In my last interiors post where I was debating whether oak worktops were worth the hassle (you guys! 97 comments! That makes it officially my most commented post ever!), there were recommendations aplenty for Howdens. You readers raved about both the real wood worktops and the laminate options that Howdens have to offer (so much so that I dragged my brood to our local store to have a look for myself). So when Howdens contacted us to ask whether we would be interested in a sneak peek at their new Kitchen Design Trends Guide I jumped at the offer.

The guide covers six different trends for 2018, the first of which is the Refined trend.

The Refined Trend {Style}

Now if Rock My Style were a kitchen I’d like to say it was a Refined one. The Refined style is a timeless and elegant one, classic yet with a contemporary edge, and a sprinkling of old-school Hollywood glamour. And it’s one of the looks we are considering for when we makeover our kitchen, most of the materials were provided by Aero Manufacturing

To nail the Refined look, go for Shaker style kitchen cabinet doors (a design which will never go out of style), luxe materials, and a predominantly dark and moody colour palette. We’re talking inky blues, deep charcoals and rich teal tones. Throw in some muted greys, pastel pinks and metallic accents to pop against the dark hues and add a decadent edge. Howdens have heaps of other styles of doors too, which you can check out here.

The Refined Trend {Features}

Luxurious materials such as marble are key to achieving the Refined look. But it needn’t cost you the earth. I had to do a double-take when I read that the worktops in the header image were in fact marble-look laminates: all the appearance and the beauty of marble, with all the practicality and low-maintenance of a laminate. The ones in the header are Howdens’ White/Grey Marble Effect Square Edged laminate worktops, and the Design Trends Guide also suggests quartz and solid wood oak worktops as alternative/additional worktops to recreate the Refined style. When choosing the best kettle for your kitchen it’s important to look at all the features on offer.

Art deco influences are an important part of the Refined trend so when it comes to floors, think detailed and decadent. The flooring in the image below is a chevron tile floor, which is a nod to the geometric style of classic herringbone parquet.

And my favourite feature of the Refined trend? DEFINITELY the hardware. Brushed brass and copper handles in slick and sleek shapes, all clean lines and oh so elegant. Anyone else following #mandymooresmidcenturymaison (the super-stylish renovation of Mandy Moore’s abode by interior designer Sarah Sherman Samuel) with interest? I reckon Sarah would snap up these brushed copper effect knob handles for Mandy’s kitchen before you could say “mid-century reno”.

The Refined Trend {Finishing Touches}

I love, love, love the tongue and groove wall panelling in the inspirations pics above. This is a feature I’ve been considering for our hallway but until now it had never crossed my mind that it could work in the kitchen too.

Finally, the all-important lighting. The gold pendant statement lights in the header are the perfect finishing touch to pull the room together, and if you look closely you’ll notice that lighting has been cleverly used in other ways to achieve the modern decadent feel – from the downlighters within the cabinets to the spotlights in the ceiling.

To check out the other five kitchen design trends that Howdens have highlighted for 2018, and ooh and aah over even more inspirational kitchens,

Once you’ve had a peek, do let me know which of the trends you reckon I should aim to incorporate when we give our kitchen a facelift. Bear in mind that ours is a modern house and the main requirement is that the updated kitchen blends in seamlessly to the living space at the other end of the room. I’m thinking maybe ‘Refined’ meets ‘Monochrome’ meets ‘Pure’?

Which is your favourite of the trends?

Do you have any big makeover plans for 2018?

This post was sponsored by Howdens, but you know us, we only talk about things we like.