50 Shades of Grey
Pale and interesting with a hint of dark moodiness – that’s the trend for kitchens this summer
Kitchens come in all colours these days, but not everyone is brave enough to choose bold brights for their units, so neutrals have long been popular – and grey is the most recent interpretation of this, with a darker shade or two used judiciously alongside it to give the look extra depth and interest.
Hayley Simmons, Head of Merchandising for Magnet, which has showrooms in Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks, says: “Mixing two tones works well and creates a modern finish, but stick to two or three colours at most to ensure a cohesive look. Applying the 70/20/10 rule will help to keep you on track – go for 70% of the lightest shade, 20% of the second lightest and 10% for the darkest shade.”
LochAnna Kitchens has recently introduced a painted Shaker-style collection, the Washington, and the Dust, Porcelain and Graphite combination makes it bang on trend. Its velvet-smooth doors give the range a high-end feel, and there’s the option to create a traditional look with mantel shelves, wine and plate racks, or a more contemporary effect with square end posts. Despite its luxury looks, the range is surprisingly affordable, starting at just £7,000 for a complete kitchen.
Schmidt’s Nebraska Collection, in the new Celeste colour, uses a deep aqua to add a touch of moodiness, offset by bright white units. The Nebraska has solid oak frames and ash veneer centre panels, and the open-grain lacquered finish is available in a total of 17 colours. The slim work surface used in the kitchen is as fashionable as the colour palette – the Schmidt Quartzo, available in a new 20mm thickness, not only looks good but gives a 20% cost saving on the price of a regular worktop.
“We are seeing more and more interest in slimmer surfaces,” says David Roy, Country Manager for Schmidt UK, which has showrooms in Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks and Bexley. “This is due to designers moving away from the chunky look to create something far more sleek and seamless – delicate in appearance but hardwearing and durable.”
If you like the sophisticated feel of grey but would prefer a touch of brighter colour in your kitchen too, it’s easy to add as much or as little as you choose with an Opticolour splashback. They come in all shades, are easy to fit and will protect your kitchen walls from heat and water.
Go for metallic, be subtle with pastels, or there’s even an antique mirrored glass design that looks as if it has been around forever. Alternatively, Opticolour will also colour match their splashbacks with any recognised paint brand. They’re easier to clean than tiles as there’s no grout to contend with and they can be wiped over with a glass spray cleaner.
In fact, in the long run, a glass splashback can work out a less expensive option than tiling. In a traditional kitchen, it usually looks best if you install an upstand around the worktop and have the glass splashback placed on top, but in a contemporary kitchen you can take it right down to the worktops.
If you’d prefer to turn the trend for greys on its head and opt for a splash of dark moodiness in an otherwise bright kitchen, what better way to do it than with an AGA in smart new Salcombe Blue? There’s even a 60cm version in the colour, priced at £5,925, if you don’t have room (or the budget) for a full-size range cooker. And talking of appliances, a stylish blend of black glass and stainless steel makes Caple’s new five-burner gas hob a great addition to a kitchen in this summer’s moody colourway.
Operated by a stainless steel control panel, the C789G hob features a central 4.2kW triple ring burner, ideal for wok cooking, and a 2.6kW rapid burner to bring pans to the boil quickly, plus two 1.75kW semi-rapid burners and a 1.0kW simmer burner. The burners feature DirectHeat+, which, because the flame is directed towards the pan rather than out and around, means you lose less heat in comparison to conventional gas burners.
And for the final finishing touch, using innovative NRS® technology Falmec has created a range of stylish cooker hoods including the stainless Zenith model, available as a 90cm, 120cm or an 180cm island installation, which has achieved Quiet Mark accreditation for exceptionally quiet levels of extraction – and is the perfect choice for a light-and-dark kitchen.
Top Image: Washington Collection kitchen in Dust, Porcelain and Graphite, from £7,000, by LochAnna Kitchens (www.lochannakitchens.co.uk)