Reusing or upcycling wood to create an individual yet timeless kitchen is a simple way of bringing your scheme to life, giving it an instant rich history and character. It also bestows a distinct design advantage, adding depth and variety to cabinetry and so avoiding that uniform feel. Keep the look fresh by combining rustic doors with honed worktops in a warm shade of slate grey – a welcome departure from the usual glossy pale stones or matching country-style timbers.
The white kitchen is set to stay, but it’s moved on since the days of swathes of clinical alabaster. While it’s still clean, crisp and ideal for creating an open, airy feel, combining white cabinetry with natural materials, such as raw timber and stone, helps to give a more personalised look. Continue the mix of materials on to the floor, eschewing conventional porcelain tiles for a more distinctive alternative, such as polished poured concrete or tactile resin.
Finishing touches affect the overall beauty of a design, with the smallest elements setting the style of the kitchen. Unusual metals, such as brass, copper and pewter, and utilitarian materials, such as poured concrete, tap into the trend for muted colour palettes, as well as providing a layer of texture in even the sleekest of schemes. Part of the appeal of natural materials is their imperfections, so rather than hide their flaws, make the material the focal point of your design for a bold statement.
Reusing or upcycling wood to create an individual yet timeless kitchen is a simple way of bringing your scheme to life, giving it an instant rich history and character. It also bestows a distinct design advantage, adding depth and variety to cabinetry and so avoiding that uniform feel. Keep the look fresh by combining rustic doors with honed worktops in a warm shade of slate grey – a welcome departure from the usual glossy pale stones or matching country-style timbers. This kitchen is DeVOL.
Including mottled or richly veined natural stone in your kitchen ensures that not only will your design be unique, but it’ll have a beautiful, tactile quality that brings contrast and timeless style. ‘Once marble is quarried, the same piece will never be found again,’ explains Sam Hart, a designer at Roundhouse. ‘When you find a slab that’s stunning, the cabinets need to be understated to let the stone do the talking. Marble needs no competition, requiring a simple, pared-back design in a neutral tone.’ This kitchen is by Roundhouse.
While timber is a kitchen staple, it’s only recently that it’s thrown off its traditional overtones. Reinterpreted as a modern material and stained, smoked or sawn to showcase the grain, oak is a versatile choice for a contemporary design and blends beautifully with soft-touch lacquers and matt finishes. While straight runs of oak boards bring warmth and texture, they’re more impactful (and more sustainable) when combined with character oak, an intertwined mixture of knots, fissures and
striations. Use door cladding horizontally to give the impression of width to a room or vertically to add height.
Multiple knobs and bars can make even the sleekest modern kitchen appear cluttered. Opt for discreet finger pulls instead and recess large banks of cabinetry into the wall to reduce their bulk. ‘This streamlined look is ideal for open-plan kitchens,’ says Jamee Kong of DesignSpace London. ‘It allows a smooth transition into the dining-living space as handle details can “interfere” with the style of other furniture in the same area.’ This kitchen is by DesignSpace London.
Unfitted kitchens are the ultimate in informal design, offering the flexibility to adapt the layout as your needs change, add storage or combine different styles for a more eclectic look. ‘Choosing a freestanding kitchen is a great opportunity to showcase materials you would not necessarily use in a modern environment,’ says Keith Turner, associate director design and technical at Pedini London. ‘There can also be greater variety in the layout as the kitchen can be pushed into areas outside the working space, such as a dining or family room, maintaining a relationship with both.’ This kitchen is by Retrouvius.
Storage in a kitchen is key, but giving acres of wall space over to cupboards and tall furniture can make even a large room feel oppressive. Whether installed from floor to ceiling or in place of wall units above worktops, open shelving creates an opportunity to personalise your space, with displays of treasured dishes or cookery books alongside everyday crockery. Floating shelves give a crisper look, but may need reinforcement for heavy items, while robust brackets can be turned into a feature with antique detailing and aged finishes.
Perfect partner for a combined living space, ‘hidden’ kitchens are the ultimate in minimalist design, concealing appliances and cabinetry with sliding or pocket doors. Make the luxe look work by using materials, finishes and styling that blend well with existing furniture. Neutral shades, such as grey or taupe, and natural wood finishes are ideal and can be colour-matched for a cohesive scheme. It’s important the kitchen is still easy to use, so if full-height doors don’t appeal, try sliding panels behind a hob to conceal spices or recessed channels at the back
of worktops to hold utensils. This kitchen is by SieMatic.