Designing with Neutrals

Whether you favour a classic or contemporary style, the great thing about neutral tones in the kitchen is that they complement all schemes and all kinds of property. From Victorian or Edwardian houses full of original architectural features and high ceilings to country cottages with low ceilings and beams, new-builds with multifunctional open-plan spaces and everything in between, a neutral scheme is calm, soothing and perfect for everyday use. Our Alderley collection in Bone is a great example of how this pared-back palette can be given a modern twist or added warmth with careful planning when it comes to the flooring, tiles, lighting, appliances, dining furniture and all the finishing touches that make your kitchen unique.

Kitchen Makers Alderley in Bone

Designing with neutrals provides the perfect backdrop for you to add your own sense of personality and creativity on top. Think timber flooring from sustainable companies such as Ted Todd, mid-century modern dining chairs and a rustic farmhouse table, wooden topped black metal bar stools, shiny chrome cup or knob handles, task lighting from companies such as Pooky and an on-trend matt black, satin gold or rose gold tap. Here at Kitchen Makers, we have plenty of neutral painted colours to choose from, whether you want the classic elegance of our Alderley design, the Shaker style of Haddon or the detailed Somerton with its quarter round beading, concealed hinges and vintage vibe. Bone, Chalk and Putty are warm off-whites that will make any space feel light, bright and airy; Cashmere, Soft Grey and Gravel bring a more timeless elegance with their subtle grey hues while French Grey and Soft Moss embrace that outside in feel to help us connect with nature, even when we’re stuck inside on a rainy day.

Kitchen Makers Alderley dresser in Cashmere

A neutral kitchen is also the ideal opportunity to add a focal point or centrepiece in a standout statement shade. This could be achieved with a vibrant island in a bold painted finish, as shown in our Haddon kitchen below with its English Red and Pale Smoke design or by using decorative wall tiles as a feature area or splashback behind the cooker and sink. You can also bring in pops of bright colour with dining chairs, textiles and soft furnishings, artwork on the walls or a display of your favourite ceramics, crockery, cookware and glassware in glass-fronted units, a dresser or on open shelving, which will all help to personalise your space. 

Kitchen Makers Haddon kitchen in Pale Smoke and English Red

Your choice of lighting will have a huge influence on how the neutral cabinetry and décor will appear at different times of the day. It’s always best to plan your lighting from the very start of your project, and our network of specialist retailers can help you determine which style will work best and where. It’s important to include plenty of task lighting above worksurfaces, the cooker or hob, sink and dining table, island or breakfast bar. As well as making it safer, as you’ll be able to see more clearly when cooking and preparing meals, it can also create a more intimate atmosphere for dining, especially if you choose dimmer lights or rise and fall pendants.

Pooky Cecilia pendant lights

Wooden accents are a wonderful pairing with neutral cabinetry, as the natural grain and tone of the timber will add warmth and prevent the scheme from feeling stark and cool. If you’re thinking of laying timber flooring, consider adding extra interest with a parquet, herringbone, basketweave or chevron design. Pale woods will enhance a feeling of light and space while deeper tones offer a richness and depth that works well in large open-plan schemes. You can also add timber details with a solid wooden worksurface or butcher’s block, wooden bar stools and shelving and even something as simple as a stack of chunky wooden chopping boards on display. 

Peppermill Interiors Imperial College London solid oak breakfast bar stools
Perrin & Rowe

As well as the cabinetry, worksurfaces and appliances, one of the most important elements to consider when planning your kitchen is the tap. It’s often an overlooked essential but can have a huge impact on the overall look and feel of your finished design, especially within a neutral scheme. Our network of specialist retailers will be able to advise you on the different styles and finishes available and you can choose from classic or contemporary designs as well as filtered water versions and boiling water taps that deliver instant hot water for cooking and a cuppa. 

Don’t forget the final touches, which will personalise your neutral kitchen and introduce colour and texture to the room. Whether it’s a smart new kettle, toaster and coffee machine standing proudly on the worksurface, an assortment of beautiful ceramics or simple glass storage jars filled with pasta, rice and baking ingredients, it’s all these little extras that not only add practical touches to your space but will also make it feel homely, lived in and loved.

Sweetpea & Willow marble chopping board
Kitchen Makers Brochure open on table with pen

Get more inspiration in our free brochures

See all our beautiful kitchen imagery and read expert advice in the Kitchen Makers brochure.