Kitchen & Bath Design News

JUN 2019

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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DECIDING WHICH COMES FIRST To achieve an appropriate balance, designers often choose a countertop before the backsplash. "The countertop is the kitchen's work surface, with se- lections based on durability, color, availability of finishes and how it fits…matching it to the floor and cabinets, which are often chosen first," says Milford Cushman, founder/president, Cushman Design Group in Stowe, VT. "Practically, the back- splash is protection for the wall and some clients will choose the material based on durability and washability. But others choose it more for its aesthetics and decorative value as well as its ability to connect the countertop with the cabinets." However, sometimes it's the lack of a traditional back- splash that garners the most attention, he notes, adding that his firm often works on rural properties where Mother Nature may serve as the 'backsplash' via an expanse of windows. "In our urban designs, we might use a more ornate backsplash, where we want to create interest and a refuge in a home where there isn't an extraordinary connection between the inside and outside," he says. "But in our rural projects, we want to make sure the home is completely con- nected to the outdoors. We don't want to trump nature." Such was the case in a recent home where a wall of win- dows serves as the backsplash behind the sink. Locating the cooktop in the island eliminated the need for any backsplash behind the cooking appliance. "When my clients stand at the sink and look out, there aren't any obstructions so they can fully enjoy the view toward the south and west to the Green Mountain range," he states. Cushman included a Kodiak Brown granite countertop as an accompaniment. "Its warm, dark color is a fabulous complement to the color of the cabinets and the floor, and it isn't so dark that it shows dirt or dust," he says. "And, its beautiful graining isn't busy or distracting." Loriann Savarese, CKD/owner, Savvy Kitchens in Manhattan Beach, CA, also usually selects countertops be- fore the backsplash, considering the latter as 'jewelry.' "I typically start with countertops, then pick out certain elements within them, maybe some colors in the veins, to use Loriann Savarese usually selects countertops before the back- splash, considering the latter as 'jewelry.' However, the backsplash, which bejewels multiple walls with brightly colored glass tile, led the design in this kitchen, adding a pop of color that lends itself to the home's mid-century modern vibe. Because of the backsplash's prominence, a quieter quartz was chosen for the perimeters and island countertops. Photos: John Moery Photography June 2019 • KitchenBathDesign.com 43

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