Add another dynamic by creating variation in the height of your island. Using the island for multiple purposes, like eating and food prep, will both maximize the utility and make it feel like two totally different spaces. For example, add an appliance to one level (like a sink or stovetop) and create a breakfast bar on a higher tier.
Given the numerous shapes, sizes and colors available, ceramic tile is probably the most versatile option (it’s also proven to be timeless). There’s plenty of room to play with patterns while still maintaining clean lines: stack tiles in columns, stagger them, or lay them at an angle. Most tile requires minimal maintenance, just be sure to seal the grout so it doesn’t get stained or absorb water.
In the past, tin was an incredibly expensive material. It was viewed as a sign of wealth for anyone who was able to incorporate it into their home designs — think about the revered tin ceilings found in restored buildings. These days, faux tin sheets are easy to obtain and offer the same look at a fraction of the price. This is also a great choice to replace tile as the texture of the tin finish will make any grout lines disappear.
Most people are after matching stainless steel appliances in their kitchen. Why? Because they look sharp and are central to a modern, updated design. Using stainless steel as the backsplash–either with tiles or a solid sheet–is a continuation of that same feel and creates a sleek, uniform look. The material is easy to wipe clean, doesn’t require grout and will last forever.
The secret is in the contrast. If you want your countertop to stand out, select a countertop color that pops or stands out from the cabinetry.
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