On the surface of things

On The Surface of Things: How texture & colour can transform your kitchen

ON THE SURFACE OF THINGS: How texture & colour can transform your kitchen

The latest trends for your kitchen walls, floors and more…

Words: Jackie Hoyte

We are, quite literally, surrounded by surfaces. They are above, below and to the side of us, so it’s no wonder they make up an integral part of any design scheme and no more so than in the kitchen where the surfaces work harder than any other room in the house. Hard work doesn’t mean dull though and 2021 is already proving to be an exciting year for the world of the kitchen surface.

Texture is everything. Marble has long been popular. But this year it plays a starring role, coming in many different hues and used to provide a striking contrast against kitchen units.

While many of the options for kitchen surfaces are familiar, 2021 has seen the rise of some surprising materials including laminate. Yes, you heard correctly! The once poor cousin of the work surface family is starting to make a comeback. Although laminate remains one of the most affordable options, designs have certainly evolved over the last few years and there is now plenty of choice from plain patterns to realistic finishes including wood and stone. The Omega collection by Bushboard offers a selection with laminate surfaces that look and feel almost as good as the real thing.

Main image: Brookmans by Smallbone

Images from left: Flower & Marble by Lime Lace; Carpetright; Alno Kitchens.

Statement walls have long been a thing but more recently we are becoming a little braver with our floors, especially in the kitchen. One such company that has picked up on this demand is For The Floor & More, which has a diverse and wide range of patterned vinyl flooring. With a background in print, the founders aim to help bring colour back into our kitchen (and bathroom) floors and walls and allows you to add some individuality to your kitchen.

If this is a little too bold for you, there is still a strong pull towards using wood or wood effect – but if you want something different, note the trend for darker shades running through kitchens offering a strong yet elegant look which works alongside both light and dark kitchen schemes.

Images from left: For The Floor & More; Kansas Bronson Lively vinyl flooring.

For many years, despite being one of the most aspirational parts of a kitchen design, the island unit has been left as an after- thought in terms of design. Perhaps if one was feeling brave it might be painted in a different colour to the main units but that was about it. Not anymore.

Many homeowners are seeking statement islands with stunning surfaces. While they need to be functional, they are also a great way to create a striking focal point in a room.

Amanda Cotton who can be found on Instagram as @houselust has very recently renovated her house, with the pièce de resistance being her kitchen, where the surfaces including the island, are certainly the heroes of the design. Amanda says; “I love brass and have accents across my home in all different guises, so it was definitely a material I wanted to use in the kitchen in a larger way. It brings more warmth and texture into the space and pulls in the other accents, from the tap and sockets to the handles. I love how the brass on the island works with the oak floor and quartz worktop (which is from Caesar Stone) and the Obsidian Green paint from Little Greene which we used on the cabinetry”.

Images from left: Kitchens by Holloways; Amanda Cotton @houselust; Amanda Cotton @houselust.

It’s no secret that the last 12 months have changed not only the way we use our houses but also our decorating choices, with one huge trend being the pull towards nature-inspired elements, and this has proved no different in the kitchen. Paint brand Fenwick & Tilbrook reports that shades of its green paints have been hugely popular as customers choose to change the colour of their kitchen units to a shade more attuned to the great outdoors. Popular shades include Marram Grass and Natterjack.

For a bolder nod towards nature, wallpapers especially developed for use in the kitchen as splashbacks have grown in popularity and they can be a great alternative to a tiled equivalent.

Despite the variety of trends we’ve identified, it seems pretty clear that one thing links them all…they make an impact. There is no such thing as a subtle surface in 2021.

Jackie Hoyte is an interior design expert at Decorbuddi

Gain more kitchen inspiration from Jackie…