We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

The most annoying mistakes can pave the way for your most brilliant ideas yet. That’s what British designer Matilda Goad learned when a minor miscalculation in her kitchen design forced her to think on her feet. Originally she had opted for a black granite backsplash that was just two inches tall, a striking contrast with limewashed walls—but as she used the space more and more, she noticed that the patch behind the sink was starting to get stained by errant splashes. 

She needed a taller shield that would be waterproof and could hide away the unsightly wall markings. So she grabbed an old Net-a-Porter box and got creative. “I find it much easier to imagine a space when you’re working with something tangible,” she says. She cut it into a scallop shape, using a bottle cap to ensure each rounded edge was uniform, and tacked it up to see how it looked. 

Satisfied with the appearance of the scalloped solution, she turned to a local stonemason, who was able to cut and install a new slab of granite in the shape of her cardboard cutout, perfectly blending it in with her existing backsplash. Now she no longer has to worry about accidentally getting her walls wet and she can enjoy the sweet look of a playful custom innovation. “I felt that if I were going to an extra layer, it might as well be decorative.” 

See more stories like this: Is It Safe to Paint Your Space When You’re Stuck Indoors? The Pouf Has Met Its Match—This Is the Most Versatile Stool You’ll Ever Meet This Couple Struck Gold When They Decided to Restore Their Plaster Walls