As the cornerstone of the home, the kitchen is where we nourish ourselves in more ways than one. It’s where we contemplate thoughts over coffee each morning and regale our loved ones with tales of our day come suppertime. It’s the room we always gravitate to at parties and where we find ourselves, night after night, cathartically braving the built-up dishes. So, as much as the kitchen is a practical, hard-working space, it’s also a personal and lively one. Even if you can’t cook, won’t cook, here are a few ways to put the fun in functional (sorry)…
To create a kitchen that you want to spend time in, approach its décor like you would a living room. Start by thinking about print and colour: “Clean and fresh shades make for an inviting kitchen and comfortable workspace for preparing meals,” says our Decorating Consultant, Steve Corcoran, “whereas if you go too dark, it can make it tricky to see what you’re doing!” Try working the wallpaper into unexpected crevices, too – let it hover above the stove, line a cutlery drawer or peek out from behind an open shelf. Speaking of shelves, line yours with recipe books (who cares if they’re just for show?) alongside displays of your finest crockery – you could even go so far as to match the chinaware with your chosen print or colour scheme. "As William Morris says, everything in your home should either be useful or beautiful – but by using pots, pans and utensils that add to the aesthetic of the space as well as being purposeful, you won’t have to worry about hiding them away all the time,” says Steve.
Whether your dining room is open plan or occupies its own cosy nook away from the kitchen, the same rules apply: to connect the space to the rest of the house, simply embellish it with the prints and pieces you love. Conversation-starting wallpaper will set the mood for dinner parties (and after-dinner drinks), while statement lighting and treasured artwork serve up extra slices of drama. “Just don’t be scared of using print in the kitchen or dining room,” says Steve. “Simply sealing your chosen wallpaper with a matte decorators varnish (our favourite is Poylvine’s Dead Flat) will give it a durable finish, so you won’t have to worry about any splashes or spillages.”
BEST SEATS IN THE HOUSE
Reupholstering (rather than buying new) is good for your pocket and the environment.
For those who prefer just a slither of print, try reupholstering your dining chairs or bar stools in our British-made fabrics. Whether you opt for crisp cotton-linen or sumptuous velvet, all our designs boast a rub count of 40,000+, making them as hardwearing and family-friendly as they are irresistible to the eye.
Put all the above design ingredients together and what have you got? A kitchen and dining area you will want to linger in from dawn ’til dusk, a space where you can relax and let your mind wander over some good food – or while you’re elbow-deep in washing-up suds at the end of the night.