Architect Alberto Torsello is the design brain behind Abimis kitchens, a design that will bring a chef’s kitchen to your own home. The kitchens are handmade in Italy and constructed entirely of stainless steel that’s impact resistant, meaning if you ram a stool into a lower cabinet, it won’t ding. The surface is orbitally polished to help make scratches and marks difficult for the eye to see, while also warming up the typical bright look of the shiny material.
Torsello, with the help of Prisma, honed in on the five phases that every chef works through – conserving, preparing, cooking, presenting, and washing – and properly organized the kitchen to make each step efficient, just like in a professional set-up. Beyond the superior function of the Abimis kitchen is the clean and sleek look of each component.
In Abimis kitchens, ergonomics are key so every element is scrutinized and worked out to make it easy to use. The countertops come with a non-drip edge to prevent spillage onto the floor.
Storage compartments are fully sealed and come with deep pull-out shelves for extra storage space. The pans and trays come in standard sizes so they can be moved from the storage units to the fridge, sink, or oven.
Currently, my kitchen has a 4-inch splash of the same material as the countertop. The 14 inches between splash top and wall cabinets is painted the same shade as the rest of the kitchen. I’m betting many of you have the same arrangement in your own kitchens, if they haven’t been remodeled: Most production builders use this formula.
Here are some things to take into account before finalizing any backsplash plans or buying any material:
- If you’re planning on changing your countertops, as I am, do that before you change your backsplash. Otherwise, there’s an excellent chance it will get damaged during the top removal. You could also create unnecessary potential fit issues.
- Consider whether you want to use this opportunity to add lights under your wall cabinets first. Again, you don’t want to rip out your new backsplash to accommodate wiring later.
- Overall kitchen electrical placement needs to be factored into your backsplash design, so that a focal point isn’t marred by an unfortunate disposal switch or GFCI label!
- Consider the grout color dictated by your selected backsplash tile colors. My experience has convinced me that I don’t ever, ever, ever want to have white grout in my kitchen again-not on the floors, not on the walls, not in this lifetime, never at all! I found it incredibly hard to keep white, even with a talented housekeeper. (If you have a cleaning solution that unfailingly works, dear readers, please share it with the group.)
- Consider the maintenance issues required for your selected backsplash material. Will it need to be sealed periodically, like marble or granite? If so, how often, and who will handle this chore?
- If you are planning a focal point for your backsplash, be sure you have the right scale and space for it. You’re going to need enough room not just for the design element, but for field tile above and below to frame it. A range hood usually will accommodate this scale. An over-the-range microwave won’t give you space for a major statement.
Tile is one of the most popular choices for kitchen backsplashes, and it offers tremendous versatility. Tile itself is a very durable material. You can find tile floors in Rome, Greece, Morocco and Spain that are centuries — even millennia — old and still beautiful. It’s the grout component that can be challenging. As I so strenuously noted above, I try to avoid white grout in kitchens as much as possible. Here are some tile backsplash options that can look great with less work.
Make a fun modern backsplash with ModDotz, glazed porcelain penny round tile by Modwalls
Add drama to your backsplash with Modern Mythology stone tiles by Crossville.
While most of the kitchens you’ll see published have tile backsplashes, they aren’t your only option. Here are some viable alternatives:
Tin tiles can install on a backsplash instead of on the ceiling. They’re usually perfectly sized for this space, too, with the standard being 6 by 6 inches and a full-height backsplash being 18 inches. There are so many color and pattern options to choose from now; you’re no longer limited to vintage-look silver! Tin tiles are also typically pretty easy to maintain, which certainly fits many of our lifestyles.
Paint can be your backsplash’s (and budget’s) best friend. One of my neighbors in Florida had a very handy husband. He painted a harlequin backsplash for her that looked just like tile; without the work or cost. Because he used kitchen-friendly paint, cooking splashes just rubbed right off! It was also an incredibly economic solution.
I often suggest to clients (and will implement this idea Chez J) that they carry the backsplash material into other areas of their public space. Natural opportunities for style extension include fireplace surrounds and powder room wainscoting. These also tend to be small areas that can be enhanced inexpensively because of the minimal material needed.
Depending on the material selected-for example, porcelain stone-your backsplash material could become the powder room floor, rather than wainscoting. Or, if there’s a medallion available in the tile series you selected for a backsplash, you could create a great companion focal point in the entry way.