Consumer expert Jennifer Newton offers advice on how to create a kitchen full of character and personality.
The key to a successful scheme is maximising light. South-facing rooms will receive daylight naturally, but if you have a darker, north-facing kitchen, introducing a glass ceiling will help to fill the room with natural light. Cream or white cabinets will also give the illusion of more space and light, while laying a pale porcelain tile floor throughout an open-plan area will seamlessly link areas and enhance a spacious feeling.
Lighting can bring a kitchen to life, and is especially important for entertaining. Plan for integrated lighting, such as LEDs and recessed spotlights to emphasise space and highlight detail. Consider adding one or more suspended pendant lights above a table or island unit to create definition between different zones. There’s a great range of affordable designs available on the high street, so there’s no need to blow your budget.
Spacious, open-plan kitchens will often need to combine cooking, living and dining areas, so choose a design that mixes practicality with family comfort to create a more relaxed feel. Classic, painted Shaker cabinets suit this style, with the wood mimicking built-in living room furniture. A statement island unit is a great way to create a striking focal point in your scheme.
Designer work surfaces
Designer work surfaces By choosing less expensive cabinets, you can allocate more of your budget to worktops. Solid surface materials, such as Corian and LG Hi-Macs, are available in a wide range of colours and create a smart look, as do sinks made from the same material to seamlessly join the worktops. Composite work surfaces, such as Silestone Quartz or Caesarstone, are as popular as granite due to their hardwearing nature and extensive choice of colour. To add further impact, opt for a splashback made from the same material as your worktop.
Cabinet style and worktops command attention, but so do the latest appliances. Large fridge-freezers in vibrant colours, for example, are a striking feature in any scheme. Modern, built-in ovens have been around for a while now, but when teamed with a matching built-in coffee machine, they can help to create a luxurious look. Combining a state-of-the-art induction hob with a statement cooker hood in stainless-steel and glass is another great way to create the look of a high-end scheme.
All prices and stockists correct at time of publishing.