The materials used for kitchen and bathroom surfaces have a tremendous impact on the design of the space overall, both visually and practically. Now more than ever before, comfort and luxury are at the heart of kitchen and bathroom design. These are rooms that need to be as big on practical benefits as they are on style. The kitchen is a multi-functional space at the heart of our homes, while the bathroom is a home-spa, a place of sanctuary and escapism, and it is the surfaces chosen for these two areas that will have the biggest impact.
Surfaces such as worktops, countertops, walls and floors are all highly visible. This means that from an aesthetic viewpoint, the style and colours chosen really do matter. The kitchen and bathroom are also high-traffic areas, of course, so practicalities are just as important. Materials that are easy to wipe clean and can withstand high temperatures and spillages must prevail.
For work surfaces in the kitchen, heat and stain resistance are of extreme importance, which accounts in large part for the growing popularity of materials, including quartz and ceramic. Extremely hard-wearing, these materials are non-porous, stain-, scratch-, heat- and shock-resistant and also very strong and simple to care for, making them ideal for kitchens. Quartz and ceramic can be chosen in a wide range of colours and patterns, as the CRL Quartz and Ceralsio collections from CRL Stone demonstrate, making these materials an extremely flexible option for kitchen design in contemporary and classically-styled properties alike.
From a style viewpoint, large slabs can be used to create astonishing vertical surfaces on kitchen walls and offer endless possibilities for floors and countertops, visually expanding spaces with fewer design interruptions. Visual appeal is one of the main drivers for the popularity of marble-inspired patterns in the kitchen. The elegance of marble accounts for much of its appeal, yet the material itself is not overly suited to the kitchen environment due to its high-maintenance needs. Alternatives such as ceramic and quartz offer the opportunity to embrace this trend, both from a style and functional perspective. Although they can be chosen as imitations of natural materials such as marble and wood, quartz and ceramic don’t need to be sealed, which means maintenance is straightforward.
Revised classy marble and granite patterns displaying elegant veins used on kitchen worktops and on bathroom walls and floors create a sophisticated ambience that is the epitome of luxury and sophistication. The ancestral charm of stone makes it one of the most popular materials in contemporary design, with materials such as quartz and ceramic ensuring that this look is solid, durable and extremely versatile. CRL Stone surfaces, for example, are designed to interpret both more minimalist tastes as well as the more refined and stylish ones.
And with industrial styling being a hot look in contemporary interior design, surfaces made from quartz and ceramic enable materials commonly associated with professional kitchens to be included, making a powerful statement with their sheer simplicity. Packed full of modern style, concrete-effect big slabs inspired by this industrial material’s simplicity and strength are an ideal choice for creating a minimalist look and feel. Composite surfaces that celebrate the dramatic effects and contrasting colours created during the ageing process of raw metal, with a bold and arresting appearance, are perfect for urban and industrial settings.
Mixing dark and light tones on worktops is very much on-trend and creates an individual look that is particularly effective across large and open-plan spaces. Using different surfaces for different areas of an open-plan kitchen also helps differentiate – important in today’s multi-functional kitchen living areas. Some ‘zones’ within the larger space, such as where food is to be prepared, may require a more durable or water-resistant surface than others too, providing another opportunity to mix and match materials appropriately.
Overall, the latest trends in surfaces for the kitchen and bathroom give creative freedom while ensuring the finished space works on a practical level too.