Let’s Talk About Backsplashes, Baby

by Karen

Our landlords are giving us free reign to paint the house and make improvements as we see fit. We will be getting the keys soon (very soon) and we plan to paint over the next couple of weeks before officially moving in. We’re going to be sticking with neutral colors because the house is on the smaller side, and then use pops of color with accent (non-permanent) pieces.

So let’s discuss the kitchen.

Specifically backsplashes.

Oh yeah.


This is NOT the kitchen in the rental house. I hope to take pictures this weekend. For now, use your imagination. The kitchen is much smaller than the one above but it does have refinished dark cabinets and light (not granite) countertops. The appliances are stainless steel and there is a window above the sink. As much as I can remember, there is no formal backsplash between the countertops and cabinetry. Which I must change, if anything, to make the house a little more us, even if we don’t own it.

There are a few choices we have regarding the backsplash.



We can tile the backsplash ourselves. I am currently in love with subway tiles in kitchens. But then again, I just love subway tile period. Whenever I see (nice) original subway tile in a vintage bathroom, I swoon. However, this is not an option we are going to explore because we would not reap the financial rewards of having an upgraded kitchen when the time came to sell the house. And furthermore, reclaimed white subway tile just doesn’t fit in with the aurora of the current kitchen. Thats not to say that I necessarily know what the aurora of the kitchen is (what the heck am I even talking about?), but I just know that subway tiles won’t work.

(removable) Wallpaper

Sherwin Williams Easy Change Wallpaper

Did you know that the world of wallpaper has changed drastically since the days our mothers were gluing sheets of floral print to our childhood home walls? For example, Sherwin Williams makes a wallpaper that is similar to the vinyl wall decals that are currently oh so popular. There are hundreds of designs available (like rich 1980s floral prints – you know you want ’em) and can be an inexpensive, non-permanent backsplash solution for renters. Removable wallpaper can also a way for the more quirky design crowd to personalize a space.

(painted/faux) Tile


This is a great option for renters with the option to paint, like us! The color possibilities are endless, as are the tile patterns. I am not a big fan of the traditional ’tile’ above but I think I can easily create the look of whatever tile our hearts desire. The cost will be minimal and worst case scenario – I paint over it if I don’t like it. Easy peasy.

Tin Ceiling Panels


When done right, the use of tin ceiling panels as a backsplash can look very good. However, it seems that more often than not, the shiny tin (copper or silver-colored) overwhelms the kitchen. With our rental kitchen being on the small side, tin is probably not the best option for us at this time.

Nothing (no backsplash)


The easiest thing to do would be to leave the black space alone, but what is the fun in that?

What do you have for a backsplash? Do you own or rent your home? Are you going to add a backsplash in effort to personalize your space? Or is it not worth the effort? I love reading (and seeing!) what others have done or are doing to their homes…please share if you feel so inclined. And if you have an awesome (or horrible) backsplash, I’d love to feature it on this blog. Sadly, I don’t think backsplashes are discussed enough in everyday life. We must change this!