It’s almost funny to think that backsplashes — now, a showcase for any number of creative and inspired design ideas — were originally seen as primarily serving a very practical purpose: protecting the sink and stove-side wall from water and routine kitchen splatter.
They still do, of course and are much needed! But thanks to innovation in design and materials, backsplashes have emerged as show-stopping features as well. A custom backsplash that uses scale, material and color well, can be the very statement piece that makes your kitchen one-of-a-kind, and unforgettable.
An example of this is the backsplash I designed for a client who was looking to achieve a kitchen with a contemporary, sleek look. Rather than containing the backsplash to the area between the countertop and the cupboards, I extended it all the way up the wall to the ceiling. The effect is dramatic, while also very modern, due to the strong, clean lines that result.
But it’s not just the scale and scope of this backsplash that make it special. Its beauty and architectural feel is thanks to a new recycled Italian material that I’ve been using recently called Lithoverde. A product of the esteemed, northern Tuscany stone company Salvatori, Lithoverde is a natural, recycled stone texture created from 99% marble offcuts with a natural resin binder. An environmentally-friendly material, the manufacturing process creates random, geometric patterns, so no two pieces are alike. Here, the vast expanse is at once subdued and luxurious, while also offering plenty of visual interest.
I am not the only one who’s a fan of Lithoverde — my friend, acclaimed British artist John Pawson famously used the material for his striking and monolithic piece, “House of Stone”, created as part of the Milan Furniture Fair. Of course, his “house” did not have a kitchen!