Top Kitchen Backsplash Trends for 2018

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If you’re considering getting a complete kitchen renovation next year, here are some trends that will likely stay in fashion when designing your new room:

  • Make the Most of the Ceiling Space: Many designers are incorporating new tile walls up toward the ceiling, which gives the illusion of cabinets floating in an ocean of color.
  • Go for Brighter and Bolder: While many homeowners used to avoid brighter hues, they’re becoming increasingly popular these days. Consider everything from a hot red tile to a lime green, but make sure you ground that color with something darker or neutralize it with black or white.
  • Use Vertical Tiles: Rather than elongated horizontal tiles, go for vertical tiles to make the backsplash appear “edgier,” which looks great whether you use larger or smaller tiles.
  • Lose the Accents: If you used to enjoy a contrasting line of tile, design featuring inserts or dots, or a tile mural, you’re better off using a single type of tile to create a more sophisticated look.
  • Get Creative with Floor Tiles: Any material that’s durable enough for the floor will work with your backsplash, including clay or ceramic tile, laminate, marble, vinyl, or wood planks. Matte tiles are particularly new, with earthy clay and dusky hues being the more popular. Keep in mind that the price can vary greatly.
  • Consider Mosaics: Mosaic tiles are great for many kitchens, as they can be made of many different materials including reflective glass or polished metal. Shiny small ones are especially popular, with small squares, mini subway tiles, old-school penny tiles, and other custom combos serving as great options.
  • Use Mirror or Glass: You can install clear or colored glass, or create illusions, with standard or tinted mirrors for an unusual kitchen backsplash. You can use vinegar for cleanup, and create art glass scenes, whether you use primary colors or older tones.
  • Make Writeable Surfaces: Using chalkboard paint, you can create surfaces ideal for leaving notes, with magnetic paints allowing homeowners to hang shopping lists and recipes at any time.
  • Use Old-Fashioned Tiles: You can create a traditional European look in the kitchen using a combination of tile patterns in similar colors, or form a traditional Mexican look with hand-painted tiles.
  • Using Ceiling Panels for the Walls: You can use embossed metal ceiling tiles on backsplashes, with many different patterns and sizes available to suit your kitchen.
  • Implement Organic Materials: Create an organic look with bamboo, pebbles, or other natural and recycled materials. Polished stone is another great look.

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Regardless of what you prefer, the professionals at The Kitchen Master can help you create a unique and personalized backsplash for your kitchen design that can hold up for decades.

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Common Issues with Kitchen Layouts and How to Get Around Them

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The layout and size of your current kitchen floor plan won’t necessarily determine the kitchen’s capabilities. With the help of a creative kitchen designer, there are many options available when designing a kitchen, from superficial renovations to complete remodels from the ground up.

Whether you want to build an addition or remove walls will depend on your individual goals. Even minor changes can greatly affect the functionality of the kitchen.

Innovative kitchen designers will place an emphasis on maximizing the potential of your space, depending on you and your family’s personal preferences and budget.

How Kitchen Design Has Changed

In the early days of America, homes had a kitchen that simply included a sink on one wall with a stove on another. These kitchen layouts were inefficient, with minimal storage and an oftentimes shoddy workspace consisting of a worn wooden table. Refrigeration was also virtually nonexistent. However, kitchens began to utilize more appliances and efficiency of space as the home evolved.

These days the best kitchen layouts incorporate efficient use of space along with visual appeal, with more space for storage, cleanup, and the preparation of food. Common additions have included pantries, cabinets, and refrigerators and freezers that make the kitchen a much more pleasant space.

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Common Problems with Kitchen Floor Plans

While there are plenty of options to choose from in kitchen designs, not all kitchens will work. For instance, in older homes the kitchen may frustrate homeowners due to issues such as:

  • Too much space between appliances
  • Insufficient counter space
  • Awkward traffic patterns
  • Inadequate task lighting
  • Lack of space for trash cans
  • Difficulties with crowding

Using the Kitchen Work Triangle to Your Advantage

The “kitchen work triangle”—a guiding principle of kitchen design that concerns the paths and distance between the sink, stove, and refrigerator—is a great way to make sure the kitchen layout works the way you want it to. The key is to keep the spacing consistently efficient, ensuring that work and food storage areas are organized appropriately to allow occupants to easily move from one area to another.

Some of the more popular layouts include the U-shaped or L-shaped kitchen, along with a corridor or galley kitchen design for single cooks, plus a window.

More spacious layouts often feature peninsula counters, which are designed to prevent unwanted workspace traffic while providing additional space for socializing and snacking. Kitchen islands can accommodate certain appliances as well as chairs or barstools, while eliminating a wall and opening the kitchen up to nearby rooms.

A modern kitchen as part of an open floor plan often places all appliances along the same wall, placing a dining table as a transition piece between the living area and the work space.

More Contemporary Options

The popularity of open living areas has made appealing kitchen designs more important than ever. Rather than resembling traditional work spaces, they’re beginning to take the shape of dens and offices, with comfortable seating, snack and homework stations, eating counters, and even TVs and other forms of entertainment. When planning your kitchen renovation, consider how your family will use it, including the types of activities they’ll engage in regularly, and use these to influence the overall layout.

Layout Design Elements

Kitchen designers place an emphasis on workstations when customizing layouts, and will regard personal preference when renovating. For instance, the kitchen of a serious cook would be far more complex than a kitchen for those who rarely take the time to cook at home.

Professional designers can also help you realize your dream kitchen and personal preferences, meeting the needs for your home kitchen. Contact us to schedule a consultation with us at any time.

Animal Print is Back (Or so they say…)

Most are scared of animal print because of its tacky overuse, but lately the prints have seen a revival with a modern twist. Designers have been making the prints in poppy colors and flattening the textures. The combination of the two alternations have made animal prints a great modern statement piece.

Since the lines have been simplified and the colors updated, the pattern is no longer limited to traditional or formal spaces. It can be used in any room.

However, it’s not a print to go overboard with. Start with small steps or additions like an area rug, throw pillows, or other accent pieces.

When you do experiment with the pattern in its traditional earthy tone form, try adding poppy colors elsewhere like a sky blue or a summery green. This will set off the earthy tones and give your animal print an unexpected edge.

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Natural Gas Fireplace

The chilly weather is coming up, so what better time to install a bit of warmth in your outdoor living than right now? An outdoor fireplace is just the thing to warm up your backyard.

While many people are concerned about the dangers of a wood fire and are fearful of adding an outdoor fireplace, there are other options. One of our favorite alternatives is a natural gas fireplace. You can simply turn it on and off without having to worry about the maintenance or the dangers.

When picking out your fireplace we recommend that you consider what you want from the piece. If you want something highly customized to your backyard, try the DIY or hiring a contractor approach. But be warned, the DIY approach can be tricky with a natural gas fireplace if you aren’t well-versed in DIY techniques. Trying to figure out how to safely channel natural gas isn’t a task for those new at DIY.

If you don’t mind something that is a bit less difficult or expensive, try the pre-fabricated approach. There are plenty of choices that will match your backyard well. Plus you won’t have to worry about putting everything together.

After picking out the method, the next task is picking out the location. This requires awareness of safety; pick a spot that is clear of overhanging tree branches, bushes or dry grasses. It’s best if you add gravel around the fireplace.

Once you set this up, all you have to do next is enjoy a spot of warmth in the chilly Texas nights.

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Three-Quarter Bath

Three-quarter bathrooms is the perfect compromise between a tiny half-bath and a huge full-bath. A three-quarter bath includes a toilet, sink, and shower, but never a full bathtub.

The set up is perfect for a small room addition, bump out, or completing a guest bedroom. When designing your three-quarter bathroom, it’s best to keep the following in mind:

-Choose a subtle texture. The texture adds interests, but the subtly keeps the texture from overpowering the small room.

-Install a long counter with a long sink. The lines lengthen the space and make it look bigger. Add open shelves under the sink for storage and an increased feeling of openness.

-Make sure your show is glass and edgeless. The light then can bounce off the mirror, giving an illusion of airiness.

-Splurge on upscale finishes. You’ll get a lot of bang for your buck when using nice materials in a small space. Plus your guests will appreciate the luxurious surroundings.

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Blues for the Fall

New seasons bring new colors for your home. This fall season brings a palette filled with blues, particularly denim and darker tones.

The color itself is perfect for any room as blues bring calmness, serenity, and security. Many studies actually show that people are more productive in blue rooms. Plus, the color is a favorite of many.

When decorating with blue, matching is unnecessary. The more layers, the better when it comes to this color. The layers give interest and depth. This is especially to remember when decorating as the color is so varied: from nautical to sophisticated, the color can be used in any design theme.

For this season, we recommend layering with grays. The combination of blues and grays give a sophisticated edge to a rustic look.

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Cozy Up With a Book

Winter is coming, so now’s the time to cozy up with a book! Here are our top tips to creating the perfect reading room.

-Keep down the clutter. Open spaces let your imagination soar!

-Keep the shelves going up. Vertical lines expand the spaces and gives the room a library feel.

-Keep phones and TVs out! This is a reading and writing room. There is no room for distractions.

-Splurge on a comfortable chair or couch. This is essential for getting into the reading groove.

-Get a mini writing desk filled with writing utensils and paper.

-Plan big, big windows for light, cheeriness, and fresh inspiration.

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The Kitchen for Entertainment

When it comes to remodeling your kitchen, spaciousness isn’t the number one component. What matters is the speciality features that are woven into the space that keeps the flow of people moving and contained.

The layout of your kitchen is the most important component as the island directs the traffic. T-shaped islands provide a prep area for cooking, while providing counter space for guests to congregate around without being in the way.

Another feature to consider is a custom drink station and minibar away from the kitchen space. This allows guests to make their own drinks and keep the drink-making mess away from the cooking.

If having a separate minibar requires too much space, a beverage refrigerator at the end of the counter should have the same positive effects of spreading out the traffic.

When designing your kitchen layout, always keep in mind the type of entertaining you do: think about the number of people and level of formality. These two questions will determine what features are needed..

Crown Moldings, Casings, & Baseboards

Crown moldings, casings, and baseboards may have been tossed away as a thing of the past, but the newest designs are bringing them back. Adding these details to a room makes the space less boxy, while highlighting or altering the shape. Plain or awkwardly shaped rooms can be accentuated through well-chosen molding. If you’re at a loss as to what you should use, here’s a few tips to guide you!

Baseboards provide a visual foundation for your room. The most intricate designs are usually reserved for the formal rooms downstairs. However, with the new design norm of mixing and matching, the choice is up to you. Designers suggest going with baseboards as tall as 8-10 inches for a truly dramatic look.

Casings serve as a frame around doorless openings between rooms. Practically, they protect the edges from scratches, but most use castings as an opportunity to add elegance. The castings also smooth the transitions between rooms without interrupting the flow. When choosing a design, be sure to go bold. Flat moldings can often look cheap.

Crown moldings serve as the perfect finishing touches for a well-styled room. The molding is an architectural addition that draws the eye upward, a trait particularly helpful for small rooms.

The style you chose for your crown molding determines how it will shape your room. Simple beaded moldings or bump out moldings are best for low-ceiling rooms, while angled crowns help regulate odd shaped rooms.

Whichever you choose, just remember that the goal of moldings is to add that final design flourish onto your space.

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Light the Kitchen

Lighting is the most important part of a kitchen remodeling project. Without the proper lighting, all the hard work will be under appreciated. We recommend that you layer your lighting in order to achieve the best look possible. Typically there are four layers that you can use in your kitchen.

The first layer is the task lightening. This brings illumination to your pantry, cabinets, and countertops. Task lightening is the essential practical lightening.

The second layer is accent lights, which brings depth to your kitchen. Place these lights in recessed areas to liven the kitchen up. Usually these are on adjustable fixtures.

The third layer is everyone’s favorite, the decorative lights. These lights are more fun and fashionable than practical. If a fixture at the store catches your eye, go ahead and add it for fun!

The final and fourth layer of lighting is ambient lighting. Ambient lights fill the whole room and acts as your general lighting. Soft lighting is best of ambient lights.

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