In today’s homes, a kitchen is so much more than just a place to rustle up meals, it’s also a sanctuary to eat, drink and relax with family and friends. Therefore, it needs some unique qualities. It needs the right kitchen accessories and must be tough enough to put up with heat, steam, spillage and foot traffic. Above all, it must have a happy ambience and reflect your sense of style. Get that right and you’ll have more than a place to cook!
Creating or upgrading a kitchen is always a daunting task. Do you go with a classic folksy style or modern, sleek minimalism? Perhaps you might like the eclectic style, and create something uniquely your own? Start with the basics – your space, your budget, and your vision. Then check online for inspiration. You’ll find a host of alluring kitchen décor ideas.
Planning your kitchen is a serious business, but one you should approach with a sense of discovery and creativity. First, consider your available space as this obviously limits scope and defines layout. Then consider style. Do you want a homely rustic style, or the understated elegance of urban minimalism? Your answers will determine your choice of materials and colours. Ultimately, kitchen planning is a blend of art and science and the result is a space that’s a pleasure to view and a joy to cook in.
When decorating your kitchen, start with colours as they powerfully affect the mood. Reds can energise a room and warm things up, whereas, blue and green imbue a calm feeling. Bear in mind that lighter colours add to a sense of space, useful in compact rooms. In general, floors should be darker than the walls and should also be more subdued. Décor wise, the world’s your oyster. One nice touch is to blend a classic look with ultra modern amenities to create a space that’s both elegant and efficient.
A kitchen is one of the more demanding rooms of the house owing to the constant flow of steam, grease and heat. This means you have to focus on durability as well as style when designing kitchen walls. Tiles make a fine choice being hardy and moisture proof, and come in a dazzling array of patterns. Paint is another option, being easy to clean, an important consideration in a busy kitchen. Kitchen wallpaper is another good choice. Style wise, one basic tenet is to ensure walls harmonise with cabinets and other functional areas of the kitchen.
There was once a time was when your only colour option for a kitchen was white, and it remains the most popular choice. White kitchens are undeniably stylish and impart a desirable sense of space and radiance to any setting. White also goes well with any mode of kitchen from classic to contemporary. Black kitchens, with their darkly stylish forms are proving popular. Your choice will depends on the resources at hand and, of course, the mood you want to create. Remember that small spaces benefit from light colours while dark shades make larger rooms cosier and more intimate.
Spare a thought for your kitchen floor, buffeted daily by an onslaught of steam, smoke, spills, and foot traffic. This demands a floor material that can continue to look good despite the stressors posed from everyday life. Ceramic tiles were long the flooring of choice being hardy, water resistant, attractive and easy to clean. Stone such as marble or granite is another favourite, especially in rustic style kitchens. Now you can choose from new floor coverings with intriguing properties. These include vinyl tiles and laminates as both are tough and waterproof and can natural materials.
Surfaces in kitchens have come a long way in recent years. Though the old staples of wood, ceramic, stone, glass and aluminium still reign, today’s kitchen worktops and islands are increasingly being graced by laminates. Affordable, hardy, and easy to clean, they come in a dazzling range of styles and patterns. For traditionalists, wood is a perennial favourite favoured for its natural strength and beauty. Stone, however, is hardier. Engineered stone can look wonderful and is acid-resistant and non-absorptive. Granite is another hardy favourite.
A kitchen is a major investment and when done well, will provide decades of pleasure, so plan carefully. A kitchen must be a place that makes cooking a breeze, can safely store everything you need, and inspire you over morning coffee. So consider the pragmatics – available space, volume and type of cooking you plan to do, family size, and so on. What does it look like? An old-fashioned rustic retreat or a sleek and futuristic zone? Choose a kitchen planning firm with flair and experience.
Open plan kitchens are increasingly in vogue nowadays as homeowners break traditional boundaries of interior design. Moreover, cooking is now seen as integral to the modern lifestyle and something to be shared and not hidden away. However, open plan kitchens need careful planning. It starts with an effective extractor hoods to remove smoke, steam and food smells. You need to get the kitchen lighting right, too. Your décor needs to blend in with the adjoining spaces, be they dining or living areas.
Creating a dream kitchen demands a specialised blend of art and science. Your kitchen planner must have the aesthetic sensibility to conceptualise a place of beauty, allied to a solid understanding of plumbing, electricity and local regulations. They must also be aware of all the available materials, accessories, finishes and raw materials. Hiring a professional is a must to ensure you stay within budget and avoid the many potential mishaps.
Many city dwellers own kitchens in which space is at a premium. Fortunately, with a little ingenuity and planning you can maximise the square footage available to you. First, choose colours wisely. Light hues or neutrals work best to create a feeling of spaciousness. Also sticking to just one colour scheme helps create a sense of openness. Next, consider shiny surfaces. Stainless steel, glass, ceramic tile, are subtle space enhancers. If you’re putting in a tiled floor, opt for light coloured large tiles with simple patterns.
Classic, retro, modern, minimalist, country, Mediterranean, eclectic, or Scandinavian? Kitchen styles come in a rich and diverse array of options. How to choose? Essentially, style is a very personal matter. We each have our own concept and we’re also influenced by the creativity of others. At the same time, we are constrained by budget, space, resources and the need for functionality. Ultimately, your eyes will identify and confirm the style that really calls to you. When you see the image that inspires you, you’ll be ready to forge it into something concrete – your dream kitchen.
Country style kitchens
There’s something wonderfully heart-warming about rustic kitchen styles. They hold the promise of hearty food, good company and show a refreshing concern for nature. The country style blends muted colours, natural finishes and solid wood, parquet or stone floors with vintage kitchen accessories to create an effect that exudes homeliness. But there’s no need to look old fashioned. Today’s country style kitchens can blend the charm of the countryside with the most modern accessories, storage options and finishes to create a cheery space that’s a delight to cook and relax in.
Today’s modern kitchens are masterpieces of style and functionality. They blend elegant sleek styles with the new finishes coming onto the market. These include veneers, lasertech and high pressure laminates which bring a smooth and seamless chic to any setting. In terms of layout, modern kitchens favour open plans, often delighting us with artfully placed islands. These create oases of functional space for food preparation and relaxation. Invisible storage options are another favourite with handleless cabinets that glide away out of sight.
Eclectic style kitchens
With so many tantalising kitchen style options available, it can be tough to choose. But why stick to just one? The great thing about choosing a look for your kitchen is that you’re not constrained by any one style. In fact, remarkable results can be achieved through blending motifs and models from an array of sources. With eclectic style kitchens you can blend styles, colours and designs to create a space that’s uniquely you. The result can be a quirky, enticing blend that defines and showcases your sense of style as well as providing the ideal place for culinary adventures.
Scandinavian style kitchens
A Scandinavian style kitchen varies from classic modes dating from the time of King Gustav III all the way to the latest Swedish modernism. However the defining factor is the use of natural materials and the relentless quest for a sense of light and space. Scandinavian style kitchens are dominated by the colours of the stark northern landscape – the white of snow, and the pastel colours of the seasons – mint, blue and grey. Add in open shelves and other storage units and you get a bright, airy and uncluttered feel. Floors tend to be wood and treated so that the natural grain remains visible. Scandinavian minimalism draws on the heritage of muted colours and add contrasts for variety. These contrasts can take the form of brightly coloured door panels or decorative tiles and add warmth to the austere white background. Other dramatic contrasting effects can be created by using black splashback, tiles or work surfaces.