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Materials

Natural elements such as wood and stone often dominate a traditional kitchen, and these materials play a large part in determining its look. There are plenty of ways to introduce them into the scheme, from rugged flagstones or salvaged wood, to smooth marble worktops or polished floorboards. Meanwhile, other materials,including wicker, enamel, metal and ceramics provide appealing accents.

It makes a lot of sense to start your decision making at floor level. As the largest surface in your kitchen, it needs to tie in with everything else and create a sense of cohesion. Underfloor heating means that stone or ceramic tiles can be a relatively cosy option – the uneven colour and texture of natural limestone or slate is particularly popular for its elemental characteristics. Alternatively use whitewash floorboards for a light-enhancing, rustic edge, or replace them with beautifully warm new wood that matches a chunky worktop.

Pale painted base units are the perfect complement to sturdy oak worktops, but if you decide on wooden cabinetry, marble offers a smart contrast. And if your budget won’t stretch to luxurious solid stone, install a modern laminate, which gives a convincing imitation both in colour and texture.