The art of contrast in kitchen design

Clever kitchen design pays attention to tone and texture as much as overall style and functional excellence. Adding in spots of colour or creating interesting contrasts of tone within today’s modern kitchen can really make the difference between ordinary and exceptional.

It’s an easy option to go all-white with kitchen design, and white high-gloss kitchens definitely look great. But if you really want your kitchen to stand out from the crowd, you’ll need to push the boundaries a little bit further.

Using contrast in the kitchen is a great trick for creating a visually stunning space. It is understandable most people feel compelled to play it safe when it comes to a kitchen remodel. It is after all one of the most expensive home improvement projects you are likely to undertake (unless of course you are extending your home).

If you don’t feel confident making decisions about using contrast in your kitchen redesign, you could consult a kitchen design expert, such as The Brighton Kitchen Company. If you are brave enough to go it alone, read on. We’ve put together some great design ideas to help you make the most of contrast in your kitchen remodel.

Countertop sectioning

It’s easy to assume that all of your countertops should be the same to create a sense of flow and continuity in your kitchen space. But demarking your kitchen into different spaces by dividing up your countertops and using contrasting materials can really bring a sense of interest to your kitchen.

This is a great design idea for the larger kitchen, especially if it involves an element of living space. Carefully crafted, countertop sectioning can divide spaces and create a visually stunning look. Play with dark and light and different materials. A white countertop with a dark section to match base units looks very effective. Equally a stylish wooden breakfast bar is a wonderful addition to sleek high-gloss countertops. For a quirky twist, try adding in a section of reclaimed wood.

The stand-alone island

Why not make your kitchen island the centrepiece of your kitchen? In a contrasting colour to the rest of your kitchen cabinetry, your kitchen island can become a cool standout feature and the hub of your kitchen workspace.

 Vibrant small cubby holes

If you are looking to add a pop of colour to your new kitchen, using colour in a few of the on-show small cubby holes is a great way to stylishly brighten up your design. Bright colours such as yellow or orange look fabulous against a white kitchen and will give your nearly all-white kitchen a unique twist.

 Mixing up the tones – base units and wall cabinetry

Your kitchen cabinetry doesn’t all have to be uniform. Even a section in a slightly different tone can make all the difference. Dark muted brown can work with lighter beige tones and black works brilliantly with white and dark wood.

Bringing some different textures in also helps to create interest in your kitchen design. It’s worth heeding a little constraint. Don’t go mad and introduce too many colours and textures as that will distract from the overall style you are trying to create.

Wooden elements

Wood is often left out of modern kitchen designs unless there’s a desire for a Scandinavian element. But, wood can add a really stylish element to any kitchen design. Wood grain can warm up a dark colour scheme, and can prevent a white kitchen looking too stark and unwelcoming. Modern wooden kitchen cabinetry creates a great contrast against neutral or dark colour schemes.

 The statement floor

If your heart is set on a single colour for your kitchen, using the floor as a springboard for some contrast is a great idea. Dark floors look great with white cabinetry and white walls, or patterned tiles can add an interesting vibe. The type of flooring you choose can make all the difference to the look you are trying to achieve.

Black and white: the ultimate contrast

Monochrome kitchen designs are popular and work surprisingly well, especially with classic black and white. Pitch black and white against each other, and you can create a stylish contemporary kitchen or more of a retro look. A great tip for using black and white is to make one shade dominant, rather than give both black and white equal prominence. Graphic patterned wallpapers look great too if used in moderation.

Curves and sharp corners

Using form to create contrast is another interesting design feature to play with. Curved countertops sitting proudly on sharp-edged cabinets create a real sense of opposites. Kitchens can feel very boxy with lots of square edges, so adding some curves cleverly softens the kitchen design.

Good luck with your kitchen redesign. Use contrast cleverly and you’ll have the wow-factor kitchen you are hoping for.


Latest Issue

BDC 309 : Oct 2023