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Grey kitchens

Grey kitchens for the heart of your home

Grey kitchen units can transform a kitchen design, adding character, individuality and a timeless elegance.In the past, there may have been more of an all-or-nothing approach to colour in the kitchen remember lime green and orange in the 1970s.

Today's palette is more restrained, with grey kitchens proving a major hit. Tone is important too, even within the grey family warmer greys create a different feel from blue-based shades of slate, for example.

When choosing an accent colour or a mixed palette for your grey kitchen, you can't go wrong by following colour theory. 'Either select complementary colours, which are next to each other on a colour wheel, or contrasting shades from opposite sides of the wheel,' says David Mottershead, MD at Little Greene.

'Contrasting colours are energising, while complementary colours are calming.' Soft, pale greys tend to work well in smaller kitchens, but larger spaces may need some sections of bolder colour to prevent the scheme looking bland and wishy-washy.

For subtle contrast, two different shades of the same calm colour tend to work better on cabinetry than three or four, which can look like a mistake. An island painted in a deeper or contrasting colour to that of the wall cabinets will make it a focal point in your grey kitchen Base cabinets in darker shades than wall cupboards help the design and prevent it looking top heavy. For stronger contrast, think light and dark, or two bold greys of the same 'weight' and balance. Too much heavy colour can make a room feel smaller, so you may want to balance things with a neutral floor and walls.

Elements of natural timber will add warmth to cooler grey kitchens, and equally a grey-white natural stone floor can cool down a fiery palette. As in nature, earthy browns, greys and sand colours blend harmoniously. Cool greys look good with stainless steel, and brightly coloured accents, such as small appliances, splashbacks and barstools, will help lift the mood.

Using various layers of grey shades to pick out individual elements of the room creates a cohesive feel in this kitchen. The walls and island are painted a dark, slate grey, the cabinetry is a softer shade, and darker flecks in the marble of the worksurface and splashback prove an effortless transition between light and dark. Keeping the rest of the scheme light keeps the room feeling airy despite the abundance of dark grey.

Tom Howley

For more great kitchen design inspiration, check out this painted kitchen gallery, and discover plenty of kitchen storage ideas to help you plan your space

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