KITCHEN MAKEOVERS: WHAT’S HOT AND WHAT’S NOT
Refurbishing a kitchen should be based on more than just looks. Here are our top tips to creating a fashionable and functional space
Wow-factor can be added by knocking down walls to create large kitchen-diners. Open plan is a selling point for potential buyers. A desire for more space and light drives this trend together with less formal dining. The cook is no longer banished to kitchen isolation with a blend of living spaces ideal for both informal entertaining and everyday family life.
Floor-to-ceiling windows allow more natural light to seamlessly stream into a space. Not only do large windows mean more light, they can also be designed to frame views of the garden and surrounding landscape. If you incorporate bi-fold doors into a kitchen redesign, you can create a continuous flow between the outdoor and indoor areas, making the most of your garden space.
When designing open layouts, kitchen islands act as the middle ground between the cooking area and dining table. The counter-height island adds valuable food preparation and storage space and can also double-up as breakfast bar with the addition of stools.
While laminate worktops are often the cheapest option, they are rarely the best-looking or hardest-wearing. Consider other options to transform your kitchen space, such as shimmering quartz or granite worktops which are beautiful and hard-wearing. Many quarries and stone specialists have off-cuts going cheap. If wood is more your taste, then oak is a good choice. Local timber merchants are worth a look. Bespoke stainless steel and copper worktops are stunning and hygienic finishes to any kitchen, domestic or commercial. They can be made to measure with sink bowls, drainer units and splash backs integrated into the worktop.
Curves can be added to your kitchen to create a more contemporary, welcoming space. Advances in materials and tools mean designers are no longer restricted to hard lines, angles and boxy shapes for cupboards, breakfast bars and countertops. Curves are also practical, as they reduce the risk of small children knocking into sharp corners.
LED lighting is the future as it is brighter and more energy efficient than halogen or fluorescent bulbs. LED lights can be used in innovative ways to illuminate a wall, spotlight a cabinet or brighten the space above a hob. A trio of pendant lights above the kitchen island works well. If you like glitz and glamour, then kitchen chandeliers may be to your taste.
Hide dirty plates
Not everyone likes to be on show while cooking despite the trend for open plan kitchen-diners. If you are the sort of cook that uses every pot and pan in the house, then high splashbacks on kitchen islands are an easy way to hide mess and dirty dishes from guests.
Consider colour carefully. White need not be boring. You can add interest and dynamism to the room with brightly-coloured appliances or wall art which you can easily swap. Whereas it is harder to change bold hues on major surfaces. Tiles, backsplash, cupboards, counter top and trim all need to be colour co-ordinated to achieve an integrated look.
Extra deep drawers, especially by the stove, make storage of bulky pots and pans easier. They are an easy way to keep the kitchen clutter-free. Soft-closing drawers are standard in many kitchen designs now.
No-frills kitchens with clean-lined design have a timeless appeal. Heavy mouldings and overly-elaborate finishes are a thing of the past.