before and after

before & after: laura’s backsplash

by Grace Bonney

designer laura hoyer of open face sandwich sent in this simple but beautiful before & after. laura explained that her “blah” kitchen needed some TLC, but because she lives in a rental, her options were limited. so she decided to take inspiration from a new haven ikea store and print one of her designs, hang it over the backsplash and then cover it with plexi-glass for protection. it only takes a few steps, but the results bring so much more life to the kitchen. great work, laura! check out more of laura’s work right here.


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  • that’s fantastic! as a fellow renter i’m always trying to find ways to spruce up my place without losing that coveted security deposit. thanks for the tips!

  • Wow! I love everything about this. It’s a nice, fresh, not overdone pattern. And I love it against the white (frosted glass?) cabinets. Well done!

  • this is so inspiring! not a major project, but certainly a wonderfully delightful impact on daily life. thanks for sharing this!

  • This is fabulous! Those of us with not enough funds for a tile backsplash no longer need live without lively, pattern on our kitchen walls! Why didn’t I think of that? One of the best tips ever!

  • This is fantastic! And so simple. Two hallmarks of great design. Do you think Laura would mind sharing instructions on how she did this?

  • Pretty pretty please can we have a how-to or at least some tips? I’m in a rental too and this would be a perfect pick-me-up for the kitchen! Great job!

  • I’m just going to echo what others have said – I would LOVE a how to on this project! :)

  • Very pretty. And not just for a rental. I own my home and am without a back splash (it’s on “the list”) but this gets the old gears whirring.

  • Trying to figure out the best way to adhere image to wall… really, it could be any sort of paper; even wallpaper (but who’d want to muck with that… it’d be less than temporary. And there’d inevitably be a seam somewhere, depending on how large a sheet of plexi you could obtain.

  • Hi to Bridget, Scout, Kellie, and anyone looking for instructions!
    I’m so glad that you guys like what I did!!!

    The fabric is my design that I had digitally printed but any fabric will do. I cheated and “sewed” the edges with a hot glue gun, ironed it several times, and attached it to the wall with a strong double stick tape. Then, I placed the piece of plexi-glass in the desired location and marked with a pen where the holes needed to be drilled. Make sure you score an X in the fabric in those places with an exacto knife first or the spinning of the drill will twist your fabric. Drill the holes and then get to using that screw driver. When you move out of your apartment the tiny holes can be easily filled in with some joint compound.

    As for the plexi-glass, I purchased it online at estreetplastics.com.
    They cut to any size and drill the holes for you. I ordered a 1/8” thick piece and had them add 6 holes for #6 screws. It all came to $34.99 and arrived in perfect condition.

    Please feel free to e-mail me if any of that isn’t clear at laura@openfacesandwich.com

  • As a kitchen designer, I LOVE that idea. I just wrote a post elsewhere on doing exactly that along with burlap or natural matchstick shades, that sort of thing works well too. This looks really outstanding, my compliments!

    That said, I would not use plexiglass over a cooktop or range. Glass is better or maybe it could change into another solid surface of some sort over that hot area.

    But, that’s a winner!!

  • Thank you, Laura! These instructions are great. I just moved and the kitchen in my rental is quite depressing. This, and a new paint job, will do wonders!

  • what an amazing transformation, I can’t believe that the only thing that changed was the splashback. Looks like a completely new kitchen. love your work!

  • Fantastic idea Susan. This idea is posible for a bathroom? What do you think? Thank you for the idea. (Sorry. I’m Spanish and my english is not too good).

  • Wow! Lovely! I also love that the repeated pattern actually looks like tiles. The colors are lovely.
    I would also like to know how you got the blue tint in the cabinet window.

  • i want to do this in my kitchen but im worried about my electrical outlet openings. I dont want to mess up the measurements, will estreetplastics take a template? Got any suggestions?

  • What do you do about holes for outlets and such….just cut them out too. Isn’t plexiglass hard to cut?