Kitchen Renovations

Kitchen splashback ideas: everything you need to feed your senses

Break down the trends for a personal look that will stand the test of time.
Image courtesy of Plain English

Nowhere will you find more creative freedom than when realising your dream kitchen splashback ideas. Sure, a splashback’s primary purpose is to protect the underlying wall from cooking splatters, grease and grime, but don’t be afraid to wield this kitchen shield as a powerful design weapon, too – a place to inject creativity and interest.

From rustic terracotta tiles to smooth concrete, alluring veined marble or timber planks, there’s an endless variety of splashbacks for kitchens using materials, colours, finishes and layouts to dictate the overall style of the heart of your home. To achieve the splashback of your dreams, eschew mainstream styles and opt for a unique design that suits your home and lifestyle, plus expresses your personality. Read on to see our pick of popular kitchen splashback ideas making, well, a splash.

Marble Splashback

Lush marble swirls create movement and interest in this New York apartment kitchen, punctuated with brass, warming terracotta and timber. (Credit: Image courtesy of Plain English)

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Home to two chefs, this kitchen has a charming aesthetic. “When a splashback is in a niche or enclosed space it can work well to fill the space with a splashback of the same material as the benchtop. In this case, the stone has been capped with shelves to create a dresser-like feel,” ~ Merlin Wright, design director of Plain English.

Sumptuous marble surfaces are a lesson in luxury. Case in point? The elegant marble splashbacks and benchtops in the Shaker-inspired kitchen of this New York apartment, streaked with eye-catching dark veining. Designed by British cabinetmaker Plain English, this Georgian-inspired kitchen fuses modern appliances – spot the Miele induction cooktop – with vintage finds and heritage design, such as the detailed brass hardware, handy styled shelving and Folgate cabinetry doused in a soft white hue. Grounded by dark timber flooring, which complements the marble tones, this serene space might just be the ‘America’s sweetheart’ of kitchen design.

Kitchen Window Splashback

Kitchen window splashback
A glass splashback serves this kitchen in the form of a window, with the added benefit of flooding the space with natural light. (Credit: Simon Whitbread)

The best kitchen splashback ideas push conventional design to incorporate form and function and this kitchen window splashback does just that. Using a clever mix of materials to introduce texture, the combination of louvred glass and sleek hardware shifts the focus to the outside, extending the lush green tones of the garden indoors. The elongated proportions of the window is reflected in cabinetry, extra-long marble subway tiles and drawer profiles for a seamless, elegant look.

Tile Splashback 

The soft floral motif against the black background tiles makes a wonderful juxtaposition, offsetting the intense colours of the Dulux Domino cabinetry and grey concrete benchtops by Set in Steel. (Credit: Photography: Jacqui Turk)

“Tiles are a great way to introduce current trends, and also add something entirely different to a kitchen,” says Charlotte Riggs of Bondi Kitchens & Joinery. The ceramic Vallelunga & Co ‘I-Sense’ tiles from Elite Bathware create a beautiful backdrop to this dark and moody kitchen on the Lower North Shore of Sydney. 

Charlotte Riggs, director of the team responsible for the design and joinery here, says: “Not only does the shape of the tile draw attention in a good way, but the horizontal layout creates length. And the small pops of colour with the flowers also soften the moodiness of the black.” Metallics and timber stools add extra layers of texture. The ceramic slabs used for this splashback are crafted using HD printing and modern ceramic techniques.

“These unique and bold tiles add a textural contrast to the shaker profile of the doors, and are the perfect example of making a traditional shaker kitchen a little more edgy,”

Charlotte of Bondi Kitchens & Joinery.

Subway Tile Splashback

Kitchen splashback ideas
Subway tiles are a wonderful selection for a low-maintenance splashback. Not only are they stain- and splash-resistant, but the glossy tiles are also easy to clean and reflect light to brighten a dim room. (Credit: Photographer: Amy Bartlam for Light and Dwell)

A wraparound splashback delivers a sense of unity in this farmhouse-style kitchen designed by Light and Dwell. Reminiscent of shimmering scales, the smooth sea of glazed subway tiles creates a neutral scene where bold autumnal colours can reign supreme. Copper pots and pans hang from a brass rail, aged brass tapware and a duo of tactile pendant lights add character and visual harmony, while a vintage-style runner softens the space from the ground up.

Meanwhile, double candle wall sconces imbue the space with ambience and cosiness. In a large kitchen space like this, tiles laid horizontally create length. They could be stacked at a 45-degree angle to produce the illusion of movement in a tighter space.

Panelled Splashback

When used as a splashback, traditional planks create an additional surface that can be utilised for open-shelf storage. A quintet of mixed material pendants add character and draw the eye upward. (Credit: Photography: Justin Alexander)

The tongue and groove splashback brings a handcrafted aesthetic into this sunlit, cottage kitchen designed by Plain English. “In this kitchen, the panelling adds visual interest and has been painted with a washable paint to make it the most minimal form of splashback,” says Merlin Wright of Plain English.

The long timber panels are painted in the brand’s Boiled Dishcloth shade of paint to allow the timber island and curved seats to steal centrestage, imbuing the room with pastel shades of mint green, sky blue and fairy floss pink. Two wooden shelves accented in Plain English’s Cotton Pinny hue run the length of the splashback (with the bottom shelf transitioning to metal as it passes over the cooker). Striped lampshades anchor each end of the long benchtop in the Georgian-inspired space.

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