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Backsplash a focal point in kitchen décor

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The backsplash is small in size but big on impact on your kitchen décor.

This key area between your countertops and cabinets can tie the décor together or contrast with it, create a focal point or just blend in.

First, decide what you want it to be, then consider style, color and shape, said Karen Lagerhausen, head decorator for Murphy’s Flooring in Woodstock.

Here are some major points to consider for each of these key elements.

1. Style. The backsplash is a “personality piece,” with a long list of choices such as rich traditional, coastal charm, mid-century modern and shabby chic. It should showcase the style and color scheme of your kitchen.

2. The countertop often dictates backsplash color. Since it takes the most abuse and wear and tear, choose the countertop first and then find a backsplash to complement it. Then decide whether you want to be colorful or go to a neutral pallet. Bold colors have an immediate impact. However, neutral can add just as much character to your kitchen.

3. Shape. Tile shapes and patterns are another important decision. If you want your kitchen to be timeless in design, consider a classic size such as 3-by-6-inch in a brick-like “subway” layout or 4-by-4 in a straight layout. If you are drawn to a pattern, specialty shapes can be an option when done right, and are available in bold and neutral pallets.  Keep in mind that some specialty shapes do have a higher price tag.

Tile departments, such as the one at Murphy’s, have the latest products to keep up to date with ever-changing trends.

If you can, it is best to bring a sample of your countertop and cabinet, but a good photo will also help you and your designer select your products, Lagerhausen said.

Murphy’s Flooring : 2104 S. Eastwood Drive, Woodstock, IL, 60098 :

815. 334.5985 : http://www.murphysflooring.net/