Clever cabinetry, on-trend colours and contrasting materials inject new cool into the wooden mainstay. Time to turn up the heat...
Looking for some kitchen colour inspiration? Although white remains the fail-safe choice for kitchen cabinetry, colour is creeping into the conversation, presenting a whole new host of kitchen colour rules to live by.
Dive in at the dark deep end with a dark blue kitchen to add drama and a feeling of cosiness into your kitchen. Don’t stress if the space is small or lacks natural light – a dark colour can detract from its shortcomings and focus attention on the fabulous hue instead. Restrict it to walls or an island unit to create a contrast with paler cabinets. Blue sits beautifully with white and grey, so you’ll have plenty of options.
Brave enough to go ever darker? A dramatic line-up of dark hues and timbers with a smattering of metallics work like a charm. Add pale woods to ease the intensity while keeping the look fresh. Work a splash of white into your scheme – nothing makes a strong visual impact like the contrast between light and dark.
See Also: TRENDING: BLUE KITCHENS
Another Livingetc favourite is pine green. This traditional hue can be used to create a contemporary cooking space with the power to calm and rejuvenate. If you don’t want to go green all over, work with white to brighten things up. Perhaps your kitchen just needs a refresh? Tiles allow you to flirt with the trend without overcommitting.
Erring on the safer side, a graceful grey will add depth to more subtle colours and let bold brights be the centre of attention.
Can’t decide? Sometimes two (or more) door shades are better than one. Coveted combinations include blue and a more neutral hue, or two shades of the same colour – grey gets our vote. Use a darker tone on base units and reserve the lighter shade for wall cabinets to stop your kitchen looking top heavy. Alternatively, make a statement of your kitchen island by painting it a different colour from the rest of the kitchen.
See Also: PAINTED SHAKER STYLE KITCHENS
Lastly, some pairings never date, and nothing spells out a perfect partnership like white and wood, which work effortlessly together to bring their strengths to the table. White makes rooms look lighter, brighter and more airy, allowing other design elements to take centre stage, while wood brings an abundance of warmth, character and texture, taking the cool edge off an all-white palette. Together, this pairing strikes a restrained contrast, resulting in a modern scheme with a long shelf life.
Some final words of advice?
- Always go for a mix of materials, such as a sleek quartz worksurface with an integrated wood chopping board,or dark cabinetry and a marble splashback.
- Matching your cabinetry with the wall colour in your kitchen can make it feel larger. This works with darker hues like rich navy or heritage green.
- Clever and discreet task lighting is a must – use splashbacks to place LED lights in preparation areas.
- Combining traditional and contemporary cabinetry creates a look that is laid-back, eclectic, liveable
and inherently cool.
- Invest in beautiful but functional brassware. Handles on drawers and cupboards will be seen and used a lot over the lifetime of your kitchen and can soften or sharpen the finished look.
Neutral may be the norm when it comes to cabinetry, but this Edinburgh kitchen just goes to show that a dose of deep, delicious green goes a long way to infusing a scheme with a luxurious vibe. Building open shelving into the splashback creates a flexible storage solution that keeps everything to hand and makes use of otherwise wasted space.
Get the look: Bespoke cabinetry by Sculleries of Stockbridge is painted a lush shade befitting of the
listed property and its Georgian roots. Try Little Greene’s Mid Azure Green flat oil eggshell, £65 for 2.5L.
Well-considered design decisions and skilful use of colour make this Virtuoso kitchen by Mowlem & Co both practical and stylish. Timeless Shaker-style units are hand-painted in Farrow & Ball’s Railings eggshell, creating a striking contrast to the super-luxe Carrara Gioia marble splashbacks. An industrial quality is introduced via the Raw Concrete Caesarstone worktop and chocolate bronze metal handles that are recessed into the cabinet doors. Lofty ceilings have allowed the designer to go large on storage, with extra-height wall units featuring glass rather than solid inserts to make the space feel more airy.
Get the look: Virtuoso kitchen by Mowlem & Co. Original BTC’s Titan pendant, £249, Heal’s, makes for a fine finishing touch. A similar Mowlem & Co kitchen starts from around £35,000.
Walls take their cue from Life Kitchens’ Hartforth Blue Shaker-style cabinetry to zone this open-plan kitchen. A quartz worktop and splashback slice through the blue, introducing contrast and the look of marble without the associated maintenance.
A smattering of brass adds glamour.
Get the look: This is Life Kitchens’ Hartforth Blue Shaker-style cabinetry. Kitchens from £25,000. For similar brassware, try Abode’s Ludlow monobloc tap in Antique Bronze, £229, John Lewis.
Farrow & Ball’s Down Pipe packs a seriously stylish punch in this Mowlem & Co kitchen, where tall, dark and handsome units stretch to the ceiling to maximise storage. A low ceiling could have been an issue, had it not been for a healthy dose of Stony Ground paint (also Farrow & Ball) to lighten the visual load. What it lacks in height, this kitchen more than makes up for in space. A trio of pendants emphasises the generous 4004 Raw Concrete worktop.
Get the look: This is a Mowlem & Co kitchen (prices start from £30,000). 4004 Raw Concrete worktop, from around £300sq m, from Caesarstone.
Why go white when you can go gracefully grey? It will add depth to more subtle colours and let bold brights be the centre of attention.
A carefully curated edit of classic white tableware and simple but stylish glassware brings a co-ordinated look to these open shelves by Tom Howley. Painted in a soft grey to harmonise with the base units, snowy white walls and Silestone worktops let the colour gently punctuate without overpowering the space. Spotlights offer task lighting, while Original BTC’s Phane pendant makes a modern statement.
Get the look: Tom Howley kitchens from £60,000. Original BTC’s Phane pendant, £199, from Clippings.
Of all the stones in all the world, marble is arguably the most stunning. But juxtaposing it with solid wood can take the style stakes up a notch. As with all natural materials, there are pros and cons to using marble. It is delicate, so you’ll need to reseal it regularly. It’s also much softer than other stones and susceptible to scratching. However, if you’re happy to find beauty in imperfection, marble will bring you many years of viewing pleasure.
Get the look: Named after the Manhattan street, the Mulberry kitchen by Smallbone of Devizes oozes New York cool, combining clean lines with an eclectic mix of materials. Cabinets are crafted in European oak and fitted with Georgian wired glass. Calacatta Oro marble tops add wow factor and are book-matched so that two slabs of stone are set together to look like a single piece. Kitchens from £50,000.
Weathered wood, cool concrete and burnished metals are some of the essential ingredients of a rough-luxe aesthetic. It helps to have existing architectural elements to play with, such as exposed brick walls, timber beams and metal-framed windows. Suspend industrial-style lighting over a reclaimed wood table with some Tolix chairs for that loft-apartment look. Then swap out traditional wall units for wooden shelves and opt for a polished concrete worksurface.
Get the look: This Sebastian Cox kitchen by deVOL is made predominantly from English beech, an abundant but underused native timber. Here, it has been passed through a bandsaw for an artfully rough texture. Find similar shelves at Nkuku, from £140 each. A deVOL kitchen like this one is priced from £15,000.
Blend Scandinavian style with a charcoal hue to give your space instant visual appeal. In this kitchen, industrial-style Tennyson pendants anchor the large island, which is topped in pale oak and served by high-back bar stools. Opening up storage with a pair of floating shelves creates a feeling of added space. Ditch a few wall units in favour of shelves, which will open up the space. Team these with cabinets built to the ceiling to create ample storage for unsightly essentials.
Get the look: These are the Tennyson pendants, £98 each, and Shoreditch high-back bar stools in Hugo Spelt, £345 each. Buckland floating shelves, £470 each. Kitchen by Neptune. This kitchen costs £29,861.
Nothing spells out a perfect partnership like white and wood, which work effortlessly together to bring their strengths to the table. White makes rooms look lighter, brighter and more airy, allowing other design elements to take centre stage. Wood brings an abundance of warmth, character and texture, taking the cool edge off an all-white palette. Wood is also practical and provides a warm backdrop. The less-is-more effect of handleless cabinets in this scheme creates a clean, finish. Together, this pairing strikes a restrained contrast, resulting in a modern scheme with a long shelf life.
Get the look: Valcucine strikes the perfect balance between wood and white in its Forma Mentis kitchen, where rich walnut wrapped around white cabinets creates a cocooning effect. Valcucine kitchen from £30,000.
Full-grained American black walnut adds a shot of warmth to this scheme and emphasises the low-level open storage, which introduces a less formal note. This design typifies the trend for combining two types of worksurfaces: quartz for practicality, and natural stone for the splashback and bar areas.
Get the look:This scheme is by Smallbone of Devizes. This is the Original Hand Painted kitchen, from £50,000.
The owners of this kitchen chose the deeply textured grain of river-washed black walnut ply to complement the exposed brickwork and original timber structure. A smooth concrete worktop introduces a textural shift still very much in keeping with the aesthetic, while a blackboard splashback adds a playful touch. Swapping out cabinetry for shelves made from scaffold boards keeps cooking essentials close to hand. Utensils and cafetières are hung from hooks to keep worktops clear, creating a casual café vibe.
Get the look: Roundhouse kitchen. Bespoke kitchens from £35,000.