Kitchens can often be time-consuming. Even when there isn't a large surface area to paint, "cutting in" around all the units can take time. And ofetn there are awkward areas that are visible, and need to be painted, but aren't easy to reach. But the kitchen is often referred to as the heart of the home, so it's worth spending time thinking about the look and feel you want to create.
If you're starting from scratch and fitting new units etc, then to some extent you have a "blank canvas". In this situation, it's good to get the various contractors to talk and plan out who is doing what at what time. Quite often I will go in after the old kitchen has been removed, and paint the walls and ceiling before the new kitchen is fitted. I can then return after the kitchen fitters have finished to do any touching up that is needed, and paint any woodwork. This minimises the risk of getting paint on the new units, and also makes those awkward-to-reach areas much more accessible for me! I've worked in this way on a number of occasions with both Quoin Construction and Blueprint, both of whom I can recommend wholeheartedly.
From a design point of view, as well as creating the right atmosphere it's really important in a kitchen to be practical. Surfaces need to be easy to clean and wipe down, so I'm not a big fan of using wallpaper too near where food is prepared (although it can look great in kitchen-diners). Hard-wearing, easy-to-wipe paints really should be considered whenever possible. After all, you want your new kitchen to stay looking its best for as long as possible. I'm always happy to advise on choice of paints, and can arrange to have your colour mixed in the most suitable paint for your kitchen.
In many cases I'm not a big fan of using wallpaper in kitchens, especially near where food is being prepared. It can be hard to remove splashes and stains from paper, and the steam from cooking can also make it peel away from the wall. Having said that, it can look great in a kitchen-diner to create a different, more sophisticated atmosphere in the dining area.
So these photos show the same kitchen-diner shot from two different angles, so you can see the "diner" end with the wallpaper on the left-hand shot, and the "kitchen end" without on the right.
Tiles can be a more practical solution around areas where food is prepared or near sinks etc. Even realtively plain tiles can be made to look interesting by offsetting them in the way that bricks are laid, rather than sitting one directly above another. This is a clever way to create interest without introducing additional colours.
Usually my involvement in a kitchen is limited to the painting, or possibly (as above) some tiling. But on this occasion I was given the project of renovating an entire flat, and (with a little help when it came to fitting the worktops) that included fitting a new kitchen.
Certain colour schemes seem to create the same atmosphere regardless of what room they're in. I've used the combination of warm creams with "duck egg blue" colours in a number of different rooms (dining rooms, living rooms, bedrooms) for different clients, and the result is always a classic, calm and natural feel. This kitchen-diner is no exception.