Designer Favs: Surprising Backsplashes

When it’s time to choose a backsplash for your home, Che Bella interior designer Calie Pierce encourages you to consider materials that fall outside the norm. In this installment of Che Bella’s Featured Favs, Calie gives you an inside look at several projects in which she turned to unique elements for the backsplash installation. The result? One-of-a-kind features for her homeowners and, naturally, stunning results. Set your expectations aside regarding which materials can be used for a backsplash as Calie takes us on a ride through backsplash options that deliver a sophisticated aura of “Wow” to any space.


Wallpaper is an often-overlooked element when talking about backsplashes. Calie details, “a wonderful thing about using wallpaper as a backsplash is that you can often stretch a project’s budget by using it. Find a vendor that allows you to purchase in single-yard or low-yard increments as you won’t need much. Also, find a vendor that has wide-width rolls when possible.” The bar area in the Eden Prairie, MN lower-level remodel shown below used only two yards of wallpaper as it was available in a wide-width option. In addition, using wallpaper instead of tile meant an easier installation around the curved niche.

wallpaper backsplash ideas

Be aware that kitchen areas with high moisture or a high splatter factor are not well suited for a wallpaper backsplash. To the contrary, wallpaper is ideal behind a less frequently used area like that shown in the wet bar of this lower level Shakopee, MN remodel. When discussing the project pictured, Calie describes, “we wanted a subtle textural feel to accent the adjacent walls, which were upholstered. A wide-width wallcovering allowed us to add that texture without adding additional hard surface to the space.”

Mirror with a Twist

Using a mirrored product creates a fun backdrop, no matter the setting. Consider an antique mirrored sheet or mirrored tiles to increase the drama in a special space. Maybe it’s a small room that you want to feel a bit larger. Or, like in this Irish-inspired St. Paul, MN lower-level design and finishing project, you want a detail to accent a vintage pub look. Calie notes, “in this project the beveled tile didn’t need a grout joint, allowing the area to feel like one big mirror. It also offered visual texture.”

Mirrored Tile  - Kitchen and Bar Backsplash Ideas Minneapolis, MN


Mosaics intentionally play with your eye and add a dimensional feel to a space. They show differently when used in small applications as opposed to installed across an entire wall. Calie encourages you to try them out and commented on one particularly unique mosaic project. “In the ‘brew room’ of The Lively, a St. Paul, MN lower-level finishing project, I created an overall pattern with a mosaic stone. It was a fun way to dress up a modern space and add an unexpected zip!”

Mosiacs - Kitchen and Bar Backsplash Ideas Minneapolis, MN

Using a “make your own” philosophy, Calie used a rhombus floor tile for this sleek installation, part of an Edina, MN kitchen remodel and interior design project.  “I used a floor tile and created my own pattern for the backsplash. It was a subtle detail that offered a big impact.”

Mosiacs - Kitchen and Bar Backsplash Ideas Minneapolis, MN

Quartz Slab

“Quartz is one of my favorite backsplashes to use when you have a simple and gorgeous countertop to work with,” Calie states.  “It’s easy to clean, it’s classic, and I can’t get enough of it in a matte finish.” This Cambria Ironsbridge Matte fit the bill for this contemporary kitchen remodel in Eden Prairie, MN.

Mosaics - Kitchen and Bar Backsplash Ideas Minneapolis, MN

Creativity Is Everywhere When It Comes To Backsplash Ideas & Options

With a bit of inspiration and a gentle nudge, you too can think outside the proverbial backsplash box. Consider the myriad of options available and choose what speaks to you! 

Contact the Che Bella interior design and remodeling team for your upcoming home design and remodel projects. We specialize in kitchen and bathroom design and remodels, as well as lower-level finishing projects, home additions and more.  We handle projects from start to finish and offer full project management services from product selection to the management of our trade partners. It is our every intent to make your home beautifully yours!

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