A Striking Backsplash Adds Intrigue to This Contemporary Kitchen

A tuxedo kitchen with a contemporary-style backsplash.
Photography by John O’Hagan, Styling by Lucy Finney, Interior design and build by Harris Doyle Homes

Text by Holly Seng

When designer Alice Allen and her team set their eyes on this one-of-a-kind tile, they knew it would eventually make its debut in one of their designs. When plans for a home in Birmingham, Alabama’s Liberty Park neighborhood appeared on her desk, there was no question when it came to selecting a backsplash. “We clearly went with a showstopper,” says Alice, the director of interior design at Harris Doyle Homes. “[The backsplash] was definitely the inspiration behind the design.”

A kitchen with black lower cabinets, white countertops, and white upper cabinets.
Photography by John O’Hagan, Styling by Lucy Finney, Interior design and build by Harris Doyle Homes

To offset the tile’s contemporary shape, Alice opted for a black-and-white palette that imparts a subtle, timeless touch. The sophisticated scheme continues in this tuxedo kitchen as sleek quartz countertops contrast with the dark hues of the island and lower cabinets, which serve to anchor the space. A crisp white brightens the upper cabinets and range hood and lends added visual height. “The great room feeds off of [the kitchen], and it has vaulted ceilings, so we wanted [the kitchen] to feel taller,” says Alice.

A tuxedo kitchen with a contemporary black-and-white backsplash.
Photography by John O’Hagan, Styling by Lucy Finney, Interior design and build by Harris Doyle Homes

A pair of pendant light fixtures with gold accents softens the look, adding a dash of glamour that underscores the design’s dramatic flair. “[Lighting] is the accessory of the home,” says Alice. “This is where your style starts to speak.”

With a family-friendly design scheme in mind, Alice chose indoor-outdoor barstools that are durable and easy to clean. Their woven texture adds an extra layer to the room while their deep tone coordinates seamlessly with the space.

A kitchen with a black-and-white palette and a contemporary backsplash.
Photography by John O’Hagan, Styling by Lucy Finney, Interior design and build by Harris Doyle Homes

The faucet’s Champagne bronze finish mingles with satin bronze hardware and stainless-steel appliances for a mixed-metal approach—a favorite of Alice’s—giving the space unique dimension. “You want it to look like it’s been designed over time rather than in one day,” says Alice.

Inspired by a distinctive focal point, this kitchen combines classic with contemporary for a personalized style that endures.

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