40 Impossibly Chic Kitchen Backsplashes



Whether your dream kitchen is rustic and cozy or modern and sleek, these tile design ideas will have you covered.

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Inspired by the blue-gray veining on the countertops, designer Matthew Quinn chose matching subway tile for the 2014 Kips Bay Decorator Show House. The dark color of Pratt & Larson's Rustic tile sets off the hood, and its large scale — 6 by 10 inches — suits the large space. Instead of merely doing a backsplash, Quinn ran the tile up to the ceiling. "It feels more like a French bistro this way," he says.

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Warm colors reign supreme in this cozy, old-world kitchen. Designer Sandra Bird laid Ann Sacks' Gothic tiles in a harlequin pattern above the bar for a playful touch. With five different shades (Sorrell, Otter, Champagne, Cream, and Willow), the same colors never touch.

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A coordinating mosaic (handmade Idris tile from Ann Sacks) picks up the soft blues of the island in an inviting Dallas kitchen.

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"Guess what? It's not brick," says designer Ken Fulk of the accent wall in a New Orleans kitchen. "It's this wonderful rough-hewn terracotta tile, and we used it all across the wall and up to the ceiling, so it has more impact than the typical backsplash."

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Mirrored tiles maximize light in this Manhattan loft,which jazzes up the painted bamboo bar for glitzy entertaining.

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A liberal dose of spicy orange is what makes this California kitchen really special. Designer Melanie Coddington says it all started with the backsplash: Contessa Pagoda tile from Walker Zanger.

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Sandwiched between glass, a piece of Lee Jofa's Lauretta fabric becomes a delightful accent in an English country-style kitchen.

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In a Birmingham apartment, an entire wall is clad in Calacatta Gold marble tiles from Kenny & Company and laid in a chevron pattern for extra drama.

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Designer Frank Roop alluded to the setting of a Nantucket kitchen with a backsplash reminiscent of the ocean. The variegated handmade glass tiles, Erin Adams through Ann Sacks, steal the show.

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A little shine — and a few twists on tradition — inject simplistic style in a New York kitchen by Louise Brooks. The backsplash is made with Ann Sacks' Inca tiles in Brushed Aluminum.

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"I wanted it to feel as if you had taken an old kitchen and brought it up to speed," designer Christopher Peacock says of the 2013 Kitchen of the Year. Beadboard, painted in Calcium Wall Emulsion Paint from Christopher Peacock Paint, compliments the open shelving.

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Archive beveled tile by Waterworks laid in a stacked bond provides a clean backdrop for a 1905 kitchen's custom range.

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Dark countertops set off the cheery red and white tiles from Craftsman Court Ceramics in an Arizona kitchen.

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Nick Olsen broke all the rules when decorating this tiny studio apartment. The kitchen corner gets a helping of charm with a painted plaid backsplash and matching grosgrain ribbon trim.

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Handpainted Talavera tiles from Mission Tile West brighten the kitchen in a 1920s Santa Monica home.

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"In a room this big, with east and west exposures, all this gray is grounding," says designer Joe Lucas of this Southern California bachelor pad. The wall is covered with acid-washed Seagrass limestone from Classic Tile.

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Designer Angie Hranowsky likes to cover as much wall as the budget allows. The splurge led to a gray Indianapolis kitchen that's serene but not subdued. "It's longer and more narrow than subway tile," says Hranowsky of Waterworks' Grove Brickworks field tile. "And I love the pitted, handmade texture."

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Caroline Beaupère designed a custom-made tile backsplash to bring a New York City kitchen to life — the twisting vines even delicately go around the electrical outlet.

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Rich woods and dark hues play up the warm side of modern style in a New York City kitchen. Designer Elena Framptonhe used New Gunmetal tile by Heath Ceramics for an iridescent backsplash.

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Designer Amanda Nisbet added sparkle to a Manhattan apartment with Silvery La Leaf Antique Gloss field tiles from Artistic Tile. The oversize glass tiles are backed in silver leaf to brighten the space.

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A Lake Michigan home tinged with blue stuck to the color scheme with a beautiful backsplash from Urban Archaeology.

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The ocean's shimmery hues inspired a kitchen in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. The blue-green wall tile sets the tone, reminding the designers of verdigris — the color you see on the inside of the brass lanterns.

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For the San Francisco Decorator Showcase, designer Steven Miller created a dramatic space for entertaining. The dazzling backsplash is composed of Black and Silver Iridized Chrysalis tiles by Ann Sacks.

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"I usually do monochromatic backsplashes, but this tile makes a statement," says designer Annette English of a 1937 house with eye-catching elements. The pattern, Full Circle Design Studio's Windsor Arabia, also creates a sense of intimacy in a large room.

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Designer SuzAnn Kletzien unified a Chicago kitchen with gray and white plus hints of brass. The backsplash is made of four-inch-square White Gloss tiles from Mosaicos, set in a staggered pattern and accentuated by gunmetal-gray grout.

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When designer Christopher Peacock walked into the AKDO tile showroom and saw their new Balmoral Plaid pattern, he immediately thought of a classic Burberry raincoat. It fit right in with the tailored look of a 1909 Beaux Arts townhouse, but he set it on a diagonal for more energy. "Initially I was going to use it everywhere, but then I decided it would have more impact as a focal point over the Dacor range."

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With a bright turquoise glass tile from Modwalls beneath a yellow valance, this beach house kitchen has "a classic, timeless quality with few fun pops of color to keep it from being staid and predictable," says designer Mona Berman.

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In a retro Chicago kitchen by designer Mick De Giulio, simple one-inch squares of black and white tile make a graphic statement. The recessed opening, defined by a pencil detail, acts as a convenient shelf for condiments.

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In a modern Los Angeles kitchen, architect William Hefner balanced the oak wood with a Calacatta gold marble backsplash and matching island.

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Above the countertops and stove of a California kitchen by Erin Martin, the backsplash is clad in a blue-and-white French tile from Country Floors.

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Blue-gray Metro subway tile offset white cabinets in small but distinctive Park Avenue kitchen designed by Daniel Sachs.

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Black glazed tile from Compas Stone makes a graphic backsplash in a California kitchen designed by Chris Barrett.

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A blue backsplash takes over one whole wall in this Fire Island kitchen designed by Marshall Watson. The 2-by-6-inch Veneto glass tiles from Stone Source, laid in a traditional running bond, reminded Watson of sea glass: "You don't find it much anymore, with all the plastic bottles and cans."

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A mirrored backsplash in a shabby-chic Manhattan apartment gives the illusion of more space. "The kitchen opens up to the living room on one side and the family room, where we eat and watch TV, on the other," says designer Faye Cone. "The idea was that it should be an extension of both these spaces."

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In a French country kitchen, designer Beverly Ellsley chose cedar limestone for the countertops and backsplash and installed a convenient shelf for soap.

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The 2012 Kitchen of the Year, by designer Mick de Giulio, gets its shine from a white goldleaf tile backsplash by Ann Sacks.

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For a bar area in this Greenwich, Connecticut home, designer Ashley Whittaker chose Aladdin tile from Waterworks to conjure up an exotic Moroccan feel.

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Designers Jeff Lincoln and Hillary Thomas designed the kitchen in a Washington D.C. townhouse as a contemporary counterpoint to the rest of the home, which has a 1940s French feel. They injected a jolt of color and graphics with a Turkish patterned tile from Ann Sacks.

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Inspired by French brasseries, designer John Oetgen paired a yellow tile backsplash with a zinc range canopy in this Atlanta house. The potting room off the kitchen shares the same olive oil color tile, from Renaissance Tile & Bath.

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In a former camp cottage, designer Amanda Kyser chose Benjamin Moore's Merlot Red for one kitchen wall. It sets off the white dishware dramatically salvaged from a grand seaside hotel in France.

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