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.
The biggest real estate for a focal point is behind the stove. Create focal points by changing up the pattern or color scheme of your materials, whether that’s laying tile at an angle or mixing and matching complimentary colors. And if you’re on a budget, splurge on that stove-top wall and use a less expensive material everywhere else.
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.
A good general rule for enclosed kitchens is to place it in the center of the room. That way it’s equally accessible from all sides and won’t be an obstacle for people walking through. That placement might not work best for all kitchens, however. A perimeter island, for example, might work better with open floor plans. Size and shape are also determined by room’s layout; Allow for at least 36-48 inches between the perimeter of the island and the surrounding cabinets so there’s enough room for people to move around.
Of course, different styles of wood can achieve completely different aesthetics. If you’re looking for your final project to have a more streamlined feel, you’ll probably want to opt for the manufactured tongue-and-groove pieces that are sold at home improvement stores. But if your dream backsplash consists a truly unique and aged look, you can create a one-of-a-kind design from reclaimed wood pieces.
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