National traditions play a pivotal role in interior design trends across the world. Colour palettes and decorative features are largely influenced by a region’s natural landscape and the day-to-day life of its citizens.
But regardless of where you are in the world, the role of the kitchen stays the same – a room that, aside from cooking and storing food, is a great space for entertaining guests and one that is integral to family life.
Kitchen design should be adapted to suit your household, reflecting both function and style. Borrowing decorative styles from other cultures not only adds an exciting international flavour to your home, but can also be practical in streamlining it to fit in with your lifestyle.
Here are four popular kitchen styles from around the world to inspire your kitchen redecorating:
Scandi style is having an elongated moment in interior design. Synonymous with clean lines, effortless chic and a cool colour palette, Nordic design draws inspiration from the natural environment. This means plenty of earthy muted tones, minimal clutter and natural textures like wood.
For a truly authentic feel, stick to a white, grey and black colour scheme, using indoor plants and herbs to add a splash of colour. The lighter tones of Bianco Carrara quartz works well with white cabinets and pale wooden flooring. This pairing allows you to experiment with textures, using wood to bring warmth to an otherwise neutral palette.
To bring a breath of contemporary, choose handleless doors and give the kitchen an airy feel with open shelving. Don’t be afraid to accent with vibrant pops of colour. Natural light is a fundamental aspect of Scandinavian design, but if curtains are a necessity, use fabrics with eye-catching geometric patterns to add a little excitement.
Italian rustic design
In Italian culture, the kitchen is the place to socialise around the table with family and friends. It’s typically rich and warm in appearance, borrowing colours and textures from traditional Tuscan farmhouses.
Classic Italian kitchens combine textured walls in shades of cream and pale yellow with fittings of burnt orange, terracotta and other darker earthy tones. The rustic grains of Juparana Sol granite reflect these tones, particularly when complemented with dark wooden cabinets. To capture the Italian aesthetic even further, opt for terracotta tiled flooring – an inexpensive and easy to manage staple of Tuscan design.
To accessorise, hang copper pots and pans from walls and add flashes of green and red to reflect the natural colours of the Tuscan countryside. And, as Italian’s are passionate about their cuisine, don’t forget to display fruit, herbs, olive oils and a selection of good wines.
Japanese modern simplicity
A largely minimalist approach is used in Japanese kitchen design, with open plan layouts, sleek furniture and modern fittings that radiate simplicity. Emphasis is placed on symmetry, often with a single multifunctional island style worktop. The oven is typically less important in Japanese cuisine, with greater use of hobs for frying and boiling foods.
Black, white, red and silver tones take centre stage in Japanese design, with contrasting textures coming in the form of stainless steel, bamboo and silk. Dark granites such as Star Galaxy make great surfaces for island dining tables or breakfast bars that are so popular in Asian kitchens. Blonde wood flooring is commonly used, but tiled flooring is equally effective in creating an elegant Japanese-inspired space. Finish the interior off with little details such as potted plants, ceramic vases and colourful paintings.
For something a little more adventurous, an authentic Moroccan-inspired kitchen can bring a taste of the Mediterranean into your home. Influenced by the country’s lavish Moorish palaces and bustling bazaars, Moroccan design incorporates bold colours, sumptuous textiles and ornate mosaics into one sensual and enchanting palette.
Blue, green, red and gold colours are traditionally used, inspired by Morocco’s close proximity to both desert and sea. Coloured worktops, such as those finished in Rossi or Blu Luminoso quartz, are often matched with plain fittings.
Alternatively, handpainted tiles can be used on work surfaces, walls and splashbacks. Ceramics are a longstanding tradition in Morocco, where richly-glazed mosaic pieces sparkle against the country’s dry landscape. These tiles are also commonly used for flooring, a great way of incorporating imaginative patterns without it becoming too overwhelming. When using eye-catching tiles, it’s best to keep work surfaces neutral.
To bring the feel of a busy Moroccan spice market into your kitchen, meet bright colours with arabesque patterns, shiny metal antiques and ceramic cooking pots such as tagines.