Organic and warmer neutral shades play a part in the selection of worktops and may even influence the strong-hold of marble effects
While white-based marble effects are hugely popular in kitchen design, at the same time there is a ground swell of warmer stone-effect tones.
It has seen the introduction of earthy gradients – from reds through to browns and warm greys tones – inspired by natural materials such as clay and limestone through to sandstone and terracotta.
European design lead at Formica Group Nina Bailey comments: “We are seeing a general trends within the home interiors market for warm, natural and organic materials and there’s currently no sign we are set to move away from these tones.”
And national business development manager for worktops Jason Neve agrees, although states they always had a place in the sale of worktops: “Neutrals are universally popular and evoke a feeling of harmony, natura and clam and the move to warm, organic style stones is the latest design interpretation of this.”
The warmer tones have been encouraged by the influence of the natural world in home interiors and need to create a living space.
Marketing manager at Kongistone Joanne Bull explains: “More homeowners are designing their kitchens to be a warm, comforting and inviting space to bring balance and calm to one of the busiest rooms in the house.
“Warmer stone worktops complement neutral cabinetry and luxurious gold and cooper accessories such as taps and cabinetry handles.”
And MD of CRL Europe Simon Boocock agrees that warmer, natural stone effects help create a tranquil space and provide depth and a choice of design options.
“Creating a sense of calm and serenity, these surfaces also act as a beautiful blank canvas that actually opens up a myriad of design possibilities.
“This is particularly the case with the current shift towards mixed materials in kitchen design, giving designers and consumers new opportunities to explore their creativity”he explains.
Warmer tones can meet the trend for classical or contemporary kitchen schemes, even including industrial aesthetics.
Head of sales at RAK Ceramics Ben Bryden adds: “Industrial styling is also very popular in kitchen design currently, and warmer stone effects play into this, particularly when combined with raw materials such as metallics, exposed brickwork and wood.
It is a trend that resonates in the premium market, with rich woods and dark, luxe interiors, having emanating from European design shows.
Alongside white marble effects, general manager at Laminam UK Tony Lleo comments: “We’ve also been seeing an interest in warmer colours for luxury projects.”
Silestone by Cosentino recently introduced Urban Crush, a worktop series based upon limestone and sandstone, boasting beige tones and grainy brown colour, alongside raw grey tones.
While Laminam added warm colours to its In-side collection of porcelain surfaces, including terracotta-based Terra di Pompei.
These trends have been enabled by progression in manufacturing allowing the creation surfaces that replicate the look and feel from laminate through to porcelain.
Ben Bryden at RAK Ceramics reports: “A raft of stone effects, particularly in porcelain and solid surface materials have made the trend more accessible, in much the same way as marble-effect worktops have now become more so too.”
So industry experts believe the warmer worktop trends will continue to filter down the market.
Will white-based marble effects ultimately be toppled in sales and replaced with warmer tone designs? Well, yes and no.
It is,arguably, more likely there will be a combining of the two designs thoughts. Rather than being succeeded in kitchen designs, marble effects may take on a warmer base or veining.
Tony Lleo of Laminan is adamant the trend for warmer stones will impact marble design commenting: “We will definitely see the warm worktop trend integrate gradually with marble-effect designs, as well as other stone effects.”
And Joanne Bull of Kongistone says she has already noticed it in her company sales, adding: “We are seeing marble-effect surfaces becoming part of this trend.
“Our most popular white marble effect quartz surface has been Carrara Venato which features subtle grey veining.
“In the last six months, sales of this finish are now being matched by Ontario, which has similar veining but in a warmer brown colour.”
So, why not take a look at the variety of worktop tones now available on the market and see the role they can play in creating a homely and relaxing living kitchen space, and take a look at marbles with warmer tones.