Whether you go for more contemporary or more country, remember that both as still in the kitchen. So consider staining the wood to protect it from eventual cooking wear and tear.
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.
Do you really need a one? Not really. But you’ll inevitably get that wall dirty while cooking or washing dishes, and an easy-to-clean surface can make messes easier to wipe up, especially if your stove doesn’t have a one built in. And almost any type of material can work–from bamboo to corkboard–as long as it’s properly sealed.
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.
Natural stone backsplashes have a distinctly different texture than tiles, and offer a contrast to smooth counters and cabinets. Stone is porous, however, which makes it harder to clean and more prone to chipping. An alternative to using smaller, stacked stones is to continue the same granite or marble used for the countertops all the way up the wall.
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