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Don’t Be Afraid of a Bold Kitchen Backsplash!

Plain subway backsplashes have a timeless appeal, but for a lot of homeowners, they’re just too boring. If you want your kitchen to be a reflection of your personality, don’t be afraid to go bold with the backsplash. These tips from O’Hanlon Kitchens will help you find the balance in your kitchen design.

Choose Where You Want the Visual Interest in the Kitchen

Each room in your house should have a focal point. That may be the fireplace in the living room or the shower wall in the bathroom. In a kitchen, you have several areas where you can choose to add interest: flooring, countertops, or backsplash. You may have other small focal points, like a sink or special appliance, but one of those surfaces will likely be the main feature of your kitchen.

Determine if you want your backsplash to be the star or if you’d prefer to put the attention elsewhere. Do you want stone countertops with lots of veins flowing throughout? Do you want colorful tile on the flooring? If the visual interest is going to be elsewhere, you may want a backsplash that’s more subdued. Having too much going on in your design can make your kitchen feel cluttered, harsh, and difficult to decipher.

Surround the Bold Backsplash with Complementary Neutrals

If you’ve chosen your backsplash as the point of interest for your kitchen, you need to select surrounding materials that aren’t going to compete with it. Soft neutrals create a nice backdrop for a show-stopping backsplash. You can certainly use colors in the rest of your kitchen, but pay attention to how that affects the overall feeling in the room. If a color or pattern competes with the backsplash, you may want a softer approach.

Test How Different Grout Colors Affect the Look of the Backsplash

Your grout color will bring out different aspects of the backsplash. Some colors may enhance the pattern, while others will make it look more subdued.

For instance, a high-contrast grout color is going to emphasize the edges of the tiles. If the tiles are a unique shape, this contrast will accentuate that. If the grout is a similar color to the edges of the tile, you won’t notice the individual tiles as much. They will flow together as one tapestry.

Grout color can also enhance the undertones of certain features. Black grout may bring out the black speckles on the tile. Certain shades of grey may bring out blue or tan undertones, depending on which grey you choose. Explore different grout colors to create the look you want for your backsplash.

Reasons to Avoid Installing a Bold Kitchen Backsplash

If you have busy features that you’re not replacing in your kitchen remodel, you may not want a busy kitchen backsplash. Maybe you like your granite countertops with tons of color variation. In that case, you may prefer the look of a subtle backsplash that pulls out one of the colors from your counters.

If you have a small kitchen, a busy backsplash may make it feel even smaller. The patterns of the tile break up the line of sight, so your eye cannot travel as smoothly around the room. Busy backsplashes can also make a dark room feel more enclosed, and the darkness may affect how the tile looks overall.

Furthermore, you may not want a bold kitchen backsplash if you plan on selling your home in the next few years. This is a great way to express your personality in a long-term situation, but if you know you’re moving next year, stick with something more neutral. Otherwise, you’ll narrow your pool of buyers, which may cause your house to sit on the market longer.

Compromise with Bold Accents

If you don’t want to commit to a wall of bold tile, you could compromise with a small accent of bold tile. Many homeowners will place this in between their hood and stovetop, but you could also use it above your sink or as a small border around the kitchen. Our kitchen designers can help you find the style that best fits your personal taste and future goals. Reach out to O’Hanlon Kitchens at 443-285-0558 to get started.


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