There are many ways to improve a kitchen’s cook station through a kitchen remodel, but one that’s often overlooked, although it can easily be incorporated into the design, is an eye-catching backsplash with a central focal point.
Many older kitchens across Santa Clara County have similar designs around the kitchen’s cook station—the area surrounding the stove. Built in the 1960s and 70s, many of these cook stations incorporate an appliance called a micro hood: a combination microwave and ventilation hood system that fits above the stove top.
The problem is that many of these appliances barely fit the space. They tend to create a cramped stove top cooking area with poor ventilation, and their large size often prevents additional cabinet storage. Micro hoods can also be a major inconvenience for taller cooks and two-cook households, leading to poor range of vision to the stovetop and two cooks fighting to use the same space for different cooking tasks at the same time.
From an aesthetic perspective, the micro hood is an obtrusive appliance located in a very high profile position. Without an overt focal point elsewhere in the room, the eye naturally rests on this central area around the cook station. A San Jose kitchen remodel can create a focal point by integrating a beautiful backslash design into the cook station.
Upgrading to a more eye-catching and functional cook-station design
Replacing a micro hood with a contemporary ventilation system can solve a number of cook station design issues. Updated systems provide more power and take up far less space, freeing up room against the wall above the stovetop. This space should remain open to make both cooking and ventilation more effective, but it becomes the perfect palette for a beautiful backsplash design.
A backsplash can draw attention to the center of a newly upgraded kitchen, and above the cook station it protects the wall from heat, oils, and stains with an easy-to-clean, maintenance-free surface. Porcelain, ceramic, and glass tiles all provide the durability and ease of care that’s needed in the kitchen, and all three materials offer endless options when it comes to colors and designs.
In many of our kitchen remodels we install modern convection microwaves elsewhere in the cook station, often adjacent to the range oven, improving the workflow in a two-cook kitchen and moving the microwave to a location that makes it more accessible to kids. An increasing number of households are finding they don’t use the microwave enough to justify the upgrade to a new one, freeing up space for more cabinet storage or a different appliance.
Many updated kitchens are extending their tile backsplashes around the kitchen’s perimeter to make cleaning easier and create a continuous look. Beautiful backsplashes offer a way to draw visual attention toward a focal point in the room and add depth and texture to a flat space.