New Year, New Kitchen? Tips for a modern design

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Are you starting to think about getting a more modern kitchen in the new year? Here I share some tips of how you can make your kitchen have the modern look with some simple changes.


A modern kitchen, a modern home

Transforming your kitchen into a modern space with a streamlined, contemporary kitchen design, combined with integrated appliances, thoughtful lighting and a mix of levels that helps to keep your room clutter free might sound like a dream – but it can be a reality.

Clean lines                       

Handleless cabinets are all the rage right now. The in-frame construction gives it an edge on some flat fronted designs and makes it extremely durable. 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 handleless doors then you can give a run of classic cabinets a modern edge by dressing them with sleek bar handles, adding modern built-in appliances and topping with cool composite worktops. For added contemporary chic, mix and match styles incorporating flat-fronted wall cabinets. 

Stay neat               

Modern design is all about clean, neat surfaces, and the key to that is keeping your kitchen uncluttered. While we all might want that statement – and often used – KitchenAid mixer on show, along with all of the other kitchen paraphernalia, it’s easy to get messy. Hiding kitchen clutter, particularly in open-plan kitchens is essential, so plan in plenty of storage with deep pan drawers, tambour units to keep small appliances, crockery and china out of site. Floor to ceiling handleless cupboards can hide a multitude of sins so if you have space, they’re a good investment. Remember, though, for your kitchen to work efficiently, you’ll want easy access to all these things when you do need them, so we recommend siting pan drawers by ovens, larders close to prep areas and china close to the dishwasher.

Worktops

When it comes to your worktops, material, colour and pattern is dependent on the overall look that you want to achieve. The latest composites are perfect for contemporary kitchens as their colour and any pattern are consistent and choice has grown over the past few years to include everything from pure brilliant white to zingy orange. Plain white worktops complement modern cabinetry beautifully but if you want a slightly less clinical feel then manufacturers such as Silestone and Ceasarstone 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. They’re also fabulous for creating feature splashbacks – for instance book matching a faux marble – with less of a financial outlay than, say, Carrara. 

Appliances

The clean line theme continues with your kitchen appliances too. If you have your heart set on a range cooker, then choose one of the more modern steel models from Mercury, Smeg or Rangemaster. Integrate as many appliances as you can and if possible, place items such as washing machines and tumble dryers in utility rooms. Keep sightlines clear by installing simple below cabinet, in-ceiling or pop-up extractors rather than fancy hanging pendants, keep fridges and freezers behind closed doors and invest in good-looking, hardworking built-in cooking appliances and a sleek glass zoned induction hob. Finish off with a few modern day luxuries such as a boiling water tap offered by Quooker, pop-up power points and cool lighting. 

Modern design tips

Pick simple surfaces 

Glass or composite used for a splashback and large-format floor tiles with a matching grout will keep the design sleek.       

Play with levels               

Think about adding a high breakfast bar to an island for relaxed eating or create several levels on a peninsula with a raised area to hide the washing-up from dinner guests.

Go fine 

Opt for ultra-thin worktop profiles that will help your units to look more like pieces of furniture. Or wrap a composite work surface in a contrasting shade or material around cabinetry on islands and at the end of runs.

Trip the light fantastic

Why not get creative with your lighting? Use plinth lights to make base units look like they are floating or adding LED strips to the interior of wall cabinets or shelves to highlight favourite accessories. They can create the perfect mood in the kitchen whatever the kitchen.

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