Engineered materials that (almost) rival the real thing
If you don’t have the budget for luxury natural materials like a marble worktop or solid timber cabinetry, don’t be too disheartened. Engineered materials are better and more realistic than ever before.
In the past, manufactured materials looked fake, with no variety in appearance. What we are seeing now and is a different ball game. In a process that no doubt has taken many years, producers of engineered stone, board and tiles are releasing products that in some instances look as good as their natural counterpart.
However, when paired with properties like superior durability, ease of maintenance, size and cost effectiveness, it is little wonder the natural reproductions are getting popular with designers and clients alike.
Engineered stone that replicates the look of marble is a great (and very practical) choice for worktops and splashbacks, two surfaces which are prone to high wear and staining. Meanwhile, if you’re in the process of selecting cabinetry materials, a good choice is lacquered imitation wood grain melamine boards which are a cost-effective alternative for adding texture to doors and drawers.
When it comes to flooring, premium stone- and timber-look vinyl floor tiles are ideal for the often wet and messy kitchen environment.
Another shade that will be making a splash this year is mint. While you may see the fresh, soothing hue on some kitchen cabinets it is predicted that the tone will be predominantly used as an accent colour, so expect to see it pop up on accessories and possibly even island feature panels and open shelves.
Mint is a fresh and crisp-looking colour that doesn’t overpower, so it’s not a colour you are likely to tire of easily. If you are afraid to add colour to your kitchen, then a great way to start is by using colourful accessories such as bar stools, canisters displayed on the worktop or even on your kitchen splashback.
It’s time to say goodbye to thick, chunky counters, and hello to slender, barely-there worktops, which are now available in slabs as small as 3 millimetres thick. This growing (or shrinking) trend has been building momentum over the past year and will continue to do so in 2016 partly due to the fact that kitchen designs are moving toward more refined detail, allowing the texture of the products themselves to tell the story.
It’s only natural
Rustic wood, concrete and natural stone are a few materials you might like to consider if you’re thinking about trying this earthy and timeless look at home. However, look beyond these usual suspects, too. Bamboo, river rock, oxidised metals and natural fibres like rattan, linen and jute are other great options that will infuse your kitchen with a pleasing, natural-inspired look, while adding extra visual and tactile interest to your scheme. How about adding greenery – from moss to plants, herbs and even grass – to your culinary zone to enhance its earthy, organic feel.