In the mix

02 Aug, 13

Combining and contrasting colours, as well as textures, in kitchen cabinets is fast-becoming a design classic

Forget wall to wall runs of the same coloured cabinets, accomplished designers wanting to create impactful kitchens will combine colours, materials and textures in one scheme. Jason Grinton, UK & Ireland business manager for Pronorm says: “Approximately 40% of our kitchen sales are in two-tone kitchens and this percentage has been steadily growing over the last two years.”


Define and integrate

But it’s not simply about creating a look, combining and contrasting cabinets can help the designer highlight or accent zones but all in a cohesive living space. Head of UK sales at Rotpunkt, Matt Phillips explains: “The trend has real design advantages in open-plan kitchens, where a single colour in one material can look clinical and boring in a large space. Mixing and matching colours and materials breaks up the space, defines the working kitchen and living areas and, at the same time, creates an integrated design for the whole room.” 

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Getting personal

And it’s this ability to create an individual or personalised scheme which can help designers showcase their skills to clients and differentiate their kitchens. Managing director at Harvey Jones, John Curwen says: “Design freedom will always be attractive, both to designers and end users.” And all of this can be achieved with ‘off-the-peg’ units and imagination. In fact, by mixing and matching furniture fronts designers could even better meet a client’s budget, as Sara Wells of Doca UK suggests: “Two tone kitchen designs can also minimise the cost of your projects, allowing you to inject small areas of personality and oomph via a brightly coloured high gloss central island, or strategically placed wooden breakfast bar.”


A wide appeal

The two tone kitchen may have a luxury look but it is achievable at most, if arguably not all, levels of the market. It further widens the opportunity for all designers to capitalise on the trend. And this two-tone trend can work equally well across contemporary and more classical schemes. And Jason Grinton agrees, adding the trend is suitable for contemporary and classicial: “The beauty of the mix and match approach is that it creates an easy living vibe across all kitchen styles, from traditional to contemporary, and so can appeal to a broad church of consumers.”


Teaming textured surfaces

So it begs the question, what is the on-trend look for mixing and matching furniture? And the answer has to be, it’s as diverse as your customers can be. However Graeme Smith of PWS offers a word of advice, when he says: “The contrast does not have to be significant, a subtle difference can be equally effective. For example teaming the same colour of frontal but with a mix of gloss finish and textured matt, this adds sophisticated tactile appeal.”

Sales director of Lubina, Emma Rose says: “We’ve done many different mixes – oak and painted, all painted in two colours, gloss and veneer slab, two tone gloss, two tone veneer and now just starting to see matt being mixed with veneers.”  Certainly the growing trend is not just about mixing and matching colours but also playing with contrasting textures, to grab the attention and wallets of consumers.


Timber takes over

For the contemporary market, it means grained or textured wood effect laminates and even real veneer is big news. But for more classical designs, natural timber and a painted timber or two painted timber finishes have a winning appeal, perhaps aided by the growth of the hand painted market. 


Creating a classic

Whatever the choice of doors, colours, materials or finishes, certainly the trend for combining and contrasting is one that will stand the test of time. Two tone is a significant interior fashion and one which must be taken seriously. Graeme Smith concludes: “This is by no means a faddy trend that’s going to be overtaken by another interior look next year. Two tone kitchens have become the vogue.”

The full article appeared in the September issue of Kitchens & Bathrooms News