Under time pressure in the kitchen? No chance, with these clever design ideas that will keep you calm under fire..
We all want a kitchen that looks good, but it has to function well too, particularly if you’re a keen cook or enjoy entertaining family and friends. It’s common knowledge that everyone gathers in the kitchen at parties, so how well yours is laid out can make the difference between your gathering being stressful and fraught or smooth and fun.
We’ve picked out some of our favourite cook’s kitchens, where simple ideas make life easy every day – and on those occasions when you’re cooking for a crowd.
Open shelving is always a good option, as everything is to hand when you need it – no rummaging in the back of a cupboard for the particular pot or pan that you’re looking for (likewise a hanging pot rack).
In addition, if your gatherings tend to be informal, guests who need extra glasses or plates can help themselves, rather than asking you where they’re kept when your sauce is about to boil over, or you’re at another crucial point in the cooking process. Alternatively, if you prefer things to be put away, consider glass-fronted cabinets, where others can easily see where things belong.
A range cooker is an obvious choice with the multi-oven options and large hobs on offer, while plenty of surface space is paramount, with zones either side of the sink and cooker for prepping and serving a necessity.
Kitchen islands provide extra counter space, as well as being a great spot for breakfast, or for family and guests to gather and chat while you’re prepping. Islands that are on wheels or are otherwise moveable provide the flexibility to open up your space further if required. And who wouldn’t want one with a living herb garden in the centre, like the example below?
Task lamps overhead or on the wall above a working area will provide extra light when it’s required or enable you to change the mood when you need to.
Introduce these ideas and you’ll stay cool in the kitchen..
The open, white oak shelves with custom-made brass brackets and eclectic piles of crockery add a soft, busy cook's vibe.
Get the look: The Honed Petite Granite floor tiles are from Integrated and the Grove wall tiles are by Waterworks. The mahogany kitchen island with its white Carrara marble worktop came from Fullscale Woodworking Inc, while the drawer unit and white oak shelves and brass brackets were all custom made. The collection of crockery is by Sir/Madam. The Tolix bar stools are from Antiquaire and the large pendant Candy Shop light, made from industrial parts, is by John Ogden from John Derion. The brass taps are by Waterworks, the farmhouse sink is from Rohl, the stove is La Canache and the fridge is by SubZero. The woodwork is painted in ‘Wrought Iron’ by Benjamin Moore. The door hardware came from Frank Allart.
The architects at MADE designed and built the kitchen cabinets and central island unit. The cabinets look like wood, but are, in fact, again made from the Richlite composite. It’s really durable and has a beautiful softness. Black-painted wood just looks like black-painted wood, whereas this has a sense of mystery.
Get the look: The splashback tiles are from US brand Daltile. This is the PRO304GASX Professional Series gas range from Bertazzoni. The Ray pendant is by Jordi Veciana for Metalarte. The wicker bull’s head is a sample of a product David designed for home interiors outlet West Elm, but which never went into production. The marbleised ceramics are from Atelier Sylvie Saint-André Perrin in Paris.
The kitchen is the creative hub of this apartment, and sits at the rear of the house with a view of the backyard, separated from the living and dining space by pocket doors. The foodie home owner wanted a big, luxurious island with a hob facing the living space, so she can be part of the party while she’s cooking.
Get the look: Try Maitland & Poate for cement tiles like these. The Knole kitchen by Stoneham has this look. Go to Creostone Worktops for a Carrara surface like this. Trumpet eggshell by Little Greene is a similar yellow paint.
With its lofty ceiling and enormous island, the kitchen has a luxurious, airy feel. The space is dominated by the jaw-dropping faux olive tree, which seems to have taken root within the Corian-clad island.
Get the look: The bespoke cabinetry by Sola Kitchens features Corian worksurfaces and antique mirror-glass panels on the island. The island’s bespoke legs (matching the legs of the bar chairs) are by Adam Paterson at jpatersonbuilders.co.uk. These are Hauteville concrete bar chairs by Lyon Beton at Rockett St George. The felt Corn Flakes packet and other felt products on the shelving is from The Felt Cornershop collection by Lucy Sparrow at sewyoursoul.co.uk.
Industrial meets vintage meets modern in this bright and airy open-plan kitchen.
The painted floors create a flow from one space to another. The rustic-looking island was inspired by an antique table, while the metal cabinetry took its cue from a Danish kitchen.
Get the look: The bespoke cabinetry is made of metal: for similar, check out the Phoenix design by Varenna/Poliform. These are H stools by Chantal Andriot for Tolix. The suspended storage-cum-display unit is bespoke– to create something similar, see Ikea’s Omar modular shelving system.
The Restaurateur owner of this kitchen isn’t keen on the generic, stainless-steel finishes of most modern extractor hoods, so he had the cover made to fit in with the industrial look around the rest of the flat.
Get the look: The cabinetry and bronze, liquid-finish worktop were created by Tekne. The base for the island was made from reclaimed plaster pillars sourced from Retrouvius. The ‘Nice’ plate is by Tracey Emin – similar limited editions are available at the Hang-Up Gallery. The bar stools are from LASSCO.
The panelling is complemented by the simple solidity of the British Standard kitchen. The diner-style extractor above the Aga was made bespoke.
The antique ‘pot filler’ tap was found at an antiques fair.
Get the look: The British Standard by Plain English cabinetry is painted in Purbeck Stone eggshell by Farrow & Ball.
A gentle style of clean walls, crafted accessories and minimal furniture is displayed throughout this famous chef's kitchen. Wood is the dominant factor, from the beams and floors to the fittings. It may have a blacksmith’s furnace, but you won’t find a microwave here.
Get the look: The worktop running along the wall is made up of a single piece of Dinesen HeartOak, measuring 5.6 metres in length.
This kitchen is a classic Shaker style from deVol with hardwearing white Silestone worktops, while the floors are white oiled wide-plank engineered oak.
Get the look: The Shaker-style kitchen units, Silestone worktops, prep table and oak stools are all by deVol. The range cooker came from Esse. The chopping boards are from Daylesford and the big glass storage jars are from Ikea. The fisherman’s lights are from Color Worx in East Wittering.
The kitchen is full of clever design details – from the metro tiles inside the kitchen cabinets to the herb trough in the island. The rustic-looking cabinet doors are sawn oak with a white finish. They look like reclaimed timber, but it’s engineered. Reclaimed wood isn’t so hard-wearing and you can’t wipe it easily.
Get the look: Jamie Blake of Blakes London made this kitchen from sketches drawn up by the home owner. The cabinet doors came from Waxed Floors. The wall lamps were bought on eBay.