The backsplash is a great place to get creative because you don't need a lot of tile. Adding trim, mosaics, ornamental pieces, and color to standard tumbled marble turns blah into beautiful. The backsplash becomes art. Trust us: You won't regret paying extra attention here. A neat backsplash can really take a kitchen up a level.
Planned Down to the Last Light
The lighting in this kitchen is so smart you won't even notice it's special. (That's what makes it good.) First, every switch has a dimmer, including the can lights. This helps set the mood, saves more energy than you might think (up to a 40% savings when dimmed halfway), and extends the life of the bulbs.
In a good lighting plan, there are light sources at every level. Recessed cans in the ceiling brighten the whole kitchen; one even accents the plate on the mantel. Task lighting under the upper cabinets illuminates the work surfaces. The beautiful yet simple chandelier provides a decorative touch. Lights inside the glass-front cabinets help highlight the Vissers' colorful dishware collection.
Builder was Chris Ettel, VB Homes, Virginia Beach, Virginia; www.vbcontractors.com or  491-1996.
"Five-Star Service" is from the March 2008 issue of Southern Living.