Brie Larson’s Kitchen Has an Ancient Alternative to the Classic Backsplash—And It Could Save You Money

published Sep 2, 2020
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In an August 20 YouTube video in which she makes a vegan Crunchwrap Supreme with chef Joshua Weissman, Oscar-winning actress Brie Larson gave us a look inside her simple, Italian-style kitchen. And for those of you working on a budget for a potential kitchen reno, you may have picked up on the fact that Larson doesn’t have a typical tile backsplash. Instead, she employs the use of a traditional iron fireback behind her stove, leaving the rest of her walls bare.

Cast-iron firebacks have been around since at least the 15th century, with their main purpose being to keep the heat of a hearth fire from destroying the back wall of the fireplace. By absorbing the heat, the fireback also acts as a sort of radiator, storing and giving off heat even after the fire has died down.

They are often ornately decorated with religious, mythological, or animal imagery and come in all different shapes and sizes. Larson’s looks like a rendition of “The Birth of Venus”.

In modern times, firebacks are usually used for decor first, protection second, as they’re often installed behind standard gas or electric ranges which aren’t as dangerous as traditional open-flame cooking fireplaces. But they do the same job as a tile backsplash and, when opted for, can often save homeowners money.

Firebacks can also be used in tandem with traditional tile backsplashes, as well. There’s room for creativity.

Though browsing your local antique mall or vintage salvage shop may be the best option for those interested in adding a fireback to their kitchen, online retailers like Wayfair and Amazon offer a selection of iron firebacks. This fox fireback from Wayfair is particularly adorable.

Though firebacks may not work with every decor scheme, they offer homeowners an opportunity to save money on the tilework and add a bit of character and charm to their kitchen in an unexpected way.