In addition to reflecting light, glass backsplashes can actually bring sunshine into a kitchen. The vistas beyond this kitchen were nothing to write home about, so designers at Carnemark installed detail-obscuring glass blocks on either side of the stove's backsplash, which is made of volcanic rock by SieMatic. Quarried in Italy, this stone is similar to that used by the ancient Romans to build roads, and has been used for various surface applications from building cladding to tile to countertops for centuries.
You can get a high-end look with impact details small and large: try adding bun feet to free-standing cabinetry to give it a furniture-feel, or add some beadboard paneling to spruce up an island. Or you can get really creative with a focal point that is less expensive than mosaic tile but packs a big punch, like stacked stone on the back of your kitchen island, like this one from Bill and Jayne Wolf of DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen in Grand Rapids, Mich.
This modern Tuscan-style kitchen pays homage to the traditional details associated with the design through its use of color, architecture and accessories. Wood rafters help enclose the kitchen, while exposing the cathedral ceilings and intricate, artistic murals along the walls and ceilings. Simple wrought iron fixtures showcase Old World appeal with a contemporary edge. With massive wooden beams, terra-cotta tiles from Italy and hand-painted frescoes of Italian vineyards — this kitchen cooks up Italian flavor from floor to ceiling. But it's the bread warmer and wine cellar that stores up to 1,800 bottles that make this an Italian paradise. Appliances include two Miele dishwashers, a vegetable steamer, a built-in espresso machine and a five-burner Thermador stove.
Once a raw, industrial space, designers brought in glitzy design details to create a unique residential space. First, they raised the ceilings from eight foot to nearly eleven, creating a more dramatic space. Then, they installed a luxurious black and white tile floor and complimentary copper pendant lights that became the focal point of the space. Finally, they brought in rich, leather furniture and installed a glamorous wet bar to the space.
Favorite feature: The lighting, which is a custom installation of multiple pendants sourced on Ebay, is definitely what catches most people's eye —it’s the conversation starter that gets all the compliments. That design element set against the truly amazing view of the Long Island Sound and the New York City skyline make for a stunning visual. The custom bar is also exceptional with its luxurious materials, from the antique mirror in the back to the exotic wood cabinetry and beautiful Saint Laurent marble on the counter.