Timber cladding

Chalet chic here we come, as timber planks and boards are being used to cover up our kitchen walls for a line-up of exciting looks. Forget visions of 1970s Swedish saunas or nautical kitsch, as today’s timber cladding is definitely more modern rustic than retro throwback, and will create a stunning, textural backdrop to your cook centre. Pick from bare, natural oak planks for a rugged beauty or a painted, two-tone (there’s that trend again), tongue-and-groove splashback for a shot of graphic cool. Make sure woods are treated properly for a tough, waterproof finish and, if painting your panelling, British Standard suggests using gloss so grease and splatters can be wiped clean. (Shown is British Standard kitchen in Farrow & Ball's India Yellow. Average kitchen costs £7,000).



Feature floors

It’s definitely time to look down, as our choice of flooring is being elevated from a practical must-have to the show-stopping feature of the entire kitchen design. The options are endless too, from rich timber planks (or ceramic look-a-likes) installed in a chevron pattern (a crisper alternative to herringbone) to colour-packed, patterned encaustic tiles made from hardwearing cement, full of Moroccan, holiday-at-home spirit. The adventurous among us are going for a flooring mash-up by fitting a ‘tiled rug’ in one section of a floor which can also act to section up an open-plan space. (Shown is chevron porcelian tiles, £98 per sq. m, Refin).




Unleash your creative side as kitchens blur into living areas and fill up with pattern and print. Braver souls can try wrap-around wallpaper in modern geometrics or big blowsy florals, or simply test the trend in an adjoining dining zone or seating hub. Other options for piling on the pattern include upholstering dining chairs or built-in banquettes, but do choose a tough, durable fabric that can withstand the wear and tear of kitchen life. ‘The kitchen can be a neutral, stark space that is easily enriched with a twist of colour and patten,’ says textile designer Margo Selby. ‘Adding this via blinds, upholstery, lampshades and framed artworks creates another layer of texture and sumptuousness while keeping the space practical and avoiding clutter.’ (Foreground is Cecilia wallpaper and Annika at the back, £76 per roll, Sandberg).




We still can’t get enough of industrial cool for the kitchen and a mix of factory style benches, bare bulbs, pendant lights and reclaimed timber tables will do the job just nicely. The key this time around is to give the look a semi-sophisticated spin with rich, velvet-smooth woods, warm copper fittings and light fixtures that are simple and pared-back, but full of modern, design savvy. Don’t be afraid to seek out original, salvaged pieces and secondhand treasures to give this look the authenticity it craves. (Tree-to-Table ash dining table by Sebastian Cox and Anthony Dickens, £2,450, Heal's).




Call it ombré, dip-dye or two-tone, putting a pair of colours side-by-side is a clever design fix for our homes – and none more so than in our kitchens. Dip your toe in the look with a few accessories: Habitat’s smooth, stoneware Onda jug, Royal Doulton’s beautiful, blue and white 1815 tableware or Ercol’s must-have, dip-dye love seat. Or for a more permanent fixture, try mix-and-match cupboard fronts blending tones and textures. Painting kitchen walls in a few harmonious hues will rev up your design credentials as David Mottershead, managing director of paint brand Little Greene, says: ‘The subtle mix of two gentle shades that sit closely together on the colour wheel replicates the nuances
in nature and provide interest to a room without overpowering it. Calm, tonal combinations in the kitchen make the space more homely and less industrial, perfect for entertaining in.’ (Shown is Pale Wedgwood and Arquerite, £38 for 2.5l of Absolute Matt Emulsion, Little Greene).

Article by: Lara Sargent