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How to Style your Kitchen to suit the Period of your Home

Kitchens have developed over the years from a small room tucked away where the lady of the house prepared dinner, to become the most important room in the home; one where the whole family congregate and socialise, where the children play and where parents can entertain friends or sit and relax in an evening.

This means the demands on a kitchen and the use of its space is increasingly important, which makes choosing the right new kitchen an even greater task! Here, Broadway Kitchens offers some useful advice on designing your new kitchen to suit the style of your home.

Traditional homes, converted barns & cottages

The kitchens of Victorian or Edwardian properties, cottages or even converted barns should complement the traditional feel of the rest of the home. This doesn’t mean however, that you cannot have the latest technology or most recent models of oven or fridge freezer, but their style does need to fit in.

Ideal colours and materials for the kitchen units of older homes include warm neutrals or wood. Wood is a great choice as it offers a textured look which instantly gives a warmer feel and creates interest. There are a number of worktop options that will look fantastic in a period kitchen, including wood, slate, a neutral Corian or warm cream laminate. If you like colour then a rich, deep colour can be added as an accent in your appliances and soft furnishings. Don’t go for stainless steel, ultra modern looking appliances – there are plenty of great range ovens, Agas, fridge freezers and microwaves which have a much more traditional look.

With regard to layout, if the space allows, a kitchen island looks good in older properties and offers increased storage space along with extra worktops; providing an area for the family to sit and socialise, or more room for food preparation. Larger islands can house the sink, oven or even the hob.

Finally, the lighting should be soft and warm -no spotlights allowed! Warm lighting creates a relaxed, homely and comfortable feel, which is ideal for a traditional or country cottage kitchen.

Modern homes and apartments

Modern homes look fantastic with a super contemporary, sleek and streamlined kitchen. High gloss, ultra shiny units look fabulous in such a space. You have a great range of colour options to choose from; white and cream can look great but if you want to go bolder, black or a combination of black and white units looks very classy, as does a high gloss wood effect. White units combined with a bright coloured unit such as lemon or green achieves a very daring, breathtaking design. Handleless units are ideal for creating the sleek lines required in a modern kitchen, as do floating units which have no kick board at the base.

You have some fantastic worktop options for a modern home including granite, stainless steel or even glass, along with wood, granite, Corian and laminate.

Modern high gloss kitchens can work well in small and large kitchens alike, however, the key to a truly impressive contemporary kitchen is to be clutter-free. The trick is to incorporate lots of storage within your kitchen design and include built-in appliances wherever possible, such as steam ovens, microwaves, wine coolers and coffee machines.

It is a good idea to include a selection of different lighting options in a modern kitchen; allowing you to zone a large open plan design and to use the space in different ways. Spotlights are great for over the main cooking and preparation areas as they provide bright light, softer or coloured wall and ceiling lights can be used for the play areas or for when entertaining in an evening, and clever backlights behind the wall and floor units can give a very dramatic effect, great for enjoying a glass of wine after dinner.

As highlighted above there are a number of different elements to a kitchen which all need to work together to create the right look to suit your home. If you think carefully about all of these when planning, you will achieve a dream kitchen that complements and flows well with the rest of your home.