Baby, it’s been hot outside. Well, briefly. But once you’ve packed the barbeque away for the summer, it’s time to get back in the kitchen. Contemporary kitchens need to multi-task, sharing food preparation and eating space with living, work and play areas. Get it right, and the heart of your home will be a sleek, uncluttered, efficient space for the whole household. A well-planned kitchen is also a tremendous asset to potential buyers. This week, Latest Interiors takes a look at the very best of modern kitchen design.
Our multi-tasking kitchens need flexible space. Open-plan living remains the contemporary ideal – many new builds incorporate an open-plan cook/eat/living space, and many older properties have been converted to open up these spaces. Island units provide useful preparation, eating and storage space, plus also help to mark out boundaries between areas.
Open-plan living is still an option in the smallest of spaces – ‘capsule’ kitchen ranges like Linea Quattro’s ‘opera’ and ‘studio’ ranges (www.lineaquattro.com) mean that you can fit a stylish, uncluttered kitchen on just one wall. Micro-kitchens incorporate some simple principles that would help to make any kitchen seem roomy and uncluttered: they utilise all the available floor-to-ceiling space for storage, and incorporate plenty of adjustable lighting for different kitchen tasks. They also make use of small-size, integrated appliances, integrated bins, and allow you to shut all (or most) of the kitchen away behind chic, glossy doors.
Bright colours remain a strong trend in interiors this year – however, wall-to-wall bright units can be overwhelming. Mix and match bright wall units with more neutral or monochrome floor units, or use brights for highlights and accents, like the edges of worktops, kick-boards (that run along the bottom of units), or worktops themselves. Accentuate glossy blacks, greys, off-whites and stone unit doors with bright coloured lights and glass splash-backs (we love purple glass this season) or pairs of bright units and borders (coloured veneers can highlight door and
Modern kitchens can also make great use of natural materials: wood (or, if you’re on a budget, textured wood veneer) such as zebrano, olive wood, mahogany and black oak make for beautiful doors. Natural stone, concrete and corian (composite stone) worktops in glossy black or slick white that give a solid, chunky finish are very fashionable, hardwearing, and should give many years of service.
Of course, if you’re making a contemporary kitchen space, you can make good use of all the latest gadgets and fittings that help to make life a little easier. Instant hot water taps make that perfect cup of tea with no need for kettles. Replace simple shelves with deep drawers so that you don’t have to scrabble at the back of cupboards. Pull-out waste storers, corner units and organisers for cupboards or drawers all decrease clutter, increase space and ensure you have a thoroughly modern kitchen.