Help! Kitchen advice needed!

28 September, 2015
Help please!! We've just had a new kitchen fitted and a quartz worktop and I'm panicking that I've made a very expensive mistake. I think the quartz is too white for the units, I much prefer the colour of the walls against the units (an off white/cream). I'm worried it looks too clinical! I usually love grey and white together but the units are actually more of a taupe grey and I'm not sure they go :-(.
How do I get the two colours of white work tops/cream walls to work better together?
I need to get bar stools to go under the overhang on the island, what colour/material do you think would go best?
I'm too scared to pick anything else now incase I make more expensive mistakes!!
Thanks in advance!!

Comments (38)

  • PRO
    Roxyma Dream

    Hi Lizzy! First of all, let me just say, that is one gorgeous kitchen space, love the island!

    I'm not sure if this is because the pictures a little bit dark, but I really don't think it looks as bad as you think at all. There's hardly any difference between the colour of the walls and the worktops! If the clash between the 2 whites is what you think doesn't look great, then that could be fixed very easily by repainting the walls in the same white. After that, to get rid of that clinical look, just play around with the decorations, everything will look a hundred times better with a few family picture frames and decorative hearts around, which they have in the same colour as your cupboards. I would even go a far as to say maybe bring a completely contrasting colour (like yellow or purple) when decorating to bring even more life to the room. Needless to say, a white vase, with grey/taupe decorations and some purple and green flowers will make a huge difference. As to the stalls, I would say pick some that have white legs, and a wooden seat the same colour as the cupboards, or even bring that contrasting colour in them too. Hope this helps :)

    Aleks x

  • PRO
    Home By Design Ltd
    I would change the handles on the cupboards to be white :)

    I would also use some metallics and darker accessories to dull down the 'clinical' look you seem to have.

    I absolutely adore your kitchen personally!!!

    Jade (Home By Design Kitchens)
  • minnie101

    Hi Lizzy. Your kitchen looks great. The pic doesn't show much of a contrast between the top and walls tbh however I might try a pale shade of stone if you don't like it, have a look at farrow and ball skimming stone. Or if you want to try a grey have a look at strong white. I think the kitchen just needs some accessories in a variety of textures to bring it to life. Maybe try herbs/plants, wooden chopping boards, maybe something in stone/marble etc. I've copied a link for some inspiration re accessorising. I'd go for a mix of wood and metal for the stools. good luck, it's beautiful!

  • mrsmcee74
    I think it looks stunning and different shades of white work together, they don't clash. I would introduce an accent colour to warm things up a bit - are you tiling above the range cooker? And I notice you don't have any soft furnishings at the Windows, it will feel more homely when you've added those finishing touches and it's an opportunity to add colour, pattern and texture. Then use the colour for accessories and stools. As for colours pretty much anything will go - turquoise, mustard, red, green, burnt orange, purples. What are your favourite colours?
  • mrsmcee74
    On the shelve above the range you have some decorative accessories but they don't have any colour. You could add a gorgeous vintage style clock above that beam in an accent colour. I'm envisioning yellow/mustard as an accent and also throw in some navy blue with it.
  • bookworm987

    I love your kitchen! As everyone else said, it's the accessories and artwork that will make the room pop, so don't worry, you've a great base to work from. If you really wanted to change the wall colour, I'd suggest a very delicate silvery purple. It would warm the space and make a lovely contrast with the taupe. Ikea have lovely white wooden stools that would soften the look, especially if you added coloured cushions.

    INGOLF Bar stool with backrest White 74 cm - IKEA · More Info

  • PRO
    If your lamp light is too bright - try warm White light bulbs - will add a creamy element !

    Looks lovely to me too by the way !!!!
  • house mad
    Skimming stone on the walls will warm it up and match the units whilst making the white a wow factor.
  • PRO
    Studio 3 kitchens

    Hi Lizzy, stop panicking you have a very attractive balanced pallet. and with the white worktops being a bright neutral it works perfectly, very 'post modern rural' as the comments above suggest look at dressing the room. all the best.

  • Emmanuelle
    I love your kitchen! In fact, I want the same one! I love the colours, they are muted and very harmonious. For your stools, I would try to find antique ones, wood mixed with metal... Maybe old school lab ones? or the Tolix ones would look great!!
  • PRO
    Akiva Projects Ltd


    I personally like your kitchen and I don't believe there is any mistake done.

    There are a few images I have collected for you. In your case I would think of some nice splashback. That can help blend all together, I especially like the last image I have listed for you, where the mosaic tile splasback is a great feature.

    StJames Design Interiors

  • house mad
    I personally thought no it's lovely
  • lizzybaggott
    Thanks very much for your help!!! I will get shopping for accessories to tone down the difference and might pluck up the courage to discuss getting the decorator back with the hubby!!!

    I will be getting behind the cooker tiled so will explore some different colours to try and set the room off nicely!

    Liz x
  • house mad
    Best of luck it's gorge X
  • lacollins2
    It looks absolutely beautiful! Use some clever lighting to soften the worktop if they look a little bright but I love the grey and white contrast!
  • headers13

    I think it looks gorgeous Just put some accessories in. Wood tones would be good & silver/chrome. Kettle, fruit bowl etc.

  • PRO
    MLS Kitchens

    This now is all the rage believe me - I could send you 20 customers who now have these subtle but current colours - you have made the correct choice !!!

  • PRO
    Amber Jeavons Ltd

    Hello Lizzy,

    Yes I think you have chosen good cupboards and the worktop is fine.. Look at some lovely accessories to add warmth to the space... Wooden chopping boards... Perhaps a wooden drainer... Marble pestle and mortar.. The only element I think could benefit from change are the handles... Think you could find this link useful...

    This style door is really lovely without handles... and perhaps you might want to consider it... OR what about this in nickel.....: ))

  • PRO

    Hi Julia, it's a beautiful kitchen but I see exactly what you mean. The warmth of the wall is accentuating the cool blue tone of the worktop. The only solution is to repaint the wall in a very pale tone of the same colour used in the units. The coolness could be balanced by adding warmth in terms of materials such as wicker stools (if possible). The area behind the cooker would look fab tiled with Emery and Cie handmade Moroccan tiles - have you seen them? Best of luck.

  • keen bean

    Don't worry about re-painting or making any more mistakes, gorgeous kitchen just needs a bit of soft colour. Pastels? Duck egg blue, mint green, pale pink? And a lovely vase brimful with flowers on the island. It's simply not finished or "home" that's why you are not sure whether you like it. try some soft coloured tile samples and balance them there until you decide.

  • PRO
    Maple & Gray

    I think your kitchen looks lovely but sometimes it can just take a bit of time to get used to a new space. Grey and white is a really popular scheme at the moment and it can sometimes look a little cold. I liked the suggestion above regarding lighting - warm lights rather than cold will make a big difference. I'm not sure if you're planning on getting a blind but soft furnishings can help warm up the space as well as warmer coloured accessories. I notice you haven't got a splash back behind the range - perhaps you could add something a little warmer in this area to blend it all together - perhaps tiles rather than glass to add a bit more texture. Good luck!

  • PRO
    London Kitchen Store

    Hi Lizzy. Firstly I think your kitchen looks lovely so you shouldn't be worried about it. The contrast of frontal colour to worktop colour really works well. As has been said in previous comments there are quite a few things that you could do and without wanting to sound like a parrot, here are my thoughts of which you could go with any one of them

    • Paint the walls the same white as the worktop
    • Depending on your colour preferences you could go with a bold colour for the wall colour taking away the differences between the whites
    • If you stay with the white walls then by furnishing them with photo frames, pictures etc. can also take the eye away from what is standing out to you at this time
    • With regards to the stools there have been quite a few good examples already but I would say that I would go with a stool that either matches the frontal doors or the worktop colour

    I am sure that by the time that you are finished you will be happy with the end result and start to enjoy your new kitchen.

    Good Luck!

    London Kitchen Shop

  • PRO
    Apollo kitchens Ltd

    Hi lizzy.

    Basically everyone is correct with what they are saying, 1, you have a nice kitchen and 2, you just have to add a bit of colour to the kitchen, which will take your eye away from the two main colours.

    You can use a glass splashback with any RAL colour you want. Personally I don't like/recommend tiles anymore, due to grout getting dirty and looking old in time. Yes you can re-gout, but with glass you can just wipe it and it's done. If you get tired with the glass colour it's a lot easier to change than the tiles.

    The country style kitchens justify tiles but the modern kitchens nowadays it's all about clean lines.....less is more.

    You can even change colours with kettles & toasters. Or even a nice big vase of flowers on the island will draw your eye.

    whatever you do i'm sure it will be right....

  • PRO
    Henderson and Redfearn

    I would agree with most of the contributors, I think the combination works well and once you add accessories and settle in using the space you will get it how you want it. You have to live with and in the space for a while and it is amazing how your tastes change and develop. One practical suggestion maybe add a focal point on the wall behind the oven/range, a painted glass splash back or tiles? Maybe a splash of colour, introduce a new bold colour which you can then link your accessories with. You have done a great job, enjoy your kitchen.

  • PRO
    freelance kitchen designer

    Hi Lizzy,

    The kitchen looks great but you are obviously not happy with it. You can't really do a great deal other than accessorize, without major expense. I would go for quite a vibrant wood for the stools like Zebrano and look for a matching large chopping board and knife block. You will need something behind and to the sides of the range cooker or you will be forever wiping the painted surface and due to the close proximity to the walls it may get scorch marks from the gas burners. I am currently doing a lot of design work in California and the subway type tiles are very popular at the moment. You could do this in the range area and then paint the back wall of the alcoves either side of the cooker a couple of shades lighter than the tiles. A large artwork piece would look good on the left above the bin. Hope this helps.

  • PRO
    Hand Built Designs

    Re-paint your walls with Brilliant white- completely neutral, won't fight with your quartz and will also allow the colour of your cabinets to sing. It might be worth painting your splash backs a few shades lighter or darker than the cabinets to add some extra depth to the space (see image) and to combat what you perceive as being overly clinical. It's difficult from your photos to assess how strong the cabinet colour is. Re: the stools, natural timber to tie in with the flooring or otherwise something bold like signal red or orange.

  • standroid

    The white quartz is fabulous, very practical, very fresh. Get over it.

  • PRO
    Glenlith Interiors (Scotland) Ltd

    Hi Lizzy

    The kitchen is nice, the work surface is very White but nothing to worry about.

    I think the floor is the main issue. It's too dark for that door choice, it's making the worktop and wall colour stand out more.. A lighter shade large format tile or LVT, would change the whole look of the space. This would allow the Quartz and wall colour to blend in.

    Do you have any lighting under wall units, this would help. A warm white LED system could be installed with ease, using a touch free dimmer to adjust light.

    I've noticed the range cooker is a tight fit with no handle space (recommendation is 150mm each side). This is space for reaching pots on back burners, when using front, also somewhere for handle to go without getting hot (if you think about it, the only place they can go is over another burner) , the kitchen designer should have known this. The main concern is no splash. This is a must! The wall at back and sides will be ruined if not addressed.

    Where is the kitchen from?

    What brand is the Quartz Samsung, Silestone or Compaq?

  • PRO
    Gaetan Richard
    Hi Lizzy, your kitchen is perfect.
    I am a fan of grey, white and oak together. And recently my wife made me chose a pale blue from farrow and bowl and it work with the grey. Your grey could probably go with a very light green. Good luck
  • PRO
    A Class Kitchens of Bedford

    Hi Lizzie. Firstly I think your kitchen looks great. Perhaps it feels clinical to you as it doesn't have many accessories.

    some potted herbs, I think sporadic purple accessories will work well. Lavender, vases, pots, tea towels and a clock

    Also some retro style tiling around the range to bring some colour in. See image below

    The kitchen below is a slightly lighter green/grey with white corian. They had a contrasting blue island with wooden worktop.

    Painted contrasting kitchen in Bedford · More Info

  • PRO
    Markham Webber Design Ribble Valley

    totally agree with all the comments. your kitchen is lovely, it just looks a little bare as you've not moved in and lived in it yet. Add some plants, add some accessories, get some warmth into the room. you could add some glass to the walls - particularly in the recess of your range cooker. I love the stone mantel. your room is gorgeous. I don't agree with the comments on your floor, it looks to me like it tones with the mantel. kitchens always look bare until they've been accessorised - this room has been brought to life by our clients use of accessories.

    Mr Mrs Sabanovic · More Info

  • Sara

    Hey Lizzy, just wondered what you did in the end.

    It looked great - you should share your final photos!

  • PRO
    Glenlith Interiors (Scotland) Ltd
    Floor tones with the mantle? Personally, I think the doors tone with mantle?
  • uk1982

    I moved into a newbuild house and had no say in the kitchen. The cupboards are a taupe colour very similar to yours and the worktops are cream. I have often thought I'd have preferred it if they had installed a white worktop instead of cream! I think your kitchen is perfect.

  • PRO
    The Lighting Company

    Wow what a beautiful kitchen! just crying out for a vase of colourful freshly cut flowers in front of the sink. Oh and a fantastic pendant light! check out our website for some vibrant Rio inspired Carnival colours or some more subdued Industrial trends.

  • 2015houseplease
    I think it's perfect t the way it is. It looks fabulous. I would not change a thing. Very very tasteful.
  • PRO
    Pamela Langbridge Curtains and Upholstery

    I just love it, bring more white in with stools, roller blinds and white china, could do some black contrast as well

  • donnawildy
    I love your kitchen, but I agree with Aleks about painting the walls on the left to match and you could put a backsplash with a colour that gives it some umph or some beautiful tiles with silver and glass with some texture

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