Creating a new kitchen from scratch can be one of the most expensive projects in any house renovation. And it can be utterly daunting. It has to work hard, fulfill many functions for the family, and it has to stand the test of time. All too often I’ve seen kitchens that have been crammed full of cabinets because the home-owner has wanted to maximise storage space. All well and good. But it’s often to the detriment of character. It is possible to create the perfect kitchen, with more than enough cupboard space, that is practical to use, and has bags of personality to boot.
Say No to Wall Cabinets
I know it’s tempting to fill all of that wall space with cabinets but it can make a space feel smaller and quite catastrophic. Your kitchen planner might push for it, but are they just trying to get you to order more than you need? A much better use of space is to use one wall only with floor to ceiling storage. Deep drawers are much more practical than cabinets lower down, as you can access the back and see exactly what you have. And you can use the storage space nearer the ceiling for items that you only use occasionally. This will allow you to keep the walls above your worktop free of cupboards and create a much more light and airy feel to the room.
Get Creative With Color
There’s no rule that says you have to use the same colour cabinets everywhere in the kitchen. A darker shade lower down will anchor them to the floor, while using a lighter colour higher up will make heavy items disappear. Especially if they are the same colour as the walls. This is a good trick if you’re going to ignore the first tip above and go for wall cabinets anyway. It’s quite common too to paint the island unit in a different colour. It can be a bold accent colour to make it stand out, or a lighter colour to minimise its impact in the room.
Don’t Ignore The Lighting
The kitchen lighting will have to be considered at the beginning of the renovation so that any messy work can be done first. Allow for plenty of task lighting above your work surfaces but they don’t have to be boring spotlights. In the absence of wall cabinets you can opt for decorative wall lights that will also do the job. Angled lights that you might usually associate with offices can be very practical and look amazing. If you are having ceiling recessed lights, make sure they are positioned so that you are not working in your own shadow. And you will also need a good light above a dining table. This can be decorative and if you put it on a dimmer it can also alter the mood easily. But don’t ignore the humble table lamp either. Placing one on the end of a worktop or on a sideboard will alter the atmosphere of the room completely after dark.
One of the easiest ways to add more interest and personality to the kitchen is to shop around. You don’t have to buy everything from one shop and accept the limited choices they might have. Ditch the stainless steel sink for one in copper for instance. Hunt for more stylish taps, and at the very least change the door and drawer handles for something more in keeping with the style you have in mind.
Add Art and Something Vintage
Adding something vintage will create a lot of impact as well as personality. Not to mention give you a lot of satisfaction. It may be a simple set of wooden shelves, or an old wardrobe to hold all of your tableware. The juxtaposition of old with a new kitchen is very effective. Art is another thing that will add interest, character and meaning to you. It doesn’t have to be old oil paintings. It could be inspiring quotes, favourite recipes or the children’s paintings in frame.
This kitchen is the deVOL Classic English Kitchen that has been used in a moated medieval house in Lincolnshire. Granted it has beautiful bones, including the original stone floors, grand proportions and historic stained glass windows. But it is the usual deVOL skillful styling that has given this stunning kitchen it’s warmth and personality. Features such as the tall glazed cupboards which store, but allow you to view, lovely collections of crockery and glassware. Plus the addition of one of their own Haberdasher’s glass sideboards in which to store linens.
All ideas that any one of us can use for inspiration.