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Kitchen Design: Counter Culture

May 17, 2018 | Design and Decor, Featured

Kitchen design is elevated by the clever use of colour and materials.


Kitchen design has been deviating steadily from strictly monochrome treatments into a more colourful direction. Since it is first and foremost a functional space – and one that’s expensive to fit out – consider your options carefully to avoid the look datingtoo quickly.

01 Sophisticated navy cabinetry in this Ballingslov ( kitchen is brought down to earth with rustic leather drawer pulls, giving the minimal space personality and charm.

02 Kitchen and furniture design company Lanserring (, which specialises in custom designs, maintains a strong focus on finishes. This cabinetry layers natural and stained wood, adding interest with pattern through texture, colour and good craftsmanship.

03 The rustic country feel of this kitchen is down to an earthy palette by Plascon ( The tones, used in conjunction with raw wood and simple furniture silhouettes, help to create a warm, welcoming space.

04 This elegant, luxurious space by Devol Kitchens ( is testament to the design world’s continuing love affair with all shades green. Here, the designers have combined a deep emerald with polished detailing, luxurious finishes and artwork – giving the end result a layered look. This is a great example of a “furnished” kitchen that incorporates decor elements to feel warm and lived-in.

05 Collaborating with woodworker and designer Sebastian Cox, Devol Kitchens ( has found the middle ground between innovation and tradition. The sustainable timber is given a modern edge with the addition of colour, and combining it with materials like copper makes for a look that can be described as urban rustic.

06 The combination of deep blue and black in this design by Italian kitchen company Valcucine ( creates a glamorous effect, albeit minimal, and lighting is used cleverly from within transparent cabinets to lift the scheme.


The trend of combining different surface materials is gaining momentum, and designers are looking for exciting ways to layer surfaces.

01 A graphic application of timber and stone adds depth to this space, yet the overall effect is that of simplicity. The design is by Australian outfit BuildHer Collective (, which aims to help women to design and build homes.

02 In this kitchen by SJB (, materials have been used in a non-traditional way for maximum impact. Rather than treat the cabinets uniformly, the designers have applied different surfaces, the stone blending seamlessly into the splashback and offering a cool contrast to the timber.

03 Designed by Michele Throssell Interiors (, this kitchen shows the wow factor created by the confident combination of different types of wood, stone, glass and fabrics in one space.

04 Despite having combined concrete, glass, timber and metal in this kitchen, Bulthaup ( has managed to create a minimal space thanks to clean lines and harmonious proportions.


Design simplicity is nothing new in kitchens, but designers are finding new ways to give even simple spaces a lot of impact using different materials and forms.

01 Home renovation, design and styling consultancy Cedar & Suede ( has created a sense of solidity in the engineeredstone kitchen island and lightness via the elegant cabinetry in this kitchen. On-trend terrazzo flooring adds subtle interest.

02 Glossy cabinets in a mushroom shade combined with matte wood offer a satisfying balance of textures in this Bulthaup ( kitchen. The repetition of lines across both textures adds a graphic feel and depth despite the lack of adornment.

03 Norm Architects ( designed the interior of a historical Copenhagen villa to complement the original details of the space yet also offer contemporary appeal. Smoked oak and bronzed brass handles, designed by Norm Architects for Danish kitchen manufacturer Reform, are complemented by a solid sculptural island in a light-grey ceramic stone, its simplicity allowing the statement lights by legendary designer Poul Henningsen to be the focus.


Kitchen appliances and accessories should serve their purpose and add to the overall look and feel of the room.

01 Curated by property developer Blok, Konnect ( is a collection by a network of artisans who make original and sustainable homeware, including furniture, lighting and ceramics.

02 The Bulthaup ( accessory range – everything from spice grinders to bread bins –continues the commitment to outstanding workmanship and the marriage of function and form that the company’s kitchen designs are known for.

03 When you spend time and money creating the perfect kitchen, your cookware and accessories should complement the overall design concept. Esteemed by home cooks everywhere, Le Creuset ( allows one to customise crockery and cookware to tie in with the kitchen.

04 Smeg ( is a household name in high design for kitchens. Its colour-coordinated large and small appliances ensure a design cohesiveness. Select Smeg products are now available at Weylandts (

TEXT Julia Freemantle PHOTOGRAPHS Martina Gemmola, Felix Forrest, supplied

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