The living room may be the social hub of the home, but many of us have a tendency to spend an awful lot of time in our kitchens. Whether it's from a love of cooking (or because it's where we keep the wine), we'll often find ourselves congregating there with family or friends.
Like any other room in the home you want it to reflect your personal style, but it's also a functional space so it's important that it works as one. Whether it's a large kitchen diner or a tiny galley, you can design and decorate your kitchen to make the most of the space. We give you our top kitchen ideas so, whatever your budget, you can create a kitchen you'll love.
STYLE & LAYOUT
Firstly decide what style of kitchen you would like. Are you after something traditional, contemporary and clean, or industrial for instance? Most kitchen companies do a range of kitchens to suit all tastes. Some good places to start are:
If you've got the time, and the budget, you could also consider choosing vintage or antique fittings. We love this cool kitchen with its 1940s bar furniture.
Once you've decided on style, it's time to master the layout. This is often restricted by the size and shape of the room or by plumbing and electrics, but consider whether you would like:
Of course layout is about creating the most practical space, so ask yourself how you want the kitchen to be used. Do you want it to function as an entertaining space or simply a place to prepare meals? Where will you have your breakfast? Is there adequate space for preparing a large meal when entertaining? Is there enough storage? Use a planning tool online (we've found IKEA's to be handy) or discuss the options with a kitchen company's in-house designer service.
- Think of the main activities in the kitchen: food preparation, cooking, serving and washing-up. Ensure you've got adequate room for all of these.
- Follow the 'triangle rule.' It's a basic rule followed by kitchen designers that, for ease in the kitchen, your sink, cooker and fridge should form the three corners of a triangle in relation to each other.
- If the space is small, consider open shelving, as overhead cupboards can seem somewhat imposing. If you must have cabinets, opt for glass-fronted ones.
- Reflective materials like white gloss, ceramic tiles or glass will bounce light around the room and prevent a small kitchen from feeling pokey.
Good storage in the kitchen is essential. Think about where you store your food stuffs. Is the olive oil near the oven? Are the teabags near the kettle? Are knives out of reach of small children's hands?
Open shelving looks great and ensures everything is easily to hand. Keep up the stylish aesthetic by decanting things into pretty pots.
Lighting You will need to consider task lighting for those fiddly chopping jobs but that doesn't mean you have to go entirely down the industrial strip light route, and whether you choose classic kitchen lighting or something a little outside the box is up to you.
SEE OUR LIGHTING IDEAS
WallsThere's also nothing to say you can't opt for furnishings in the kitchen that are traditionally suited to elsewhere in the home. Think outside the box and opt for living room-style wallpaper. Every kitchen needs a stylish wall clock and you can add personality to the scheme simply by choosing the right art work.
DECK YOUR WALLS WITH THESE WALL ART
Kitchen There are so many gorgeous kitchen products out there so even if you do nothing else, a cool new breadbin, colourful kitchen mixer or some stylish countertop coffee cups can add some real flair to countertops. And my goodness, they don't make tea towels like they used to. Why not even frame some for your walls?
If a complete kitchen revamp is out of the question, try these simple decorating ideas:
- A free-standing cabinet in a bright colour provides extra storage and a new feature
- Paint the back of glass fronted cabinets in a contrasting shade
- In a galley kitchen, paint a wall in a bold colour
- Update your kitchen table with colourful chairs; we love these candy hues