Zendaya's 'slab backsplash' is 'an exercise in simplicity and boldness' – and it taps into a key 2024 kitchen trend

We are enjoying the year of the backsplash, and of course, nobody has tapped into the movement quite like Zendaya

(Image credit: Photo by Frazer Harrison via Getty Images)

If 2023 was the year of earthy-hued cabinets and experimentative islands, 2024 is the backsplash's time to shine – and no feature fuels this movement quite as much as the 'slab backsplash' – a luxurious, celebrity-approved alternative. 

This aptly-named feature involves using a single, continuous piece of material (usually stone or engineered quartz) to cover the entire wall space behind our countertops. We've noticed slab backsplashes in kitchens belonging to the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Stephen and Ayesha Curry – but now Zendaya's Brooklyn apartment has completed the trio, and it's one of our favorite examples to date. 

'This design choice is an exercise in simplicity and boldness, and it has rapidly gained prominence for several compelling reasons,' comments Richard Davonport, the managing director at Davonport, in his discussion of the kitchen trend

Zendaya's luxurious backsplash (seen on the seventh slide of the photo carousel below) works seamlessly against her wooden cabinets, and it's an incentive for us to upgrade our own space, though (sadly) we can't all enjoy a view across the East River alongside. 

As Davonport explains, the idea of a slab backsplash is leading design trends for 2024, but they also tap into a wider desire to upgrade this feature in general. 

'The latest trend sweeping across kitchen renovations is investing in an update to the backsplash,' comments Melissa Anne Klink, the creative director of Harvey Jones. 'Before, we would see clients repainting cabinets or upgrading hardware to showcase the latest trending fashions, and now the fastest impact change is swapping over the backsplash.'

Opting for a single marble-style piece like Zendaya's is one of the most luxurious ways we can get behind the trend. However, Klink explains that we don't need to overspend to give our backsplash the upgrade we crave. 

'Porcelain is perfectly at home for a backsplash with the ability to book match and control the visual engagement in the pattern. If the budget allows for marble, the backsplash is the best place to put this material with little threat of discoloration. Other popular materials like quartz and granite will also enhance the color palette and vibrancy in a space.'

kitchen with sleek plaster colored cabinets and marble backsplash and painting above sink

A luxury slab backsplash similar to the one seen in Zendaya's space.

(Image credit: Katie Charlotte Photography)

Alternatively, we can upgrade the backsplash we currently have for a transformation that takes almost no time at all. 'A vibrant tile and fresh lick of paint will invigorate a fresh style,' Klink notes. If there's ever a time to take the leap, it is now.

Melissa Klink

Melissa Klink is an American interior designer. She has a wide range of creative and design experience and has been with Harvey Jones Kitchens for almost 8 years.

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Backsplashes aside, we can tap into Zendaya's marble x wooden kitchen aesthetic by combining these materials via these handpicked accessories below. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.