Creating a STUNNING KITCHEN is about using CLEVER COMBINATIONS of (sometimes unexpected) materials. Here are six of the best …
Muted Pastels + Marble
Why just stick to the usual shades of white, black and grey for kitchen cabinetry? This soft sage hue, works beautifully alongside the subtle veining of the natural marble worktop, creating a look that is both classic and sophisticated. Follow the lead of Wicklow’s Newcastle Design, who were inspired by brasserie-style dining when pairing marble countertops with their painted kitchen. Using blue-green shades like aquamarine, sage and duck egg creates a peaceful palette which pick up the blue/grey striations in marble and is an antidote to occasionally lab-like white. Neptune’s John Sims-Hilditch says they’re responding to clients’ enthusiasm for softer shades: “For this season, we will be incorporating soft sage and cactus tones.”
Concrete + Brick
The juxtaposition of modern, utilitarian concrete, vintage reclaimed red bricks and textured timber is a combination we are used to seeing in an exterior context but it also makes for a rustic yet contemporary kitchen. Concrete is durable, affordable and customisable for any kitchen. These concrete worktop and wooden units, above, combine industrial practicality with traditional charm. If this rough-luxe look is a little too much for you, Leicht (at Mc Nally Living) has fine-tuned the trend by coating cabinetry with a thin layer of concrete. The Tocco concrete doors come in three different colours. Each door front is individually made, so no two are the same.
High Gloss + Timber
The key here is contrast; the warm tones of the hardwood worktops against the super-glossy white cabinetry looks refined, yet is completely practical. Wood lends warmth to a room and can be an eco-friendly option if you source something that is easily replenished, like bamboo.
Stainless Steel + High Sheen and White
Create impact by pairing high-sheen stainless steel with matte cabinetry. The result? A smart kitchen with an industrial edge. The professional chef’s choice, stainless steel is tough and easy to clean. Inspired by a carpenter’s workplace, Bulthaup’s b2 kitchen, above, reduces a kitchen to three sculptural elements: the smart, compact kitchen tool cabinet, the sleek workbench and the kitchen appliance cabinet. The matte-finished walnut cabinets counterbalance the stainless steel workbench and high-sheen concrete floor.
Satin Black + Brick
Black kitchens have a smart, timeless look. A black satin finish is best for durability and wipeability and when combined with light oak or pale wood, is very chic. Likewise, teaming black satin cabinets with brickwork in a contrasting paler shade is a strong combination. This rich lacquer kitchen (NX500 Satin Lava), above, by Noel Dempsey, has us thinking it might be time to go over to the dark side. The tapering worktop island has a particularly narrow profile which lends to the overall feeling of lightness in the room. Neptune’s Suffolk kitchen has a similar pared-back feel but a totally different attitude. With a subtle nod to Shaker-style design, this charcoal kitchen is equally smart.
Creating depth and interest in a kitchen is more successful if you are confident about combining a number of materials. Try mixed countertops as a simple way of creating interest. “Islands are still hugely popular but the choice of work-surface materials has progressed,” says Peter O’Connor of O’Connors Of Drumleck. “A mix of materials can often be used to make a design statement while enabling the durable qualities of the materials to be appropriately utilised.”
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