Kitchen wall design is often overlooked. The focus of the room is usually on the countertops, flooring or cupboards. You might not even have a lot of wall space in your kitchen. You probably don't want your wall to be the focal point of the room. However, if you give it a treatment other than just a coat of paint, the wall will serve as a piece of artwork and will tie in with the rest of the decorating in your home.
You might be afraid of wallpaper; you may already be envisioning what a hassle it will be to take it down. Plus, wallpaper in the kitchen may seem dated. However, wallpaper can be a way to add pattern to your room in a modern way. Wallpaper allows you to tie all of the colors of your kitchen together and to spice up neutral decor. Just put the wallpaper on one wall for a more contemporary look. Find a paper with a graphic pattern and a larger print. This will keep it feeling modern. You can even go with a black and gray paper for a neutral room that still has a big impact. If you have basic white laminate cupboards and black countertops you may think you need an entire kitchen remodel to bring some life into the space. Try putting black and white damask wallpaper behind the cabinets so that your color palette makes sense and looks intentional.
You can tie your walls in with your cabinets by adding wood; just check your building codes first. You can panel the walls with an orange stained wood for a modern room. The oversized wood grain will have the same effect as wallpaper while showcasing a natural element.
Metal kitchen backsplashes can tie into your appliances or just add a more contemporary touch to a kitchen. If you're on budget roofing flashing will give you the look of stainless steel for a fraction of the price but it might not hold up as well. You can also find tile that looks like stainless steel. Mix the finishes to add interest. You can even go with a shiner finish next to a matte finish to create a harlequin pattern that is traditional and modern at the same time.
Kitchen wall murals take the place of decorative tile. Leave the faux sky paintings for the nursery and go with something more elegant. For an elegant kitchen paint a series of ornate frames on the wall. You can just keep the frames black and even decoupage a photo on top. You don't have to be artistic to create a custom kitchen wall mural; just rent a projector and trace your desired images on the wall.
More modern paintings stick with graphic lines instead of intricate shading so it's perfect for a beginning artist. For an elegant or traditional kitchen try mimicking large panels of molding on the wall. You can tape off borders in different colors and then stencil underneath. You may just want to stencil a favorite quote around the top of your room so everyone that enters your kitchen knows what you are about. For a Tuscan mural paint your wall to include a window looking over the Tuscan countryside. Add in small houses with red tile roofs. Before you think "I can't do that." just break artwork down into basic shapes. Even some of the most professional muralists paint houses in the distance to be nothing more than a rectangle with a trapezoid on top. Add in rows of grape vines and tall Cyprus trees to complete the look. Mural work looks best on walls that don't have a lot of texture on them so you can get clean lines.
A copper kitchen backsplash adds warmth and color to the room. It will patina over time to bring in lots of different colors and give your room an aged appearance that is still unlike most anything your company has ever seen before. You can add a small backsplash by using copper trim. You might even be able to find an embossed copper molding that has a vine pattern to it for a kitchen based around Tuscany or wine. For a more modern take on copper look for copper tiles that will give you clean lines while using an Old World material. Pair the copper with granite countertops that have specks of orange in them and rich, cherry colored cabinets.
Putting up a glass mosaic tile kitchen backsplash can be easier then it seems. Glass mosaic tile comes in sheets so you don't have to individually set every tile. You can also create your own backsplash using bits of broken china and craft pebbles. This allows you to show your creative side, but it can be an extensive art project.
Kitchen wall stickers are an easy way to decorate and redecorate. You can spice up a wall by adding shelves with jars and canisters on them. The only trick is that it will be a sticker. These graphics can be modern or traditional. Even if you go with an old country store look full of intricately labeled jars the application is so modern that it reads as contemporary and different. You can also add a sense of whimsy by putting a dog sticker near the door or table. You can even create a border effect by lining up different bowls, spatulas and pots around the room. This allows you to make the border as wide as you want it and easily add color to your walls without painting. This works well if you don't have a backsplash, it will look like you do or like you opted out of a backsplash just so you could display your beautiful artwork.
Kitchen wall design may be the area where you just set yourself free. It's less expensive to decorate than other kitchen elements so you can experiment with color and pattern. If you can't afford a complete remodel, then just start with your walls. You can use them as an opportunity to tie the other elements of your room together or go in a new direction entirely.