4 ways to work the two tone kitchen trend
By Mike James
Classic white kitchens may have been the staple choice for many kitchen designs, but how about adding a bit more interest by mixing it up with another colour? The two tone kitchen cabinet design trend is big this year. It’s an easy way to create instant interest by experimenting with colour, perhaps by adding a section of bright cupboards to neutral units and worktops, or using different (coloured) worktop materials to be just that little bit daring.
Why not trade in ‘safe’ colour schemes for bold contrasts of, say, black and grey, green and blue, tan and white? It doesn’t matter whether your home is a country cottage or a chic modern apartment, with just a few tweaks you can create a ‘now’ look that you’ll love for many years. Here are 4 examples of different ways that you can work the trend.
- Choose a focal point
One of the most obvious ways to incorporate a second colour into your white/neutral kitchen design scheme is to focus your attention on one particular feature. In the example above, the kitchen island was chosen as a focal point because of its central location in the layout – but other features could have been used instead. Before you make your final decision, perhaps use a space planning application to help you visualise the proposed splash of colour from different parts of the room. Once you have the placement sorted out, choose the right accent colour – it’s got to be eye catching and a bold shade. The choice of aqua for the kitchen island cabinets looks fabulous.
- Think beyond mere paint
If you’re not keen on colour painted kitchen cabinets or walls – don’t worry; there are plenty of other ways to implement the two tone trend. One popular solution is to use two separate materials in the cabinet design. You could mix a wood finish with a laminate (see above), or mix glass and aluminium, to create a sleek, contemporary look in your kitchen. Take your inspiration from any of your favourite interior design ideas. The kitchen scheme above clearly took its cue from the bright orange Magis puppy stool created by design maestro Eero Aarnio and made from moulded polyethylene. The vibrant colour is replicated again in the splashback.
- Go darker on the bottom
Another favoured implementation of the two tone kitchen trend is to ground the space by putting bolder, darker colours on the bottom and lighter colours higher up. This also has the added bonus of drawing the eye upward towards the lighter shade of the wall cabinets, giving the illusion of a larger kitchen space. Why not pair crisp, white fitted cabinets with gloss white tiles and a white marble worktop, offset by rich navy painted base cabinets, as shown in the picture above? Alternatively, you could try a more graduated ‘ombre’ look. For this look to be successful, you need to reinforce the lighter top colour in other applications throughout the kitchen.
- Coordinate with other kitchen elements
Whichever way you decide to combine your two colour tones – whether in paint colours or by mixing different materials – it’s important to keep the connection between the two halves. In order to pull together the disparate elements of your kitchen design scheme, make sure you include a few details that make it obvious that the two belong together. The example above uses honey toned wooden base cabinets mixed with gloss cream cabinet doors on the walls. The ‘wooden’ connection is carried through via the table and bar stools, as well as the dining room floor and kitchen door beyond, to give the space the look and feel of a coherent whole. You can achieve a similar coordinating effect by, for example using the same hardware throughout.