a variety of stoves in reds, blues, greys, greens, whites and black

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You might be thinking – what on earth is she talking about? Ovens can be boring and mainly come in white, black or, at a push, a gentle, tonal grey. They can be an unsightly central point in the kitchen. But you are incorrect, my friend. In 2017 I was tasked with the job of getting Jamie an oven. There were two stipulations. 1. It was induction and 2. It could fit a whole Christmas dinner in. But for me there was a third and far more illusive point to cover. The oven had to look good. And none of them did. Well, one of them did. Our lovely Stoves oven. A perfect blend of stainless steel aesthetic awesomeness and top of the range, well, range oven-iness. It didn’t have all the naff finishings that tend to turn me off most stainless steel cookers. It just felt like it was created with design in mind. So, I took the budget, tore it up and tell you what – our sexy stainless steel stoves stove still brings me joy to this day. And Jamie says it’s not half bad too.

A dog sits in front of a steel range cookers on a persian rug. There is a two tone kitchen behind with plants on the worktop.

That started me thinking, shouldn’t we be seeking more joy from what is arguably the most expensive and important component of our kitchens? Shouldn’t we be looking for cookers that are cool in isolation? That you can build a brilliant kitchen around? So, when Stoves popped up and asked me whether I’d be interested in styling up one of their Richmond Deluxe range cookers in one of their ten gorgeous new Colour Boutique shades, I was like – sign me up! And the one I went for? Well, it might shock you but I went for… a taupe. I know, very not me. And also, look at my moodboard, totally me. The Dulux Brave Ground model is all kinds of awesome. It’s gives you all the 70s vibes while remaining safely Scandi. It’s a colour that’s going to sit comfortably with loads of schemes so you can be sure it’ll work whichever direction your tastes lean in the future. Want to see were I went with this? Of course you do.

The Big Bold Brave Ground Stoves Kitchen of Dreams

A moodboard for a kitchen. A kitchen with light wood units and a marble worktop. There a veined tiles in a herringbone pattern on the wall behind and an orange vase plus a Dalmatian print kettle. There is a oak dining table and bench style seating with vases of poppies on top. The concrete floor has a peach persian rug on it. There is a chevron striped wallpaper on the wall and a blue sideboard with vases and flowers on top. a print with tower bridge is hung on top of it

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, neutrals are necessary. No maximalist worth their salt will deny deploying a healthy dollop of neutrals to their home in order stop it looking like a. a mad clown palace or b. an avant garde Vogue shoot. You got to have balance. If you’re considering a statement shade, you have to give it something to pop against. With that in mind, I present to you a scheme I’m calling Nouveau Kitsch. It’s playful but grown up. Glamorous but liveable. Bold but relaxing. Here’s how I did it:

The starting point

First job is always the foundations, then comes the fun (I promise @thecrapflat isn’t writing this for me) so I took the oven and started dropping in the main players around it to see how it worked. I knew the high gloss and rich colour would need juxtaposing against something with texture and interest so these Porcelain Superstore tiles were perfect. The caramel hues of the oven are picked up in the grain of the marble and the matte finish provided some much-needed contrast. Then to really double down on the luxury materials, this Custom Fronts Oak Kitchen adds another texture and I set it all against a lovely a calming griege wall. Because this is fictional and therefore my budget is A BILLION DOLLARS, I also went with a polished concrete floor.

The finishing flourishes

I was never going to leave it at that, though. Time to add colour and accessories and the ‘pop’. In steps the greatest statement wallpaper ever, courtesy of Ottoline. It’s a blue, peach and cream geometric dreamscape. Then you need somewhere to store all your crap while breaking up the lines of the wallpaper. This Blue Homary sideboard is just the ticket. Cute curves a go-go. A naughty but nostalgic print is a great way to inject personality while diluting the bold pattern of the wall and a peach Persian rug is the ideal thing to tie it all together. Add a beautiful set of benches and huge dining table made for entertaining (when we’re allowed) and you’ve got the makings of the finest kitchen ever. And all this started with a tremendous taupe Stove!

And it’s not just Brave Ground that’s got me going

I only had to do the one stove for this particular challenge, but I couldn’t resist playing with a few of the other models from thenew Colour Boutique collection. Launched to celebrate Stoves’ centenary year and based on research by WGSN, the leading authority on consumer and design trends, the new colour collection was created to suit any individual preference. And they certainly do, thus:  

A botanical bonanza with Anthracite Grey

If you’re after something to make cool cabinetry sing, then the classic Anthracite Grey range is the one for you. Pair it with something punchy like these olive units to keep things looking polished and grown up. Then add a vast floral mural (such a good rhyme) and you’ve created yourself a bohemian botanical paradise – just the thing while we’re struggling to get out and about.

a moodboard for a kitchen. There is a large floral mural behind a pea green kitchen. There are thistles and foxgloves and cow parsley and dandelions. There's a grey range booked in the middle of the scene

A Mojito Mint pastel playground

Love the 80s? Love candy colours? Love stripes? You need to get yourself the Mojito Mint model pronto. It’s just the thing to make a pared back plywood kitchen look luxe and all you need to add is a splash of pink paint, some grid paper tiles and a statement striped wallpaper to create a cute but contemporary dining space.

a mmodboard for a kitchen. A mint green range sits in a light wood kitchen with a white worktop. A white and blue striped wallpaper is to the left of the range and there is a pink wall above. There are white tiles in a gridpaper pattern behind

Kingfisher Teal is the King of Cool

Nothing sets off a sultry, highly saturated scheme like a splash of teal. It’s grown-up glamour to the max. So couple up this bold blue cooker with a set of sleek and sexy walnut units and a burnished splashback for a Studio 54 feel, wherever you live. Finish it all off with a large and luxurious rug like this one and it’s always feel like cocktail hour in Casa ‘your house’.

a moodboard for a kitchen. A brass splashback has cream bowls in front on it on a white worktop. There are walnut doors on the kitchen and a teal stove sits at the centre. On the floor there is a cream patterned rug with cranes on it

Competition Time!

Stoves and Dulux are also offering the chance to take part in an amazing competition to win your very own oven in any of the ten shades plus paint to pull your scheme together. All you need to do is head to Pinterest to make a board of your own, choose a Colour Boutique Richmond Deluxe oven as inspiration and share the link to your mood board with Stoves on Facebook or Twitter by 21st March. A panel of judges from Stoves and Dulux will select one winner so what are you waiting for – go get creative! For a little inspo, should you even need it after all the wonderful schemes I’ve served up, you can go and check out the Stoves mood boards on their Pinterest page as inspiration.

There you have it – point proven, I reckon, on the value of a statement range. They are an instant injection of personality and knod to eccentric British design. You can go beige, the brightest blue or the richest red but whatever unusual hue you go for, it’s guaranteed to elevate your kitchen from functional canteen to elegant eatery in a jiffy. Now get whittling, you’ve got ten shades to pick from…

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