Once upon a time the general rule of thumb when it came to kitchen design was to stick to one single material or colour theme throughout. As the kitchen itself has evolved however, from one that is used primarily for the preparation of food to a multi-functional space, so the design of the room has evolved and now welcomes adventure and creativity.

This has led to the emergence of the trend for mixing and matching materials, finishes and colours to add instant personality, character and a sense of uniqueness to the modern-day kitchen. With this trend the general rule is that there are no rules; it’s a look that works whether you’re planning a classic kitchen or contemporary space, but bear in mind that introducing too many different colours and materials can make things appear overly fussy. Keep in mind, when mixing many materials and tones, it is best to pick some themes to repeat to create a sense of harmony, such as using multiple shades of wood or sticking to a neutral theme. The key to success with this trend lies in the balance and a little bit of forward thinking.

With so much choice out there it can be difficult to know where to begin and which materials and colours will work best together. A good tip is to start with a material, a colour and/or a finish that you love and then work from there, to gradually find the right blend or contrast.

So how do kitchen surfaces, and in particular worktops, lend themselves to this mixing and matching trend? The answer really lies in the contrast; a crisp white ceramic surface, for instance, looks stunning when combined with dark cabinetry. Likewise a solid run of black quartz surfaces will add an air of sophistication to the kitchen and contrasts brilliantly with light coloured furniture beneath.

In a similar way, a quartz surface with marble-inspired veining can be combined with a variety of materials, from stainless steel to wood, to bring the outside indoors and add variety, texture and character to the kitchen. When opting for a material with a grain or veining, such as a marble-effect ceramic or quartz, use the grain tones elsewhere in the kitchen too, to tie the whole look together.

A statement material and/or colour used for an island unit turns this piece of furniture into an instant focal point, with a simpler surface chosen for the remainder of your worktops to avoid the look being too overbearing.

Whatever you decide, mixing and matching materials, colours and finishes will help you strike the perfect, unique aesthetic balance and this look can be about whatever you like. The key is to have fun with your choices and don’t be afraid to be bold to create a visually stunning space in which to cook, entertain, relax and dine.

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