Aim for a Cohesive Interior Scheme

Match your kitchen to the style of your home’s interiors, or emulate the style of the period in which your house was built.

  • Choose a kitchen designed with a particular era in mind (Victorian detailing, for example, remains popular)
  • Reference original features in your home — such as choosing wooden cabinets which echo exposed beams
  • A cohesive colour scheme will make for a smooth transition between the kitchen and adjoining room(s)

Choose Design Classics

There are some features which, despite the ebb and flow of interior trends, remain a staple on many a kitchen wishlist. The ceramic butler or Belfast sink – most suitably paired with a bridge tap – is a prime example.

Again, some range-style cookers are achingly sleek and modern in design, but many models have retained their traditional, timeless looks — fitting as comfortably within the 21st-century kitchen as they did in those 50 years or so prior.

When it comes to the units, traditional-style, in-frame painted timber cabinetry and Shaker-style doors remain ever-popular, regardless of passing trends.

belfast sink in a farmhouse style kitchen

The Belfast sink – as used in this oak frame home – is always a popular addition

Keep ‘Contemporary’ Kitchens Simple and Neutral

Timeless does not need to mean traditional. But today’s ‘contemporary’ designs, by very definition, are tomorrow’s past looks. How do you go about injecting modern style without being left behind in coming years?

  • Keep things simple and neutral. White is an obvious option, but a soft neutral can also work wonders.
  • Handleless designs are a good choice, but keeping it simple should not equate to stark.
  • Introducing texture into a scheme through the use of enduring materials such as timber, can add warmth. Despite recent trends for dark, exotic hardwoods, pale woods remain a good choice with light neutrals.
a clean crisp white kitchen in a contemporary style

White, handleless units have been used in this kitchen extension, and are complemented by the light fittings and cool grey floor

Opt for Integrated and Built-in Appliances

  • Integrated appliances, concealed behind unit doors won’t give away their age.
  • Impressive, high-spec items which are perhaps unlikely to date so easily – the large American-style fridge being one such example – can be built in.
  • A handful of statement appliances (such as the iconic and ubiquitous Smeg fridge) can safely be left freestanding and on full display

Update the Accessories — Not the Kitchen Units

Small appliances, accessories and artwork can be used to great effect. Such paraphernalia can bring added personality and flashes of colour to otherwise neutral kitchen schemes. When you fancy an update, it’s so much easier (and cheaper) to swap these than it is to replace the entire kitchen.

a contemporary kitchen with lots of accessories

Jeanne and Tim Flynn have chosen a modern, but simple kitchen, and gone all out with accessories

Use Natural Materials

Timber and stone have an enduring appeal (but may require some maintenance). Wood can work wonders for shelves and the units themselves, but long lasting timber worktops may need regular re-oiling. Granite, on the other hand, provides a robust, low-maintenance surface.

Invest in Quality Cabinetry — and Plentiful Storage

The unit carcasses are the backbone of the kitchen, so it’s worth investing in quality cabinetry, and in durable drawer runners and hardware too. You can always change or repaint the doors in the future — look for inexpensive replacements from Bella and Zurfiz by BA.Specifying a good-quality timber kitchen is one solution/ Look for:

  • dovetail joints
  • robust runners
  • good storage that can be adapted to your changing needs
  • drawer and cupboard liners that will aid the longevity of your units

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