A backsplash isn’t just a functional extension of the countertop, it’s a key design element of your kitchen. It instantly signals whether you prefer a modern or a traditional farmhouse style, and changing your kitchen backsplash is one of the ways you can achieve a unique and stylish look, without spending a fortune on a complete kitchen revamp.
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Best for rustic kitchens
Natural materials that reflect the environment are timeless choices for a rustic kitchen because they evoke homeliness and comfort. Wood, stone, brick and white subway tiles continue to be staple choices, but there are lots of options that can make your backsplash look unique and eye-catching, for example:
- white-washing bricks or placing them in a herring bone pattern
- setting beadboard on the vertical or diagonal to elongate the space between cabinet and countertop
- using reclaimed materials such as wooden pallets and vintage decorative tiles bought in thrift stores
Natural materials used with grays, terracottas, creams, greens and neutral color schemes will always look calm and coordinated.
Best for modern farmhouses
It’s all about light and reflections, so sleek and shiny surfaces are a popular choice for the modern farmhouse backsplash, especially when combined with white cabinets.
Metal, slate, colored glass or mirror tiles look stylish and expensive but when these materials are used in one-piece backsplash panels they add an extra layer of sophistication. They are easy to clean and without the visual interruptions of grouting, they can give the illusion that your counter tops are wider.
Clear glass is visually appealing as a design choice in its own right, but it can also be used to cover absorbent surfaces, such as rustic bricks, providing some defense against those low flying tomato sauce or oil spatters!
Under-cabinet LEDs can enhance your backsplash by altering the color or the amount or type of light reflected across it, allowing you to make the most of your design choice.
If you are protective of the environment, backsplashes made from recycled materials such as tin roofing panels or left-over laminate flooring are a comfortable ‘green’ solution which looks homely and blends perfectly with any color scheme.
Best farmhouse backsplash tiles
Although there is some debate about whether subway tiles are ‘out’, tiles will always be a practical choice for a backsplash, and there’s no law that says tiles have to be oblong, white or set on the horizontal. If you want a fresh modern look to your farmhouse kitchen you could choose geometric shapes such as hexagons to break up straight lines or opt for a backsplash design with tiles set in a diagonal or zigzag arrangement.
Contrasting matt tiles with high gloss or white cabinets, and vice versa, can divert or attract the eye, depending on which kitchen features you most want to emphasize.
Best farmhouse peel and stick backsplash
For a quick update at a fraction of the price of tiling, a peel and stick backsplash is ideal. It’s easily removable and therefore a good option if you are renting or like to frequently change the look of your home.
The range includes vinyl, metal, glass, stone and slate, all of which can be applied over existing tiles, and cut with common household tools. If you’re up for a little more DIY, you can achieve an even more realistic effect with peel and stick panels that require grouting.
Best DIY option
Of course, this all comes down to your level of skill and access to tools, but for a quick, easy and inexpensive fix, wallpaper, painted, and peel and stick backsplashes have to be considered.
In as little as an hour, they can transform your kitchen and give the appearance of a classy re-style. It can also be a good way to decide if you like a particular color before committing to more permanent and costly backsplash materials.
If re-tiling is a step too far, how about changing the color of the grout, for example, to gray instead of traditional white or cream to give a more contemporary look? It’s a simple change which can transform the space.
More experienced DIY enthusiasts can indulge their creative skills in repurposing and recycling materials left over from other projects for a wholly unique and modern backsplash.
Best farmhouse budget friendly backsplash
Maybe you’re a bit tired of your existing backsplash but can’t afford to completely change it – or perhaps you just like to change your kitchen frequently. If so, these ideas for a cheap country kitchen backsplash might work for you:
- Washable, waterproof paint on tiles, plaster walls or wooden backsplashes can transform your kitchen color scheme
- Washable wallpaper offers limitless design options and color choices
- Under-cabinet LED lighting can subtly change the color of your backsplash, perhaps with a zing of color in the daytime and warm, soft tones for relaxing at night
- Peel and stick tiles give an instant make-over effect to a rustic kitchen
- Stencils of your favorite emblems or quotes onto a painted or papered backsplash fit well with an individual, homely, rustic farmhouse style
- Paint your backsplash with blackboard paint – you can write messages, your shopping list, or let the children loose with chalk to keep them entertained
- Finally, complement your backsplash with stylish, eye-catching features such as hanging plants, signs, rustic shelving and counter-top accessories such as coordinating bowls of oranges
The backsplash rule is ‘there’s no rule!’: if farmhouse is your style you are going to be drawn to natural tones, textures and materials, and you will want them to work harmoniously to create the homely, soothing, welcoming, relaxing environment we all enjoy.
The great thing is the endless opportunity to use them in a way that suits your budget, skill, vision and enthusiasm. Use these ideas to get you started and find the perfect backsplash as the centerpiece of your kitchen.