Achieve the perfect balance of luxury and edginess in your kitchen
“Shabby chic” is so 90s. In 2016, the hottest way to achieve the look of luxury (that is a bit down at the heels) is through the “Rough Luxe” design concept. Originated by designer Rabih Hage in his London hotel of the same name, it is a design approach that pairs rundown (to downright ramshackle) design elements, alongside immaculate and lavish décor cues.
“But, how do I capture the Rough Luxe look in my kitchen?” you ask. Follow these 3 steps and you’ll soon be cooking and dining in a space designed to capture the imagination with its many layers.
Step 1: Start with an exposed backdrop.
The initial concept behind Rough Luxe is the removal of any structural ornamentation considered “unnecessary”. Though exposed brick walls, timber beams, and layers of peeling plaster might seem like an effortlessly cool way to style your kitchen, it’s not exactly easy to achieve in a newer build. To get the look in your home, begin with the floors. Consider a thick beam hardwood floor stained white. Or, go hard with matte black slate tiles. On the walls, take inspiration from the disintegrating mansion in your town and fake the undone plaster look. Ask a professional to do this however, because it’s advanced DIY!
Step 2: Add rustic looking cabinetry, and a smooth worktop surface.
The key to pulling off the Rough Luxe look in your kitchen is finding clever ways to incorporate materials from both ends of the price spectrum (though not necessarily quality). On one hand, using plywood stained to showcase its grain, for cabinetry gives a kitchen a decidedly industrial edge. Pairing it with a matte marble worktop however, ensures the overall décor scheme is chic. Whatever materials you do end up using, the key is to use only the most premium.
Step 3: Finish with layers of accessories.
The legit Rough Luxe look is completed with a range of accessories that are seemingly “curated” over time, rather than purposely acquired to pull of the design scheme. If you’re not the 10th generation of an aristocratic family fallen on tough times, or lucky enough to be living next to a centuries old barn filled to the brim with bric-a-brac, you’ll have to outfit your kitchen with items that look like they’ve been well used over the years.
Think patina! A dining set purchased unfinished, painted white and then given the sandpaper treatment is a great kitchen showpiece. If you want to upholster chairs, consider unconventional fabrics like canvas, or reclaimed leather. Over the dining area, suspend industrial pendant lights, which are easily found in antique stores and online. Exposed shelving made from reclaimed timber and inexpensive metal brackets are also a nice way to your store your fine china alongside mason jars filled with spices.
If you love the Rough Luxe trend, but aren’t sure if it’s right for you, just adjust the amount of “rough” and “luxe” elements to suit your space and your tastes!