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Pimping up your kitchen is cheaper than you think
Published 02/06/14

KITCHENS have always been undeniably the heart of the home — and today even more so, with the 21st century fashion of creating a large, open-plan living-cum-cooking-cum-dining space for the whole family.

Understandably, you want your kitchen to look its best. But even if you aren’t in the market for a total refurb, one or two trendy updates will bring your kitchen firmly back up to scratch.

Here are a few ideas for a 2014 kitchen makeover.

Patterned splashbacks

Forget white rectangular “metro” wall tiles. This new look is all about colour, pattern and fun. Shop for ornate tiles with an exotic Moroccan or Turkish design, in rich, gorgeous colours.

Keep the rest of your kitchen simple — in contemporary greys perhaps — so the splashback is the star of the show. Chunky wooden worktops, industrial-style metal pendant lights and bare wooden floorboards complete this chic look.

Go minimalist

Scandinavian-inspired black and white interiors are all the rage for 2014, and the kitchen is a great place to introduce this pared-back trend.

Simple, sleek white units, white worktops and unfussy, clean lines are a great way to start. Don’t bother with tiled splashbacks — just a small strip of protective worktop or glass fixed to the wall will do — and keep your walls white, with a black feature wall for some drama.

Opt for clever built-in storage for a minimalist, stream-lined look, but fit one long open shelf to display tableware on. Shop for simple, chrome appliances and clear away clutter for a modern, urban look. Be careful: this scheme can feel cold and clinical, so introduce a few elements of natural wood to warm it up — in seating, doors or flooring for example.

Worktop zoning

Most of us use our kitchens for much more than just cooking, so this 2014 design trend is a really practical idea — and it looks good, too. Instead of just having one depth of worktop surface, fit a deeper depth — in a contrasting colour and/or material — in one area to create a separate zone. It’s perfect for sectioning off a breakfast bar or a mini desk area within your kitchen.

Use lighting to further separate the space visually. A low-hung pendant works well above your dining/working zone, while the rest of the room needs nice bright task lighting for cooking.

Denim is the “in” colour

Denim blue is one of 2014’s most fashionable shades and now the navy trend has spread to the kitchen, too.

Forget pretty apple-greens and pale putty greys. The new trend for painted kitchen units is dark denim blue. This colour looks great with industrial, raw features, so include a wall of exposed brickwork if possible, choose simple, rustic floorboards and go for wooden or stone worktops.

Copper accessories

It’s 2014’s most on-trend metallic finish and introducing some copper accessories and small appliances to your existing kitchen is a great way to get the look without a huge makeover.

Natural materials

The 2014 trend for all-things-natural is going to have a big impact on kitchen décor. Choose rustic, wood (or realistic but cheaper wood-effect) cabinets and pair them with simple metal worktops inspired by pared-back, industrial or professional kitchens. Then install a patterned vinyl behind plain glass splashback panels to introduce nature-inspired patterns to your kitchen.

Matching tiles

The biggest 2014 kitchen tile trend is for matching wall and floor tiles. This streamlined look works best with large, rectangular tiles in a stone-effect finish and gives your whole kitchen a cutting-edge, contemporary look. Not only does it look stylish it will also trick the eye and make your kitchen appear much bigger. Plus bigger tiles mean less grouting!

Contrasting colours

Want to introduce a bold colour to your kitchen scheme but feel a bit nervous about it? Don’t panic! The latest 2014 kitchen trend is to mix coloured cupboard doors with plain ones in the same scheme — it’s the kitchen equivalent of having a painted feature wall and three neutral walls. This trend means you can introduce a striking, statement colour without going overboard.

For a really contemporary look, install coloured lower units and plain high units on the same wall.

Instant hot water

Instant hot water taps are a stylish, convenient and timesaving alternative to a kettle. They are also an excellent complement to a kitchen mixer tap.

Published 02/06/14

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