Culinary arts

Smart kitchen design entails balancing a creative use of colour and surfaces with practical consideration of space and functionality

TEXT Julia Freemantle | PHOTOGRAPHS Gianni Franchellucci and supplied


2. Kitchen cabinets with sleek, handleless doors and drawers are now more widely available thanks to innovative hinges and slides that allow for push-to-open and soft-close mechanisms. They make for a streamlined, clutter-free contemporary kitchen, like this beautifully crafted one by Nordiska.

2 Less is More | Nordiska

1, 3. Green has been a popular shade for a couple of seasons now – in design in general and kitchens in particular. And for good reason: green’s soothing and versatile nature makes it an easy colour to decorate with, plus it brings an element of nature and the outdoors inside, essential in interior design these days. This Febal Casa kitchen (3) is a vibrant and refreshing emerald shade, paired with wood. In the Scandi-inspired kitchen by Studio Joanna Laajisto (above), muted green meets terrazzo and black accents for a crisp, modern look.

3 Go Green | Febal Casa


4, 5. Black has been edging its way into kitchens and bathrooms for some time now, but matte black is a more recent trend. Matte surfaces are the way forward when it comes to a blanket use of black – it has a more earthy feel than OTT gloss. Paired with warm rather than cool lighting, the effect is ultra hospitable, as seen here in this Plascon-painted space (4). Another way to lift and counter the matte black is by pairing it with metallic surfaces, done in this Miele kitchen (5) to spectacular effect.

4 The New Black | Plascon


6, 7. Increasingly popular in kitchens, wood can take on whatever characteristics you want it to have – whether rustic or polished and penthouse-friendly. It’s all in the finish and what you partner it with. Two vastly different executions here illustrate the diverse results you can achieve – one country-inspired and traditional from design firm Nordiska (6), and one ultra glamorous from Italian brand Rossana (7). The former’s raw finish gives it rustic appeal, and the latter, paired with metallics, has a high-end feel.

6 Touch Wood | Nordiska


8. Pink, brown, terracotta, orange… Look to these shades as options for background and accent colours. Aside from being on trend, they inject warmth into a room. This Excava surface from Caesarstone’s Metropolitan collection is somewhere between blush and terracotta, and strikes just the right sophisticated yet non-intimidating note.

8 Warm Welcome | Caeserstone


9. A freestanding island can be a crucial part of how a kitchen functions – not only can it be used for prepping, serving and often washing-up, but it can also be a focal point, which means getting it right is key. Rossana’s K-In (there’s also the K-Out for  outdoors) is an ingenious design, with sliding top panels that conceal and reveal. When all the panels are closed, it looks like a monolith that seems to float thanks to the overhang on the burnished steel plinth.

9 Island Style | Rossana’s K-IN


10, 11. Using a mix of materials or genres adds interest – there’s no two ways about it. Too much repetition is one dimensional. So, to keep a kitchen interesting, pair things that don’t match: warm with cool, rough and smooth, patterned and plain, old and new, and so on. Here, warm-toned chevron patterned Appia flooring from Bisazza’s Marmo collection (10) offsets the cool grey, and smooth duco cabinets are complemented by the intricate pattern and marbled backsplash. In this kitchen by Cosentino (11), the industrially inspired Brooklyn Loft counter top from the Silestone collection is paired with painted cabinetry and warm copper pendant lights.

10 Contrast is King | Bisazza


12, 13. The simplest way to create a seamless kitchen is to have integrated appliances that merge with your decor, making the kitchen easier to navigate and more pleasing to the eye. In this Cesar Maxima 2.2 kitchen (12), a combination of concealed storage, built-in appliances and open shelving forms a harmonious composition. Miele’s line of built-in appliances (13) – created to enhance the experience of using them – achieves the ultimate in design coherence.

Fitting In | Cesar Maxima 2.2


14. Having kitchenware and accessories on display rather than behind cupboard doors encourages you to curate your utensils and choose pieces that are not only functional but also look good. Valcucine is a past master at slick storage. In this Riciclantica kitchen, the lightness of the doors, fitted into an aluminium structure that is water-, steam- and heat-resistant, allows more freedom in designing a kitchen layout using wall-mounted units.

14 Open Season | Valcucine


15, 16. A small detail, but an important one, is your choice of taps in the kitchen, not only for their looks but also for functionality. Kohler’s kitchen taps and mixers offer innovation and stylish solutions that make them a pleasure to use. They’re available in various finishes, so you’ll easily find one that matches your kitchen’s design personality.

15 Tapping into Trends | Kohler

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