Bring a soft touch. This kitchen has the most authentic of modern credentials. Slick handleless units? Check. Waterfall countertop for the peninsula? Yes. Pale gray finish for the cabinetry and walls? Yep. And then there’s the lovely backsplash of fish-scale tiles that draws the eye with its tonal colors set against a neutral backdrop.
If you want to copy the look, repeat the curve of the scallops in the bar stools and pendant lights to soften a contemporary kitchen, and keep the finish fresh by mixing white tiles in with the colors.
Put the curve on top. Which way to hang fish-scale tiles? In contrast to the tiles in the previous kitchen, these tiles are turned around so that the curve is on top. Although the first approach feels more piscine, the curve-up variation tips the look toward Art Deco fan shapes.
Try a backsplash like this if you like the gloss and block color of subway tiles but don’t want to introduce industrial elements into your kitchen. In this design, the decorative tiles are the perfect partner for the retro-style cabinetry and warming wood elements.
Dwell on detail. The color of fish-scale tiles you choose also can make the look more or less evocative of oceans — and what lies within them. Go for black or deep navy, as shown in this smart kitchen, and the effect is definitely on the “less” side of the equation.
Using small tiles like these makes a space feel highly decorated, and even if the tiles themselves are dark, a high-gloss surface will bounce light around to keep your room bright.
Blend similar tones. The backsplash of fish-scale tiles in this room proves that the shape is equally at home in a bathroom as in a kitchen.
If you opt for a large expanse of tile, follow this room’s example with a gentle range of tones — like these sea-inspired blues and greens. Teamed with the room’s built-in wooden cabinetry and display areas, the tiles ensure that the atmosphere is far from clinical.
Calm down. The delicate celadon green of these fish-scale tiles makes this guest bathroom a calming space. Note how using a larger tile here also contributes toward the relaxed feel of the room, avoiding the busyness of smaller versions.
Double up. Team a backsplash of fish-scale tiles with a reflective work surface, and you can enjoy your choice twice. There isn’t much wall space available to make a feature in this kitchen, so this trick cleverly boosts the level of decorative detail where there’s little opportunity.
Since there are no wall cabinets, the tops of the tiles weren’t cut level, making for a pretty scalloped edge.
Cook out. Fish-scale tiles turn this outdoor kitchen into a space that’s as striking as an indoor room. This well-equipped setup for alfresco food prep, cooking and dining is in Australia, but more of us are following the Aussies’ lead and upgrading from a barbecue to a more sophisticated outdoor kitchen with storage, workspace, and even a sink and fridge.
In gorgeous green, these tiles link the exterior kitchen and dining area with the planting. For something quieter but still striking, a soft shade of blue is a great alternative to complement the greens of the garden.