...and only look at the countertops, when you're standing over them...even the stools have placemats covering the granite.

I've shown mine before, but here's my inspiration photos for my backsplash and countertop. Since I have some nice vintage Jadite and other accents on the counters (not too many, but a few) I want a countertop that will highlight, not compete, with the other details :) From Lavender Lass farmhouse pictures From Lavender Lass farmhouse pictures

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 12:01PM
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I love this thread and will have to add to it when my backsplash goes in. I have the muted counter and subway backsplash playing second to a custom over-the-cooktop aqua hand blown glass backsplash design. Picking it up Friday and will post a teaser pic then!!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 4:46PM
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I hate they covered part of it up with cabinets. I wouldn't have put them on the wall. Reminds me of this Quartzite - so dramatic!

Here is a link that might be useful: Quartzite Slab Drama

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 11:23PM
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Thats what I did with the Apple Jasper

And the Delft tiles

That I paired with plain countertops in the Design game we have been playing.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 11:27PM
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Here's ours which I think qualifies as "reversing the order"
even though it uses subways.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 11:51PM
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This isn't my kitchen--it's a store display--but it is the backsplash we're using. It's Solistone Mardi Gras in Carrollton.

Source: via Jen on Pinterest

I love that it's subtle, but still gives some variance. Here's a close up:

Source: via Jen on Pinterest

We'll have Hanstone Specchio White quartz counters, with bits of recycled green glass and mirror that goes nicely with backsplash, but looks plain white in context to make the backsplash the star:

Source: via Jen on Pinterest

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 12:47AM
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I spent forever finding tile I liked, and chose everything else to work with the tile. Counters are simple quartz.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 7:03AM
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I love your backsplash, Sas. I remember seeing your kitchen and thinking we wanted to do something very similar, but a little more subtle tile but still with variation like yours.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 8:55AM
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Was it this one?

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 9:05AM
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sas, What are the specifics on your BS. I love it and it is just the look I,m looking for. Thanks.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 9:21AM
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allison, I agree. I think a large-scale feature like that needs room to breathe. It's too hemmed in. I also don't think the rest of the colors in the room coordinate very well.

By contrast I think some of the busier backsplashes with smaller-scale patterns, like some of these subways, can actually benefit by being "framed in."

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 9:31AM
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So many of you have gorgeous backsplashes. Mine isn't a focal point, but it is an important design element. I love the strong horizontal line in it. I thought I would want dark grout, but when I mocked it up that way on the computer it looked like a stretched fish net, so this is what we ended with.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 9:33AM
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I love that backsplash, Bellsmom. And ICF Green, that's really pretty tile.

Advanced, our tile is Walker Zanger Ceramica Alhambra. We mixed 6 different colors, and played around with them a bit to create a "random" looking pattern.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 11:05AM
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Good morning. Fun to see some action on this thread, I wasn't sure it would take off.

I don't get the red accents in the picture that started this off, either. I do like how the cabinets/ss relate to the stone. Mostly, I was struck by that stone mimicking a landscape, cut like a mountain.

It's a very good point that the BS will trump the counters when the same materials are used, given how our eye sees the vertical versus horizontal application. My comment was meant more in reference to how a calm, even solid, counter is often indicated to balance a busy, focal-point BS - as is shown in many of the subsequent examples.

@coastal love - Can't wait to see! How exciting to be at that point.

@ICF - Those tiles appear to be magical. They look so different close up than at a distance. I would have never assumed they had so much color variation had I just seen the close-up. Of course, that could all be the camera, I suppose. The texture is so interesting! How great to have your elements chosen. When do you expect to be started/done?

@sas95 - I do love that tile. I think I just recently saw your kitchen for the first time. You and willtv are both reminding me that I should have been more specific in my introduction. Subways don't have to be a neutral field, any more than any other size/type of tile. Which reminds me...

@Bellsmom, you make a great point that it's not just about color, it's about the lines. Lovely tile - and the solid-looking counter really contrasts with it and makes it stand out.

@CluelessinColorado - If your link isn't the exact thing I was thinking of, it is very representative of what I was trying to get at. I actually really like that, though I don't think I could manage to make it work. There's just something so organic and simple, yet so very distinct at the same time, about it.

I'm still very curious how my BS window will end up playing into this discussion - and what I am going to do with my non-window wall. I really, really need to get inspired and find some idea boards, inspiration pictures or a darn direction. At this point, I'd settle for 2-3 clear options. I don't want to hire a KD, really, but I'm beginning to wonder if I should. In the meantime, I keep lurking and surfing and playing.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 11:48AM
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ICFGreen: what are you using for cabinets? I love the backsplash and counter materials. The depth the tiles offer is lovely!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 1:51PM
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I do agree those tiles are magical...and a budget saver. I found this gorgeous kitchen on Houzz and fell in love with the backsplash.

Source: via Jen on Pinterest

The backsplash is Ann Sacks Matchstick Mosaic marble. I loved it. Tracked it down, and found out it was $65/square foot. We need 50 square feet. That's about 1/2 the cost of our cabinets (which we got for a song because the Amish guy making them is just starting out and we're giving him some marketing in trade). The practical side of me couldn't make the splurge.

Then we were at The Great Outdoors and I saw the display (the picture above). I stopped dead in my tracks because it was so cool to look at. I looked at them up close, then walked away to take it all in. I loved that it wasn't a solid color, but wasn't as bold as most glass mosaics. They were listed at $30/sq, which was still steep for me, but better. Still, I shopped around for another 6 weeks before we ended up getting them, timed perfectly with a sale, getting the price down to $21/sq (including tax).

They're currently sitting in our garage as we wait for our cabinets to be finished. The original plan was to be done by Christmas, but looks like it'll be January now.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 2:15PM
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Oh WOW! The first pic ... if I had a granite like that, I would cheerfully subordinate all other design elements to it's awesomeness.

I wonder if they cut the granite freehand to get the top outline, because Blue Louise normally doesn't have that much plain cream.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 9:18PM
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lazygardens - I was wondering that too because it is such an abrupt difference. I love the effect no matter how they got there. I think they should lose the bright red and try for a persimmon or cinnamon type shade to accent with. It is a crime to try to take away the focus from the Van Gogh stone!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 9:41PM
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I know I am bumping a thread out of nowhere, but I happened to talk to the man who cut the granite for the kitchen in the OP. And, yep, the granite was cut to mimic the mountain view outside of these folks' house. He really seems to know his trade.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 11:53PM
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I am so glad you bumped this thread. I had not seen it the first time around.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 12:12AM
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