A kitchen with sparkling surfaces is still a sought-after standard. But homeowners don’t want to settle simply for shine any more; they want a wow factor, too.
That dash of glamour comes in many shapes, sizes and textures. And it can be applied to all surfaces in the kitchen: backsplashes, counters and floors.
However, it helps to keep an open mind, says Marie-Claude Fréchette, marketing director at Ciot, which specializes in natural stone and ceramics.
“It’s best if you don’t have preconceived ideas,” she says, because the process of designing a new look for a kitchen takes not only taste and budget into consideration, but should also include what she calls “outside-the-box looks.”
To achieve this, homeowners can focus on what is important to them and showcase it with an original twist.
The latest trends in the kitchen, Fréchette says, include geometric shapes, a continuing use of marble, and combinations of materials: concrete and concrete look-alikes, wood, metal and glass. “We’re seeing a concrete look with wood, metal with wood or concrete, and wood with glass,” she says.
There is also the use of white. “White is very popular,” she says. “But natural-looking white with veining, for instance.”
Looking to make a bold statement? Fréchette suggests extending the backsplash over an entire wall to create visual impact. Marble can be a stunning choice.
Using mosaic tile across an entire wall is also eye-catching. The geometric patterns of the MUDtile collection, which is exclusively available at Ciot, provides a contemporary look that has lasting power, Fréchette says.
In counter surfaces, however, look is not always the dominant factor; maintenance requirements are also key.
But despite the new looks, opting for granite, especially in Quebec, is still a popular option because it’s low-maintenance and elegant.
Fréchette says a concrete look is making its biggest strides as flooring. While it’s not necessarily the material used in floor tiles, it’s the look that is created with porcelain in rough-textured finishes.
In addition, she says, a patchwork motif on floor surfaces can confer a custom look. This can be achieved by using as many as eight styles of tile in an alternating pattern for an impressive effect.
The size of tiles can give the appearance of greater dimension. Such tiles as those in the MAXFINE collection offer the largest size (29.5 inches square ). These porcelain tiles come in a polished finish, mimicking a marble look, Fréchette says. And they’re available in a slim quarter-inch thickness.
This thin tile can also be used creatively to cover the fronts of cabinets, offering a unique styling element, she says,.
Extending the flooring finish beyond the kitchen area to the terrace, for example, is another way to create a larger sense of dimension in a room – a feature that is appealing in the summer when entertaining takes place outdoors. •