One of the most exciting shifts in design over the last decade has been in how we view the kitchen. No longer simply a place to prepare meals, it’s become the hub of the home; a spot where families catch up on their days, where homework is completed, and where gossip is swapped between friends. It’s a sociable space, a place where bills get paid and the internet is browsed, where, as Jona Lewie once sang, we end up at parties. It’s not just a room, it’s where life is lived.
As a result of this, kitchens have increasingly become open plan and we’re increasingly seeing breakfast bars, banquet seating, and islands become the norm as our kitchen space joins the rest of the home in terms of functionality and livability. The cupboards, worktops, walls and floors now have to work harder than ever to incorporate stylishly into the rest of our living areas and as such, units are being viewed almost as furniture in their own right.
This has lead to a shift in the way we plan and execute a kitchen. With a myriad of options available to us, many are now opting for a more eclectic look, combining colours or finishes to create a unique space and one that works effortlessly into the style of our homes. Whether it’s brass and chrome casually intertwined or marble and stone sitting side by side, using a mix of materials in your kitchen is the hottest new look. Want to see whether this look is for you? Read on…
The Upper and Lower Contrast
While our first example is of a utility room, the concept easily applies to an entire kitchen design. Contrast your upper and lower cabinets with different materials for a more interesting take. While a white kitchen is certainly a classic design choice, choosing to use white on only the upper cabinets will create a visually taller ceiling. When used in combination with a natural wood for the bottom cabinets, the contrast grounds the space, adding texture and warmth to what could be a utilitarian design.
Cabinet Colour Contrast
This is a slightly different approach to the above but while the same materials for the cabinets are used, in this deVOL kitchen, they’ve used different finishes on a single run of cabinets – a deep indigo blue stain contrasts beautifully with a pale finished beech. The result is a minimalist design that’s anything but boring.
All That Glitters
Give your breakfast bar or island impact by cladding it in a totally different material to your cabinets as seen in this Square One kitchen design above. The Arabescato marble provides a touch of luxury but when combined with a brass-clad breakfast bar, it stands out for all the right reasons. Consider the bold use of metallic finishes in your kitchen design beyond just your hardware to add warmth and interest to your space.
Another take on the metallics trend is to mix different finishes. While once you would have hesitated using more than just chrome or stainless steel in a kitchen, we’re seeing an influx of gold, copper, bronze, matte black and more elegantly combined for an eclectic look. In the Harvey Jones’ kitchen above, copper and chrome are stylishly mixed, providing an updated twist on the traditional.
You certainly don’t have to stick with the same material for your worktop in your cabinet run as well as your island. This deVOL kitchen as seen in the home of Pearl Lowe takes mixed material kitchens to a new level and is the perfect example of using a few different materials and colours successfully. Here, the perimeter worktops are a rustic butcherblock wood atop cabinets in a soft dove grey. The island provides the impact, however, with a darker colour for the base and a luxurious marble worktop above.
Now we’d love to hear from you! Have you successfully mixed different colours, finishes or materials in your kitchen design? We’d love to see! Tag us on @TileMountainUK on Twitter or tag us with your images on Instagram!
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