The kitchen is unequivocally the heart of the home, and in many ways, it sets the tone for all of our home-based activities. As the rally point for impromptu family discussions during meal prep and post-meal cleanups, not to mention the occasional afternoon homework session, the kitchen serves as the backdrop of so much more than our morning and evening meals.
Yet, so much of what we think of during the kitchen design process is focused solely on function over form. From appliance specifications to laying out an array of storage solutions, we make a flurry of decisions about how the space will flow and where to stage specific items for easy access. We may make a few aesthetic choices along the way, such as plumbing and lighting fixtures or cabinetry hardware, but even those selections can be largely based in functionality.
For a space as universal and iconic as the kitchen, is there more we can explore to infuse character into its very walls? In a word, yes.
Here are a couple of ways you can enhance your kitchen by making a few quick changes to what’s on the walls:
Embrace a Bold Brick-splash
One of the most expressive areas in any kitchen is the backsplash. From space-constrained galley kitchens to expansive, double-island eat-in layouts and everything in-between, the open surface between cabinetry and countertops can represent your greatest opportunity for incorporating eye-catching design into the beating heart of your home.
Tile backsplashes can provide an immensely versatile range of options for incorporating color and patterns. For those looking to incorporate a touch of texture on the walls, however, brick remains your best bet when it comes to rustic allure. Particularly now that brick veneer comes in a sophisticated assortment of light and dark color palettes, such as Chalk Dust or Ironside TundraBrick, maybe the time is now to embolden your backsplash with brick.
For a moody neutral, Ashland TundraBrick also provides a compelling and nuanced color play in gray that’s hard to resist!
Open Windows, Open Walls
Nothing complements the vibrancy of natural light quite like other natural textures, and there’s no space in your home more worthy of natural lighting than the kitchen. Whether your windows to the outside world are voluminous or tucked in above the sink (and possibly sandwiched between cabinets), a light stone accent wall could be just what the design doctor ordered when it comes to pulling off a kitchen transformation.
There are any number of texture and color combinations that can strike the perfect aesthetic balance for an eat-in area, breakfast nook or open shelving display. The most important thing to remember when updating an accent wall is to tie in some of the other color tones you see in the space as a whole. For example, you can use a subtle mix of taupes and bronze highlights to play off a prominent butcher block on the kitchen island, or you can choose a mix of eggshell and ivory hues to reinforce a set of white shaker-style cabinets.
Some stylistic choices are expressed even better in contrasts, so don’t rule out the power play of white-on-black or gray-on-white, either.
Kitchens are gathering spaces, and they’re among the most universal features of any home in any culture, in the entire history of the human race . For many of us, the kitchen represents a wealth of untapped potential when it comes to introducing discussion-worthy design selections to our most intimate and familiar spaces.
As the beautiful backdrop for both “everyday” and enduring memories, the kitchen just may be the next place for you to dig in, renovate and refresh.
Let those walls talk – you’ll love what they have to say!
As Director of Marketing and Portfolio Management, Sarah has successfully coupled her design talents with business acumen to refresh, refine and distinctly position five standout brands in the North American market and abroad. She continues to provide design direction for the brands’ variety of best-selling modern profiles and trend-forward color palettes while enhancing the prestige of the category among masons, builders, designers, architects and consumers.