FIND PROFESSIONALS
SHOP BY DEPARTMENT
newenglandsara2

Is this backsplash too "busy?"

newenglandsara2
7 years ago

Hi All,

We are just wrapping up a kitchen remodel. We had the backsplash installed this week, and I have been totally stressed ever since the backsplash started going up. I feel that it looks too "busy." I love the individual tiles and the soft color scheme, but the random pattern is driving me nuts. I now need to make some other decisions (eg. kitchen pendants, rug runners, bench cushions, etc.) that will be based around the backsplash. I know that it would cost a small fortune to take out the backsplash and replace it with something else, but I also don't want to spend more money on items that are based around something I don't like.

Am I being too hyper-focused? Does this look similar to other random backsplashes? If I were going to replace it, what sort of labor/cost would it likely involve. (We also have two other stretches of backsplash on the other side of the room and a small amount under our sink windows.

I am trying to get some perspective. Don't hesitate to be honest! Oh, how I wish I didn't care about these sorts of things...:-)

Thanks so much,

Sara

Comments (54)

  • mama goose_gw zn6OH
    7 years ago

    I didn't notice the flooring, so I'm sure that if I walked into your kitchen, I'd just be thinking, "Oh, what a great backsplash."

  • LE
    7 years ago

    I was expecting something totally different before looking at your photo. Yours looks great to me. The range from lightest to darkest color in your backsplash is not too great. It makes for a softer variegated look to my eye. (And I will admit to not loving the ones that go from almost black to almost white-- those are too busy for me!) And yes, it's also really crucial that it isn't competing with other elements like the countertop for attention. It looks like a nice and serene place to work and have fun.

    (I don't know about you, but I always fixate on my most recent decision, until I move on to about three more down the line... )

  • Related Discussions

    Is this backsplash too busy?

    Q

    Comments (37)
    Oldbat2be, THANK YOU, that is so cool. I went to bed last night and woke up to find my kitchen "tiled". I'll show my husband but I think I agree with those who think its a bit small and busy. It is a beautiful tile and I love it in the first photoshop pic but I designed the kitchen as a creamy white kitchen and I think when this is on all, it will be darker and busier than my orignal intentions. I also agree though that we need something to finish that backsplash. I have samples of larger carrara but they have much more white white in them which makes the creamy cabinets look more yellow in contrast. Not what I'm going for. Anyone know of a marble that is more creamy and grey? Possible the one blondelle suggested? Thank you for all of your opinions!! The search continues......
    ...See More

    Backsplash too busy for kitchen?

    Q

    Comments (48)
    If you were a client asking advice I'd defer to the design rule of contrast & tension...With your choice of contrasting cabinets & a bold granite creating tension with the light wall colors & uppers, I'd wait until its all installed to pick a backsplash. Lighting changes EVERYTHING and depending on how good the slab install goes the flow of colors will affect your choice greatly. If I see correctly that you've also got wood beam ceilings that match the walnut lowers then I'd say you've already got a lot going on so my choice would be to bring in neutrality so your countertops are the stand out feature (in something like an elongated glass subway tile pulling the cream or light gray from the granite). Just keep in mind kitchens already look busy because of the appliances, countertop decor/etc, and difference in lighting because of upper cabinets and islands.
    ...See More

    Is this backsplash too busy for my countertops?

    Q

    Comments (46)
    Personally, I think subway tiles look like subways. But I digress. My GC did larger tiles on backsplash (was same surface as countertop), with a strip of tiny matching tiles 3/4 the way up the backsplash. tiny tiles were about 5 rows high. super pretty. IOWs, you might use the tiny tile as an accent on the backsplash. on the other hand my sister put in tiny tile 100% as backsplash. really beautiful.
    ...See More

    Backsplash and Granite

    Q

    Comments (26)
    @pokerliz Thanks so much, Beth! The first picture was sooo helpful to see. We hate it. Now we know why you shouldn’t consider solid color linear tile. It’s just a sea of lines with no harmonizing of colors. Love the white and gray linear tiles. I also like the herringbone from the original photo. This helps me make the final decision. Thank you so much for all of your help!!
    ...See More
  • melle_sacto is hot and dry in CA Zone 9/
    7 years ago

    It's not very busy, i think you just need to get used to it :-) The colors seem to harmonize well, and it brings some interest to the walls without being overwhelming.

  • kitchendetective
    7 years ago

    It is beeeauuuutiful.

  • sjhockeyfan325
    7 years ago

    I love it - the colors, the design, all of it! I also don't consider it "busy". I'd be happy to design around that backsplash LOL

  • ck_squared
    7 years ago

    I think it looks fantastic! Was expecting a horrible reveal, the way you set us up. :-)
    With your dishes, in the same color range, it really looks nice.

  • gabytx12
    7 years ago

    Looks great!! Funny how you get the end (or near the end) and start second guessing yourself on EVERYTHING!! I am going thru the same thing right now.

    It does look fabulous!!

  • my_four_sons
    7 years ago

    I think it looks fab, and I love your cabinets. It's probably an adjustment, visually, to what was there. You're just focusing on it now because it's so different from plain drywall.

  • honeyb2
    7 years ago

    Echoing others' sentiments. I'm not a fan of busy backsplashes - yours looks great.

  • teresa_nc7
    7 years ago

    You just need to live with it a while and I'll bet it won't seem as "busy" to you. I think the colors are soft and lovely. A few decorative/functional accents might break up the expanse - like a nice piece of crockery holding wooden spoons or a lovely ceramic pitcher?

    I love all the choices in your kitchen! Just the finishes I might choose if I were doing a remodel - which I am not thinking about at present.

    Teresa

  • jlc712
    7 years ago

    Very pretty. No, it's not too busy or too random. It looks great.

  • Elisabeth0326
    7 years ago

    I love it too! I was considering a backsplash exactly like this, but haven't decided yet. I might just make the decision now after seeing your photos!

  • Jillius
    7 years ago

    I don't think it's busy, and I do think it completely makes your kitchen!

    I am sure before it went up, the kitchen was all solid colors and dull, and you are just reacting to the contrast from that. I know I had a big moment of panic when the upper cabinets went in and the whole room suddenly felt so much smaller. It doesn't feel tiny anymore now that I have gotten used to it.

  • antmaril
    7 years ago

    I think it is very pretty. Not busy at all!

  • hyjenist
    7 years ago

    It's unique and different! I'd leave it and love it!

  • GauchoGordo1993
    7 years ago

    I think it's lovely. Doesn't strike me as busy, and I'm generally pretty sensitive to that.

  • Fori
    7 years ago

    I like it. But do YOU? You say you don't want to base the next decisions on something you don't like...so do you actually dislike it or are you just worried it looks wrong? (And to someone who isn't there having to decide anything, it's unusual and mellow and not at all busy.)

    It seems like it should be busy but it's just overall pleasant.

  • newenglandsara2
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    Wow, I can't thank all of you enough!These comments are SO useful. First of all, they helped me get out of my self-judging vacuum. :-) Also, you made such great points: about taking the time to get used to backsplash...still feeling very close to the decision-making process...needing to add accessories, etc. I keep thinking that a solid color backsplash would have allowed me total flexibility in my other decisions for the kitchen, but I suppose some element needs to have pattern. In my case, that element is the backsplash!

    After your encouragement, I would not feel justified in ripping this out. I am sure that my husband will be grateful to all of you. :-) Any other suggestions? Still feel free to chime in!

    Many thanks again!

    Sara

  • amck2
    7 years ago

    I'll chime in with another "thumbs up" for the backsplash. Your quiet countertop and medium wood cabinets are highlighted by the mixture of tones in it.

    The dishes and pottery on view in your glass front cabinets help tie it together. Relax and enjoy choosing the finishing touches. It looks beautiful so far!

  • zorroslw1
    7 years ago

    I agree that painting the back of the half wall white or the same as what appears white in the backsplash would pull the eye more away from seeing so much blue. It's amazing how you can deceive the eye into seeing one color more than another.

  • romy718
    7 years ago

    Another thumbs up. I love the colors. As everyone else said, you just have to get used to it. It won't be long & you'll be in love with it, wondering why you ever questioned it. Now we need some closeup pics - eye candy.

  • Shelley Graham
    7 years ago

    I LOVE your backsplash! So peaceful and serene....like water. Really nice! Definitely not busy. I think you'll be very happy with it.

  • Teehee1984
    7 years ago

    I think it looks really nice.

    I freaked out when our countertops went in, and the faucets, and the backsplash....I thought it was all hideous. .....you are your own worst critic. Once you (your eye) get used to it, you'll like it. Because it is really pretty. Well done.

  • oldbat2be
    7 years ago

    LOVELY!

  • mrspete
    7 years ago

    I like the colors, and -- no -- it's not too busy at all. It's all nicely balanced.

    Perhaps you've seen so many all-white pictures that you're questioning your own choices?

    Also, once you're "moved in" and you've included things on your cabinets, dishtowels, etc., it'll look even better.

  • oldbat2be
    7 years ago

    Rotating image.

  • oldbat2be
    7 years ago

    Hmm. The colors are different from what you have.

  • Alexander Timofeyev
    7 years ago

    It is too busy for my tastes, but I prefer a subtle backsplash that doesn't stand out, like white subway tile. I want my backsplash to fade into the background, to let any details placed in front of it to make the visual statement.

    Your current backsplash is the focal point of your kitchen. It's a bold visual statement that draws the eyes towards it.

    For me, it's a bit too bold. I find my eye bouncing between the bright blue paint, the grey countertops, the green backsplash, and the wood cabinets.

    White subway tile would be my choice, as it would cause the backsplash to fade into the background, letting the cabinets stand out, and make the kitchen feel brighter.

    Alternatively, a more subtle backsplash matching the blue color of the paint could work as it would tie in the backsplash to the rest of the room.

    But this is just one random strangers opinion. Whatever you decide, I'm confident you'll love your kitchen and it'll look great.

  • smalloldhouse
    7 years ago

    Great backsplash! It reminded me just a bit of the perfect, lovely kitchen of GWer @rococogurl

    Here is a link that might be useful: @rococogurl's kitchen in Attic magazine

  • romy718
    7 years ago

    Another thumbs up. I love the colors. As everyone else said, you just have to get used to it. It won't be long & you'll be in love with it, wondering why you ever questioned it. Now we need some closeup pics - eye candy.

  • SparklingWater
    7 years ago

    I like it too. It reminds me of one I always like on Houzz, with blues and creams, which I'll try to find and post, especially since you say:

    "I now need to make some other decisions (eg. kitchen pendants, rug runners, bench cushions, etc.) that will be based around the backsplash".

    Here you go. Don't know if this will help or not.

    BRB- I hope.

    Here is a link that might be useful: [blue/white[(https://www.houzz.com/photos/golf-course-reno-pretty-kitchen-traditional-kitchen-toronto-phvw-vp~3637933)

    This post was edited by SparklingWater on Fri, Jan 16, 15 at 22:25

  • raenjapan
    7 years ago

    I like it. Pretty kitchen, and the overall look is very calm and mellow, in my opinion.

    My husband and I have done many renovations, and every single time I paint a room (I must have painted a hundred rooms by now), I hate it for a few days. Occasionally, I still hate it a week later and re-paint, but that's rare. There is this shock period after you make a big change, and your mind just says: WRONG. It goes away.

    You made a good decision, enjoy your kitchen!

  • HomeChef59
    7 years ago

    The overall effect is lovely, calm and serene. It is not my personal taste. I tend toward black and white.

    However, you have followed the "too many clowns" rule successfully. Everything is calm except one item, your backsplash. The backsplash is the jewelry.

    Live with it for a little while. It will grow on you.

    I give it a thumbs up!

  • friedajune
    7 years ago

    I love it. I think if you had gone with, as you said, a "solid color backsplash", it would be bland and too uniform. You made the right choice. Definitely!

  • arkansas girl
    7 years ago

    I agree with everyone else, it's beautiful and not only is it not busy, to me, it's very soothing. I love the blue!

  • razamatazzy
    7 years ago

    love it. The tones all harmonize with the cabinet so well. And someone did a great job on the tile placement randomizing the colors.

  • straikar
    7 years ago

    It is understated and fresh at the same time. It is so nice to see a combination that doesn't remind me of something I have already seen on houzz.

    Errant has a good point with the flooring running perpendicular and how it might riddle the eye away from the backsplash. (at least in the photo) Perhaps a runner in one of those lovely blue tones would shatter that allusion.

  • Jeannine Fay
    7 years ago

    Thumbs up from me too. Soft and pretty. Looks nice with some of the dishes in your cabinets that pick up on the colors.
    I have the same range. Liking it so far.

  • rooandcheese
    7 years ago

    It's busier than I would like. It's not bad or offensive, just not my style. And definitely not the worst I've seen! Here are a few things that make it seem busy to me:

    1. Direction of tile vs. floor. I imagine your kitchen turns a corner so the adjacent wall looks better. If not, you could change to a vertical tile design.

    2. Size/Color combo. I like a single color at that size. At a smaller size (e.g. mosaic) you can do more color variety and it seems more neutral because of how your eyes process it from a distance. At this size it seems more like patchwork.

    3. Mix of warm and cool colors. Cabs and floors are warm, counters and appliances are cool (at least in the lighting in your picture). They are fighting and make everything seem busier than it actually is. To me this is the biggest contributor to the busy feel. Try looking at the picture while covering up the appliances and countertops with your hand. Backsplash looks great, right? Perhaps a few lighting tricks could help tie it all together better.

    All that said, you have a nice beachy vibe going on. I would play that up and add some neutral accessories (whites, creams) to help tie the colors and textures together. Sometimes a few little details make all the difference!

  • bicyclegirl1
    7 years ago

    I don't notice the floor. I love your tile! It's so soothing & serene. I think when you get in there & work in it, you're going to be wondering why you ever thought it was too busy! It's beautiful & perfect!

  • ravencajun Zone 8b TX
    7 years ago

    I think it's beautiful and very calming. Lovely colors. I don't see anything busy, it's a soothing color combination.

  • andyscott
    7 years ago

    It isn't busy, goes well with the solid countertop and gives your kitchen a contemporary look.

    Can you share what tiles (brand/colors) these are? Thanks!

  • akl_vdb
    7 years ago

    I think it's absolutely beautiful. Serene yet interesting. Love it. Please don't change it.

  • newenglandsara2
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    Wow, thanks so much for the additional input! I appreciate that some of you weren't afraid to say that the backsplash is too busy for your tastes. Hearing a variety of perspectives is helpful. I also now have some terrific ideas for pulling everything together: painting that blue wall white (although a wooden bench will go there, along with a kitchen table), bringing in white accessories to mellow the blue, adding plants, etc.

    To answer the question about tile, this is the Jute glass collection from Ann Sacks. It was very reasonable at under $20/sf. Our installer needed to back butter each tile and to really pack in the grout to make sure that no black lines showed through at the bottom of the tiles. He did a great job, so that concern is off the table.

    I think I figured out that I am partially bothered by the style and color of the tiles for a kitchen. I actually have the same tile (1 X 2s in just the aqua color) in my bathroom, and they are perfect in that space. However, something about the color combination of these tiles--along with the texture--does not feel kitchen-like to me. It does not have an "earthy" feel that I sometimes prefer in a kitchen. The tiles are also very contemporary, and I tend more towards a cottage or beachy style.

    Too bad I have to doubt one of the more expensive items to change!

    Again, I SO appreciate all of the encouragement and input! I am hoping that I will come around as I hate to think about broaching my husband with this topic. :-)

    Sara

    This post was edited by NewEnglandSara on Sun, Jan 18, 15 at 10:41

  • feisty68
    7 years ago

    Your backsplash is a fun and attractive focal point. It's not what I would choose for my kitchen, but I would find that a very happy space to enter as a guest :) . You have a lot of wood in the kitchen so it's nice to have a different element.

    I think you should paint the blue wall. Also, I am wondering about the ceiling colour? Some more photos in different lighting conditions would be helpful to know. Your backsplash has some green and even cream? You may need to tweak your paint colours to avoid being too cold/blue in order to complement your backsplash. Of course, that's based on the appearance on my monitor which may be wildly inaccurate.

  • arch123
    7 years ago

    Looks great to me - you should be pleased. The touches of blue in the cabinets work for me and make me wonder if the back of the upper cabinets or shelves could be blue. Also maybe more blue dishes

  • nightowlrn
    7 years ago

    Looks great. And, I am one that likes a mono backsplash. As mentioned above, the blue on the wall shown seems off ....

  • betsyelise
    7 years ago

    I love the colors in the backsplash but from the photos they appear to clash with the countertop. I do find the backsplash a bit busy. I think the repetition of the multishades repeated in the flooring adds to the busy-ness. I seem to be in the minority, though. Trust your gut. Make sure that YOU love it.

  • szruns
    7 years ago

    I think it is very pretty. I don't think it's too busy. The rest of your finishes are quite calm, so a little jazz in the backsplash is lovely IMHO.

    I'd guess $1500-2000 in labor and "mess" to replace it, plus materials costs, but I am sure that's wildly variable. I did my own backsplash in a weekend (probably 15 hrs of work), but that was with a clean surface. The removal, etc, is something I have no idea about. If you ended up needing to have some drywall replaced and adjacent areas repainted, well, that makes it a lot more mess, trouble, and expense, so maybe more like the 2000+ end of things. If removing tile is easy (I doubt it), then it might cost less.

    FWIW, I think it is lovely.

  • artemis_ma
    7 years ago

    I think this is simply lovely! It doesn't overpower, and what I see of your dishes in the cabinet -- those will blend in nicely. I think the randomness of the tiles adds to a "softness" of appearance, too; it feels flowing.