How HGTV's Leanne Ford DIYed the Chicest Kitchen Backsplash – House Beautiful

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It’s the perfect whitewashed texture.
Even the pros know that sometimes the best design decisions are the result of happy accidents. That was the case with the backsplash in Leanne Ford’s latest reno project, a Sears Craftsman house she’s spent the last 6 months renovating in her hometown of Pittsburgh.
For the backsplash, Ford decided to flex her DIY muscle, scoring a bunch of plain ceramic tiles, which she planned to whitewash for a ceramic version of the layered, monochromatic aesthetic that’s become her signature.
She picked up some cement tiles from Clé in a dark gray shade. “I want to see if I can turn them white,” says Ford. With the help of Pittsburgh-based ceramicist Philip Soucy, Ford covered the fronts of the tiles in painterly strokes of white glaze, then stuck them in the kiln. “We let it be all imperfect,” she says.
When she removed them, something unexpected happened: “The tile was gray, but when I baked it, it turned back to that terra cotta color,” Ford tells House Beautiful.
The happy accident ended up not only being the perfect accent to the kitchen, but also served as the jumping-off point for the entire design of the home. “Those warm tones really became an inspiration for the room,” says the designer, who accented the orangey tones with touches of brass and copper throughout the kitchen space. For the home’s next owner, it’s a special personal touch from Ford herself.
Want to see more of the flip? Tour the house here.
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