Friday, June 17, 2011

The endless possibilities of tile

There are so many options these days for tile, but finding the right ones to add that finishing touch to your kitchen backsplash can be a tough decision.  And once it's up, it's up.

A backsplash can be that final element that brings your whole kitchen together, bridging that space between cabinets and countertop. I love this kitchen with the cool blue glass tiles, great for this seaworthy home.
Country Living

Country Living

I also love the buttery yellow tiles in this kitchen too

Better Homes and Garden
With so many options to choose from for your kitchen, from glass or marble to stainless steel or granite, it's endless.  For those clients who want something a little bit more unique that goes beyond your local tile shop, tile murals can really customize your space. I have painted a lot of backsplashes over the years some have been a lot of fun - like this Nantucket flower truck and fountain used in a home in Nantucket.

I have also painted my own tiles for my kitchen, but as you could see from my previous blog about my current kitchen, I am in love with marble right now and went with the clean look of carrara marble subway, also seen here in one of my favorite kitchens.

Traditional Home
One bit of advice I have given clients over the years is unless you are planning on staying in your house forever make sure that your new backsplash isn't too personal. If you were to sell your house you wouldn't want it to be a downside to your kitchen.

I think one design that seemed to be the most popular over the years are roosters.  I have painted dozens of roosters, like this kitchen for a client where I painted roosters over the range with a hand carved border. The field tile is a crackled checkerboard pattern with carved detail tiles painted with a bronze glaze. 

custom kitchen for client
Another piece of advice I would tell clients is when you are redoing your kitchen and are having a hard time visualizing what your backsplash would look like - wait to live with the countertop and cabinets for a while since the backsplash is the last thing to go in.  It will give you some time to think about what style and design you are going for.  I do recommend that even though the backsplash can sometimes be the focal point of a kitchen you also want it to compliment the style and color of your cabinets and countertop and blend nicely with them.  The tiles in the picture below I painted for a client in a delft style.  It went beautifully with the style of her home.  In the breakfast space next to the kitchen I repeated the same design around her fireplace and also in the butler's pantry.  The one fun thing was that the two boys depicted on the tiles were painted to look like her two boys. I know - I said not to make things too personal but no one would know the difference when looking at the them.

custom tile job
 Sometimes just using neutral tones can be enough.  This fish was part of a series of fish for a backsplash that was painted using more of a tone on tone neutral but still added a lot of interest.

custom tile for client
I could go on and on and add tons of pictures which again gives you an idea of just how many possibilities there really are. You can see more tiles on my website
I just had to throw this final picture in just to show how extremely different a kitchen can look when using other materials, like this sleek stainless steel
House Beautiful
House Beautiful

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