Darks & Brights
By Linda Parker
Kitchens are getting darker … the latest must have colours include navy, indigo, charcoal grey and black. But thankfully, accessories and appliances are getting brighter!
We still love a pristine and gleaming all-white kitchen, but we are increasingly interested in the darker shades too. These shades are (shhhh….) slightly more practical, and can have the effect of making a very simple and streamlined layout look a bit more interesting than it actually is. Of course, not every surface in the kitchen needs to be a dark colour, but at least one ‘feature wall’ will do the trick, along with darker timber choices. One of the nicest examples we’ve seen lately is the fabulous Black Line kitchen from Team 7, using striking matt black and smoked glass finishes, with focus elements in walnut. Each kitchen is bespoke, so clients can specify individual combinations, and don’t forget, these designs will blend perfectly with black glass appliances too. Perfect. See the Team 7 ranges at Wharfside here.
New designs from Caesarstone have just been launched; these are Symphony Grey, left; a good choice that will work well alongside the previously mentioned dark shades for cabinetry, and Piatra Grey, right, a good contrast for pale shades of cabinetry. Caesarstone is the pioneer of the quartz market and is recognised for it’s premium surface products. UK MD Amir Reske says ‘Quartz continues to grow in prominence within the UK surfaces market, driven by growth in new builds, commercial projects and consumer confidence in domestic renovations and their desire for high quality materials. We see great opportunities for the brand in the UK. We want to take our products and services to a new level, while ensuring that our customers are at the heart of everything we do. We will do this by enhancing our product offering – we already offer 40 desirable colours and designs and we will be launching more ground-breaking products later this year – and by building stronger ties with key partners via new loyalty programmes and unsurpassed service’. The relaunch has started with the offer of a 25-year warranty on all domestic products sold from now onwards. Further investment has gone into new facilities: the company has fitted out its own state of the art offices and warehousing at its North London HQ. A new showroom within the same space will be unveiled in the coming months. ‘We want our facility to become a resource for fabricators, designers and architects; and our product design and innovations to become an inspiration to them’ he adds. Find out more about Caesarstone here.
Another covetable dark kitchen … this time is Midsomer from Crown Imperial, shown here in Deep Blue and Clear Oak. To experiment with different colour options, visit Crown Imperial’s online colour explorer here. There’s fitted furniture for all rooms in the home, not just kitchens – so the kitchen can be extended into the living areas too.
Three jolly good ideas for a new kitchen … Blanco’s new ‘window tap’ swivels downwards; it has been given this feature to enable it to be moved out of the way to enable complete access to the window – perhaps just to open the window, or to clean the blinds. This is Blanco’s Access tap, other versions are available, see the range here. Bold, colourful lighting makes a huge difference to any kitchen layout; not all kitchens have the space for an island unit though, with accompanying trio (or pair) of statement pendant lights. An alternative option would be a couple of wall lights … try the Tom wall lights in varying brights, including yellow, red and aqua. See the rest of the Hector Finch lighting range here. Another practical idea from Blanco is the sink with multi-level possibilities; great for small, multi-tasking spaces. This is the three-tier Etagon sink, available from Blanco, as before.
Wallpaper is wonderful … We’ve often mentioned using bright or bold paint to perk up a kitchen, and we’re now thinking along the lines of adding a ‘feature’ wallpaper to a plain kitchen. Three from B&Q have caught our attention; from left, Patina Gold, middle Fresco Herringbone Wood in Grey; right; Holden Distressed; all from B&Q, and you could probably get away with buying just one roll to create a feature panel. Visit the website here.
Orange is the new black … We love a zing of colour, and would be very tempted to choose the new Everhot electric range cooker in Tangerine. For less adventurous colour-schemers, it also comes in Dove Grey. Visit the Everhot website here to gen up on the latest economical designs. Middle; The new 90cm wide Steel range cooker, designed in partnership with Le Crueset, has five gas burners, is also available with an induction hob, and has a single maxi-oven. View Steel’s new Oxford collection here. Smeg are also experts on bringing colour into the kitchen; if you fancy a green, red, yellow or orange range cooker, look at the new Portofino range cookers – again with a large, single cavity oven which is becoming more and more popular in the UK. See the rest of the Portofino range here.]
And finally … Some colourful Mother’s Day ideas (if you’re running late), spring cheerfulness and an Easter egg for the wish-list. Brighten up a kitchen windows seat with the London Elysian Paradise velvet cushion in Yellow, from LibertyLondon. Prestat’s Easter eggs are always a real treat, and the London Gin Truffle egg is a perfect prezzies. See the Prestat Easter range here. For something that will last a little bit longer, we love the Rock vase, in Ore, from LSA, see the whole extensive collection here.