We don’t see many old stone walls in my adopted part of the world – but you really can’t beat them for natural texture and character in a kitchen:
(via and be sure to check out the bathroom, too)
Bricks, we do have, although their tendency to collapse into a heap when the ground shakes means they are more decorative than structural around here:
When your walls are as strong as this, you don’t really get to do much in the way of choosing a backsplash. But it would be hard to improve on these gorgeous textures, wouldn’t it? These homeowners have dealt with the potential problems of that texture, and the absorbent nature of the stone, by using a transparent glass splash in the grease zone:
Walls of such character are definitely a challenge for a designer – do you notice how all these kitchens are very simple, and don’t try to compete with the walls?
It must be because there’s just so much texture in those walls (brick and stone) that the kitchen has almost vanished. We’ll just have to asume that the sink and the refrigerator are tucked in out of sight, somewhere. I guess our dull, smooth drywall does have some advantages, after all. We may not have ancient and characterful walls to anchor our kitchens, but at least we get to pick fabulous tile for our backsplashes.