One of my favorite design trends these days is the herringbone pattern. Recently when I was visiting Paris, I stayed at a very charming old apartment on the 4th floor of a building in central Paris. The stairs were narrow and never ending but once I opened the door to the apartment, I quickly recognized the chevron wood floors. How beautiful and elegant they are! How they define the space and bring a sense of direction! How they are simply the best!
So back to todays trend which is replicating what was done in the past, I believe that this trend will be around for a while and it can be incorporated into either the floors or the walls.
Almost at every project I present at least one pattern choice to the clients to see what direction they take. Some people love the hexagonal tiles. Some choose herringbone. My installers at first were a bit conservative about installing anything on an angle and having difficult corners to deal with. But we see this demand everyday and more and more so the trade eventually caught up to the change and now enjoying these. Any good installer and builder knows the value of such a design. It becomes a project of art and everyone enjoys looking at in the end.
One of the examples I give you today is the Surrey Project. This beautiful kitchen was designed by us, Meshkin Design, for the client, a family of 4. They were adding a new section to their house and expanding the kitchen and the living room. The new kitchen was supposed to be open concept, big and bright with new large windows. Aside from all the other design details, when it came to choosing the backsplash, we first took a conservative approach as usual. But then when I showed the samples to my client and the opportunity to install them in a herringbone layout, without hesitation she chose this option.
Of course as her designer I was thrilled and excited. I knew it will look amazing in the end.
When choosing this pattern for the kitchen backsplash consider all the other colors that are in the space. All the other components and elements and choose something that will make a statement without over powering everything else.
In this case, client wanted soft, off white tones and the backsplash we chose, was important to coordinate with everything and not be white. If everything is white on white, there will be no sense of depth plus it will be almost impossible to make all the whites the same. Remember that materials are manufactured in different places, different settings and color choices so no matter what, it is not easy to match the whites and I always advise my clients against it.
This tile is called Splendours, by Equipe, made in Spain. The white color has slight variations of grey therefore when installed, it gives a nice depth to the overall look. choose a light/medium grey grout to make the pattern stand out. Never too dark and never too light.
Do not use the same pattern twice in a room. Never install herringbone floors and walls together. Unless it is in the bathroom and exactly the same color/material, do not mix the two. Remember what the focal point of the room needs to be and keep the interesting pattern where you want to highlight it the most.
Pay attention to the size of the tile/flooring or any material that you are going to install. Tiles for example come in many different sizes and lengths. Based on the geometry of the space, choose something that will be large enough to show the pattern is very important and is what will make a successful design. Backsplash typical height is anywhere from 18" - 20" from the countertop to the bottom of the upper cabinets, therefore a large tile will not look good in this narrow space. 3x12 tiles, 2.5x8 , 2x8 and similar sizes usually work best.
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