The most obvious way to inject colour into a kitchen is through cabinets, appliances and paint. The problem is that trends change so quickly and very bold shades, in particular, can quickly date. A gothic makeover or candy crush colourway that you feel in love with last season may quickly become a costly mistake. A fabulous floor, on the other hand, can transform a new space but with a little more subtlety, be it part of a new kitchen design or floor-only refurb.
It’s only fairly recently that floors have become 'less ordinary'. For so many years, they were an after-thought, chosen to complement everything around them. Now, the design you choose for your flooring has the potential to be a key element of the space, allowing you to lead with the floor.
Luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) are an ideal option for the kitchen, because you can access endless designs with great performance benefits. Unlike many other materials, LVT is really easy to maintain, as well as being tough, waterproof and stain-resistant. It’s also very comfortable underfoot and far more forgiving in terms of droppages. Perhaps surprisingly, it can also be installed over underfloor heating, just like timber and tiles, for maximum comfort on chilly days.
Patterned designs can bring real wow-factor to the kitchen. Repeating linear patterns that combine a bold and natural tone work really well, as they draw the eye and introduce symmetry and colour, without being too overwhelming. Patterned designs can also be framed with plain tiles, or a contrasting décor, like a timber-effect. This creates a fabulous feature and can be used to zone floor areas, like under a table or around a kitchen island.
In terms of colour-ways, more natural pigments and muted heritage shades offer the greatest longevity. Oxford blues, opulent greens, slates and merlots are all 'on-trend' but they’re also design classics, so they’ll stand the test of time. From the floor up, colours can then be layered; a darker floor tone can be repeated on an island, on cabinets or walls.
For a traditional injection of colours, chequer boards are a great option. Black and white luxury vinyl tiles are always a popular choice and create a very smart look – but there are other options too. Our own Heritage Colours range also includes rich-toned Venetian Red and Bay Blue colour-ways, for a more contemporary twist.
If you’re looking to incorporate pattern, but prefer a neutral palette, Organics Design is a lovely option. It combines a mellow stone-effect with a cube-in-cube motif. Laid alternately, the geometric design creates an almost 3D illusion, alternating from light to dark – whilst repeating a single colour contrast creates a mini cube effect. Certainly not ‘square’ - in any shape or form!
Mark Findlay is the founder of flooring brand Harvey Maria, which he founded from his home in Battersea in 1994. A much-loved dog called Harvey gave the company its name, along with an appreciation of Ave Maria by the composer, Franz Schubert! The Harvey Maria vision was to create colourful, dynamic designs for surfaces that, up until then, had been largely neglected by the design community. Initially, prototype designs were created using a natural cork substrate overlaid with printed pattern and protected with a lacquer finish. As the company grew, the move to LVT provided greater opportunity to scale the business. While best known for its striking designer patterns - with collections from British Designers, Neisha Crosland, Dee Hardwicke and Cath Kidston – Harvey Maria also offers a wealth of wood and stone patterns throughout its collections.