The kitchen is often the heart of the home, and if you think of yourself as the next master chef, it is likely that you are forever buying new appliances to make life easier in the kitchen, and make your culinary delights even more fabulous. A modern kitchen is the perfect space for it. A streamlined, contemporary kitchen design, combined with integrated appliances, thoughtful lighting and a mix of levels that helps to keep your room clutter free whilst leaving you more space to relax and entertain might sound like a dream – but it can be a reality.
Handleless cabinets are all the rage right now, and they are perfect for creating clean lines throughout your kitchen. 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.
Clean lines continue with neat surfaces in modern design. The key to that is keeping your kitchen uncluttered. While we all might want that statement – and often used – KitchenAid mixer on show, that doesn’t necessarily work, alongside all the other kitchen paraphernalia it’s so easy to get untidy. 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 are your best friend when it comes to preparation – and for a modern look in your kitchen colour is important – you can include everything from pure brilliant white to zingy orange. Plain white worktops compliment 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.
If you are nerdy with your appliances, and 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
Choose glass or composite splashbacks and large-format floor tiles with a matching grout to keep your kitchen looking 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.
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
Creative lighting is a great investment, and can set the mood or atmosphere for any occasion. 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 occasion.