HOW SPLASHBACKS ARE STEALING THE SHOW
Our kitchens have become so much more than the central workstations of our homes. Open-plan design has placed the busiest room front and centre of the living space, providing a gathering spot for family and friends from casual evening meals to formal gatherings, so it needs to look its best at all times.
Central to a kitchen’s look is the choice of splashback, traditionally a protective surface behind the cooktop, sink and benchtops and designed to protect the wall from water, greasy marks and splatters.
These days, however, it has evolved into an even bigger style statement about the kitchen — and potentially the whole house.
“The splashback is such a key part of the kitchen, both in terms of how it functions and how it looks, so it’s important to put some consideration into what sort will work best in your space,” says James Nash, kitchen designer at Kitchen Connection.
“There are generally three factors to consider when selecting your splashback — budget, design and practicality.”
With several style choices now available — from tiles to glass to stainless steel — it’s important to choose the right splashback material for your space.
“The more classic kitchen renovations tend to suit a tiled splashback, either a subway or patterned tile,” says designer Sarah Comerford, director of renovation management company Home By Belle.
“Modern kitchen renovations can include the use of smoked mirror, glass, or if you like tiles, a mosaic with the inclusion of a metallic feature.”
Window splashbacks have gained popularity in recent years, especially with display home builders.
James says there are pros and cons to this striking style.
“Window splashbacks are a great way to introduce the garden and natural light into your kitchen,” he says.
“But they will show smears and splashes so do require regular cleaning. They can also reduce your privacy so they’re best used
where there is a private garden space or similar that frames the window.”
Andrew Dee from Wonderful Kitchens says coloured glass is still a popular option while traditional tiles are making a comeback in some contemporary kitchen spaces.
It really gets down to personal style, maintenance needs and cost.
“A glass splashback is seamless and easy to clean,” Andrew says. “There are lots of colours and finishes available so it can be made to fit any space. Plus, being a reflective surface it adds another dimension to your kitchen.
“Tiles are also becoming popular again in new homes because new sealants have hit the market which can prevent grout from discolouring, making them more attractive.”
If you want to make your splashback the focal point of your kitchen design, James suggests choosing a luxury finish such as marble or you could simply opt for a patterned tile or choose a herringbone or chevron layout in different colours.
“We’ve also seen some really interesting splashbacks created using Laminex and Caesarstone,” he says.
“Both materials offer great designs from concrete inspired looks to marble veins allowing you to instantly achieve varied design effects.” More Home by Belle, homebybelle.com.au; Kitchen Connection, kitchenconnection.com.au; Wonderful Kitchens, wonderfulkitchens.com.au
Dark splashbacks, such as this one in the Orelia by Rawson Homes, add elegance to a contemporary kitchen; rawsonhomes.com.au
Subway tiles are a modern take on a classic look. Go for contrasting grout, as used in this design from Kitchen Connection; kitchenconnection.com.au
A window splashback, such as this one in Clarendon’s Madison 38 design, will flood your kitchen with natural light; clarendon.com.au
Metallic colours of gold and bronze lift the kitchen to new style heights in this space by Yvette Philips Interior Design; yvettephilips.com Picture: Spencer Dungey
Caesarstone benchtops (above) have been carried through to the splashback in this design from Kitchen Connection; kitchenconnection. com.au
You can’t beat the classics, especially this colour combo. Liverpool subway glazed ceramic tiles (below) in off-white, green tea and black from Tile Mega Mart; tilemegamart.com.au
Gio Totora tiles from Di Lorenzo (left) use the same pattern for the walls and floors in shades of grey; dilorenzo.com.au
Alloy Metal Tiles created this metallic splashback for interior designer Brendan Wong using the statement ubiquity tile from Karim Rashid; alloydesign.com.au Picture: Maree Homer
A herringbone pattern in navy and white tiles is a winner from Tile Mega Mart.