The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in any house, and planning one takes time, organisation and plenty of creativity. Here, we look at the key considerations for building a new kitchen, and profile the latest work from some of Britain’s leading kitchen designers
When planning your new kitchen, the first step is to make sure you talk to a kitchen designer as early as possible into your project, to ensure that any work you carry out can accommodate specialist requirements for your kitchen. You want to avoid any costly retrofitting.
When designing your new kitchen, you need to allow enough ‘moving around’ space so that people can pass comfortably. Aim for 1 to 1.2 metres. You should think about your existing kitchen and what you like and dislike, and the gadgets you love to use. Your friends’ kitchens can also be a handy source of inspiration on what to include (or to avoid!).
When it comes to surfaces and finishes, give careful thought to what materials you use. Painted surfaces are versatile and can easily be updated. Wood looks good, but can stain and change colour with age. Metal is aesthetically striking, but has its own pit falls—copper, for example, can oxidise as time passes.
Finally, cram as much storage as you possibly can into your kitchen. Unless you’re a dedicated minimalist, you won’t regret it.
See also: Going for a Kitchen Makeover?
Made in Britain
Joinery company Plain English have enjoyed continued success since launching in 1992, with owners Katie Fontana and Tony Niblock critically feted for their simple, understatedly elegant creations, based on early Georgian ‘below stairs’ designs.
In 2011, Katie and Tony decided to launch British Standard, a collection of off-the-shelf cupboards that could be bought online with no design, delivery or fitting service. Customers could get the superior quality of Plain English at a much-reduced price.
British Standard’s Georgian-inspired, handcrafted cupboards start out as blank canvases. This lets you paint and customise them to suit your own tastes. Sumptuous detailing, like a Cararra marble worktop, stainless steel taps and copper detailing finish many of the designs.
For more information visit britishstandardcupboards.co.uk/
See also: House Style
Bespoke is best
Another British brand, Tom Howley, specialise in the design, manufacture and installation of bespoke kitchens created by master craftsmen using cutting edge technology. They offer a design service that takes in the entirety of a project, from initial concept to completion, and can be tailored to suit your individual needs.
The Leamington Spa kitchen is a great example of how to mix textures, colours and materials in your kitchen. An island unit—painted in a becoming shade of indigo blue—contrasts with a wall of pale cabinets. Natural oak and marble surfaces, plus accessories like copper accents and pendant lights, add a modern touch to this classic space.
For more information visit tomhowley.co.uk/
Master of all
Edmondson Interiors have spent the past 30 years designing kitchens and it shows. They can cater for your every preference, whether it’s a classic country house kitchen—all rustic wooden work surfaces, Aga and dim lighting, or a sleek modern space—streamlined cabinetry, slick marble work tops and glossy appliances.
For their Sevenoaks kitchen, Edmondson designer Simon Gray used two different styles of hand painted furniture in three Farrow & Ball shades (Manor House Grey, Hague Blue and Railing), for an American-style look.
Integrated appliances allow for masses of working space, the focal point of which is a honed Silestone countertop on the island. Little personalised touches include a tucked away ‘coffee station’ and a walk-in larder, while the floor comes in a grey smoked engineered oak.
For more information visit edmondsoninteriors.co.uk
See also: How to Improve your Kitchen