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The heart of the home, for some. A super sleek showpiece, for some. A den of creativity, for some. Where the food lives, for some.

Kitchens are used and unused in all manner of ways dependent on our lifestyle and interest in cooking, but always an essential component to all homes. Now even sought after when traveling, with more people opting for self catering accommodation.

Often on projects a kitchen designer is employed to focus their expertise on delivering a custom room. I appreciate this specialty for the high level of skill of the build and kitchen technology does fascinate me. However, do we all need this extravagance or could we consider a kitchen re-think and simplify an area that often becomes an extended store room for unnecessary clutter?

I have tried to break down the essentials and practicalities required within a kitchen and pair with what I enjoy most from a kitchen, to create a room that is beneficial to my everyday purpose. Ideally I would also revert to having the kitchen and dining area as one room rather than the open plan layouts offered so often today.

Below is my thought process and images to illustrate my ambition in simplifying and focusing the needs required from the everyday kitchen.


The Sink - the bigger the better in my opinion, otherwise am always struggling to wash large platters and chopping boards without getting water everywhere. I also prefer a seamless sink that is carved out of the counter top for a modern uninterrupted line and clean surface. Important to consider is the drying area. I love this long rack behind the sink idea, large enough for any plate or platter. Add to that a sloped bank to one side of the sink for drainage and this is a winning concept for me.

The Stove - This is possibly where I would invest in a beautiful range cooker. I personally enjoy cooking and a high quality stove ranks as a necessity for my dream kitchen.

The Larder - the best way to do away with endless cupboards! In my kitchen you will not find any high level cupboards. I'm too short to use them, they feel oppressive and further increase the need for stuffing with unused equipment. A long bank of low level cupboards along the walls or within an island suits me fine. Add a corner converted into a walk-in with wide shelves for the larder essentials.

Open Shelving - This aids in adding warmth and personality to the kitchen. It's where I would display tableware collections, vases, platters, artwork etc. Placed above the bank of low level shelves, at an easy reach height or floor to ceiling as shown above. Granted this goes against my high level restriction but those shelves would display art work or beautiful sculptures that need not be moved regularly.

The Dishwasher - neatly encased within the low level cupboards. This should be next to the sink, and I keep all the liquids and tabs within reach in an adjoining cupboard.

The Fridge/Freezer - To be seen or not to be seen? To avoid the need for creating a bespoke, fully integrated kitchen I'll opt for a statement fridge. I've had my eye on this sexy black number for ages!

The Dining Table - as large as is possible so I can spread out work, magazines, florals to ready for vases, accommodate great dinner parties and Sunday brunches. Modern or rustic, I don't mind, a good contrast certainly adds interest.

Lighting - To continue bringing in layers of personality a large vintage pendant would take centre stage within the working area, with wall lights to focus direct light where required. No spotlights in my interior! Intimate lighting from lamps and lanterns illuminate the dining area.


Texture from natural materials is my priority within the kitchen. These provide a holistic atmosphere which I feel is important in the area dedicated to nurturing our bodies. Add to this some warm metallics for a touch of glamour.

I prefer a seamless stone for counter tops, but a butchers block timber top is also very appealing. {until you see the option in the last image... which has me totally in a spin!}

I'd choose timber cupboards, finished in either a natural wood stain, painted oyster white, or black.

Love tiles to add a layer of colour and texture. I like using these simply as the up-risers along the back of the low level cupboards. These gloss black ceramic tiles integrating a shallow shelf are so fine! Otherwise I'd probably opt for something with an ethnic pattern.

To the walls a rustic finish feels homely. Either a white wash brick or a polished plaster finish for textural interest.

The floors would be wood as gentler to falling objects and warm underfoot. I'm not fussed with staining over time as it can be sanded back, re-stained, re-painted or left to absorb and showcase the stories created within the room. I'd opt for a smooth and almost joint-less finish to make daily cleaning easier.


Art - essential in every room!

Rugs - Certainly below the dining table to cocoon this area. I find cowhides also really durable in a kitchen as unexpectedly easy to keep clean

Mirrors - Great way to add a layer of luxury to the kitchen. Now that we have removed all those high level cupboards there is loads more wall space to animate!

A large open fireplace - Harks back to kitchens past and is the most welcoming, warming extra which will bring everyone in on a cold winters day or even a summers evening for wine and games around the dining table!

Finally one of my all time favourite small kitchens, as many city dwellers are more likely to have, but still accommodates some of my essentials. Note the seamless counter top and no high level cupboards. Instead there is a wall of clever 3/4 high cupboards on the opposite side, offering endless storage to keep this small space clutter free, yet leaves a lovely plinth for displaying some art or collection of vases. One fab modern pendant offers all the light necessary.

The most important advice I can give is be honest in what it is you actually need and use within your kitchen. What will make life easier, specifically in the day to day clean, as this is what bores me the most. If you don't cook, keep the prep area to a minimal and emphasize the entertaining area instead. If you regularly create a mess whilst being inventive, focus on surface space. Be mindful of what you actually have to store and plan your storage accordingly. You may realise you need a lot less cupboard space, resulting in a more efficient space, leaving room for more fun!

To end here's a blank canvas which would be divine to complete! and Hello brass counter top...

For loads more kitchens to inspire head over to my Pinterest page dedicated to this musing

*Images all via Pinterest


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