Simple answer: Absolutely!
But, does that mean always an involved, intricate design? No, it does not. In fact, in every project, the backsplash has to be evaluated..to see which direction the overall design might dictate. Often, I want to ignore the backsplash and not make it a focal point. In any case, I never want a person to come into a kitchen I have designed and say…”Wow, what a gorgeous backsplash” as the first comment they make. This might seem sort of odd, but it is not. I want the first impact to be for the space as a cohesive unit, a work of art as a whole. Of course if you have a great design and tile or whatever, you want people to notice..but not as the primary element.
So, I like to really consider the options for each design and I am known for not wanting to “finalize” it until we start to see how the entire space is coming together and speaks to us. Ok, sometimes we do have it all together like a small cottage kitchen we just completed. Julie, one of our designers, worked with the client and the backsplash selection drove the design to an extent. But, I usually prefer to let the other elements start to come together just a bit before really delving into the design aspect of the splash. The caveat to this is making sure you discuss location of switches and outlets prior to completion of electrical rough in.
Attention also must be paid to the transitions in a backsplash and the location of outlets and other “breaks” in the flow of the design. Often, I will recommend plugmold outlet strips that are installed underneath the upper cabinets to keep typical outlets out of the splash. There are pros and cons to this but my clients have indicated the plugmold is easy once you get used to it. If you typically have a coffee pot plugged in, then you might want to put a regular plug where this would be located so you do not have to have a dangling cord. However, if you have a highly stylized backsplash, it is worth considering plugmold to minimize your outlets. This is all part of evaluating the electrical plan as well as discussing options and pros/cons so you can make an informed decision.
Stay away from side splashes of tile whenever possible…sometimes they can work but often they do not and just look out of place.
Here are a few great splashes from our portfolio as well as from other websites that I have found. Enjoy! Please let us know what you think by commenting below!
My name is Cheryl Kees Clendenon, a California transplant to Northwest Florida. Been in the interior design business for 14 years and learn something new every day! This blog is about the day to day running of a design business and the crazy clients, silly subs, vexing vendors and exasperating employees! Join us for the ride!