A kitchen is never “just” a kitchen. For many people, designing theirs is the most exciting part of building or refurbishing a house, and there are so many different elements to take into account. Size, use of space and suitable storage solutions are all vital parts of its creation of course, but, beyond these, there are so many different kitchen styles available that, really, you should try to decide on a “look” or aesthetic before you even start mapping out the floorplan.
The best kitchens are created to perfectly complement the rest of the home’s décor. Your property needs to have a sense of flow in order to keep you and your guests feeling right at home when passing between rooms. A dramatic change as you step through the next door can jerk you out of your comfort zone – something you should try hard to avoid.
However, if you are planning to spend a lot of time in your kitchen – whether it’s a kitchen diner or you have friends who seem to gravitate towards this particular room at parties anyway – it’s likely that you’ll be aspiring towards a sense of comfort and homeyness in the space, however, the rest of your property is decorated. Here are a few tips from Kitchen Warehouse to keep your kitchen looking and feeling as cosy as possible while still ensuring that its design ties in with the rooms that surround it.
Implement Wood Into The Design
Wood is a popular, renewable material that offers the option of softer edges and warm coloured finishes however modern or “old-fashioned” you prefer your space to look. If you opt for wood that is treated to look natural, it’s easy to achieve a traditional, rustic look that will really help in your quest for a cosy kitchen.
Oak replacement kitchen doors and drawer fronts – even when fitted to kitchen units that are furnished in more “contemporary” materials, can soften their appearance and allow you to achieve a sense of comfort within the design.
Wood can be carved into attractive shapes to add finishing touches that are sweet and delicate, or tactile and chunky, and the material is also really easy to maintain – you can simply sand off any surface-dwelling stains and plane down the edges of doors that have swollen or warped. It is also great if you like to regularly change up the look of the room, as many varnishes and finishes can be stripped off and replaced with something entirely different, such as colourful paints.
Use Warm Colours and Tones
Whether it’s a reddish wood stain or claret-coloured tiling, an autumnal palette always works wonders in the kitchen – particularly if you have a fireplace or stove, as it will pick up the rich glow of flames beautifully. This is another reason that wood works so well when you’re trying to create something homey. Many natural designs of timber come in honey-like tones that complement reds and browns really nicely. Remember, you can opt for coloured worktops to match your theme too, and contrasting painted kitchen units with doors of a different colour can keep the space looking modern while retaining a cosy feel. Both matte finishes and high gloss can work nicely when aiming for comfort, as one offers a softer look while the other can reflect firelight beautifully.
Warm-coloured stone also works really well, whether as flags on the floor or as polished slabs used for work surfaces.
Use Complementary Accessories
The kitchen is perhaps the place where form and function meet to the most profound extent. Decorating with vintage items such as old-fashioned teapots, rustic rugs and rich coloured wall hangings can really soften the space and make it feel stylish but “lived-in”. Pots and pans hanging on display, tastefully mismatched crockery and coasters and placemats created from natural materials are also attractive finishing touches that appear inviting and pleasant to guests.
Subtly patterned tablecloths and stylish centrepieces can provide the perfect finishing touch to a kitchen table, and additional furniture in corners invites guests to use the room as a social space, not just a functional environment.
Lighting and Decor Is Key
You need to be careful when creating the lighting design for your kitchen, as it can be tempting to try and generate a cosy feel with soft, low wattage bulbs – but this can become a real pain when you’re trying to see properly during the preparation of a particularly fiddly dish! Keep the lights bright but choose a warmer hue of bulb, such as a straw yellow, instead of white. You can always choose to fit dimmer switches so you can adjust the ambience for anyone dining in the space later.
You need to take cleaning into account too, so using shades on your light fittings may be a bad idea, as cooking can send grease into the air which will then gradually coat anything hanging down from the ceiling and cause dust to stick to it. If you have a dining table at the other end of the room, a more elaborate hanging light fitting will work well here as it will be far enough away from the hot pots and pans, but simple LEDs, flush with the ceiling, will look just as good in an old fashioned kitchen as in a modern one. Wall sconces, too, work nicely, as they are fairly easy to clean, and can be selected in both traditional and contemporary styles.
It’s nice to keep some of the more functional – perhaps less attractive – items out of sight too. Using wooden cabinet doors to disguise your bright white fridge and industrial silver dishwasher helps to keep the flow of your design intact.
If you would like to pick up some more ideas for cosy kitchen design, visit the Kitchen Warehouse LTD showroom at Hutton Moor Farm, Hutton Conyers, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 5LZ – or contact our friendly team to talk through your ideas with us and see how we can help you. The number to phone is 01765 640 000, or you can email us via [email protected].