Neutral palettes are a hot interior design trend so we asked our experts at Mint Kitchen Group for their top tips on how to use a natural colour scheme to enhance the kitchen space.
The reason a natural/neutral colour scheme is enduringly popular is that this palette is so applicable across a wide range of kitchen designs and themes. Equally at home in a classic or traditional kitchen, a neutral colour scheme can also be applied with great effect to a modern or contemporary kitchen. The challenge when choosing a neutral/natural scheme is to ensure the space isn’t boring or plain but, never fear, we have some great ideas to make your kitchen an amazing visual space.
Bringing nature inside is a great way to enhance and underscore a neutral palette – think special places for pots of herbs, hanging plants above the countertops or even larger floor-standing pots. If the kitchen is adjacent to a garden or alfresco area, large glass panels (think windows or sliding doors) help invite the natural world outside into the home and provide a visual connection between the inside and outside.
Another idea is a window splashback – if there is greenery anywhere outside the kitchen, using a window splashback is a great way to enjoy looking out over the vista of your garden while cooking or washing up.
Or, why not consider a servery window? These open up directly from the kitchen to the outdoor relaxation zone and are not only fabulously functional in helping transport food and drinks from the kitchen to your guests, but open up the kitchen directly to nature.
Nothing complements a neutral colour palette like natural stone. Literally dug directly from the ground, natural stone brings an element of luxury and glamour to the kitchen and provides a direct tactile connection with nature. Because every slab has slight variations in colour, texture and veining you are inviting a truly unique statement piece into your home. Natural stone is especially stunning when incorporated as both a benchtop and a splashback, creating a seamless flow from horizontal to vertical surfaces and adding that real “wow” factor to any kitchen.
A comparable effect can be created with solid surface and engineered stone which are both available in similar finishes to natural stone, as well as other tones.
A great way to provide visual balance is to mix-and-match your benchtop thicknesses – for example, 40mm on the island and 20mm or 12mm at the rear of the kitchen. The thick/thin combo is effective as each benchtop off-sets the other to create a lovely symmetry.
With bright and gloss tones on the outer, the best choice for a natural/neutral palette is a matte texture. Not only does this provide you with an easy-to-clean surface (look for a surface that is fingerprint-free), but it allows you to enhance and underscore the feeling of laid-back elegance. Mix-and-match colour tones to provide an interesting visual aesthetic or create zones within the kitchen. Think varieties of beige, cream, off-white all the way through to the muted tones of navy, khaki green, ochre and russet.
Whether you’re going for a light or dark colour scheme – or a combination of both – using a natural/neutral palette will provide opportunities to enhance certain areas of the kitchen where you want to create a focal point, or keep other parts of the kitchen strictly in the background.
When paired with stone, wood/woodgrains can bring a beautiful element of texture and nature into the home. You can pair a woodgrain cabinet with another neutral colour for a complementary finish, or you can use wood as individual elements – think cantilevered benches or open shelving – to create tone and contrast. Darker wood tones can sit beautifully against lighter cabinet colours or lighter wood tones can be used to create balance within a darker kitchen.
Timber (or a timber-look) is a direct connection to nature so incorporating a woodgrain into your kitchen is an easy way to immediately bring the natural world into your home. Today’s melamines and laminates offer many choices in a variety of wood grains, and some even have the same texture as natural wood so you are able to create a tactile sensation as well as a visual effect.
Wood and wood grain flooring – whether natural timber or a hybrid variety – is a great way to add an extra element of nature to the kitchen and open plan living space. Not only are wooden floorboards durable and easy to maintain, but you can use them to create contrast with the kitchen, or tone in with other woodgrain elements.
Integrated appliances – where the appliance is concealed with a matching panel so it blends into the cabinetry – are a great choice for a neutral kitchen as it means these functional elements are hidden from view until required. But, you can also choose to make a feature of stainless steel appliances as the more muted brushed finishes available work so well within a natural palette. Or, go bold with black appliances which can add a strong contrast to woods and woodgrains. For a really eye catching result, consider a coloured free-standing stove as the one key visual element in the kitchen. When matched with a neutral colour scheme, these brightly-coloured appliances can really pop.
A neutral/natural colour scheme can sometimes feel like a “safe” choice but not in the hands of a specialist kitchen designer. Your kitchen should never feel boring! At Mint Kitchen Group we pride ourselves on our creativity and ability to design kitchens that are exciting to be in, every day. Our long list of state and national awards are testament to the talent of our designers. If you’d like our help with your kitchen renovation, drop into one of our Melbourne showroom locations today.