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Inspiration

One kitchen, five ways

Kitchens in darker colours such as Farrow & Ball’s Railings and Neptune’s Ink have been particularly popular over the last few years, and we don’t see that changing any time soon. Bold, moody and sophisticated, these deep shades really make a statement. However, it can be tricky to know where to start when it comes to choosing colours to complement them.

Members of our design team are frequently asked for advice on choosing the perfect tile to match a particular colour of kitchen cabinetry. It’s something we love to help with, and the truth is it’s a question with many answers.

It all depends on the look you wish to create. Perhaps you prefer a clean, contemporary finish, or maybe you're keen on a cosy, country cottage feel. Perhaps you’ll fall for the boldness of contrasting colours, or maybe you'd like to relax into a more harmonious look…

In this article, we take a classic navy blue kitchen and show you five different ways that you could style it using tiles, cabinet hardware and accessories.

As you can see, different tile colours dramatically alter the feel of a kitchen. Read on to learn more...

LOOK ONE

The tonal palette

For a look that’s classic yet contemporary, consider closely matching the colour of your tiles to your cabinetry.

Here we have chosen an intense dark blue tile, Figgins Lane from our Savernake Collection, which has wonderful movement of colour that adds interest and variation. As a colour, blue always brings a sense of calm – and while one might expect the overall look to be quite dark, as you can see, the glossy glazed surface of the tiles reflects light around the space beautifully.

These small 13 x 6.3 cm bricks are accompanied by Silver Grey grout. The contrasting grout lines create lateral movement while also bringing out the pale silver veining of the marble worktop and enhancing the crackle of the tiles.

This look really allows the fixtures to sing. We have styled this kitchen with polished chrome handles and accessorised with mixed metals like copper and brass to add warmth. Luscious green houseplants add life and vitality.

LOOK TWO

Quite complementary

Speaking of vitality, if you want to create a look that’s both impactful and beautiful, complementary colours are the way to go.

Here, we have coupled our navy blue cabinetry with the golden, mood-boosting warmth of Saffron tiles from our Halcyon collection, with each colour enhancing the vibrancy of the other. Our colour expert, Anita, spent a lot of time in the lab perfecting this colour to create a balanced tone that is sunny yet sophisticated.

These tiles are pressed by hand, and have a thick and characterful body that is rich with texture, which adds a wonderfully rustic quality.

We have arranged these 11 x 11 cm square tiles in a grid layout, with White grout creating a subtle statement.

Brass hardware, an aged flagstone floor and warm wooden accessories complete this inviting and timeless look, creating a cosy feeling that brings to mind those wonderful evenings of early autumn.


LOOK THREE

In harmony

Here, we have chosen College Fields bricks from our Savernake collection, arranged in a herringbone pattern layout with Silver Grey grout. These small 13 x 6.3 cm bricks are one of our most popular tiles, and extremely versatile thanks to their subtlety.

The dark blue cabinetry brings through soft blue tones in glaze of the tiles, while the tile colour adds softness and harmony to the space, retaining a crisp feel reminiscent of Scandinavian interiors.

The kitchen is brought to earth with classic timber worktops and natural stone effect porcelain flooring. Powder finished pewter hardware is the final touch, creating an overall look that is truly classic, balanced and beautifully serene.

LOOK FOUR

With a twist

Dark blue and dusky pink really do bring out the best in each other in this unexpectedly grown-up, rich and warming combination.

Here we have chosen to contrast the dark cabinetry with 11 x 11 cm square tiles in Wild Rose from our Halcyon collection, arranged in a grid layout with White grout. The rustic, handmade body of the tile has an aged feel, adding texture and traditional charm.

We’ve chosen to complement this gorgeous palette with high shine, brushed nickel hardware, and added natural wooden elements. The warm tones of the natural stone-effect flooring adds to the cosy feel.

LOOK FIVE

Simply classic

You can’t go wrong with a classic navy kitchen and white tiles. Though they may be considered the safe option, white tiles really do provide a clean canvas, brightening up a room whatever the weather. This tile in particular – Nice and Easy long brick from our Cool Companions collection – is a lovely option, because it features an undulating surface that will reflect light around your space.

Because of their size, larger tiles such as these - which measure 33.5 x 11 cm - create fewer grout lines and a cleaner look. We have chosen our darker Medium Grey grout to draw attention to the geometry of the brick-bond layout which adds movement without overpowering the design.

White tiles will always stand the test of time, and allow you to update accessories with the seasons, or even to change the colour of your cabinetry once in a while for a reasonably fast, but dramatic kitchen makeover.

Here, we have paired our navy cabinetry and white tiles with high gloss chrome handles and a natural timber worktop, which softens and warms the overall feel.

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Whether you are considering a complete renovation or simply looking for small ways to refresh your space, your choice of tiles can be truly transformative. Whatever the scale of your kitchen project, we hope you’ll find the inspiration you’re looking for here.

And if you’re not sure where to start, we encourage you to get in touch with our design team – we take great satisfaction in helping our customers create a look they love.

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Pat Jones

“Marlborough are a trusted collaborator to design unique tile collections which delight our customers”

Rebecca Malon, Head of Design and Product Development Neptune

“We are delighted with our stunning tiles - the colour and finish have brought our kitchen to life.”

Nicky Sweet

“Over 20 years, our brand has relied on Marlborough for specialist colour and glaze development.”

Colin Roby-Welford, MD of Fired Earth

“Superb! Great design advice on combining styles and colours. Thank you for going the extra mile.”

Emma Todd
Marlborough Made