Source: Pioneer Press
Make A Splash In Your Kitchen
Three creative and durable back splash ideas to liven up your kitchen
Your house is new or the kitchen newly done so that changing any major appliances or cabinetry is out of the question. Yet, something is missing; it has no life or, at least nothing that reflects your sense of it. You have several possibilities for big impact without a huge outlay of funds.
The countertop and back splash are two big impact areas. If changing your countertops is a viable option for you, think about it. If, however, the countertop is set in stone (or just feels that way) then consider just replacing or adding a full height back splash. Tile wears well, cleans easily and can be as subtle or as vivacious as you would like. The nice thing about this isolated project is that the space is probably not large, say 36 to 46 square feet, so whatever tile you choose may be affordable. Definitely consider doing something special behind the cook top or range. This could be as simple as defining a rectangular area with a small bar liner of tile and inside this area turn the tile at an angle or add painted tiles or different color tiles in this area. (To make the most of your tile selection, consult your architect or designer for assistance with the tile layout.)
If you have the opportunity, consider having your handyman or contractor cut into the wall to create a narrow shelf behind the cook top. Line this space with tile and your favorite cooking oils and spices will always be at the ready. Hispanic Desinge on Cicero has beautiful, chunky handmade tiles at reasonable prices. Titehof Tile in Highland Park is also great resource. Ann Sacks and Waterworks are both worth a visit, even if you are just looking for ideas.
If your kitchen has somewhat distinct work areas, consider using a combination of materials. For instance, use the same material as the countertop for the back splash area behind the kitchen sink, then use a painted bead board everywhere else except behind the cook top or range and there use a tile that compliments the countertop.
An inexpensive alternative to tile is a painted faux finish that is decorative yet hides a lot of wear and tear. You can do this yourself, if you are so inclined. This solution requires the application of paint tape in a grid to create 4” or 6” squares. The tape is available at most paint stores and comes in different widths. Use the narrower tape to create a successful faux tile look. Once the tape is up in a grid pattern, apply the paint in the faux finish you have chosen (ragging, sponging or marbling). If you want, go one step further by painting a mural over top of the subtle faux finish in the area behind the cook top where it will be easily seen. Once the paint is completely dry, remove the tape and you have created your very own personalized back splash that perfectly coordinates with the countertop, cabinets and wall paint! Best of all, you can change it in a few years without having made a huge investment.