Julia Trendell, design expert at Benchmarx Kitchens, comments on how you can make the most of the latest Pantone Colours of the Year, ‘Illuminating’ and ‘Ultimate Grey’:

“In a year where we all could do with some joy, the sunny hue of ‘Illuminating’ offers a welcome beam of hope. Paired with a lasting neutral, ‘Ultimate Grey’, the newly iconic duo showcases how two different elements can come together to form a complementary partnership, providing optimism and warmth while remaining grounded.

“Although the colour pop of ‘Illuminating’ can be introduced as a feature in itself, the calming grey helps to dilute the vibrancy to create a scheme that is ideally placed in your kitchen, living spaces, utility room and beyond.

“For an instant update, consider creating a feature with a patterned splashback behind work surfaces. A tile-effect design, such as Benchmarx’s new Maltese Ochre Acrylic splashback, brings the two colours together in a look that will require minimal additional styling across the surrounding room. The splashback can simply be cut to size and fixed to the wall for an easy-to-clean, long-lasting and stylish focal point that embodies the new Colours of the Year.

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“With ‘Illuminating’ providing a lively aesthetic, the combination works particularly well with neutral accents that will complement ‘Ultimate Grey’ to create a more laidback look. Consider introducing worktops featuring grey, cream or white detailing, or alternatively, create a bolder look with matt black accessories, such as a striking tap, sink or pendant lighting.

How to style Pantone’s ‘Illuminating’ and ‘Ultimate Grey’ in your kitchen

Benchmarx Kitchen’s new Maltese Ochre Acrylic splashback embodies ‘Illuminating’ and ‘Ultimate Grey’ to offer the perfect pairing. The easy-to-fit surface offers the look of tiles, without complicated grouting. Prices start in the region of £166 (inc. VAT) per 3m length.

“For a more subtle way of bringing the colours into your kitchen or surrounding living space, utilise the grounding elements of grey as your base. ‘Ultimate Grey’ is heroed for its embodiment of natural elements, such as pebbles on a beach and weathered outdoor surfaces, which makes it an obvious pairing for natures hues, such as forest green, oak and marble. Building the scheme in this way will create a timeless visual that never tires.

“Complete this look by introducing yellow colour pops through accessories such as stand mixers, tableware and soft furnishings. For a vibrant yet practical touch, showcase fresh lemons in a glass bowl – not only will this tie the colour scheme together, but it will offer the subtle aroma of citrus zest.”

The Benchmarx Soho gloss light grey kitchen is the perfect base to pair with ‘Illuminating’ accessories. Prices start from £1,632 (inc. VAT), based on an eight-unit model.

For further information about Benchmarx Kitchens & Joinery and to find kitchen inspiration, please visit www.benchmarxkitchens.co.uk. Here you can also download a brochure and book a free design appointment.

How to style Pantone’s ‘Illuminating’ and ‘Ultimate Grey’ in your kitchen