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Colour & finishes

Clever use of colour can really bring a room to life. In a traditional kitchen, the trick is to balance the impact of the shade you choose with the interest provided by objects that are on show. The variations in the finish of floors, cupboards and worktops need to be considered too, so that each element isn’t fighting for attention. Think of them as a single palette in order to create a space that’s both balanced and individual.

Most traditional kitchens have a large number of items on display and a subtle colour scheme provides a suitably understated backdrop. Paler shades can make a space seem bigger and less vibrant hues seem more fitting to a traditional look, giving a timeless feel. Many paint companies offer a ‘heritage’ range of colours which are particularly useful if you’re looking for a bolder shade to use as an accent. Try painting an alcove or reviving a tired table or a group of mis-matched chairs with a historically authentic hue.

Painted units are another simple way to add colour. Consider pale cream rather than bright white, particularly if your kitchen is north facing, as it will help warm up the space and prevent it from looking cold and stark. Greys, often with a hint of blue or green, are a popular choice, too, making a sophisticated style statement. Choose tiles or a splashback in a similar or complementary shade, and use a matching shade of grouting for a more uniform finish.

The multi-functional nature of today’s kitchen means soft furnishings will often be included in the space. Use a patterned cushion to provide a hit of colour and visual interest within a simple setting of smooth oak and rugged stone without detracting from their natural beauty.