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31 original kitchen ideas that'll give your space wow-factor

Peruse our gallery of design inspiration from luxe travertine surfaces to brass cupboards and chunky marble islands for the ultimate kitchen update

sleek salvaged kitchen cabinets   retrouvious project at kensal road london photography by tom fallon
Tom Fallon

The kitchen is the backdrop to our daily lives, so surely it deserves to be made the most impressive of spaces. Here’s our edit of the boldest new looks to love, from statement marble islands, to reclaimed materials and graphic tiles. And for more inspiration, check out our top 9 kitchen trends of 2020 and our edit of the best new kitchen buys for stylish homes.

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1 Pave the way
kitchen design ideas marble island and crazy paving slate floor by studio esteta
Sean Fennessy

A floor treatment that’s more commonly seen in exterior spaces, crazy paving is the latest eye-catching surface to be reclaimed by interior designers and architects, and not only for its practical, hard-wearing properties. In this project by Studio Esteta, irregularly shaped slabs of slate inject subtle texture and movement – the perfect foil to the smooth swathes of oak and polished blue-grey stone above it – and lead the eye from the monolithic island to the matching marble-wrapped nook on the rear wall. studioesteta.com.au

2 On the grid
graphic metro tiled kitchen by studio ho

From metro-style to mosaics, tiles are an eternal favourite in the kitchen for obvious reasons. The most current shape and size for making a statement is the unassuming rectangle, but take heed of the all-important rule; for impact and loftier-looking ceilings, vertical orientation is a must. There’s no limit to the creativity that can be conjured from these brick-like blocks. Multidisciplinary studio H+O’s Mondrian-esque scheme applies them to walls, floor and built-in sideboard, creating a precise, graphic look. hpluso.design

3 Curve ball
pale green kitchen with marble and brass handles by interior design studio sella concept

Tasked with creating a kitchen in a space blessed with palatial proportions and an abundance of original features, London-based design outfit Sella Concept steered clear of trying to reproduce something of the period. Instead, they opted for a contrasting contemporary scheme that echoes the building’s arched windows; sweeping curves have been sliced from the custom-built celadon-green cabinetry, while the breakfast bar has been similarly rounded-off. Green marble and brass handles by Swarf hardware add a suitably luxe edge. sella-concept.com; swarfhardware.co.uk

4 Check mate
retro style kitchen with checkered flooring and green cabinetry by muller van severen

When Fien Muller and Hannes Van Severen – aka Dutch design duo Muller Van Severen – embarked on creating their family kitchen, the pair seized the chance to incorporate their signature bold shades and materials. The result is a melting pot of surfaces; sea green enamel cabinets, richly veined marble and a red and white checkerboard floor that recalls a 1950s diner, demonstrating that being brave with unusual combinations can pay dividends. Playfully pulled together by dining furniture and bright ceramics, this is an expressive space that tells its owners’ story. mullervanseveren.be

5 Restored to glory
sleek salvaged kitchen cabinets   retrouvious project at kensal road london photography by tom fallon
Tom Fallon

Over almost 30 years, bespoke salvage studio Retrouvius has turned reclamation into an art form. This striking kitchen, with its exquisite panelled cabinetry, pays testament to the enduring appeal and adaptability of wood and proves reclaimed needn’t mean rustic. Discarded shelves receive anew lease of life as statement geometric fronts in tulip wood and oak trim, via a diagonal cut that creates distinctive lines and eliminates waste. They even outshine the monolithic onyx island – in a similar honeyed hue – which would be the showstopper of any other space. retrouvius.com

6 Retro flair
small galley kitchen design  with retro feel by marcante testa

The 1970s have already influenced furniture, fabrics and lighting – now the era is making itself known in the realm of the kitchen. Dark timbers and veneers are key to the look. Design practice Marcante Testa’s galley kitchen nods to the period with wenge wood, green laminate cabinets and a ceiling adorned in Little Greene’s densely patterned ‘Fern’ wallpaper, all brought up to date with a marble floor and brass accents. marcante-testa.it

7 Monumental marble
marble kitchen with marble island and splash back by joseph dirand

Overuse marble or stone in a kitchen and it could be in danger of feeling cold and austere. It’s clearly a material Paris-based architect Joseph Dirand has much experience with, as his masterful treatment of the stone in his Right Bank apartment shows. Carved from a hunk of breccia stazzema marble, the colossal island is softened with gentle fluting on the base while the top’s generous radius gives it a tactile quality. Rounded edges are repeated on the counter and shelves while the subtly grey washed walls enhance the space’s mellow feel. josephdirand.com

8 Smoothly does it
concrete kitchen with brass details by mclaren excell

Framed by original wood panelling, pale timber cabinets and sleek brass details, the stretch of concrete in this understated space feels refined rather than rough-hewn – a testament to the metamorphosis of a material in a different context. London architecture firm McLaren.Excell has eschewed the industrial palette usually paired with concrete for an effect that’s subtler, softer and supremely liveable. Take note of the seamless transition from butler sink to splashback, which tempers any industrial edge. mclarenexcell.com

9 Ply for hire
kitchen design using stained plywood by feina studio

Considering its versatility, affordability and tensile strength, plywood’s status as a solely functional material seemed somewhat unjust. It’s since been reincarnated as an architect favourite, driven by a renewed interest in humble, untreated materials and smart housing solutions like prefabricated homes. Proponents of ply are now shifting attention onto coloured stains: in this ply-clad kitchen by Feina Studio, visible grain tinted in a forest green hue creates a visual connect between a stretch of low cabinets and a distinctive exposed ceiling. feinastudio.com

10 All that jazz
marble and gold kitchen
Photography Serge Anton

Belgium-based interior designer Lionel Jadot took inspiration from the art deco era for this unique kitchen. The marble surfaces and gold walls are handsome in their own right, but it’s the extra details, such as the detailed chequerboard trim on the splashback, that really evoke the glamour of the 1920s. Paint For a similar
colour, try ‘Antique Gold Effect’, from £7 for 125ml, Craig & Rose Tiles For similar, try ‘Victorian Black/White Chequer’, £72.22 per square metre, Topps Tiles

11 Free spirit
Edward Collinson kitchen
Edward Collinson

Self-contained kitchens offer flexibility and the illusion of space. This design by British furniture maker Edward Collinson combines white lacquered doors, a stainless-steel worktop and an oak interior, all handcrafted in London. Kitchen ‘The Broad’, £13,500 (including appliances), Edward Collinson Accessories ‘Spade’ and ‘Longboard’ chopping boards, from £105, Edward Collinson

12 Pillar of support
TM Italia’s Casa Flora project
TM Italia

TM Italia’s Casa Flora project, created in collaboration with architect Matteo Ghidoni, is part kitchen, part sculpture. Playing with scale and colour, it’s a design with a difference – its worktop, made of green Guatemalan marble, sits above two strikingly mismatched turquoise legs. Kitchen ‘T45’ by TM Italia, from £40,000, Hub Kitchens

13 The next big thing
Made a mano lavastone tiles
Made a mano

Large-format tiles are making waves in the world of kitchen design. Compared to the busier look of smaller styles, super-sized pieces create a clean, calm aesthetic. Here, an ethereal glaze adds to the serene feel, as does the pale natural timber cabinetry with pared-back brass detailing. Tiles ‘Ossido/24’ bespoke pale blue hand-painted lavastone, £800 per square metre, Made a Mano Cabinets This is a bespoke design by JLK Design Studio. Pluck kitchens can create similar units with integrated handles, from £12,000

14 Angled poise
Pink kitchen with terrazzo by atelier dialect
Atelier Dialect

Created by Belgian studio Atelier Dialect for a client who’d fallen for the pink resin floor of a fashion store they had designed, this modern kitchen gives the powdery palette some edge, with an angular worktop made of terracotta granito. Worktop For a similar look, try ‘TE047’ terrazzo, from £960 per square metre, Diespeker
Tap ‘KV1’ by Vola, £825, Panik Appliances ‘PV175CB’ hob in
white, £849, Smeg

15 Window of opportunity
kitchen with neon artwork by flack studio
Flack Studio

Transparent glass splashbacks bring extra light into a dark kitchen and, if positioned carefully, reveal unexpected views. In this space by Australian design practice Flack Studio, the well-placed window perfectly frames a neon artwork that runs along the garden fence outside.Kitchen Bespoke design, from £55,000, Flack Studio Artwork Neon piece by Aly Indermühle

16 Curve appeal
Countertop, Room, Property, Interior design, Furniture, Architecture, Cabinetry, Tile, Kitchen, Wall,

Architecture firms CaSA and Margherita Serboli Arquitectura joined forces to create this bespoke kitchen. Rather than squaring off the Portobello marble worktop and splashback, they chose rounded corners that give the space a gentler look. The curves continue with the small porthole window and circular extractor hood. Tap For similar, try ‘Tinkisso’, £90, Dowsing & Reynolds Appliances ‘Corinthia Isola’ cooker hood in ‘White Matt/Tibetan Silver’ by Faber, £1,299 Angel Appliances

17 Fine fusion
kitchen with sliding doors by johan tran
Johan Tran

Scandinavian meets Japanese design in this minimal Oslo apartment by architect Johan Tran. Its sliding room dividers echo the paper screens used in houses in Japan, while beech veneer cabinets nod to traditional Scandi craftsmanship. Drawer fronts are grooved to mirror the herringbone floor.Cabinets Wilder can create a similar kitchen, from £6,000 Handles For similar, try ‘Holy Wafer’, £13 each, Superfront Tap ‘Linus-S’ in ‘Anthracite’ by Blanco, £555, Trading Depot Appliances For a similar cooker hood, try the ‘KS110BLE Symphony’ by Smeg, £589, John Lewis & Partners

18 Think inside the box
baby blue kitchen by la fabrika studio
La Fabrika Studio

Give kitchen workspaces an identity of their own by lining them – splashback, sides, underside and all – with a shock of contrasting material. This kitchen by Belgian design firm La Fabrika Studio teams baby blue MDF units with a workstation wrapped in terrazzo. Surface ‘Grigio Venato’ terrazzo, from £52.32 per square metre, Bomarbre Cabinets For similar, try Finch London, which can create bespoke kitchens in any colour, from £35,000 Accessories For similar utensil holders, try the ‘Hexagon Vase’ by Trine Andersen for Ferm Living, from £32, Made In Design

19 From the ground up
Furniture, Room, Countertop, Interior design, Property, Cabinetry, Kitchen, Floor, Building, Ceiling,

Herringbone tiles needn’t be confined to flooring, as this kitchen by interiors practice Doherty Design Studio proves. The graphic, orderly repeat pattern flows up the sides of the island, where it meets the organic strata of the stone worktop.Worktop For similar, try ‘Cote D’Azur’ marble, from £528 per square metre, Lapicida Tiles For similar, try ‘East Hampton Marble’ from £114.82 per square metre, Fired Earth

20 Dramatic turn
Room, Ceiling, Interior design, Turquoise, Green, Building, Property, Floor, Furniture, Living room,

This flamboyant space is the work of interior designer Patricia Bustos. Her magpie eye has borrowed hallmarks from the art deco era (the mosaic tiled floor), mid-century style (brass accents and pastel shades) and the theatre (red fringing). No surface has been left unadorned – even the ceiling is dressed to impress in two shades of green. Proof that sometimes, more is more. Lighting Vintage ‘Ginko’ lamps by Carlo Giorgi – try 1stDibs Flooring For similar, try mosaic tiles, £7.74 per sheet, Binibi

21 Hidden depths
Kitchen with walnut cupboards by Quincoces-Drago & Partners
Quincoces-Drago & Partners

Concealing its functional elements inside a wall-length walnut sideboard and leaving the upper walls cupboard-free, this kitchen is virtually invisible. Its grooved frontage hides the joins between doors so the only clues to the room’s real purpose are the tap and sink and nothing distracts from the design classics that take centre stage. Kitchen Bespoke design by Quincoces-Drago & Partners Dining table ‘Saarinen Oval’ by Eero Saarinen for Knoll, £4,644, Aram Lighting ‘IC S2’ by Michael Anastassiadesfor Flos, £420, Aram

22 Bold as brass
kitchen with brass cupboards
Fiona Lynch

For a masterclass in the art of mixing materials, look no further than this kitchen by Melbourne-based interior designer Fiona Lynch. It marries white stone with black joinery (left) and blackbutt timber (on the island), crowning it all with a stretch of polished brass. Cabinets For similar, try mirrored brass doors with a birch ply core, from £214, Metal Sheets

23 Law of the jungle
Room, Furniture, Interior design, Countertop, Kitchen, Property, Table, House, Wall, Tile,

The owners of this kitchen enjoy a botanical vista from their breakfast bar. Proof that there’s no need to shy away from elaborate pattern in the kitchen, the lush vegetation pictured on this mural combines well with an unexpected mixture of materials, from fluted marble to flashes of gold. Wallpaper ‘D-Dream’, from £338 per square metre, Iksel Decorative Arts Taps ‘Fusion Round’ in gold by Quooker, £1,749, Appliance City

24 Cast away
concrete kitchen by mar plus ask
Mar Plus Ask

Concrete kitchens make a big impact, but can appear imposing and cold. In this design by Spanish architecture studio Mar Plus Ask, the cast-on-site island is warmed by bespoke copper lighting and plywood cabinets.Kitchen island Haus Concrete Surfaces can create a similar design.Concrete worktops, from £468 per metre Cabinets For a similar bespoke plywood design, try Plykea Tap ‘KV8’ by Arne Jacobsen for Vola, £931, Panik

25 Go with the grain
Timber kitchen by Ferruccio Laviani for Dada

Timber is the ideal material for giving a modern kitchen soul, so why stick to just one type? This room is a patchwork of different varieties, from the light oak used to create the breakfast bar, to dark eucalyptus cabinets and polished parquet floors. The result is a harmonious combination that breathes life into this streamlined design by Ferruccio Laviani for Dada. Kitchen ‘Hi-line 6’ by Ferruccio Laviani, from £40,000, Dada

26 Laid Bare
exposed brickwork kitchen by architect Danielle Siggerud
Danielle Siggerud

Architect Danielle Siggerud celebrates the beauty of raw finishes and materials in this kitchen, artfully combining exposed brickwork, concrete and a handsome slab of calacatta viola marble. The extra-thick worktop makes a focal point of the island and showcases the stone. WorktopFor similar, try ‘Calacatta Viola Polished Marble Slab’, from £522 per square metre, Mandarin Stone Lighting ‘TR Bulb’ suspension frame by Tim Rundle, £680, Menu Seating ‘Afteroom’ bar stools, from £230 each, Menu

27 Red alert
red travertine kitchen by Arjaan De Feyter
Arjaan De Feyter

Belgian interior architect Arjaan De Feyter created this striking kitchen using Travertino Rosso, supplied by natural stone company Van Den Weghe. ‘I had a sample of this red stone for almost 15 years, but I had to find the right project and people for it – people with a strong personality who would dare to be different,’ he says.Stone Travertino Rosso, from £39,343 per square metre, Van Den Weghe Tap ‘KV3’ in natural brass by Arne Jacobsen for Vola, £1,033, Panik

28 In the nude
pink marble kitchen tiles from mandarin stone
Mandarin Stone

Bring a subtle rosy glow into your kitchen with putty and clay tones. Choose brick-like tiles with a tumbled finish for texture and add terracotta, plywood and copper accents to complete the look. Tiles ‘Rosa Perlino’ tumbled marble, £93.87 per square metre, Mandarin Stone Cabinets For similar, try oiled birch plywood doors, from £1,000 for a small kitchen, Custom Fronts Tap For similar, try ‘Harbour Clarity’ in brushed copper, £135, Tap Warehouse Lighting ‘Geometric Terracotta’ pendant light, £65, Nick Fraser

29 Isle of tiles
ceramic tile kitchen island by Robson Rak
Robson Rak

The humble ceramic tile is versatile, durable and makes an impact, so what better material to use for a hardworking kitchen island? In this project by Australian architecture and interior design studio Robson Rak, jade metro-style tiles have been used to creative effect. Tiles‘Victoria’ in green, £128 per square metre, De Fazio Tiles & Stone Lighting ‘Parachute’ pendant lights by Nathan Yong, £365 (left); £288 (right), Ligne Roset Seating For similar, try ‘Imo’ stools, from £395 each, Pinch

30 A perfect match
black stone kitchen by Lundhs

Achieve a completely coherent look in your kitchen by using the same material for your splashback, floor and worktop. Norwegian brand Lundhs’ bespoke tile service allows customers to order tiles and countertops in the same stone. Worried about everything becoming too matchy-matchy? Break up the look with light and dark woods. Worktop ‘Lundhs Blue’ in a silk finish, from £680 per square metre Tiles ‘Lundhs Blue’ hexagonal design on splashback and floor, from £200 per square metre

31 Envy-inducing green
Green, Room, Interior design, Window covering, Property, Architecture, Window treatment, Furniture, Wall, Floor,

Transform cupboards quickly and economically with a lick of paint in a bold hue. Australian design firm SJB has used this kitchen’s full-height cabinetry as a canvas for an invigorating green – for even more impact and extra durability, go for a gloss finish. Paint For a similar colour, try ‘Resplendent Emerald’ by Valspar, available in gloss and matt finishes from £15 per litre, B&Q Tap ‘Pescara Semi-Pro XL’, £468, Franke

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