Thinking back, our kitchen was one of the first rooms that we had really planned out when we thought about designing our own home. We had an open plan kitchen/ conservatory space that we had renovated in our last home, and we had just got used to having an area for cooking and entertaining, as well as space where our young family could play too.
We designed this room on the principle that it would be split level, offering a divide between the cooking and dining area and the sitting room, whilst still keeping a natural flow. Practically the wide steps work well as a break in flooring too, with travertine tiles in our kitchen, and solid wood flooring in the sunroom section. (We also trained Ernie when he was little to not come down the steps, saving the floor yet again!)
Our kitchen was made by a local company, based on our design, and I’d always really recommend going down this route if you have some vision about the style and layout you are after. Handmade kitchen companies will show you stunning designs, but they very often come at a premium price, and you can definitely achieve the bespoke look on more of a budget as long as you’re prepared to think that little bit more about planning it yourself. Our units are all factory doors, but combined with mix-matched worktops, handles and dove-tailed inserts, it really gives the feel of a hand crafted one. I loved having the control over the design too, and asked for more of a free-standing feel incorporating huge larder cupboards to hide away all the clutter!
We opted for an Aga cooker, but an electric one instead of the traditional oil-fired ones. This was primarily a budgeting decision but, in retrospect, actually worked out far better for our busy family lifestyle. I’ll still dream of owning the proper version one day, when I have the time to make casseroles and slow-cooked dishes but, for now this serves us very well indeed.
Because of its free standing look and feel, we only have a small area tiled in here, just behind our cooker. We went for a Fired Earth National Trust designed tile and I still love them to this day. I think that’s the thing with incorporating traditional aspects into your home though, isn’t it? They’re less likely to date and drive you nuts in a few years! 😉
All our other furniture in here is from Laura Ashley.
I treat the dresser a little bit like our hall mantelpiece and love to dress it seasonally too. At Christmas I fill it with fairylights and glass baubles, and incorporate fresh flowers and plants into it as the seasons change.
It really is a space for us all, and we’ve been so thrilled with how it all turned out. It is functional as well as aesthetically pleasing and not too difficult to keep clean and tidy too! 🙂