By Jennifer Ebert published
Mixing two clear design strands into one kitchen can seem daunting, but it is possible.
See: Kitchen ideas – decor and decorating ideas for all kitchens
Jenny Thomas, designer at Tom Howley, worked to meld classical cabinetry choices with a desire for industrial cool in this English kitchen. The result? A striking space that feels contemporary and crisp, yet warm and welcoming.
Here are five design ideas which helped to bring the vision to life.
1. Create a focal point
‘The owners of this Liverpool, England home had a vision that was based on a "modern industrial meets bespoke cabinetry" vibe,' says Jenny.
'They knocked through walls and added metal-framed doors and brick-slip feature walls to achieve the perfect backdrop for our Butler collection in deep-blue Lithodora.’
The feature wall holds the look together, and forms a cool contrast to the sleek cabinetry around the room.
2. Work with the space
‘This was definitely a client-led design, in that the owners had a clear concept of the look, but they needed guidance spatially, not least because the kitchen is fairly narrow at just 3.9m wide,' says Jenny.
'I started by helping them prioritize. They wanted a breakfast bar and wine fridge on the island. There was only room for one without compromising the room’s flow and the wine won.'
See: Breakfast bar ideas – create a functional, family-friendly kitchen
3. Say goodbye to clutter
‘Unless you never leave a single dirty pan or plate waiting by the sink, then installing a sink in the island should be avoided,' advises Jenny. 'Kitchens should be easy to keep tidy, so putting the sink against a wall, where a few dirty dishes will be less obvious, is always preferable. Hobs are far more island-friendly in general tidiness terms, and it’s also nice to have a view while you stir-fry.’
See: Kitchen island ideas – clever ways make a statement
4. Create a visual break
In order to separate out the kitchen from the rest of this open plan space, the feature wall is echoed by a brick accent wall linked by a strong black beam.
The twin brick areas work to enclose the kitchen as its own space without fully closing it off. The black steel beam picks up on the industrial vibe again, and is mirrored by the black window frames.
See: Accent wall ideas – inspiring feature wall ideas and creative focal points
5. Integrate a seating area
Kitchens with an industrial tone like this one often need to work a bit harder to feel warm and sociable. While the color of the cabinetry goes a long way here, building in seating was key to making it a space for sitting and chatting as much as a practical task-driven area.
See: 3 window seat design tips interior designers want you to know
Since the island couldn’t incorporate a breakfast bar, a clever window seat adds the casual seating and ensures the space is sociable and extra inviting.
Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space.
Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.
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