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Kitchen splashbacks | Kitchens | Kitchen decorating ideas | PHOTO GALLERY | Housetohome.co.uk

There's no greater example of how kitchen planning and interior design have become intertwined than the splashback. Elevated from a purely practical role - it is, after all, about protecting the walls from hob and sink splashes - these days, the splashback is also more of a statement piece, sporting a new choice of luxe materials along with the revival of some old favourites. In addition to worktops, it's quite often the first element that's noticed when walking into a kitchen, so designers are keen to make it count.Splashbacks are a key decision in a project,' explains Alex Beaugeard, design director at McCarron &Co 'As vertical surfaces, they carry significant design weight and there is a real appetite to experiment at the moment. I'm seeing artwork installed behind glass and resin bronze as well as wallpapers. Some materials such as marble, are prone to discolouring but they're so beautiful we are prepared to forgive them.'So, what's on trend? Pairing metallics, such as copper or gold, with crisp marble work surfaces is proving popular, as is expanses of antiqued or smoked mirror to make even the most compact design seem lighter and more welcoming. Similarly, black and grey stone splashbacks, which are widespread on the continent, are becoming more prevalent in the UK, as they're the perfect partner for furniture in pale grey or chalky white tones, and tiles are very definitely back in fashion. Whatever you choose, play to the material's strength, adding a protective cover for less lardy finishes and backlighting or down lighting to make the most of texture and fine stone patterns.Add pattern
Who said a kitchen should be plain? Patterned kitchen tiles are becoming more and more popular as they bring a decorative element as well as being exceptionally hardwearing. Avoid bright white grout, which can be too stark and has a tendency to look grubby pretty quickly. Shown here: Enki glass splashback in Lime Gloss, from £99.99 for H70xW60cm, CP Group

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