Tagged: All Articles / Design Inspiration / Interior Design Projects

Kitchen Trends 2016 (UK)

The Houzz UK Kitchen Trends 2016 Study confirms several of our own observations about the general direction of kitchen design. People are increasingly turning to interior designers to help them fully integrate the kitchen into their home and maximise the potential of this space.

Our clients want a really smart space where they can entertain in comfort, so we find ourselves experimenting with different styles and materials to keep ahead of traditional kitchen trends.

Changing lifestyles mean that more than ever before, people want the kitchen to be a multi-functional space where we not only cook and eat, but work, play and live. It’s special place as the heart of the home is expanding and evolving into a room where the entire family gathers together, and where we increasingly entertain, socialise and work; for a third of respondents the kitchen is the place where kids do homework or they even work themselves. Almost two thirds of us spend more than 3 hours a day in the kitchen.

Not surprisingly, the top activity in the kitchen is cooking and dining. We can’t help wondering if the success of The Great British Bake-off is responsible for the fact that 63 percent of people now list baking as an important activity!

We're demanding more from this important room. However, the top functional priority remains being able to store and find things easily. A pantry cupboard is one of the top built-in requirements and a separate walk in pantry is currently one of the most desirable upgrades, for those who have the option, though once considered old-fashioned its making a big comeback.

The trend for contemporary styling continues, with half of all new kitchens fitting this description. It has to be chic and stylish as well as functional.

Overwhelmingly, the biggest motivation for updating the family kitchen is to change the layout, opening up to other rooms to gain more space. Most people embarking on a kitchen modernisation project want to gain as much of a lifestyle improvement as they possibly can from the changes. The most coveted upgrade is to open up to the garden, often with large slide and fold doors.

With the trend towards more home working and advances in communications technology, it’s perhaps not so surprising that people prefer to work from the most stylish room in the house. With a laptop and a mobile phone one can just as easily sit at the kitchen table, as at a desk in a study or office. And our experience with our own clients has been that increasingly, people are making exactly this choice. 

Who wouldn’t want to settle comfortably into the very heart of their home, admire the wonderful view of the garden and breathe in the aroma of freshly baked bread? It’s a win-win investment.

Astonishing Sweet Kitchens
White, contemporary kitchens remain most popular. Astonishing Sweet Kitchens
 
Jon Maniscato Architecture
A smart place for entertaining is important. Jon Maniscato Architecture
 
House and Garden
Being connected to outdoors is important, as are easy clean surfaces. House & Garden
 
interconnecting rooms
Opening up to other rooms is increasingly popular
 
dining room
Eye level appliances and good extraction are highly desirable
 
Architectural digest
Being connected to the outdoors is important, even in a city. Architectural Digest
 
Kitchen Diner
Family dining kitchens with direct access to the garden are a modern lifestyle choice
 
Blakes kitchens
Even rustic kitchens are going contemporary, with flat panel doors. Blakes Kitchens
 
 
 
 

 

Tagged: All Articles / Design Inspiration / Interior Design Projects

Through the Looking Glass...

Mirrors are invaluable, there are simply endless ways to use them. Virtually every room in the house will benefit from a well-chosen mirror. They can add a surprise element and, well placed, truly open up an unexpected world.

As mirrored glass is reflective it’s particularly useful in small or narrow spaces. We can’t always change the dimensions of a room, but we can influence how small or dark it feels. Adding a large mirror into a confined area effectively doubles the sense of light and space, adding depth and tricking the eye. We sometimes use tinted or antiqued glass so the reflection is muted and subtle, it depends on the setting.

A well-placed mirror produces intrigue and interest in a large space. The randomly sized sections of antiqued mirror glass bring a welcome relief to the repeating patterns of beamed walls in the huge barn conversion above.  

In a narrow hall large mirror has the effect of widening the space and producing a changing landscape of reflected images as you pass through the room. This effect also works if you use a series of smaller mirrors of different shapes and sizes. It adds extra interest and will reflect both natural and artificial light. However, think carefully about what you might reflect, as a poorly placed mirror can produce unfortunate results.

Mirrored glass is a fantastic way of reflecting images of artwork. This works exceptionally well in a sitting or dining room where one tends to sit and contemplate a selected piece, either directly or as a reflection. It means interesting pieces can be tucked around a room in otherwise inaccessible places.

In some cases the mirror can be a work of art in and of itself. An ornate or texturally interesting frame will become the centre of attention with the reflective glass almost a secondary feature. The beauty of the stunning Orbis mirror is in the frame!

We often source beautiful antique mirrors for our clients, with exquisitely elaborate silvered or gilded frames. But there are also some excellent reproduction mirrors in Florentine or Chippendale style, available in a variety of natural wood or gilded finishes.

Equally, a fabulous contemporary mirror will make a statement. Porta Romana’s delightful shell mirror is a work of art, and we love the fringed frames of the Peggy and Coco mirrors from Knowles et Christou and Ochre, respectively. Don’t be afraid to mix old and new. An antique mirror can look stunning in a modern house and vice versa.

Some pieces are timeless and work well in almost any setting. For instance, we love huge vintage convex mirrors, they are so versatile with their rusty metal frames and distorted reflections. Likewise, a large venetian mirror is enormously diverse in its applications to different spaces and schemes.

Here are some illustrations and a few of our current favourites:

Double the illusion of space with mirrored wardrobe doors

Double the illusion of space with huge mirrored wardrobe doors

A large mirror in a narrow hall

A large mirror will add depth and interest to a narrow hall

Antique pressed brass mirror

The intricate detail of a pressed brass mirror

Vintage industrial convex mirror

Vintage industrial convex mirror

Chippendale mirror

Chippendale mirror - Looking Glass of Bath

Peggy mirror - Knowles et Christou

Peggy mirror - Knowles et Christou

Antique rococo mirror

Antique rococo mirror - small but impressive

Coco mirror - Ochre

Coco mirror - Ochre

Rope mirror - Julian Chichester

Vellum Rope mirror - Julian Chichester

Convex mirror with Eagle

Convex mirror with Eagle 

Palazzo mirror - Julian Chichester

Palazzo mirror - Julian Chichester

Sandos mirror - William Yeoward

Sandos mirror - William Yeoward

Shell mirror - Porta Romana

Shell mirror - Porta Romana