What does your style of kitchen say about you? If you are what you eat, well, perhaps you are what you live and cook in too. All too often, when it comes to kitchens, safe wins against bold. If your kitchen is more toad-in-the-hole than Thai red curry, spice things up with a style injection.
The trouble with many a kitchen is uniformity. The most important room in the house deserves a mix of material and colour, rather than rows of bland cupboards. Mix stone, timber, stainless steel and glass. A combination of different but high quality surfaces will give a homely feel. The Varenna kitchen from Poliform is sleek yet warm, with its dark timber units.
Why choose a single colour for your kitchen? Offset a bold colour like bright red with white, as in this kitchen from Cooke and Lewis by B+Q. Vibrant shades give a boost of energy and update. A room with a high ceiling is the perfect vehicle for strong colour.
Replacing an uninspiring worktop with something unexpected can give your kitchen immediate edge. A coloured composite in a rich hue is a fun option – try Surface Tiles and their Technical Stone range. When it comes to thickness, the latest look is slimline, just 12mm thick. Specify a sharknose edge for an up-to-date look. Composites work well for the floor too, in large format tiles. They are incredibly durable and come in a myriad of colours. If you crave a change from the usual browns, beiges and greys they could be the answer. For an economical but no less effective colour hit, painting cupboards a rich hue gives them a new lease of life. Try the Little Greene Paint Company for paints with high pigment content and great coverage.
Even in a predominantly neutral scheme, a spot of colour, like a punctuation mark, can make a statement. Hardware offers a great opportunity for a bit of boldness. The range of Pop Art knobs, handles and light switches, with arty names such as Mercer knob in Hockney Red and Bauhaus Pull in Clockwork Orange will stand out in an otherwise simple scheme. Available from Haute Deco. Your taps needn’t be stainless steel or chrome.
The KV1 mixer tap from Vola comes in an array of colours and makes food preparation less of a chore and more of a joy. Think of them as fabulous little accessories for your kitchen, like of the interiors equivalent a pair of vividly coloured heels with an LBD.
When it comes to lighting, large, decorative lights bring bucketloads of personality to a kitchen, or any other room for that matter. Very much in vogue at the moment, a statement pendant gives zing to a kitchen counter or table. It provides a great focal point and is so much more interesting than standard recessed spotlights. A dimmer is an absolute must for changing the mood or drawing attention away from messy worktops. Architect Thomas Housden’s debut terracotta and white pendant from Hand and Eye studio manages to be both warm and slick. Terracotta is an underrated material for interior use. The Spanish understand well the virtues of terracotta. It is such a primal and earthy material that belongs in the kitchen just as much as in the garden.
The most welcoming kitchens are those where all the utensils are on display, like well- loved tools in a workshop. Solid shelves piled with plates and pots and pans rather than hidden away out of sight in cupboards are reassuring, showing that this is a working space, which nurtures and sustains.
It is only with use that kitchens live and are at the centre of our homes. Being bold is about making confident choices and expressing our true selves; not about trying too hard or showing off. Do what feels right and your kitchen will keep on giving.
Surface Tiles surfacetiles.com
The Little Greene Paint Company littlegreene.com
Haute Deco hautedeco.com
Hand and Eye studio handandeyestudio.com