If you are about to embark on a kitchen renovation, it is easy to feel intimidated by the variety of styles and materials available - and let's not even start talking about the price that a "designer" look will cost you. To bring a look together cohesively, you are looking at spending not just your money, however, but time too: researching on Pinterest, design magazines and visiting separate product outlets to see products up close.
Here at Seasons in Colour we know that you value your time and want to help you bring together a scheme affordably, without compromising on the look and feel. So we think that on this occasion you should look no further than kitchen experts Howdens, who this month launched a look-book of 6 kitchen design styles and which include everything from flooring to cabinetry, taps and even appliances.
The styles are varied enough to suit the character of many homes.
Refined: This style is luxurious, decadent and sophisticated and looks back to the faded glamour of the past. Dark indigo or grey cabinetry is mixed with marble while metallic accents are introduced (bass handles anyone?) to add lustre. Art deco influences are prevalent here.
Natural: The organic and manmade blend here to form a deconstructed look. A natural colour palette is complemented by muted and chalky shades. Oak worktops with grain and character add to the rustic look.
Monochrome: Think minimalism in black and white! We explore this look in detail below.
Pure: This trend takes inspiration from Scandinavian design. It's calm, harmonised and simple. Organic materials, neutral colours and matt finishes combined together for this pared back look.
Cultural: Design influences from around the world inspire this look. It includes a vibrant colour palette to to lift the spirits. This is more bohemian and definitely eclectic.
Individualistic: This look is all about adding your own stamp, about personality. It is further defined by contrasting colours
Every single style is unique and can add a wow factor to your home.
Hot on the heels of this feature on black and white bathrooms, I thought I would share the Howdens kitchen trend that caught my eye: monochrome. While a monochrome kitchen should by default have one colour, Howdens work the trend in the more popular black and white version.
Their suggested styling focuses on cabinetry of one colour (white or dark grey), combined with an opposite colour on the floor or the wall tiles/ worktops.
High gloss surfaces might look ultra modern but that does not mean that they will only feel relevant in a newly built home or city apartment. In fact, looking at this Chicago home that featured in Architectural Digest, it's apparent that a white glossy kitchen can also suit a traditionally styled home filled with art, mid century pieces and with an array of textures.
The Chicago home kitchen of Holly Hunt, features Matt white handless cabinets, dark worktops, a stainless steel sink and appliances and dark flooring. Photography by Pieter Estersohn for Architectural Digest. Source: Architectural Digest
If you were looking to re-create the look above, try the Howdens Clerkenwell Super Matt White range with a 20mm Black Mirror Chip Quartz worktop and a Lamona Belmont stainless steel sink. For similar flooring, we suggest you try the Quickstep Livyn Black Slate vinyl tile, which is suitable for use with underfloor heating.
Black shiny surfaces add to the drama. For that extra 'designer' touch, don't forget to add a warming drawer to your design.
Howdens Black Mirror Chip Quartz worktop
It is very easy to fall into the trap of an all white kitchen (complete with white appliances) so here are my top tips to keep things looking designer-y with minimal effort.
Go for Contrast
All white surfaces are easy to clean (especially if you have children) but don't keep things this plain! Combine lower units in a dark colour (try Gloss Graphite), and add top units in white. Alternatively, keep all the units white and add a black coloured back splash and extractor, as shown below.
If space is not an issue and you can also try a different coloured island - to pull off this look easily, keep all other wall or floor units in one single colour.
Let flooring be the game changer
A great looking kitchen scheme can be enhanced with flooring. If monochrome cabinetry seems too 'plain' for you, you can add texture with wood flooring or tiles. Vinyl is a great option for kitchen floors as it is long lasting, requires little maintenance and cleans easily.
What we like about Howdens (who have also installed the Seasons kitchen!) is that you can also find all the necessary accessories to finish any flooring work on their website, including underlays, damp proofing and threshold strips. And did you know they even do chevron laminate flooring?
Add drama with worktops
A black and white combination is already dramatic. Make your scheme work overtime with a beautifully crafted and durable worktop. For those renovating a rental home, a hard wearing worktop is a must so that it can withstand whatever tenants throw at it. Literally!
Strong and durable, with a polished finish, a solid granite worktop is the perfect choice for today’s demanding kitchens and at Howdens they are finished with a 10-year anti-stain treatment too. We love a good black granite countertop here at Seasons in Colour, as much as we love a white marble effect one.
Don't forget the accessories
If you like the minimalist look that black and white kitchens offer, you will definitely appreciate these finishing touches: black taps combined with black sinks for a unified look and blending seamlessly. And whether you are looking for some extra contrast or just want to stay on trend, black handles are also available to use on your cabinetry!
Few colour combinations can create more drama than black and white. It is future proof as it is so classic. And as for those extras that will take your design a little bit further? Here are some of our favourite products to accesorise your new kitchen and get everyone talking about it!
Pendant lights are increasingly taking over spotlights in kitchens and we can see why: playing around with different heights you can add interest but remember to keep things simple: a trio of pendants will immediately make the space feel busy unless they are blending in the background.
The black Lightyears Caravaggio Read Wall Light gives a direct, soft, and targeted light, while elegantly shielding the light source, while the Atelier Areti Periscope is a medium size ceiling light which works well over islands or worktops and can, as expected, be pointed towards where light is most needed.
If you have added a breakfast bar in your new designer kitchen, make sure you also include good looking but also comfortable bar stools! We love this Tom Dixon solid oak bar stool incorporating a cast iron ring to reinforce the base.
So if you are planning a kitchen makeover this year, download the Howdens Kitchen Trends Guide 2018, to see all 6 trendy looks and get inspired to take your project forward!