An interview with Snaidero USA Los Angeles kitchen designer, Lois O’Malley
What are the hot trends for kitchen backsplashes?
Lois: Popular backsplash materials right now are glass (back painted in any color or lit from behind); quartz stone (with matching countertops); and stainless steel, the always-in-style choice for contemporary kitchens.
Is the backsplash really all that important?
Lois: Aesthetically, it’s incredibly important. The backsplash is on the same plane as the eye line, so that’s likely the first thing you’ll notice entering the room. Consider it the cherry on the cake; something that can deliver a “wow” effect while tying the whole design together.
Are there backsplash materials that are more functional?
Lois: Backsplashes only have to be functional to a point because they are not a work surface. So, this is where you can really indulge in the materials you like and cannot use for countertops for durability reasons. If you really want a backsplash that is both aesthetically beautiful and functional, you should probably go with quartz stone. You just can’t go wrong with it. It is elegant as well as heat, scratch, and stain resistant.
Can I pair minimalistic kitchen cabinets with an elaborate or extravagant backsplash?
Lois: I’d advise against that, as it would make for too big of a clash. If stainless steel seems too “plain” for you, consider glass or quartz stone. I don’t want to sound repetitive but, believe me, they will make for beautiful backsplashes while maintaining the minimalist integrity of the design. The result will be a very sophisticated looking kitchen.
Should the backsplash be the same throughout the kitchen?
Lois: It’s not a must; you can very well have one material in one area and a different one in another. It really depends on your taste and the overall balance of the design. However, I would not recommend doing more than two types of backsplash, otherwise it can look choppy or like a mishmash. Using the same backsplash throughout the kitchen will look extremely clean and modern and in some cases almost Zen-like. If it’s a large kitchen, you can add another material or color to create a focal point or just to break it up a bit. You can also use stone or glass in most of the kitchen and have stainless steel behind the cooktop. The transition won’t be distracting and stainless steel is fire resistant, so you don’t have to worry about burning your wall.
Are there specific types of backsplashes that are better suited for particular cabinet finishes?
Lois: It depends on the effect you want to produce. Personally, I always recommend creating some contrast. That would mean using a light backsplash (and countertop) against dark cabinets and vice versa. If the cabinets are textured, consider a rougher material, such as the Jaipur or Rockface collections by Eurostone. For high gloss lacquers, I would use stainless steel, high gloss lacquer panels to match the cabinets, glass or polished quartz, in contrasting colors.
How do you like your backsplash?