More and more, the kitchen has become the principal room in the house, especially when it comes to socialising. It's all too easy to create a luxurious feel in reception rooms and keep the kitchen a functional space but why should such a social space not enjoy the same design flair as the rest of the house? Kitchens are increasingly becoming more luxurious, design-led spaces, and it couldnt be easier to step away from a purely practical design, and go for full-on glamour in your cooking area
Traditional spotlights and strip lighting in a kitchen may have been the functional choice for years, but they're not exactly glamorous. Chandeliers are more usually associated with formal living areas and reception rooms, but there's no reason they cant work in kitchens, too. In a kitchen diner, try hanging one over the dining table to delineate the social area from the working area. If you opt for a chandelier in your kitchen, be sure to hang it at a height where it won't be an obstacle.
For a more toned-down look, try an oversized pendant or shade. A current trend is for darker-toned shades with a copper or golden inside, which not only reflects a warmer light - something that kitchens can often lack - but a touch of metallics is a foolproof way to lend a luxe look to a room. A dimmer switch is a good option in a kitchen-diner, so you can have the light bright enough to work, but turn it down lower for convivial meals.
Rich colours and statement wallpapers have a big part to play in turning a functional kitchen scheme into a glamorous style statement in its own right. Deep jewel shades and metallic hints are a simple yet effective way of conjuring up a luxurious feel. Be aware of your space and the amount of light, though, as too many dark hues may lead to a space feeling smaller.
Metallics add a real glamour factor to interiors, and in a kitchen you have a wealth of choices from a gleaming copper range cooker, to small and gleaming brass handles and drawer pulls. Splashbacks in an antique mirror finish lend an air of faded grandeur. There are endless options, but remember to use sparkle in small amounts, to make a bigger impact.
1/6 Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen’s top kitchen tips
Those are just some of our ideas - read on for more inspiration from designer Laurence Llewelyn Bowen, on how to achieve the luxe look in your kitchen…
2/6 Treat it like a second living room
Homely accessories, such as chandeliers, table lamps and paintings will really personalise your kitchen and transform it into a lounge area. Cut down on wall units, if you can, to stop it looking cluttered, and use soft lighting for a warm feel.
3/6 Add colour to your scheme
Colours are associated with tastes, so add a mouth-watering shade to your kitchen, like aubergine or spicy red, to get your taste buds tingling. "Think of what colours you use in your cooking and work from that." If you're nervous about using a colour that you might dislike in the future, keep your cabinets neutral and just paint the walls.
4/6 Use wallpaper
Creating a feature wall using your favourite wallpaper can instantly transform your kitchen into a glamorous haven. Go for a bold design that sets the tone for the rest of the room. If your kitchen is small, use the wallpaper as a splashback, protected by glass, or around pillars.
5/6 Consider the acoustics
At dinner parties or family meals, the last thing you want is unfriendly echoing around your kitchen or kitchen-diner. Thick, properly lined curtains are a great way to combat this problem. Plus, theyre a wonderful insulator, too. Include rugs and cushions as well for added comfort.
6/6 Include comfortable seating
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Thea Babington-Stitt is the Assistant Editor for Ideal Home. Thea has been working across some of the UK’s leading interiors titles for nearly 10 years.
She started working on these magazines and websites after graduating from City University London with a Masters in Magazine Journalism. Before moving to Ideal Home, Thea was News and Features Editor at Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc and Country Homes & Interiors.
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