Kitchens to inspire

Kitchens with character are the next big thing in home style, says Sara Emslie

Kitchens with character are the next big thing in home style, says Sara Emslie
 The Long House Kitchen Plain English Design
Muted palette
Quintessential English charm is brought up-to-date with a couple of quirky contemporary touches. Custom-built units in cream with slate and natural wood worktops; tongue and groove panelling; a butler’s sink and an Aga give a traditional look, but the unexpected splash of emerald green inside the cupboard, the low retro pendant light, canary yellow crockery and bright red tray give it a clever twist. The Long House kitchen, around £35,000, from Plain English Design.


Cosy cottage
As characterful as the dwelling it is in, this kitchen screams individuality. The crudely painted white and lilac striped doors and drawers cleverly mirror other elements such as the wooden rafters and the stripes in the rag rug. Its relaxed, rustic charm is bold, endorsed by an assortment of crockery and a wood burning stove. Steamer Bay kitchen, John Lewis of Hungerford.








A plentiful supply of retro pieces and non-kitchen elements makes this space work. Tolix chairs, a 1950’s factory pendant light and vintage wall clock create a stylish design statement confirming it’s a space for relaxation rather than just for preparing food.
For freestanding units try Ikea. Similar accessories available from Pedlars.






A clever mix of styles makes for a truly individual feel. New England colours are mixed with classic shaker cupboards and finished off with retro trimmings. Elements of the iconic American diner are also in abundance. Square drawers with vintage-look handles, round edges on the units and soft shades of blue give a 1950s American flavour. An old-fashioned radio completes the look. New England kitchen from Mark Wilkinson Furniture.


Country charm

This is a simple country kitchen for a characterful property. The understated ivory units allow the charm of the room to stand out, while wooden worktops enhance the beamed ceiling, given a modern touch with stainless steel spotlights. The table and chairs create an intimate space, while the gingham table linen adds a feminine touch. The Ashington kitchen, from a selection at Howdens.


This feature appeared in the April 2010 issue of BBC Homes & Antiques magazine.


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