We’re all unique in our way and we like our homes to be a reflection of that.
To shape our surroundings is to add our personal little touches, and incorporate our tastes with colours and materials and gadgets of our choosing. If you’re moving into a home for the first time, you immediately get a sense of what that person was like, what they liked and disliked.
The kitchen is no different. What we choose can demonstrate whether we are safe or adventurous, for example. Someone who likes to have a house full or someone whose home is just for them.
But if you’re just moving into a new house, or about to embark on that new refurbishment job, or just want to give your kitchen a sparkle of personality, sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start.
In this post Julie Gokce, Senior Designer at More Kitchens, analyses a few of the most popular personality types and gives her tips on how to create a kitchen space that matches your style.
For the one who is a home bird
For someone whose home is just for them, they’re very interested in the practicalities of the kitchen rather than design. In short, they’re very substance over style.
For home birds, practicality and functionality are far more important. They’re not bothered about showing off to their friends. They don’t want excesses like feature lighting or fancy finishes. They want what makes their kitchen life easier, like hot taps and pop-up sockets.
A kitchen in that home is just for the people living in it. They’re typically smaller kitchens, with conversations tending to divert away from knocking down walls and opening up space. That space tends to be left to the comfort of the living area.
With the feature walls, they’re going to be safe. From a designer’s perspective, smaller kitchens also can’t take big and bold colours in the same way so expect to see a lot of earthy colours, including white, grey, and brown.
The one who is the hostess with the mostest
A completely different ball game to the kitchen of a home bird and we see that style dialled right up with the aim of turning the kitchen into a space for celebrations, entertaining and socialising.
As a result of the pandemic, we’re seeing far more turning their focus into creating a space that they can show off. Given the space and ambience, an open-plan kitchen design lends to a mi-casa su-casa feel.
You can fully expect to see plenty of appliances built-in as well as a wine cooler in plain view.
When we’re talking about feature walls, they are big and bold. For example, floral designs and leafy wallpaper really bring the room to life. Accentuating and exuberating the style, there are options to include slatted timber to antiqued copper panelling that can make for a very bold statement.
With wall panels, there’s the opportunity to set LEDs down the tracks. In particular, recessed COB LEDs are great for feature lighting. These can be fitted under work surfaces, under bases, into walls and onto ceilings. Not just any ordinary lighting either. Expect to see colour-changing lighting that hosts can alternate for when guests make an appearance.
These kitchens are all about the show and performance and, most of all, making an impact.
The one who loves nothing more than to bake and cook
Thanks to shows like The Great British Bake Off, we’re a nation full of people that love to get in the kitchen to cook and bake.
Wanting to replicate those kitchen styles and layouts, it’s all about surface area and having as much space as possible to spread out. Kitchen storage is also an essential element, especially for those who have pots, pans and kitchen utensils in abundance.
As well as space, multi-functionality is also key. Parents and grandparents also love to get their children involved so avoiding tight spaces is important. There will also be a lot more seating, particularly if there is a kitchen island that the family can get around together to mix things and make it a far more sociable experience.
The one who has switched to remote working
Hybrid working is the inevitability of our time. As a result, many are looking at revamping their spaces to accommodate it, including the kitchen.
This is supported by a Microsoft survey completed at the beginning of 2022, showing that 70% of workers want a flexible working option post-pandemic.
Until 2020, the home office set-up was not the norm. That’s changed now, with many changing spaces, including spare bedrooms and kitchens, to accommodate regular homeworking.
These spaces are functional in approach and a mixture of practicality and style. You tend to see the nice kitchen island that has space and storage in abundance and includes built-in electrical charge points that help with our laptops and phones. It’s the coffee machine in the corner. The scenery is just as important, particularly with how the outdoors are incorporated to make the space feel more open and alive.
What’s becoming more and more popular is the integration of a designated study area, something that can be closed off to retain that balance between Zoom calls, crunching numbers, creativity, homework club, and family dinners.
The one who loves to bring the outdoors in
For this, it isn’t necessarily what you do within the kitchen but rather how you bring the outdoors into it.
Rather than flamboyant feature walls, colours, and big lighting, more emphasis is put on bringing natural light in with big windows and having the bi-folds installed in the kitchen to lead straight out into the garden will really open up the available space.
However, having a biophilic design with the walls adds a ‘living’ wall by bringing in vibrant shades of green and various plans filling a whole wall or section of it, bringing the outside in and creating a connection with nature.
Again, it’s likely that the kitchen will take a practical approach. The space is more hardwearing, with more of it dedicated to being a boot or utility room – somewhere to store kids’ things, walking boots, coats, hats, scarves, and sporting equipment.
This approach, particularly, has become increasingly popular with families.
The one with the eclectic taste
Circling back to what was mentioned at the beginning, each and every person is unquestionably unique.
What works for one, will not work for another. And while the previous personalities are very broad, it would be remiss of us to forget people that have eclectic tastes.
These are the people that take inspiration from a number of different areas, particularly different cultures away from the UK. That could be investing in American or Australian styles as an example, bringing in particular colours and textures that you don’t typically see in the kitchen space, the growing influence of black appliances and cabinetry being the biggest example of that.
As a designer, these projects are the most rewarding because they are the kitchens you don’t see in a UK showroom. They are particular tastes but they’re packed full of personality, and totally out-of-the-box ideas that allow a true designer to get their creative juices flowing.