Creating a chic and contemporary kitchen is a simple and effective way to set a sophisticated tone for your home. There is so much choice when it comes to modern kitchen cabinetry, so how do you create the perfect clutter-free room for relaxing and entertaining?
We have teamed up with Harvey Jones, specialists in bespoke fitted kitchens to find out how to create the contemporary kitchen look.
Modern cabinetry is all about uncomplicated colours. Bright white worktops are too ‘clinical’ for some people, but for others, they’re a simple and effective way to create an ultra-modern kitchen for family and guests to enjoy! Many manufacturers, including Silestone and Caesarstone, are now producing man-made composites that look like natural materials. Of course, while they can look just like marble or concrete, the real benefit of these surfaces is that they are much easier to look after than natural stones, particularly very porous ones such as marble. Material like faux marble is also amazing for creating protective splashbacks with less of the financial outlay than real marble, such as Carrara. The consistent colours and patterns of the latest composites are perfect for contemporary kitchens, and choice for these have taken off over the past few years to include everything from brilliant white to zingy orange.
We all dream of having a well-organised kitchen. So thankfully, modern kitchen designs revolve around the ‘uncluttered look’ that helps us stay calm and cool as we cook. For most of us, the main problem in keeping our kitchens pristine is our work surfaces. While we all might want that statement — and often used — KitchenAid mixer on show, that doesn’t necessarily work with all the other kitchen paraphernalia we collect over time. Hiding clutter in open-plan kitchens is essential. So, plan plenty of storage areas such as deep pan drawers and tambour units to keep small appliances, crockery and china out of sight. Floor-to-ceiling cupboards with no handles can hide a multitude of sins. So, if you have space, they’re a good investment. But remember, for your kitchen to work efficiently, you need easy access to appliances. Place pan drawers by ovens, larders close to prep areas, and china close to the dishwasher.
How do you get that sleek, aerodynamic look that creates a stand-out, modern kitchen? The best way is with handle-free cabinets. The in-frame construction of kitchen cabinet doors with no handles is both modern and extremely durable, which gives this design feature an edge on others. In smaller kitchen spaces, the absence of handles helps to make a room feel bigger, while in a kitchen with lots of cabinetry, it prevents an overload of steel handles. If you don’t want to commit to all handle-less doors, then you can integrate a run of classic cabinets a contemporary edge by dressing them with sleek bar handles. For an all over modern effect, add modern built-in appliances and top with cool composite worktops. Or, mix and match your kitchen style by incorporating flat-fronted wall cabinets.
Creating a modern kitchen is simple once you get the basics right. But if it’s all about minimalism and clean lines, what do you do about your cooking appliances? Today, there are plenty of contemporary-looking utensils and gadgets for you to choose from that give a complementary look to your modern kitchen. For example; if you have your heart set on a range cooker, choose one of the more modern steel models from Smeg, Mercury or Rangemaster. Integrate as many kitchen appliances as you want, and if possible, place items such as washing machines and tumble dryers in utility rooms. Ensure your fridge and freezer are stored behind closed doors, then keep sightlines clear by installing below-cabinet, in-ceiling or pop-up extractors. Investing in built-in cooking appliances with a sleek, glass zoned induction hob is another good move for a contemporary kitchen. Give the ideal finishing touch with a few modern-day luxuries — such as a boiling water tap, pop-up power points and cool lighting!
Advice for a contemporary kitchen:
- Vary your levels
A tall breakfast bar next to a lower-lying island is great for providing a relaxed but modern-looking place to eat in your contemporary kitchen. You can create several levels on a peninsula with a raised area to hide the washing-up from dinner guests, or even get a stool that sits just below your breakfast bar to add an extra level to your kitchen and maximise the seating area available.
- Simple and effective surfaces
A quick way to keep your design modern is to opt for glass or composite for your splashback. Laying large-format floor tiles and securing them with a matching grout gives the much-loved modern look, too.
- Customise your worktops
Install very thin worktops that help your units look more like furniture. Wrap a composite work surface in a contrasting colour, or place material around the cabinetry on your kitchen islands and at the end of runs.
- Brighten up your modern kitchen
If you played it safe until now, get creative with your choice of kitchen lighting. Plinth lights almost make base units look like they are floating above the floor, while installing cool LED strips to the interior of wall cabinets and shelves work to highlight favourite kitchen accessories in a contemporary fashion.
Going for a sleek and contemporary kitchen style with neat worktops and modern appliances not only makes your house look amazing, but it also keeps your room free of clutter giving you much more room to cook, relax and entertain!
As we hit Autumn, and particularly as September starts to roll on (where, exactly is the month going?) we start to think more about getting our homes ready for Christmas. Now, but that, I don’t mean we start sticking the decorations up any time soon, but we do think about the final home improvements of the year, and those little touches that will have the house looking its best before it is descended on by hoards of relatives.
The most popular room to redecorate and modernise is the living room, which is why you see all those furniture shops who have those never ending sales promising sofas that can be delivered for Christmas. But a living room update doesn’t have to involve lots of new furniture, it can be as simple as adding some new lighting, accessories and candles to give your room a new feel.
Change your lighting
The lights you use in your living room affect the whole ambience of the setting. Crystal lighting, in the form of chandeliers, is particularly beautiful and adds a touch of luxury to any room by being a focal point – a real statement piece. if you feel your room is too small for an ostentatious piece, then a crystal table lamp is another very attractive option. You can find some great examples of both at Sherwood Lighting.
Candles can leave a room smelling fresh and fragrant, and can also help to define the season through their scent. Yankee Candles are well known for the enormous variety of scents they create, including scents specifically for Autumn and Christmas. Autumn varieties include Autumn Night, Autumn Glow and Fireside Treats, both names that evoke the idea of nights drawing in and being warm and cosy in front of the TV. With prices starting at just £1.99 for a votive with 15 hours burning time, these are an affordable way to update your room for the new season.
A few new accessories
Re-doing a room from top to bottom can be very expensive, but adding a few distinctive and attractive accessories can make a real difference to a room. A mirror for a chimney breast is a great way to make a room look different, and appear bigger. As a lover of all things Art Deco I would try to source original pieces, but this is becoming more difficult, House of Fraser currently have some great Art Deco dupes in their fabulous Biba range, which give more than a passing nod to the great trend of the 1920s and 30s.
Scatter cushions, rugs and vases filled with fresh flowers also add lovely touches to any living room and help you to stamp your personality on your space.
Are you planning to revamp a room this Autumn?