The very latest in kitchen design sees statement surfaces truly taking center stage, with a pioneering use of unexpected new materials and exciting, fresh updates on classic looks.
Uplifting traditional kitchen ideas with an innovative new style, striking texture, and stunning decoration, explore everything from islands crafted with a blend of rustic wood and sleek marble to cabinets finished with luxurious brass mesh; providing beautiful inspiration for a new kitchen design.
10 stunning new materials for your kitchen surfaces
From flooring to backsplashes, cabinetry to kitchen countertops, the materials you choose for your kitchen surfaces will make a huge impact on the overall look and feel of your design.
So, with the help of a collection of interior designers and kitchen experts, let us show you the 10 luxurious new materials and design ideas that are setting this year’s kitchen trends alight with sensational style.
1. Unite patina with the plain for an elegant contrast
Expressive materials with natural variance and texture are bound to bring a kitchen island to life, and you can take it one step further by pitching a striking unit against a backdrop of plain painted kitchen cabinets.
Here, Roundhouse (opens in new tab) play on the tension between busy and still finishes by pairing shiny aged brass with low-sheen paint. ‘The brass has a wonderful hand-applied aged patina that makes the island stand proud against the dark, moody cabinetry,’ says Roundhouse’s senior design consultant, Sam Hart.
2. Embrace a rustic reimagined look
Rustic sustainable timber is being taken in a new direction for modern kitchen ideas: less Boho farmhouse, more high-end chic.
In this Norfolk, UK, barn conversion, reclaimed sun-dried fir and satin-treated steel form a sophisticated pairing of Italian cabinetry. ‘The combination of rough, natural wood textures with soft pink marble and sleek metal creates a smart visual link between old and new,’ says Andrew Hamilton Barr (opens in new tab), managing director, of Espresso Design.
We adore the sense of contrast that is created through the materials in this kitchen, and how the design is a more modern take on rustic kitchen ideas.
Andrew Hamilton Barr is managing director at Espresso Design, an interior design consultancy specializing in contemporary furniture for kitchens, bedrooms and living spaces. Andrew has been with the brand since 2007.
3. Choose a statement backsplash
Kitchen backsplashes are shaking off their purely practical side to become one of the hardest-working decorative elements in the kitchen.
Interior designer Sophie Ashby (opens in new tab) has taken the approach to a spectacular height with this tall, ceiling-hugging design, featuring outsize book-matched Breccia Capraia marble and a bold slash of PVD metal in Brushed Anthracite; establishing a magnificent feature wall and focal point in the space.
4. Swap glass for brass
Instead of using glass to break up expanses of cabinetry, why not incorporate a luxurious brass mesh into your design instead?
Here, woven brass by Rupert Bevan (opens in new tab) brings an extra layer of texture to this cabinet space and allows for you to subtly see what’s inside. Establishing a beautiful contrast with the texture of the dark wood, both materials work as one to add warmth and a rich sense of color to the space.
5. Choose a marvelous marble
Each year, a fresh look for marble emerges that strengthens its appeal. ‘This striking Selene, with its large rock fragments in gray tones and hints of pink, gives classic marble a contemporary twist,’ says Louisa Morgan, creative director, Mandarin Stone (opens in new tab).
Utterly timeless in style, you can never go wrong with marble ideas in the kitchen, and it is perfect for use on a backsplash or for kitchen countertop ideas.
As Alex Beaugeard, managing director at Lanserring (opens in new tab)says, ‘we love the calming effect of natural stone splashbacks, such as marble. Knowing every slab is unique creates an emotional connection that helps your kitchen resonate with you.’
Creative director at UK-based, family-run tile brand, Mandarin Stone, Louisa has been with the company since 2000 and has extensive knowledge of tiles and natural stone.
6. Try new ways with porcelain
Tech advances are bringing ever-thinner porcelain to the forefront, which now allows for this material to even be used on cabinet doors. One benefit is that the color and pattern run right to the edge for a more realistic and finished look.
The use of porcelain from Cullifords (opens in new tab) on the cabinetry in this kitchen establishes a smart and sleek design and works wonderfully with the light wood and marble to enrich the space with beautiful natural texture and material.
7. Use terrazzo to the max
In this project, interior designer Victoria-Maria Geyer (opens in new tab) goes big on terrazzo, showcasing a design by Max Lamb (opens in new tab). ‘I used mirror backsplashes to create a box effect so you can experience the large-format terrazzo on horizontal and vertical planes,’ she explains.
A beautiful example of how creative kitchen flooring ideas can be, the terrazzo introduces a sense of playfulness and movement into this small kitchen, with the terrazzo colors perfectly complementing the natural tones of the dark wood cabinetry; making for a cohesive and stylish design.
Victoria-Maria is a German born interior architect and designer based in Brussels. Her design practice and eclectic and daring style has been extensively featured and praised by international publications.
8. Consider your edges
Often it’s the subtler details that distinguish a perfectly nice kitchen from one that blows your mind, and statement edge profiles are really transforming plain worktops in stand-out contemporary kitchens.
In recent years, the angular shark nose has stolen the limelight, but 2023 is ushering in a more fluid, imperfect aesthetic. ‘We love a hand-chiseled edge for its organic texture and rawness, especially set against clean-cut lines of high-finished surfaces,’ says Joshua Tait (opens in new tab), senior designer, at Eggersmann Design. ‘This smart detail can change the pace of a space in just one move.’
Joshua is a senior designer at Eggersmann Design, an award-winning kitchen and joinery manufacturer based in London’s prestigious Design Centre Chelsea. He has over 15 years design experience and ran his on workshop on London where he designed and made bespoke free-standing and fitted furniture.
9. Opt for a scintillating stone
Quartzite is storming the kitchen design industry, bringing drama in its wake. Sola Kitchens (opens in new tab) is a firm advocate of this stone, which is tougher than granite and as elegant as marble.
‘The variety of colors is a constant reminder of earth’s natural beauty,’ says Sola Kitchens senior designer, Rhiannon Phenis. ‘Every slab features unique veining and inclusions, and when backlit the sparkling quartz is brought to life.’
A beautiful material that adds unique visual character and practical durability to a kitchen space.
A Product Design graduate, Rhiannon has gained a wealth of experience in all things kitchens having worked in the industry since 2007.
10. Make an impact with pattern
When many of us think of decorating with pattern we picture living rooms and bedrooms filled with plush upholstery and beautiful soft accessories – but don’t forget, pattern belongs in the kitchen, too.
Bring energy to the kitchen with patterns in intoxicating color combinations. Always Sunday founder, Lexi Dart (opens in new tab), taps into this dynamic trend with flooring made from locally sourced marble offcuts laid in striking zigzags. ‘Cutting tiles from offcuts allows you to curate the exact pattern and tones desired for a floor that’s totally unique,’ she enthuses; a wonderful take on colorful kitchen ideas.
A graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art, Lexi Dart went on to develop and design a range of ‘Always Sunday’ creative communities; from restaurants to luxury accommodations and more, based in Bath, UK.
What is the best surface for a kitchen?
As there are so many surfaces to consider in a kitchen, from the floors to counters and more, the best surface material can vary.
Some of the best countertop and best kitchen backsplash materials include natural stones, such as marble and granite, as well as metals such as stainless steel – ideal for a chef’s kitchen, but these materials may not also sit at the top of your list for best flooring materials…ultimately, the best material will change depending on each zone of the kitchen.
‘The material you select for surfaces is pivotal to functionality and needs to work with the cabinetry and other finishes in the space,’ says Mor Krisher, head of design, Caesarstone (opens in new tab). Curating a mood board with physical samples of worktops, door finishes, flooring, and backsplash is how the experts achieve a cohesive and successful scheme.’
Creating statement surfaces through an interesting and creative use of materials will transform a functional kitchen into a more beautiful, luxurious and artistic space; and as Kasia Piorko, design director at Kate Feather (opens in new tab) says, ‘surfaces offer chances to make small but impactful decisions – really refreshing breaks from the norm.’