Natural materials such as wood aren’t only a great choice when combined with the on-trend colour black – they’re durable, hard-wearing and add a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ to minimalist kitchens. Strictly speaking, wood is no newcomer to the kitchen, but it has shed its rustic image and provides variety with lots of new, innovative touches. This year, for example, kitchens with visibly grained wooden units, where right away you can see the real quality of the material, are in vogue. But wood doesn’t just look good: it absorbs odours, helps improve indoor air quality, can reduce house dust and has an antibacterial effect – perfect for the kitchen, where freshness and hygiene are essential. In addition to wood, other materials with the wow factor include natural stones such as granite, slate and marble. Together, they are unbeatable: for example, marble in shades of white and beige or dramatic anthracite, combined with light wood and white walls, will bring a refreshing Nordic flair to your kitchen. Especially in minimalist kitchens, marble fits perfectly into the overall concept – both in the form of tiles and as a work surface. Did you know? In most cases, it’s not real marble but ceramic or quartzite that looks like marble. Real marble would simply be too sensitive for an environment where wine, oil or acids such as vinegar or lemon are used.