When we decorated our kitchen we decided against installing splashbacks – we wanted a minimalist look, and we’d seen plenty of beautiful examples of splashback-less schemes on Pinterest. A few months down the line, we’re beginning to regret our choice: the walls are already covered in marks from cooking and washing up, and steam from the kettle has left streaks across the paint.
So, the hunt is now on for a solution to retrofit above our existing units. Luckily, there are all sorts of options which are both functional and stylish – here are a few ideas that I’ve picked up during my search…
Sheets of toughened glass are perhaps one of the most practical choices, as they’re heat- and impact-resistant and extremely easy to clean, with no grouting to attract mould. I love clear glass, which fades into the background and mimics the no-splashback look. If you want to make a bolder statement, you can opt for all sorts of different colours, as well as sparkly, mirrored, matte and metallic effects; you can even have artwork mounted behind the glass.
Design studio Creoglass produces a huge range of bespoke glass splashbacks and worktops, and can match almost any shade, including paint from brands such as Farrow & Ball and Laura Ashley. They also offer a handy clear-shield protection formula, which resists limescale and grease.
Metro (or subway) tiles have become something of a design classic in recent years, and with good reason. They create a timeless look, and you can easily jazz them up with grey grout, or by experimenting with different layouts (I’ve recently seen them hung vertically and in herringbone patterns, which can look fantastic).
I love the contrast between decorative tiles and minimalist, contemporary units. There are some wonderful designs with Moroccan, Spanish and Portuguese influences around at the moment – just be aware that some clay and concrete tiles will need sealing against water ingress before being installed in a kitchen.
Marble creates a luxurious, high-end feel, especially when paired with matching worktops; it also goes well with everything from sleek modern units to more traditional styles. It’s not cheap, so if you have a small budget stick with a lip of a few centimetres above the counters; if you want to make a bigger statement, you can run the marble much higher up the wall.
There are all sorts of options for wooden splashbacks, from rustic-looking reclaimed boards (not easy to clean, but the texture will normally hide any marks) to smooth engineered wood and laminates. You can even paint them to match the units, as shown in the stunning black and white kitchen below. Just be aware that wood isn’t generally suitable for the area behind ovens and hobs, as it will warp and burn in the heat.
Polished plaster has been used in countries such as Morocco and Italy for centuries, and its waterproof qualities mean it’s a great choice for kitchen surfaces. Finishes range from the highly shiny to rougher, more weathered textures, and you can opt for almost any colour under the sun. Once installed it needs almost no maintenance (just wipe it clean), though you’ll have to be careful not create any accidental chips.
This is a collaborative post with Creoglass, but as always all words and opinions are my own.