My love of white and grey interiors means our kitchen cabinets are… well, white and grey. But there are plenty of alternatives for those who want something a little more eye-catching without overpowering a minimalist scheme. Following on from the six ideas for kitchen splashbacks that I posted a few months ago, here are six options for kitchen cupboards with a difference…
I wrote a while back about how easy it is to introduce a hint of pink into your home, and this applies to kitchens as much as any other room. Dusty pink units add a subtle dash of colour and work brilliantly with grey or white walls and worktops. You could easily paint wooden doors yourself (Farrow & Ball has a range of suitable finishes), but if you fancy something a bit sleeker then take a look at the ‘Musk Mallow’ cupboard and drawer fronts from Custom Fronts (second image below), which offers an array of options to fit standard IKEA kitchen systems.
Another pale-but-interesting option is soft mint green, which creates a fresh, airy look. Just be careful what you pair it with if you want to avoid your kitchen looking like a hospital operating theatre! I love the combination of green units and pink walls below, and the crispness of green against white.
If you prefer a slightly more dramatic look, how about deep inky blue? It’s classic yet striking, particularly when offset by sparkling brass fittings and swathes of marble. Farrow & Ball’s ‘Stiffkey Blue’ is my favourite paint, but shop around for a shade that suits the light in your kitchen and make sure you use a tester pot – dark colours are hard to paint over if you don’t like the end result!
Deep blue also works brilliantly in more contemporary settings such as the second example below, which incorporates oak-edged ‘Basis 01′ fronts from Reform – another company that helps you customise off-the-shelf IKEA kitchens.
Or, if you want to fully embrace the dark side, how about black? You could go the whole hog and pair black units with sleek black tiles, or mix them with pale walls for a slightly more understated effect. Matt black units tend to look a bit more stylish than glossy lacquered options, and IKEA has an affordable range.
Once reserved for flat-pack furniture, plywood has become a major interiors trend in recent years, adorning everything from walls to wardrobes. It adds warmth and texture to any space, and it makes an excellent choice for kitchens as it’s water-resistant and durable. New London-based company Plykea is a great place to start if you like the plywood look, as it has a selection of wood- and formica-faced cupboard and drawer fronts (all FSC certified) that are precision cut to fit IKEA kitchens; Custom Fronts also has several plywood options.
Dark wood or metal
Finally, for full-on decadence consider dark wood or metal doors. They only work in larger kitchens, but if you have the dimensions you can produce something really stunning. I’m a big fan of Norm Architects, who have created two different designs for Reform – one using bronzed tombac, which develops a wonderful golden patina over time, and the other using smoked oak veneer. Finish them off with concrete for a textured, industrial effect, or with brass fittings for something a little sleeker.
Images by (from top): Un Due Tre Ilaria, Sara Margaretah via Entrance Makleri, Custom Fronts, Custom Fronts, Alvhem via One Kind Design, Reform, Stylizmo, Doswell & McLean, Home Adore, Custom Fronts and Reform