Colours, materials and style are all watchwords for kitchen creators. The availability of all three tends to be dictated by the fashion of the moment, and this in turn is influenced strongly by design trends, what the favourite TV chef has, and what the favoured magazines are showing in the backdrops of their photo shoots.

A stark contrast

Black and white is a strong part of luxury kitchen design, creating a striking, memorable look. The style of furniture may chop and change, but the black and white colouration has a strong appeal, and much of this is in the balance of colour. Not too much of anything is the key to it working well.

Many kitchens are not the cavernous space we all dream of, so having drawers, islands, and cupboards in a dark or black colour may seem a little overwhelming for a smaller room. However, a black granite surface with white lacquered units could be a better way round. To balance the look, the colour of the floor could be a warm oak or other hardwood.

Create a drama

Much of good design presents a dramatic look – that’s why black and white works so well – so if your kitchen is lacking in space, a little drama could set it off very nicely. Bespoke or unusual lighting features can be a good way forward with this. Pendants with oversized shades can work very well, chandeliers, or even bright-coloured shades or lights if the majority of the kitchen is in neutral shades.

Use the walls effectively

Many wallpapers – particularly those that are considered most suitable for bathroom and kitchen décor – are becoming more adventurous and designy in attitude. Mirrored foil wallpaper in traditional flock designs or mosaic-style flashes of shine can deliver just the edge you need to keep the walls stylish and updated. Additionally, a bit of extra shine can make the place seem lighter, brighter, and somehow a little larger.

Everything doesn’t have to be the same

Luxury kitchens don’t have to match. With some amazing shabby chic-esque designs around, you can pick up the busy mix and match look without having to take twenty years to produce it. Wood is a great material to give a kitchen a homely tone, used in much traditional kitchen design, and even the über-modern island for larger rooms can be found in classic carved wood. Neutral base colours are the key to not going overboard with the look.

Again, light fittings can really help, with antique style pendants and the odd, functional chandelier. Flooring can be crucial to make this style work; solid flagstones can give the room a country feel, and even more luxurious combinations such as slate with oak designs can really help go to town on the unusual and interesting. Parque flooring never goes out of fashion, and solid-feel flooring in general is appealing to the feet and the quality of the design.

The trick with a kitchen is similar to that of any room. Not overdoing any one thing; a balance of colour, appliances, and materials works best for most.

Sakina Murdock writes regularly about home style and kitchens, including blog features on websites like

Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee | Free Digital Photos   

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