This or That | Glass Backsplash Vs. Natural Stone

In my years doing design, I've found that a lot of homeowners have a very strong opinion about what kind of backsplash they like.  Most either like the glass backsplash OR natural stone.  There are very few who like both and could appreciate either one.  This may be because people have a certain style that they really like and feel like one or the other goes best with their style of choice, but there are pros and cons to both so today we're going to discuss what they are.

While we appreciate the functionality of a glass backsplash, it can be a little limiting by nature.  Glass backsplashes are absolutely easier to clean and come in almost every color of the rainbow.  Pretty much any tile place you go to is going to have glass backsplashes in any shape, size, and color you could even imagine...however, for this reason, they're sometimes overused and often times still (despite the color variety) don't feel unique or special.  We feel that it's also hard to mix a glass backsplash with a countertop that offers a lot of movement because they can feel busy.  They do give off a little bit of a glammy feel, though, because they're much more polished and glossy, so they can appear high end and oftentimes work wel in a modern kitchen but be sure to pair them with a countertop and cabinet style that has less movement because they tend to steal the show!

Natural stone backsplashes are an entirely different animal.  They seam to blend well with a larger variety of countertop material and cabinet styles but the functionality and durability isn't necessarily always there.  While natural stone is beautiful and classic, it's also very absorbent.  This factor alone makes it risky as a backsplash--red sauce stains, grease, wine splatter...if it's not cleaned quickly, all of these things can make for one messy looking backsplash.  It's not always as expensive as the glass backsplash which is nice if you ever need to replace it, and the natural movement and color variation provides an extremely unique look for your kitchen but you must remember that it's not going to last forever!

Overall, it's important to remember that every material has pros and cons.  So go to your instincts.  Decide what style fits best in your space and go from there.  We like both applications in the right kitchen but usually like them to be isolated---meaning...if we're using a glass backsplash, we use all glass tile!  And if we're using a stone backsplash, it's all stone!  We really don't recommend mixing the two.

We hope this helps you when you come to the kitchen backsplash part of your next kitchen remodel---that's usually the hardest part!

Design Tips | Ease Your Way In To Using Pattern

Many people like the idea of incorporating pattern to liven up their home but aren't sure about where, when, and how to use it.  Pattern can bring a lot to a space when used correctly but if it's overdone or misused, it can be a very distracting design faux pas.  So today we're going to give you some ideas for how to ease your way in to using pattern in your home where it won't be overdone or distracting!

If you're only comfortable with one pattern mixed with neutrals, reuse it in the space.  If you vary color and scale, it can almost look like a variety of patterns but will still feel and look like it flows without being overwhelming.  You will also accomplish the task of making your space a little more interesting!  Easy!  Right?  One pattern, different colors and scales--you can do this!

Take mixing neutral and pattern to a whole new level by using a brighter, more vivid neutral such as a navy blue (we consider blues neutrals).  Bringing in bold patterns can drown out softer neutrals, but a bold pattern balanced with a more vivid neutral will flow without leaving one half of the room heavy looking and the other one feeling drab.  You can also mix little bits of of the pattern in other parts of the room to spread it out instead of concentrating it on one piece of furniture.

People are definitely warming up to the idea of wallpaper and if you're one of these people, don't forget that wallpaper creates an easy way of bringing in pattern too.  Even though we don't recommend using paint to create an accent wall, this can work with wallpaper still.  And, if you're feeling really bold, try layering art on your wallpaper!

For most people, even if you're scared of pattern, you can envision it on the window treatments or on a rug.  Both of these places are a great starting point for incorporating pattern!  In order for your softgoods to be current, we recommend going with something that's larger scale (in either place), but definitely go for it!  Pattern in both of those places can speak volumes even if the rest of the room is neutral.

Look for ways to incorporate pattern in small areas--your kitchen backsplash, a small ottoman, a toss pillow or throw blanket, even smaller area rugs.  Start small and go from there!  Soon pattern won't be as scary for you and you'll be gravitating toward it in more areas of your home!