Range cookers are replacing kitchen islands as the heart of the home – here's how to style one in any scheme

A range cooker is far more than just a practical appliance, it can add wonderful charm and character to a kitchen – and they're proving to be a truly enduring feature

How to style a range cooker
(Image credit: Erika Jayne Design + Build & Ian Michelman/Naked Kitchens)

In recent trends (or anti-trends), it seems range cookers are becoming the new heart of the kitchen in place of islands. And while range cookers are nothing new – quite the opposite, in fact – the revived appreciation for these age-old kitchen appliances is clear to see.

There are so many kitchen ideas to consider when planning your scheme, but one feature that has endured is the range cooker. Most commonly found in more traditional interiors, particularly in country kitchens and English kitchens, they are becoming more sought after even in more contemporary spaces.

Whether you already have a range cooker but don't know how to style it or want to hear expert opinions on introducing one to your space, we've asked interior designers and kitchen experts to weigh in on this enduring kitchen feature.

What's the appeal of a range cooker?

Blue range cooker in a blue kitchen

(Image credit: Naked Kitchens)

A range cooker is a charming and visually appealing addition to a kitchen. They are more design-focused than modern ovens and have a timeless feel. 'Think of a range cooker as the heart of your kitchen, radiating warmth and delectable possibilities. These beauties are super versatile, offering everything you need in one sturdy unit,' says Erika Jayne Chaudhuri, of Erika Jayne Design + Build.

'Whether you're baking, roasting, simmering, or grilling, a range cooker has you covered. Plus, their design can either enhance your existing aesthetic or be the driving force behind the vibe of the entire kitchen, making them a pivotal element in kitchen design,' she adds.

We explore more ways to use a range cooker in our dedicated feature.

Range cooker in a modern kitchen

(Image credit: deVOL)

A large part of the appeal is their ability to become the main attraction of the kitchen, especially in spaces that don't have obvious architectural details to create a focal point – a range cooker easily introduces that sense of charm and character.

Range cookers are often a great idea for more than just visuals – they're incredibly practical too, especially in small kitchens. 'Range cookers tick off a lot of appliances all in one, with ovens and hobs together,' explains Jayne, creative director at Naked Kitchens.

They also feel right at home in large kitchens, making them incredibly versatile. 'They work wonderfully in a large space where an old existing chimney breast needs to be considered in the kitchen design, a range tends to tuck in neatly,' she adds.

What kitchen styles do range cookers work best in?

i-shaped kitchen with an original aga

(Image credit: deVOL)

While a range cooker is often considered an appliance that only suits traditional kitchens, they're more versatile than you might think. As much as they feel at home in a classic style of kitchen, they work well in contemporary spaces, too. 'Range cookers are like the chameleons of the kitchen world. They fit right in with various styles,' says Erika.

There are so many stylish ways to introduce a range cooker to a scheme – modern or traditional – it's simply a case of choosing the right color and design. It's often easy to make one work in a more classic space as that's where they've always belonged.

'Their classic look is perfect for traditional and farmhouse kitchens, adding to that warm, rustic vibe. Imagine a cozy country kitchen with a vibrant, vintage-style range cooker at its heart,' says Erika.

But, she also adds that a range cooker is a welcome addition to other kitchen styles, too. 'In a sleek, contemporary kitchen, a stainless steel range cooker adds a professional, polished touch, standing out beautifully against minimalist decor. In spaces that blend old and new, a range cooker is a perfect bridge, tying together different design elements into a harmonious whole.'

5 ways to style a range cooker

As range cookers prove to be a timeless kitchen design element, as well as the new heart of the home, we've asked interior designers and kitchen experts to share their favorite ways to style one in your kitchen scheme, whether your space is traditional, modern, or somewhere in between.

1. Make a range cooker the focal point

A chrome and gold range cooker framed by wooden kitchen cabinets

(Image credit: Naked Kitchens)

If you've invested in a beautiful range cooker, or you've inherited one in a heritage home, making it the focal point of your kitchen scheme is a lovely way to make it the statement piece in your space.

'Treat your range cooker like the superstar it is. Place it centrally or under a dramatic, statement hood to draw the eye and anchor the kitchen,' suggests Erika. Locating it in an area of the kitchen where the eye is naturally drawn to first will ensure your range cooker takes center stage.

Equally, you can ensure your range cooker stands out at the focal point of your kitchen by introducing it in a contrasting color to the rest of your scheme. In a white kitchen, opt for a bright color or a bold black, or in a colorful kitchen choose a hue that contrasts but doesn't clash.

2. Frame a range cooker with useful drawers

Dark kitchen with a chrome range cooker

(Image credit: deVOL)

When you're designing your kitchen around a range cooker, you can create a scheme that is both practical and visually appealing. Opt for symmetrical kitchen storage on each side of the range cooker so your essentials are within easy reach, while also adding a stylish addition.

'When a client opts for a range cooker, we always try to position the range in between two drawer stacks which not only looks great but is super practical as all the cooking utensils, pots and pans, etc can be housed next to it,' says Jayne.

We love the design of this dark blue kitchen – the range cooker is framed by two sets of drawers, adding the aforementioned sense of symmetry. The warm-toned hardware is a subtle contrast to the chrome of the cooker, but together they add timeless appeal to the scheme.

3. Create cohesion with you kitchen cabinet color

Chrome range cooker in a white kitchen, matched with chrome cabinet hardware

(Image credit: Erika Jayne Design + Build/Ian Michelman)

Kitchen color ideas come into play in any design, but it's a really important factor to think about when styling a range cooker in your space. Make sure you choose a kitchen cabinet color that works in harmony with your range cooker color for a cohesive scheme.

'Pick cabinetry that complements and highlights your cooker's design,' suggests Erika. 'Bold contrasts can create a modern vibe while matching tones can enhance a cohesive, traditional look.'

In this kitchen, a classic scheme has been achieved by pairing white kitchen cabinetry with the chrome range cooker – matching the cabinet hardware to the range cooker finish adds cohesion to the design without feeling too matchy-matchy.

4. Add a statement hood

Grey kitchen with wall panels and red painted extractor fan

(Image credit: Neptune)

There's nothing worse than creating a beautiful kitchen design – with a statement range cooker at the center of it – only to find your attention is taken by an unsightly extractor fan. While this is a necessary feature, there are some easy ways to avoid it ruining your scheme.

'It's always great to frame the range with a statement extractor hood. This adds to the aesthetics of the design and, of course, hides away the extractor,' says Jayne. There are lots of extractor hood ideas to consider, so choose something that matches your kitchen scheme.

A bold, colorful design has been chosen in this kitchen – a two-tone wall has been created using contrasting colors, which has been carried through to the extractor hood. The lighter tone of the range cooker next to the dark cabinets allows it to stand out, while the extractor hood, painted red to blend with the walls, adds a lovely design detail.

5. Add a fun feature with a striking backsplash

kitchen with marble backsplash and white bar stools

(Image credit: Tracey Ayton)

Kitchen backsplash ideas are essential behind a range cooker, so why not make them into a decorative feature? Whether you add a slab to match your kitchen countertop ideas or add pattern and color with tiles, there are plenty of designs to suit any range cooker style and color.

'Don't be shy – use a striking backsplash to frame your cooker,' says Erika, who says it's the perfect way to enhance your range cooker styling. 'Think subway tiles for a classic touch, or go bold with patterned ceramics or a custom mosaic,' she suggests.

In this kitchen, a striking black and white marble backsplash has been added, matching the countertops. Using this particular stone behind the black and gold range cooker allows the cooker to really stand out and become the main feature of the space.

It's easy to see why range cookers a becoming the new heart of the home. With the right kitchen design and styling, you can make this timeless feature the focal point of your scheme, whether your space is modern or traditional.

Kitchens & Bathrooms Editor

I joined the Homes & Gardens interiors team at the start of 2024 as the kitchens & bathrooms editor. My undergraduate degree was in Magazine Journalism and Production, which I studied at the University of Gloucestershire. Before joining Homes & Gardens, I worked for two interiors titles across both print and digital channels, writing about a range of topics from room design ideas and decorating trends to timeless kitchen schemes and the best places to source pre-loved homeware.