What are you looking to achieve with your modern kitchen ideas? are you confident to convey your ideas or do you need good advice? I have provided some categories to help you widen your search for that individual look.
Let’s go through this checklist to find out.
Table of Contents
- 1 Space: Basic Requirement For Modern Kitchen Ideas
- 2 Home:
- 3 Minimalism:
- 4 Glorious color:
- 5 Period piece:
- 6 Variety is good?
- 7 Fashion statements:
- 8 Style icons:
- 9 Form and function:
- 10 Meeting area:
- 11 Lifestyle statement:
- 12 Gadget show!
- 13 Transitional styles
- 14 Temporary solution
- 15 Holiday home
- 16 House value constraints
- 17 House future sale constraints
- 18 Sustainable or recycled option
Space: Basic Requirement For Modern Kitchen Ideas
Creating that “open plan kitchen look” can be difficult for most people without major building works and disruption. Especially in England with the demand to squeeze smaller and smaller houses onto smaller and smaller plots (local planners take note!).
This has led to a small boom in modern kitchen extension work recently and one that has kept many kitchen companies in the business. Without any original thought about allocating more land to good individual builders, self-build, or architect-designed houses ( the top 100 plc builders need not apply ) then we will continue to have to fill up our gardens and basements.
Hopefully, this increase in activity will include more wall-to-wall glass and outward-looking statements to more modern design. I am quite excited by this building development and have had much more internal room to play with recently. If you are staying put for a while then kitchen extension work is sometimes the only option, and mostly worth the effort, even though the mess and hassle may make you think otherwise when started!
How do you describe that feeling of “home”. It can be warm and cozy with a dog by the open fire, faded and aged like good wine, minimalist and hard-edged, style-conscious and ordered, or informal and untidy, and also many other things to many people. No single style is always right, so do not covet your neighbor’s kitchen! look for your own identity if possible. They will not take kindly to your tribute to their quite often heavily researched style statement. Even in the smallest kitchens, I have managed to find common ground which leads to a design solution and personal statement. This does not always mean bespoke and hand-built solutions, but sometimes it makes my life easier to start with a clean slate.
There appears to be a revolution in the kitchen industry at last that has pushed out the old and brought in the new. The British kitchen buyer has in particular started to embrace good well made the latest kitchen design. Will this be a fad like so many others, or stand the test of time. I believe certain aspects of the present modern trends will stand the test of time. Clean uncluttered lines with good quality products and finishes will always win over if there is a personal element to the process. If you love orange a lot then you will still love orange when the crowd loves aubergine ( no orange is not my favorite color if you thought it). But If you are indecisive and easily lead, then steer clear of strong colors and leave it to the more adventurous.
Colour has become quite a style statement for kitchens recently with white and bright colored lacquer finishes to the forefront in the medium to upper price brackets, and in the vinyl form at the budget level. White or cream are quite safe colors and have always been a fall-back position for many. I will never push strong colors unless there is a will to experiment, and a general desire to follow through with other aspects of the house. Quite often the kitchen is a final statement after a gradual evolution of the house interior style. Probably because freestanding furniture is easier to sell on and change at will if a mistake is made!
It is quite hard to ignore your house style and age in any decision to replace your kitchen. Religiously and doggedly people have used their house style as a basis for their design decisions for decades. Alternatively, many people have ignored it! (what has been our preoccupation with Georgian and Tudor details for the last 40 years? I will never work that out!). If for instance, you have a listed art deco house then I would suggest you don’t put an English Tudor oak style kitchen into it. (I have seen a spectacular mistake right there for £50k ).
Also if you are going to put an Arts and Crafts influenced kitchen into your Arts and Craft period house then don’t be fooled into believing that cathedral rustic oak with pegged corners will be near enough( another £20k mistake I removed for a client) It may cost more money to get it the right first time but it is important to not lose sight of the design objectives and let your budget get in the way of the hard decisions.
Your house period-style should not be a chain around your neck though. If the house’s styling does not reflect your interior tastes and you are heading towards modern design, you can safely ignore the structure without losing real estate value if the styling is a less niche market. You will be joining an increasing public desire to move forward rather than backward. I would still advise discussing your design objectives with an experienced designer if you are looking towards a more radical approach whichever direction that takes.
Variety is good?
My opinion is that a well-designed house can be organic and multi-faceted, and this is historically typical at the highest level. Stately homes are full of style statements that were considered bold and new, and the height of fashion at the time. The fashion for oriental design for instance is a recurring theme and very strong throughout the last 3 Centuries.
It is difficult to explore design statements without a fair amount of space and conviction, and most people settle for 1 or 2 contrasting themes in the average-sized house. The older I get the more certain I am of what I like and want. So settling on an uncluttered and strong single statement can be both invigorating but to others one dimensional.
Who cares what people think? I am old enough to make my own decisions (that is after the teenage kids, the wife, 2 dogs, and the bank manager- not necessarily in that order)!
If you have money to indulge yourself and a desire to change rooms wholesale when bored, then what the heck, go for it! People around me seem more home-centered recently and treat it like a refuge from the noisy, dirty, and aggressive world we live in. We work harder and harder in target-centered work environments, where people we share our lives with, at work, become more complicated and insecure. So why shouldn’t we splash out and enjoy the spoils of that hard labor a little more often? Where best to treat ourselves than that new kitchen, car, home cinema, indoor pool, etc ( I will stop salivating now.)
If you are making a statement, should you try out an accepted theme based on strong style statements from the past? I think that if you want to explore Charles Rennie Macintosh, then spend enough money to do it with conviction, ie with a good designer and a clean slate, not a brochure picklist. If you like metal tube furniture from the German Bauhaus period and want industrial minimalist wrapping, then that’s fine but expect to be disappointed when Ikea makes copies of their chairs for £20 each if you have not got originals for squillions apiece. Good design will always be copied, but how you complete the whole look with all of its parts will separate your ideas from the obvious.
Form and function:
Should form follow function? my tutors at design school used to say. Well, life would be very dull for many if that was essential. It has been perfectly acceptable for decades to look backward and use whatever comes to mind like a smorgasbord with little care often for historical context.
Kitchens have reflected that taste and tried to marry easy production techniques with period style. I believe this pastiche of traditional styles has been a blind alley in the kitchen industry and over-used and exploited. If you add into that mix the North European obsession for bland matched veneered medium and dark oak doors, then you can understand why I have been hiding my traditional oak doors well away from public view and brought out sparingly to dust and replace quickly.
Having to deal with function can easily take over in most kitchens because of space constraints. Can you get everything into that space and add a little excitement and individuality? Well, I think there is always room for a good kitchen designer to have a try. At the moment it is not “following the crowd” to keep your kitchen simple and functional, as long as a good combination of interesting materials and colors are used.
Kitchens are, more and more, an essential focal point of a well-balanced house. Kitchens need to be presentable, functional and welcoming to family and friends, as well as practical to cook in. Dining rooms are almost extinct as functioning rooms in a large proportion of households in England. I still find resistance to getting rid of this room and adding more usable space to the kitchen area. If you have space then fine, if not then there are ways if you open up space, to design in the option to repartition if you eventually want to keep the estate agent happy and return to a separate room. If you are allergic to builders, (which is a known condition), then ignore me (only joking).
This is a heavily used phrase and reflects our embrace of the desire to rationalize our outside life and interior tastes into a coherent style statement. If you are sporty and active and have little time for clutter and no children planned then you will reflect this with your choice of furniture and interior decor and have more options towards the impractical end of the scale( I have for sale 2 kids, 2 dogs, 3 cats, and wife who loves clutter).
I have noticed a shift of the” kids left home” generation towards a more individual and modern statement. I wondered why antiques were so cheap at the auction these days (my brother’s comment, he collects I don’t). There also appears to be a desire to display our credentials to visitors and appear to fit into a distinct group. if you drive around with ski racks on your car in the summer then you have probably gone too far.
Probably a bloke trait, but a female friend recently said she was lost without her fully functioning cappuccino maker in the mornings. I think that most gadgets and appliances are boxes of components waiting to let us down, and quite often they perform that function with great flair and imagination.
Manufacturers spend an immense amount of time working out how quickly they can get us to throw them away with punitive callout and parts charges, which are good for business (yes after 25 years I am cynical). It is possible to narrow down the potential for problems with good appliance choices, I have covered this in my appliance section.
I have an expensive American fridge/freezer standing on my patio as we speak and a Williams 21 cubic feet commercial stainless steel fridge installed in the corner of our lovely kitchen ( It is basic and hummus menacingly, but it is built for nuclear blasts!). I think we may have hit a raw nerve here! sorry!
If you have one eye on modern styling and one eye on the traditional design, where do you draw the line? I think that there are lots of door styles that cover this category but not many that excite me.I have noticed a clearer desire to not sit on the fence, and commit more towards modern design.
I frequently seem to be providing 2 different schemes for the less decisive. One scheme is modern high gloss flat doors, and the other is painted wood or hardwood in a shaker style for a safer and more practical option!
A difficult area with right and wrong paths. I think that if you are replacing a kitchen that has failed and need a temporary solution or are installing a temporary kitchen because your money has run out then tread lightly. If you want the expertise without the headaches then use my design service and buy the kitchen yourself over the counter. It is then possible to get a recommended local fitter to install your scheme. Ok, some specialist kitchen companies can compete and maybe worth a shot for a complete installation, but will probably offer a better deal for supply only if your fitter is cheaper.
Holiday homes are an opportunity to play, without having to worry about trying a more individual design. If you are generally more conservative then run free and unshackled and embrace that clean chic modern white kitchen with Silestone tops and to hell with the voices in your head, the sea will drown out the noise!
House value constraints
Should there be a threshold to your budget to limit your design decisions? The short answer is sometimes. Yes if you want a match veneered hand-made oak kitchen in your mobile home(Only joking), I think that the biggest factor in budget decisions is timescale. If you are staying put for the next 20 years then relax and play a little. If you have itchy feet and need to anticipate future house purchasers then good professional advice will steer you towards the right choice but don’t assume buyers will be happy with cheap solutions and that is the same if you spend £5k or £50k (£100k if you go to Mark Wilkinson tut). I have seen too many cheap copy kitchen makeovers in large houses that are £20k plus mistakes waiting for the vote of no confidence.
House future sale constraints
Can you predict who is going to buy your house when you move? Yes if you live next to a good nursery and primary school in a 3-bed semi-detached house with a park opposite. I would probably be confident. The market is more open and exciting, and safety is not always safe if you see what I mean. I am more confident than ever that customers are getting more demanding and are put off by bland safe choices. They may not tell you to your face but will think it and pass judgment with their feet. (Am I on my cloud here?)
Sustainable or recycled option
It is hard to talk about any purchase without considering the environmental issues, and most good kitchen companies have information about the origins and sustainability of their products. Re-cycling our kitchens is a good area for debate. I think we throw much too many kitchens into skips and there is a ready market locally for almost anything. My empty garage is a testament to the desire to save money and recycle thank you eBay! (All alright, half-empty and heading in the right direction, But don’t mention the loft!)