Magnet asked me and a whole host of other contributors recently our top trends for kitchens. The kitchen is probably the most important room in the house – where we eat, hang out, do homework, entertain, it has many roles. The tough part I find is turning something that is multitasking and super practical into something that oozes personality and doesn’€™t disconnect with the rest of the space. This is particularly important when you have an open plan space like mine!

So my number one trend is the 24/7 kitchen. By this I mean creating a space where you literally WANT to hang out in any hour of the day. I also say a “trend”, but I think this is a change in how we use our homes that isn’t going away anytime soon. The 24/7 kitchen is here to stay.

To make this work, you need to adapt the space somewhat. I’m showing you guys a before and after of my own kitchen today because it’s the perfect case in point. Over the years my kitchen has totally changed from being a sterile white space with nothing much in it to being a space I now hang out in day and night. So deep breath, here’s the “before” pic.

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Looking at it now I can’t believe my kitchen actually ever looked like this but it did, boring as hell! However I’ve starting adding more bits of furniture, a chair in the corner and a console across the window it changes things up. It’s here that I now sit, write recipes, sip coffee, stare at the front garden and dream up new schemes.

Also a note on those 50’s vintage bar stools at the kitchen island. I designed the kitchen way before realising the importance of furniture (I’ve now seen the light on that one). So now I have a situation where there are beautiful Italian suede barstools but actually no room for your legs when you sit at the island! So should you decide to hang out here it won’t be the most comfortable, but hey you live and learn. I’m the first to admit I’m not the most practical of designers. But I would say factor in the extra “stuff” from the start – furniture, art, accessories, not just the bare bones of the kitchen units and appliances. It’s these that will make the space after all.

 

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So this is how it looks now! And legs issue aside the kitchen island is where I perch in the evening with a glass of wine while watching something bubbling on the stove. Perhaps the biggest game changer has been the accessories. As a result my kitchen is no longer that practical zone it once was.

My kitchen is now filled with chandeliers, art, flowers, rugs, and candles so rather than just whizzing in and rustling up a meal I actually want to hang out in it all day long. This morning just after writing the blogpost, I made coffee, flicked through some recipe books, did my Ocado order and knocked up some homemade soda bread for lunch. Lavish some love on your kitchens, and they’ll be the heart of the home.