Hello, Gentle Readers! Backsplash update: the custom Chinoiserie panel situation has been, shall we say, challenging. I won’t sleep until it’s safely on my wall. It’s literally on a slow boat from China as I type, and it’s expected to arrive in another, oh, 4 weeks or so. Pray for calm seas.
Today’s post is not about the Chinoiserie, though; we’ve talked plenty about that. Today’s post is about the journey that is the backsplash on the OPPOSITE wall, the sink wall.
What could I possibly do that complements but doesn’t compete with a giant red painting of birds and trees? I’m not worthy of the bossy color moniker if I go with white, right? But white may end up being the answer.
One unanticipated challenge has been the marble counters, which I LOVE. They’re not Carrara, which is really gray and not always veiny. They’re Calacatta Belgia, which has these orangey, caramel-y tones in it.
So originally, I was thinking — I know you’re not going to approve, so I’m almost hesitant to tell you, but here it goes — I was thinking about green tile on this wall.
Green and red. I know. But *I* like green and red! (As you can see in my “Decorating with Red” article in last month’s Better Homes and Gardens ;) .) Especially if the Chinoiserie panel was going to veer toward orange. (Which I’d hoped, but which it isn’t, which crushes me, and there’s nothing I can do about it. But I digress.)
Feelings about green with red aside, turns out the green tile looks kind of pukey with the Belgia marble.
Just to confirm the pukiness, let’s add the wall color:
Blech. Then I thought about trying to match those warmer tones in the marble. A warm beige, kind of.
Please keep in mind that it takes about a week for each of these sample tiles to be made. I select the color from a 1″ square sample board in the tile showroom, and then the lovely, ever-patient Kelly from Aidan Design arranges to have a sample made. So it isn’t as though I can just put 20 different tiles down and evaluate.
Color aside, here’s what I like about this tile, which, incidentally, is from Pratt & Larson. I love the shape we chose, 2 x 8″. I also love the texture, which is appropriate opposite the fine details in the Chinoiserie panel.
So no to the green and green-y neutral-y tones. Then I thought about blues. Do I just take the cheap way out and use a color similar to the cabinets in the Butler’s Pantry?
I’m worried about that wall being dark, though. Too heavy?
Ultimately, the question is whether to balance this galley kitchen with strong color on both sides, or whether to let the red Chinoiserie panel shine and keep everything else super neutral.
Hence, the possibility of white textured 2 x 8″ Pratt & Larson tiles. Sigh.
I got this wild hair a month or so ago, and I don’t know if it’s a “so crazy it just might work” idea or a “just crazy” idea:
What about shiny brass on the sink wall?
Tragically, I’m just going to have to wait until the darn Chinoiserie is here and installed before I can make a final decision about the sink wall backsplash. And then I’ll have to order it. Then wait for the tile/brass to arrive. Then schedule the installers. Then watch it being installed.
HGTV, are you listening? You’re not fooling us! We know that none of this happens overnight!
Gentle Readers, I hope it makes you feel better to know that professional designers agonize over the same decisions you do. There’s nothing more to do on the kitchen until the darn Chinese panels are here.
Luckily, I’m re-thinking our living room.
Bossy color | Annie Elliott interiors is based in Washington, D.C. We create outrageously beautiful homes, starting with color.