Nigella Lawson's kitchen inspires a surprising revival of this retro kitchen feature

Viva la serving hatch

Nigella Lawson is no stranger to sparking a trend. The culinary guru has had the nation bathing turkeys in salty baths at Christmas, and covering their homes in fairy lights thanks to her recipe books and cookery shows.

Related: Kitchen pantry ideas – to create food storage pantries and larders to love

While we're still not convinced by a Nigella Turkey, her latest trend is definitely one we can't wait to add to our home - the walk-in larder. Showcased on Nigella Lawson's Cook Eat Repeat on BBC Two, Nigella's onscreen kitchen as sparked a renewed love for the retro fixture, and a few others...

A substantial 75 per cent of us said we'd like to see a walk-in larder in our kitchen. Aside from the larder, it seems that the modern kitchen is falling from grace as half of homeowners said they prefer a traditional kitchen over a modern design.

Nigella Lawson's walk-in larder

However, almost three-quarters of Brits said we'd moved into a house that we believed to be out of date, suggesting we love retro, but on our terms.

But the general consensus of the research from kitchen retailer, Magnet was that a traditional feel was preferable to all things shiny, sleek and modern. So, apart from us being influenced by Nigella, why might this be?

Firstly, fashion trends often come full circle, with younger generations wearing their parents' clothes that were seen on the catwalk in the 70s and 80s. And now, it seems the same can be said about our kitchens.


kitchen with wooden cabinets

(Image credit: Future PLC/Carolyn Barber)

Another possibility is that it's down to the uncertain times we're living through. 'As the last twelve months have been difficult with the country spending more time at home than ever before, renovations and house projects have been at the forefront of peoples’ minds,' explains Beth Boulton, Head of Marketing at Magnet.

'It’s also during these unpredictable times that many homeowners look on the past with nostalgia and will be wanting to create home environments that feel calming, safe and secure and the softer lines of traditional kitchens can help with this, as well as the more retro features that are remembered from parents’ and grandparents’ homes from years before.'

kitchen with sink

(Image credit: Future PLC/Magnet)

Once considered old-fashioned, retro kitchen staples like walk-in larders are having a comeback, according to the study. As in-demand as walk-in larders now are, service windows were voted the most iconic retro trend with almost a third of people surveyed selecting the service hatch as the kitchen feature they remember most.

These vintage kitchen additions have not only become your average homeowner’s first choice, but they have also become increasingly popular in celebrity’s homes too, with Instagram cleaning influencer, Mrs Hinch including a service window in her kitchen renovation.

However, Magnet's study showed that there are some retro trends we refuse to get on board with. 36% of the nation voted traditional tiled worktops as the worst look of the last 100 years, alongside dark wood kitchen units (27%) and veneer-trimmed cabinets (14%).

kitchen with cabinets

(Image credit: TI-Media)

'It’s fascinating to see that traditional style kitchens are the nation’s choice over contemporary, modern designs. As smart designs and appliances are becoming increasingly available in kitchens across the country, it’s intriguing to see former trends such as walk-in larders are still desired in homeowner’s kitchen design plans today,' Beth adds.

Related: Step inside this characterful home ode to retro – bursting with colour and pattern

Should some trends stay firmly in the past, or will you be bringing the serving hatch back?

Millie Hurst
Senior Content Editor

Millie Hurst was Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home from 2020-2022, and is now Section Editor at Homes & Gardens. Before stepping into the world of interiors, she worked as a Senior SEO Editor for News UK in both London and New York. You can usually find her looking up trending terms and finding real-life budget makeovers our readers love. Millie came up with the website's daily dupes article which gives readers ways to curate a stylish home for less.