Whether you prefer a country feel, or a more contemporary vibe, there is a fresh new mood in kitchen design, packed with great practical ideas.
Trends in kitchens move much more slowly than in other areas of the house. Not surprisingly, considering its unique place as the heart of family life and the investment involved – both emotional and financial. For years one kind of arrangement seems to suit everyone, then suddenly – wham! – an entirely new kind of kitchen seems the only thing to have. Just such a change is happening now.
In this new mood, the overall look of one kitchen will still be very different from another – be it a country feel, or more of a slick contemporary vibe – but they will share a mixture of practical changes, that will make them all still very much the new kitchen.
These arrangements include deep drawers instead of lower-level cupboards, no handles on drawers and press-open doors. A long central bench and floor-to-ceiling wall cupboards, rather than lower and upper cupboards with a worktop in between. Units which look like freestanding pieces of furniture. Open shelves rather than closed cupboards. Entirely integrated appliances.
On the aesthetic side there are some radical new choices, including mixes of colours, textures and even worktop materials in one kitchen, and featured wood combined with other surfaces.
Most radical is the arrival of high glamour in the kitchen, via rich metallics mixed with the enduringly popular marble – and lots of it.
There is so much to be excited about in this new world of kitchens. Theme by theme, here is our round up of some of the best.
Different styles may go in and out of fashion, but the country kitchen will always be dear to the English heart – but that doesn’t mean it can’t change and evolve. (Wheatsheaf toaster, anyone?)
It might be as simple as taking a classic Quaker style and painting it a dramatic colour, or mixing two colours in one scheme, as seen in the two kitchens here.
Other key modifications which add an up-to-date flair without losing the classic charm, are having deep drawers rather than cupboards, and the biggest shift of the new kitchen – replacing wall-hung over-counter cupboards with open shelves and dresser-style units.
It’s one of those ideas that seems so right when you see it, you wonder why on earth we haven’t always had outrageous glamour in our kitchens. The days of below stairs are long behind us – indeed the kitchen is now the most important room, with an eat-in family space top of the list for homebuyers. Entertaining in the 21st century means you are as likely to be holding a glass of champagne, as a wooden spoon, in your kitchen. So it’s time to think of this space in a whole new way. And to celebrate it with luxury materials and rich textures.
When the built-in revolution hit in the mid-20th century it suddenly seemed very backwards looking to have any kind of furniture in the kitchen. As they got smaller, denoting the decreasing amount of time expected to be spent on domestic chores, with the arrival of labour-saving gadgets and food (Smash! Vesta curries!) and the hatch came in – even a table was considered de trop.
Now kitchens are getting bigger again, within multi-use living spaces, furniture seems like a fine idea again. It breaks up the space, provides extra storage – and comes as part of the kitchen build
The best of both worlds.
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen much exposed wood in a kitchen, beyond the bleached oak of a French Provincial dresser or table, but suddenly interesting timbers look very fresh and appealing.
Paint is lovely, but the grain and richness of feature wood brings warmth and integrity – and looks very sophisticated mixed in with contrasting white fixtures.
Black and white
What’s black and white and looking good all over? The modern kitchen. Dark colours are very striking, but can be a bit much for an entire scheme. Pops of white set it off perfectly, especially if the textures are also different, with matt black and shiny white the ideal combo and looking particularly good, with a bit of feature timber mixed in. It’s a sleek contemporary look, with a splash of bohemian cool.
The +Modo kitchen with a central island incorporating open shelving and glass fronted drawers. Available in seven standard colours with contrasting wood detailing. All Poggenpohl kitchens are made to measure so they expertly fit the space available. From £35,000 01483 566444 poggenpohl.com
A bespoke combination of Rencraft handmade butler cupboards with a SieMatic island. Rencraft / SieMatic by Rencraft kitchen cabinetry starts from approx. £25,000 01892 520730 rencraft.co.uk
Chamber Furniture This stained oak kitchen, features a liquid metal island with a timber breakfast bar. Kitchens from £40,000. 01959 532553 chamberfurniture.co.uk
Stoneham The Knole kitchen in Blue Hague. Kitchens from £25,000 020 8300 8181 stoneham-kitchens.co.uk Image courtesy of Connaught Kitchens, a Stoneham Kitchens retailer
JM Interiors This brief was for all materials to be sourced from local tradespeople. There is a walk-in pantry, with spice racks, a hidden coffee station and customised plate racks, and a submerged wine cellar. For cooking there is an Aga, Wolf oven and induction hob. Prices for bespoke kitchens start from £25,000 01580 291221 jminteriorsuk.uk
Krieder The Manhattan, finished in solid brass, £65,000 including appliances, worktops and installation. 01892 619721 krieder.com
Rencraft This bespoke kitchen was designed as ‘a contemporary kitchen pod landed in the middle of this period room’. On one side of the island the drawers are finished with patina brass. Bespoke kitchens by Rencraft, price on application. 01892 520730 rencraft.co.uk
Jones Britain Victorian Hand Painted kitchen, with oak cupboard carcases from £30,000 0800 8600435 jonesbritain.co.uk
Schmidt Chic Workshop from the Designer Line collection. Built in a former industrial workshop for the shoot, showing the practical storage elements, including the bespoke orange cupboard, with chairs and stools and a designer bar counter. These units are from the Groove range (Tabacco in the photo) and the Bolero range (Tangerine). The laminate worktops are in Tabacco and Nano Black. Kitchens from £10,000. 01892 547132 tunbridge-wells.home-design.schmidt
Stoneham The Ambience TT/Pro features smooth, flush-surfaced doors and crown-cut veneer finishes. 020 8300 8181 stoneham-kitchens.co.uk
Kutchenhaus The Structura kitchen, from £15,400. Kutchenhaus supplies fully rigid German kitchens built to order, direct from the factory. There are nine different price ranges, from £10,000 to £40,000. 01892 289070 kutchenhaus.co.uk
Adaptations The island is bespoke in American reclaimed oak with ebony-stained drawer fronts, the cabinets are from the handleless extreme matt range in Carbon. Kitchens from £25,000 01932 584940 adaptations.uk.com
A classic monochrome kitchen, contemporary but still cosy. From £20,000 01580 291221 jminteriorsuk.uk