It’s where we cook, eat, entertain, and it might also be your makeshift working from home set up. One thing’s for sure, the kitchen is one of the most hard-working rooms of the home, and one of the most expensive to renovate.
Many of us tuned into Nigella Lawson’s Cook Eat Repeat to lust after goey-chocolate bakes and pasta dishes. However, it seems that thanks to Nigella and her 'micro-wah-vey', we’ve fallen back in love with retro style or country farmhouse kitchens.
Over half of homeowners are opting for traditional over modern, sleek designs, according to research by leading kitchen retailer, Magnet. Plus, we’re now seeing a return of one very retro kitchen feature: the walk-in pantry, with an incredible 75% of us wanting to see one in our own kitchen.
At My Table: A Celebration of Home Cooking, available to order
Nigella's new book is collection of simple to prepare recipes featuring new ingredients to enrich classic flavors and tastes. Main courses include Chili Mint Lamb Cutlets and colorful vegetable dishes such as Eastern Mediterranean Chopped Salad – plus there are treats such as Emergency Brownies, Sticky Toffee Pudding, and White Chocolate Cheesecake. Yum.
Remember the serving window? Well, this was voted the number-one most iconic retro trend, with almost a third of Brits selecting it as the kitchen feature they remember most, in the survey conducted by Magnet Kitchens.
There are of course some retro kitchen features we simply can’t get on board with, as Magnet discovered. Over 35% of us voted traditional tiled worktops as the worst look of the last 100 years, alongside dark wood kitchen units and veneer-trimmed cabinets.
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Neptune has also seen a surge in households longing for traditional, country style kitchen. Their Shaker-inspired Suffolk design kitchen is currently one of their most popular collections.
'Although Shaker kitchens are essentially a classic design, they don’t have the ornate mouldings and beading that you might find on a lot of other traditional cabinetry, which means they can be visually transformed with very little effort,' explains Hayley Matthews, Kitchen Designer at Neptune York.
However, going traditional does not mean a dull color palette. 'The simplest way to transform the look and feel of a Shaker kitchen is with color, and many of our customers are opting for pops of bright color, patterns and tiles, combined with the simple, pared-back design of our Suffolk collection,' she adds.
Apart from being inspired by Nigella's homely kitchen and fairy light-adorned larder, our appreciation of the traditional is to do with the uncertain times we're in, says Beth Boulton, Head of Marketing at Magnet explains.
'It’s during these unpredictable times that many homeowners look on the past with nostalgia and will be wanting to create home environments that feel calming, safe and secure and the softer lines of traditional kitchens can help with this. As well as the more retro features that are remembered from parents’ and grandparents’ homes from years before,’ she says.
‘As smart designs and appliances are becoming increasingly available in kitchens across the country, it’s intriguing to see former trends such as walk-in larders are still desired in homeowners' kitchen design plans today,’ Beth Boulton adds.
As we know, trends in the world of fashion often come full circle, with younger generations wearing their parents’ clothes that were seen on the catwalk in the '70s and '80s. And now it seems the same can be said about our kitchens, as modern styles are overtaken by retro designs.
Will you be embracing the walk-in larder or installing a serving hatch? Or should some things be left in the '80s? We're voting yes to larders, not so much for hatches.
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Millie Hurst is the Solved Section Editor at Homes & Gardens. She has six years of experience in digital journalism, having previously worked as Senior SEO Editor at News UK in London and New York. She then gained experience writing for women's magazines before joining Future PLC in January 2021. Millie has written for an array of homes brands including Livingetc and Real Homes and was formerly Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home before taking on the position of Section Editor with Homes & Gardens. She has written and edited countless features on home organization, decluttering and interior design and always hopes to inspire readers with new ways to enjoy their homes. She lives in Sheffield, South Yorkshire and loves to weave nature-inspired decor and nods to time spent in Italy into her own home.
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