/ Inspiration

Creative and Custom Backsplash Kitchen

Colorful and Custom Kitchen Backsplash
Photo By: Sheila Addleman

Design Notes: Like a great fabric, the glass tile backsplash in this kitchen pulls this room's color theme together with aplomb. The backsplash pattern was designed by one of the homeowners-a graphic designer who also works out of the home. The red, yellow and turquoise circles of the tile match the colors of the custom cabinets, and the kitchen's colorful and sprightly appearance are an extension of the rest of the home's motif. While the décor is whimsical, the owners are serious about cooking. Paperstone countertops were installed because of their low maintenance. A double oven unit plus a warming drawer give the homeowners the appliances they need to cook for and entertain guests. The house is a bungalow originally built in 1908, but this kitchen was part of an addition completed in 2009.

Creative and Custom Backsplash - A DIY Project

custom backsplash tile over cooktop
Photo By: Sheila Addleman

Design Notes: This intricate backsplash was a partial DIY project. Not only was it designed by one of the homeowners, she also cut and arranged the tile on backer board so it could be installed.


DIY Mountain Kitchen

Truckee California Mountain Kitchen
Photo By: Asa Gilmore

Ward & Young ArchitectsTruckee, CA
Kitchen by Ted Brobst

Design Notes: The husband-and-wife homeowners of this modern mountain retreat in Truckee, Calif., actively participated in the creation of their kitchen. The husband took on the task of making all the cabinets from vertical grain Douglas-fir. The wife picked out the room's statement pieces: the lime green splash of paint above the cabinets, iridescent glass tiles and an oversized clock. She thought the clock would help her be more punctual. "It hasn't helped at all," Christine LePresle says with a laugh, but she has no regrets about her clock choice. The homeowners tried to make the home as eco-friendly as possible, choosing post-consumer and post-industrial Squawk Mountain countertops for the perimeter counters, highly-sustainable Lyptus wood for the island countertop and recycled glass for the backsplash.

Manly Kitchen

Mal Corboy LED macho kitchen
Photo By: Kallan MacLeod

Mal Corboy DesignAuckland, New ZealandKitchen by Mal Corboy

Design Notes: This Kiwi kitchen was a true exercise in patience: It was planned 12 months before construction could even start. This left plenty of time for the clients' minds to be changed and their design tastes to be diversified. But the end result is a stunning, masculine and modern penthouse kitchen. The clients are involved in professional auto racing, and they wanted the design to be manly, refined and monochromatic. Gaggenau appliances and stainless steel cabinets and paneling both produce the masculine style. To give the kitchen a sleek, natural element, marble encases the island, as well as serving as the countertops and the backsplash. Finally, the designer added LED lighting to the base of the cabinets and island to give the room a colorful glow.

Ocean Waves Kitchen

Blue Kitchen by Tim Scott
Photo By: Donna Griffith

XTC Design IncorporatedToronto, ON
Kitchen by Tim Scott

Design Notes: It can be hard leaving the beautiful views of the Caribbean, so this kitchen's owner--who has a vacation house in Havana, Cuba--decided to have his Ontario, Canada, home emulate the ocean. Mosaic tiles in shades of blue set the oceanic tone in the space. Curvy columns mimic ocean waves, and the rippled sides of the island add "an element of movement like the ever changing sky," says designer Tim Scott. White marble flooring creates the look of a sandy beach, and Scott chose custom cabinets with an English Sycamore veneer to evoke the colors of lush soil in Havana. The kitchen overlooks the home's solarium, and combined with all the other design elements, it's a great way to create a Caribbean vibe between visits to Havana.

Colorful Kitchen Makeover

Before the remodel, this kitched lacked flair and square footage
Photo By: Jo-Ann Richards, Works Photography

The Sky is the Limit
Victoria, BC
Designer: Ines Hanl
Co-Designer: Kimberly Lewis Mannig

2010 NKBA Design Award: Best Before & After

Design Notes: This eclectic kitchen's centerpiece is an island consisting of three parts: blue cabinets housing the sink, dishwasher and trash compactor (black quartz counter); a smaller black section housing a microwave drawer (blue quartz countertop); and a turned red post with a 3-inch-thick round maple top. White perimeter cabinets and oak flooring add a classic touch to balance the bright colors and rounded shapes.
Products and Materials: Sonoma Tilemakers glass mosaic tile backsplash, Cambria Bristol Blue and CaesarStone Absolut Noir counters, Zee Design custom cabinets, KitchenAid range and refrigerator.

See the Before and After Floor Plan

Spanish Revival Kitchen

Spanish Revival Kitchen in California
Photo By: Art Gray

White Webb LLCNew York City, NY
Kitchen by Matthew White

Design Notes: With its long barrel-vaulted ceiling and ceiling-height backsplash adorned with hand-painted Mexican tiles, this space is one part kitchen and one part Spanish cathedral. Located in San Marino, Calif., 1920s Spanish Revival house, the kitchen area is part of a recent addition. The design team was charged with the task of not straying from the original architecture and maintaining the Spanish revival style. Using a barrel-vaulted ceiling provided a great foundation for maintaining the home's design roots. Simple Mexican tiles adorn the ceiling, and oak cabinets line the walls and kitchen island. Cream- and terracotta-colored tiles were used on the backsplash and to cover the range hood. "Often with historic Mexican kitchens that use these tiles, there is an almost random use of patterns and colors... we used a broad range of existing patterns to create our own unique design to suit the space," notes designer Matthew White.

Barnwood Kitchen

North Carolina Mountain Kitchen
Photo By: David Dietrich

Keystone Kitchen & Bath
Asheville, NC
Kitchen by Paul Bradham

Designer Notes: Located in the mountains of North Carolina, this kitchen uses cabinets made from aged gray barn wood to create the look and feel of an old cabin. The upper cabinets have chicken-wire inserts backed with a checked fabric that matches the curtains. An antique basket turned into a light fixture hangs over the kitchen island, which is topped with a distressed zinc counter that matches the weathered gray of the cabinets.

Less-is-More Kitchen

San Francisco Eisenmann Kitchen
Photo By: David Duncan Livingston

Eisenmann Architecture & Arclinea San FranciscoSan Francisco, CA

Kitchen by Stacy Eisenmann

Design Notes: Restraint can be a beautiful thing, especially when it leads to a kitchen that is minimal without looking cold. Sure, with high ceilings and plenty of floor space, this room could have contained a more grandly-designed kitchen. But instead the designer eschewed wall cabinets and embraced simplicity and flexibility while still projecting a welcoming appearance. This kitchen for two has a row of base cabinets against the wall, and features movable containers under the island that provide a little extra storage. Speaking of the island, architect Stacy Eisenmann said it features an "industrial material palette to coordinate [with the] existing house detail," and its lack of traditional cabinets enhances the kitchen's open appearance.

Steam Punk Kitchen

steam punk kitchen

Kitchen designed and rendered by Kevin Manus &

Design Notes: Inspired by the famous science fiction novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, rendered this virtual steampunk-style kitchen as an homage to the book's author, Jules Verne. While not an actual kitchen, it does feature 3-D images of real Elmira Stove Works appliances, like the stove and refrigerator. The large, circular window pays tribute to the porthole of the Nautilus - Verne's imagined submarine in Twenty Thousand Leagues. While the original book didn't have illustrations, the window we created comes from the porthole seen in the 1954 film adaptation of Verne's story. And the barrel-shaped island? It's made from a train steam engine as a land vessel complement to the kitchen's steampunk interior.