There’s change afoot in kitchen design, as manufacturers embrace bold metallics, concrete, porcelain and even leather.
There’s change afoot in kitchen design, as manufacturers move away from traditional timber and embrace bold metallics, concrete, porcelain and even leather.
Ar’Chic Architects (020 7277 0464; archic.co.uk)
Traditionally, kitchens have come in a choice of wood, laminate or high-gloss lacquered or acrylic designs. Recently, however, a trend has emerged for utilising exciting, innovative and new materials such as concrete, metallics, porcelain and leather to help homeowners create a unique scheme. Concrete is proving popular in urban settings, while metallics can inject a touch of glamour to a modern interior. For something smoother, look to porcelain, or for a touch of luxury, choose rich dark leather. Read on to learn how to make these new materials work for you.
For that raw, urban look, consider concrete as a new kitchen material. Keith Atkins, director of design at DesignSpaceLondon (020 7228 8088; designspacelondon.com), advises that natural stone can be unpredictable in terms of markings and colour, whereas a concrete-resin cement finish is lighter, less porous and far more interesting.
‘I think concrete is something that architects in the recent past have pushed through in quirky designs,’ adds David Hingamp, owner of Ar’Chic Architects (020 7277 0464; archic.co.uk). ‘This has helped people to accept it as a modern, versatile material. To me, it’s like a living thing, with its faults, variations and texture surprises.’
Concrete can be waxed, oiled, stained or left untreated and is extremely heavy and hard-wearing, so you need to ensure the floor below can take the weight. It’s not a low-cost option, but when you compare it with high-end Corian or composite stones, it works out about the same: around £3,500 for an island, or in the region of £20,000 for a whole kitchen. ‘It is versatile, though,’ adds kitchen designer Neil Lerner (020 7433 0705; neillerner.com). ‘It can be shaped for walls, floors and worksurfaces.’
As concrete is colour-neutral, you can add interest to your scheme with bold, bright accessories and appliances, or keep it simple with sophisticated neutral shades and traditional timber accents.