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10 Ideas for Covetable Neutral Kitchens

Ditch dull décor without waving goodbye to muted colour and smart design

Houzz UK Contributor. Freelance journalist and interiors obsessive, renovating a… More

Designing a neutral-coloured kitchen shouldn’t mean you’re left with a room that has about as much personality as a potato. What it does entail is extra time spent choosing interesting textures, fine finishes and creative techniques that will fuse together to provide visual interest without bright colours. These 10 tempting examples should stimulate some creative juices and set you on the road to neutral nirvana.

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Try a wood alternative
Like unpainted timber, stainless steel should be treated as a neutral and used to create textural interest. These metal-clad cabinets are an industrial-inspired choice more akin to a commercial kitchen. However, with a few inspired additions – marble-look worktops and apothecary-style cupboards – the effect is eclectic and elegant.

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Style with subtle stripes
For fuss-free detailing that will soup up a simple kitchen, consider shiplap-style panelling. Here, the whole cooking area has been clad to create architectural interest without the need for strong colour. MDF is a good choice for cabinetry and walls as it won’t warp like wood, and it can be made moisture-resistant with a hard-wearing paint or can be bought ready-treated.

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Temper warmth with tiling
With so many tiles to choose from it can be tricky to make a decision. Metro tiles are a classic choice that will work with almost all kitchens – from traditional to contemporary. For future-proofing, stick to smaller, slimmer styles, which tend to look more timeless. The tactile beauties here have a handmade quality that enhances the rich hue of the wooden cabinets, while brightening the whole space.

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Dabble on the dark side
Remember that neutral doesn’t have to mean nondescript. Saturated shades such as black and grey will give your scheme handsome heritage appeal. Consider combining dark cabinetry with light walls to avoid making the room feel too enclosed. Cool copper is a characterful choice for this corner kitchen’s splashback, merging traditional and contemporary ideas.

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Pick your perfect paper
Just when you thought that feature walls had given way to full-room papering, this paisley pretty might just change your mind. The soft hue and large-scale print are seriously sumptuous, particularly when partnered with an all-white Shaker-style kitchen. Antique accessories, such as a carved mirror and mercury glass pendants, produce a luxuriously layered effect.

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Make magic with mirrors
In a one-colour kitchen, small details can make a big difference. When cupboards and walls are the same shade, it blurs divisions in multi-use spaces; finishing touches can then be added for a little extra oomph. Here, brass handles and a mirrored splashback impart shine, lift light levels and set off the soft grey palette perfectly.

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Double up on timber
The two large panels of bare wood break up the black and grey scheme. Rather than finishing the units in a flat paint, a black wood stain was chosen and allows the glorious grain to show through. Matching worktops maintain the block colour effect for cool cohesion and easy cleaning.

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Be clever with paint
Combine a couple of similar shades to add extra dimension in your culinary space. This sleek kitchen features grey-painted pantry cabinets and island, while the cupboards around the sink have been given a touch of taupe. If your layout doesn’t lend itself to this type of division, try two-tone upper and lower cabinets for a similar feel.

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Up the ante with upholstery
For a little lift, leave your neutral kitchen alone and instead choose interesting fabrics and textures for seating. This magnificent striped banquette brings a hint of humbug sweets to the crisp cookspace, particularly when paired with a true design icon – the Wishbone chair.

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Walk the line
For those torn between pared-back neutrals and standout colour, why not have both? This nifty kitchen is styled predominantly in soft, stony greys, but the island has been given a dose of bold blue. Try this technique if you crave frequent change – it should be easier to repaint the kitchen island than the whole kit and caboodle.

What is the colourscheme in your kitchen? Why did you choose it and would you change it? Let us know in the Comments section.
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