The Manhattan version of a farmhouse kitchen features white-tiled walls with gray grout. White cabinetry and a milk-glass chandelier add to the sun-drenched feeling.
Caitlin Wilson wanted to lighten this New Jersey kitchen, but the predominantly white palette needed a little extra texture. The movement in Calacatta Gold marble subway tile creates a dynamic backdrop, while herringbone floors literally ground the space.
Designer Frank Roop alluded to the setting of a Nantucket kitchen with a backsplash reminiscent of the ocean. The variegated handmade glass tiles, Erin Adams through Ann Sacks, steal the show.
In a Birmingham apartment, an entire wall is clad in Calacatta Gold marble tiles from Kenny & Company and laid in a chevron pattern for extra drama.
Nick Olsen broke all the rules when decorating this tiny studio apartment. The kitchen corner gets a helping of charm with a painted plaid backsplash and matching grosgrain ribbon trim.
“I wanted it to feel as if you had taken an old kitchen and brought it up to speed,” designer Christopher Peacock says of the 2013 Kitchen of the Year. Beadboard, painted in Calcium Wall Emulsion Paint from Christopher Peacock Paint, compliments the open shelving.
Sandwiched between glass, a piece of Lee Jofa’s Lauretta fabric becomes a delightful accent in an English country-style kitchen.
Designer Angie Hranowsky likes to cover as much wall as the budget allows. The splurge led to a gray Indianapolis kitchen that’s serene but not subdued. “It’s longer and more narrow than subway tile,” says Hranowsky of Waterworks’ Grove Brickworks field tile. “And I love the pitted, handmade texture.”
“Guess what? It’s not brick,” says designer Ken Fulk of the accent wall in a New Orleans kitchen. “It’s this wonderful rough-hewn terracotta tile, and we used it all across the wall and up to the ceiling, so it has more impact than the typical backsplash.”
“In a room this big, with east and west exposures, all this gray is grounding,” says designer Joe Lucas of this Southern California bachelor pad. The wall is covered with acid-washed Seagrass limestone from Classic Tile.
A posh take on subway tiles, Pratt & Larson crackled ceramic tiles are glazed a pale blue in this streamlined cooking space. A nearby wall in Benjamin Moore’s Nelson Blue echoes the shade.
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Warm colors reign supreme in this cozy, old-world kitchen. Designer Sandra Bird laid Ann Sacks’ Gothic tiles in a harlequin pattern above the bar for a playful touch. With five different shades (Sorrell, Otter, Champagne, Cream, and Willow), the same colors never touch.
Archive beveled tile by Waterworks laid in a stacked bond provides a clean backdrop for a 1905 kitchen’s custom range.
Handpainted Talavera tiles from Mission Tile West brighten the kitchen in a 1920s Santa Monica home.
Megan Rice Yager warmed up this cabin-style kitchen with walls in reclaimed wood. Of course the pewter outdoor lanterns don’t hurt, either.
In our 2016 kitchen of the year, designer Matthew Quinn covered the wet bar’s wall in gold-striped Calacatta marble tiles by AKDO. For extra oomph, he arranged them in a sunburst pattern around the window.
“Often, we’ll carry the countertop stone up onto the wall, but I felt like this hand-glazed terra-cotta tile from Mosaic House added a great organic quality,” says designer Robert Stilin. To combat the inevitable “oil-splatter scrub down” behind a TriBeCa loft’s range, he chose a stainless steel backsplash from Wolf like those used in restaurant kitchens.
When the kitchen’s visible from the living room, the backsplash can’t be ho-hum. Sara Gilbane chose Ann Sacks’s Moroccan tiles to fill the space between the cerused-oak cabinetry in a Florida home.
A coordinating mosaic (handmade Idris tile from Ann Sacks) picks up the soft blues of the island in an inviting Dallas kitchen.
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Frank Roop updated a coastal cottage with shipshape windows set in Ann Sacks’s Jute glass tile. “These portholes are the real thing — authentic, not gimmicky,” he says. “We bought them from a marine supplier, and they actually open.”
Upcycled bricks from Fireclay Tile get a new life as a glazed backsplash in our 10th annual House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year. San Francisco designer Jon de la Cruz went with the dark hue as an homage to one of cooking’s central ingredients: black pepper.
A liberal dose of spicy orange is what makes this California kitchen really special. Designer Melanie Coddington says it all started with the backsplash: Contessa Pagoda tile from Walker Zanger.
Dark countertops set off the cheery red and white tiles from Craftsman Court Ceramics in an Arizona kitchen.
Mirrored tiles maximize light in this Manhattan loft,which jazzes up the painted bamboo bar for glitzy entertaining.
A little shine — and a few twists on tradition — inject simplistic style in a New York kitchen by Louise Brooks. The backsplash is made with Ann Sacks’ Inca tiles in Brushed Aluminum.
Loom glass tiles in Silver Silk from AKDO brighten our 2016 kitchen of the year. The subtle sheen only adds to Matthew Quinn’s dazzling decor.
Inspired by the blue-gray veining on the countertops, designer Matthew Quinn chose matching subway tile for the 2014 Kips Bay Decorator Show House. The dark color of Pratt & Larson’s Rustic tile sets off the hood, and its large scale — 6 by 10 inches — suits the large space. Instead of merely doing a backsplash, Quinn ran the tile up to the ceiling. “It feels more like a French bistro this way,” he says.
Don’t forget about your outdoor spaces. Chelsea Blues tiles from Mosaic House grace Lulu Powers’s backyard bar, creating contrast with the lacquer-treated copper countertops.
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Designer Michael Maher, who worked on this bright red butler’s pantry, introduced visual interest with Elizabeth Dow’s Chanel Indigo wallpaper. Coated with Teflon, the geometric-print linen wipes clean.
In a Hudson Valley home, white cabinetry sets off a kitchen backsplash in Mosaic House’s Batha Moroccan tile. The brass cabinet hardware harmonizes with details on the La Cornue range.