There are some trends that seem to suit all styles of kitchen and the mix-and-match look is one of the latest themes to dominate designers’ portfolios. There are many ways to create contrast, whether it’s in the form of furniture, flooring, tiles, splashbacks, worktops, wall colours or even appliances. For maximum impact, consider the cabinetry finish and with so many options available, whether grained, matt, lacquered, veneered or hand-painted, it’s easy to achieve a two-tone effect that will make your kitchen stand out from the crowd. ‘This is also an effective way of breaking up a long rung of cabinets,’ says Steve Tough, commercial sales director of Masterclass Kitchens, ‘or creating a focal point in one area. Many like the idea of using a different material for their island unit and this works well.’ 





Graeme Smith, senior designer at Second Nature and BioGraphy Kitchens, advises that it’s important to consider the size and shape of your kitchen to work out the optimum number of finishes and colours that will work. ‘If the space is small, it might be that the contrast is subtle but still effective,’ he explains. ‘It could be a case of having a white kitchen with accent colour open shelves or where a compact kitchen leads to an open-plan area, it may be that a media unit, office area or freestanding piece is a key element and using a different colour or style of furniture is a great way to differentiate the zones.’





Contrasting work surfaces can bring instant impact to a scheme. At Roundhouse, for example, designer Jamie Telford often uses stainless steel for a prep area and then composites, natural stone or smooth concrete elsewhere. Lionel Real de Azúa, director at architecture practice Red Deer, who collaborated with Bert & May on their kitchen range, says that there is no set formula. ‘You need to let a room speak to you and not be afraid to throw in seemingly unconnected elements,’ he explains. ‘It’s often fun to start from one strong feature and curate from that. Let the detail dictate the whole and have fun with it.


Shown from top to bottom:

Sierra in Oxide Concrete, prices start from £8,000, In-Toto

Remo range, prices start from £11,000, Second Nature

Matt graphite with granite worktops, prices start from £10,000, Biography


Article by: Hayley Gilbert