The Kitchen, probably the room in your home with the most requirements â€“ practical, social and functional. You can make your kitchen the heart of your home by using some careful planning and these top design tips.
Letâ€™s start with the floor â€“ it needs to be hardwearing and preferably water repellent plus easy to clean. There are many types of flooring on the market that fit the bill â€“ laminates, ceramic tiles and flagstone to name but a few. How about natural limestone? It is great for kitchen floors as long as it has been coated with a special sealant to repel any water and oil. You can create a feeling of both space and warmth with its neutral, soft colour and introduce texture with its slightly mottled pattern. Care for your limestone floors by cleaning with a good quality natural soap and wipe up any acid based substances straight away as they will leave marks
Wow! Where to start? The choice of kitchens now available is overwhelming. A good starting point is to choose a style that is sympathetic to the period/ architecture of your property. This does not mean that because you have a 300 year old farmhouse that you have to have a farmhouse style kitchen if that is not â€˜ your thing â€˜. If you would prefer something more sleek and modern then go for it! There are no hard and fast rules. You could opt for a rather eclectic look such as sleek, cool stainless steel fitted units and mix with freestanding pieces such as an old , rustic butchersâ€™ block set on chunky legs. Freestanding furniture gives you the opportunity to add some extra storage and a place to eat. This could be used as a work surface, maybe an island or as a kitchen table. How about introducing an industrial feel by placing aluminium stools around the butchersâ€™ block table?Â Opting for this style of mixing fitted and freestanding pieces will create an interesting and more original look whilst also offering greater flexibility to you in the way you use your kitchen.
Efficient appliances are essential in any kitchen and you can choose to have as many or little as you want â€“ not everyone wants a dishwasher or state of the art integrated coffee machine!Â Maybe incorporate your appliances into a flush-fronted run of cabinets or choose freestanding. There are now many styles to choose from ranging from the traditional Aga to sleek, stainless steel range cookers. Or opt for integrated for a totally sleek, seamless look to freestanding 50â€™s style Retro pieces which are available in an exhaustive choice of colours!
Consider how much room you need for storage against how much living and eating space you require. This will help you to design the layout of your kitchen accordingly. Storage is a top priority in any kitchen with fitted units being the most efficient use of space with cabinets housing deep shelves and drawers. On the upper walls you could opt for wall cabinets, maybe glass fronted ones to display decorative glass and china or maybe no wall cabinets and have open shelving instead. Open shelving makes the room feel bigger and more spacious. Use old pitchers and ceramic containers to hold utensils, and glass jars on the shelves/worktops or windowsills to keep your dried goods in order.
The fun part! Complete the look right down to the last detail with some carefully chosen accessories. Choose accessories that will add character, colour and texture. Â For example, if your kitchen is contemporary or an industrial style then introduce some pretty linens, dainty china and old enamelware such as pitchers brimming with fresh garden flowers. This will bring warmth, softness and variety to the cool backdrop. Utensils in open pots and jugs give a more casual feel.Â Add an enamel bread bin and storage containers and wooden spoons and utensils a plenty. Donâ€™t forget to complete the look with pretty tea towels, tea cosy, Aga covers, seat cushions and complimentary window treatments.
Images House to Home.