Balancing aesthetics and practicality is an age-old balance in the kitchen, but it's something Leah Remini has mastered, according to designers.
The actress, known for The King of Queens, recently shared footage of her Studio City home, focusing on her sister, who cleaned during a visit. The kitchen has a primarily white color scheme, exhibiting veined marble and wooden cabinets that create a classic, almost quietly luxurious feel. However, rather than choosing marble or wooden countertops, Leah has opted for stainless steel, a material that matches her large refrigerator and appliances.
It's easy to associate stainless steel with chef's kitchens, but, as designers suggest, there is more to this material than its durability. Instead, we can use steel to balance the other tones and textures in our kitchens, just as wood, marble, and other materials will ensure the steel is also grounded. And experts agree.
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'Designing a kitchen that is heavy-handed on its use of modern, engineered materials such as laminate and stainless steel may look outdated in a few years. Equally, a kitchen featuring heavy use of more traditional and rustic materials like wood and stone can age it from the get-go. By balancing both materials, you retain an element of the new and the old, creating a timeless feel,' says kitchen expert Sinead Trainor.
Leah's kitchen is exemplary of that – exhibiting marble, wood, and steel in one space – however, we do need to mix materials with caution. While stainless steel is always going to stand alone, Sinead says that we should try to pair similar colored materials in the same space (again, as Leah demonstrates). For example, when using white marble, we should, in turn, opt for similar hued wood for our cabinets.
'Remember to include shades, colors, and textures that complement one another – as complicating material selection will make it harder to visually achieve a sense of consistency and a natural, relaxing feel.'
Sinead is the kitchen category manager at LochAnna Kitchens – a manufacturer that specializes in a range of styles (including handleless cabinets like Jennifer's.) They specialize in modern and European looks, working with the highest quality lacquered Italian painted timbers from the UK.
As Sinead explains, our chosen kitchen colors have a lot to answer for when it comes to creating a seamless space, especially when mixing materials. The best starting point? A timeless white, much like Leah's.
'When aiming to create a kitchen that feels timeless, it is important to find a balance between a hue that feels modern yet retains an aspect of class and simplicity. Neutrals such as off-whites, pebble greys, and soft beiges are excellent for achieving this effect,' Sinead says.
Plus, when mixing materials, it's similarly important to keep our countertops as empty as possible – to avoid overcomplicating the space further. Though, this doesn't mean we can't have some fun with curated accessories.
For a natural starting point, we're picking up some (apt) marble and wood chopping boards like Leah's – because, after all, they complement the balanced space seamlessly.
This durable wood chopping board has a handle for ease of use. It is available in three colors: Hickory, Walnut, and White Oak, so we can choose one that best matches the wood in our kitchen.
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Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.
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