Nearly Finished French Ikea Kitchen - need advice for backsplash
This is my first time posting to this forum, but I have used it a lot for inspiration during my kitchen building experience.
We bought an apartment in a two hundred year old (maybe older!) building that burnt down three years ago, which insurance paid to have completely renovated. It's in a historic section of a small French city so they had to recreate the original building to a T on the exterior, but the interior is much more modern feeling.
The (re)builder didn't build a kitchen, figuring whoever bought the unit would do it themselves. So, here we are.
We're a young couple on a pretty tight budget. We went with Ikea Adel Blanc/White cabinets. Luckily a friend is a kitchen installer and has been able to help us modify some of the cabinets (most notably to completely hide our water heater which was a terrible eyesore just hanging out in the kitchen before...Can you guess where it is?).
The work is pretty much done (I will post extensive details once it's totally done), but there are three things which are left to do and I am at a total loss.
1. Lighting. Should we hang pendant lamps down from the bar to the right of the hood? Or just stick with little spot lights?
2. The backsplash. I love the look of slate, but would it work in a white and grey kitchen? The tiles on the kitchen floor are dark mocha colored, and on the living room side of the bar we have hard wood flooring. Would slate bring together the warmer tones of the browns or just look weird with the cooler tones of the cabinets, stainless steel and countertop? The other problem is that I have no idea where to get real slate tiles in France. The Home Depot equivalent has nothing remotely acceptable (fake and ugly). I love alexamd's and terriks' slate backsplashes, but I'm not sure that would work in our kitchen. (Should we just go with white tile? My husband calls me "Madame Hospital," and says we need some color, but I am scared of color and like how clean it looks the way it is, but I don't want it to look too cold, either.)
3. Shevles versus a horizontal cabinet (matching our Ikea cabinets) to the right of the window. This is absoluetly the most logical place to arrange glasses and coffee mugs because it's within reach of the dishwasher, where the coffee maker is going to be, and both sides of the bar. But would it look weird to put one small wall cabinet there? Would shelves be better? And if so, what kind of shelves? I just don't want it to look messy, and I don't really want to be able to see coffee mugs from the living room.
Thanks for all your help and advice and ideas.
I am already planning what I am going to write in my description of my kitchen once it's all done, I can't wait!