Interior Design

Mixed materials kitchens are trending – experts explain the benefits of this creative aesthetic

Contrasting materials are the practical yet chic trend taking over our kitchens – this is why you should get involved

Mixed materials kitchen trend
(Image credit: Fascination kitchen by Mowlem & Co)

When you consider the vast stylish benefits of mixed materials kitchens – it is easy to see why they are having a moment. While combining contrasting materials offers the opportunity to showcase your personality throughout the focal point of your home, the craze is also wholly practical, as it allows us to zone our spaces and set boundaries for different tasks. 

See: Interior design trends – top looks for the year ahead

Plus, the mixed materials kitchen trend can work for every type of person, for every kind of kitchen, as the effect can be as subtle or adventurous as you desire. 

Mixed materials kitchen trend

(Image credit: Future)

It is certainly no secret that our kitchens have been a lot more than a kitchen over this past year. Between using the space for cooking and eating, it has become a classroom, office, and bar – so why not choose a surface for each of these uses? 

The top 5 benefits of the mixed materials kitchen trend

Here, the figures at the top of the kitchen design industry reveal the five benefits to mixing materials in your home – and we have a feeling this craze is going to stick around for a long time. 

1. Mixed material kitchens promote a versatile kitchen  

Mixed materials kitchen trend

(Image credit: Life Kitchens, Relaxed)

Since the past year has forced us to adapt our kitchens to fit several different roles – versatility has taken on an entirely new meaning. However, versatility doesn’t need to be boring. In fact, according to Home Designer at Neptune, George Miller, versatility is nothing but fun. And, mixed material kitchens allow you to shake up your scheme as you desire.  

See: Kitchen countertop ideas – worktop inspiration in marble, granite and composite materials

‘One of the many beauties of a painted kitchen is that you’re able to switch up the color as and when you please,’ George states.

He continues: ‘There’s nothing like a fresh lick of paint to completely alter the feel of a room. And you don’t necessarily need to repaint every single cabinet if you don’t fancy it. Concentrate on a central piece, such as a kitchen island, for contrast. Use natural materials for their character, tactility, and authenticity,’ he adds.  

2. Mixed material kitchens combine the best elements of different eras 

Mixed materials kitchen trend

(Image credit: Life Kitchens, Timeless)

So, you live in a modern home, but you want to inject some quintessential ambiance into your kitchen. With this trend, it is no problem. 

'So long as important design principles are adhered to, you can be adventurous when it comes to material combinations, contrasts, or blends,' begins Design Director at Mowlem & Co London, Jane Stewart.

'There's no reason not to use modern materials in period properties and vice versa, as long as the overall effect is sensitive and considered. The vital thing is to use the highest quality within the budget and to ensure the material chosen is suitable and durable enough for the tasks required of it,' she explains. 

3. Mixed material kitchens create zones in open-plan spaces  

Mixed materials kitchen trend

(Image credit: Fascination kitchen by Mowlem & Co)

See: Small kitchen ideas – turn your compact kitchen into a smart, organized space

It is perhaps no coincidence that the mixed materials craze coincides with the ever-increasing rise in popularity of open-plan living. As we continue to fall for the allure of this contemporary interior style, contrasting worktops allow us to curate different kitchen zones, which makes the space to feel more structured and organized. 

Head of Retail & Commercial Design at Life Kitchens, Graeme Smith, suggests that different worktops will promote ‘an organized workflow by creating invisible boundaries’ for separate tasks ‘such as food preparation, cooking, serving and dining.’

4. Mixed material kitchens designate surfaces for different tasks  

Mixed materials kitchen trend

(Image credit: Future / Linda Clayton)

‘When designing a kitchen, it is important for homeowners to examine their day-to-day tasks and materials that suit. Highly durable materials such as quartz, solid-surface, or ultra-compact surfaces are ideal for heavy-use areas as they are smooth, easy to wipe down, and very resilient to heat and scratches,’ Graeme shares.

He continues: 'Granite, also naturally hardwearing, has a cooler surface which is great for making pasta and pastry. Or, consider timber as a practical built-in chopping board or butcher’s block for easy access when preparing dishes.'

5. Mixed material kitchens showcase your different personalities

Mixed materials kitchen trend

(Image credit: Fascination kitchen by Mowlem & Co)

Every kitchen owner has more than one interest – and more than one personality – and a mixed material kitchen is the most effective way to celebrate them. Rather than opting for one block material, inject a range of textures and patterns in your kitchen, and showcase your favorite materials in one place. 

‘When working with a mix of materials, some may prefer to stay within the same family of shades to keep the scheme streamlined. However, keeping within a specific color palette does not restrict the opportunity to experiment with surfaces of various patterns or textures,’ Graeme explains. 

See: Kitchen tile ideas – to inject personality into your space

The only question now is not whether we should get behind the trend, but rather, which materials we bring into our kitchens first. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.