If you’re the head chef in your household, you deserve a kitchen designed for the way you cook. Naked Kitchens make bespoke kitchens that are both beautiful and very practical: built for real life. So we invited them to share their expert tips on creating the perfect home cook’s kitchen…
Even for people who don’t particularly love cooking, the kitchen is the hub of the home: the place where all life happens, from homework supervision to epic dinner parties. But if you are a passionate chef and good cooking is a major part of your identity – whether that’s intimate suppers for two or Christmas lunch for twenty – then a really well-designed kitchen can make your home life so much better.
A space where everything is conveniently to hand when you need it, where every nook and corner is utilised to help not hinder, and where you can feel truly in your element – that’s the dream home cook’s kitchen. So if you’re thinking about a kitchen redesign, here are six tips for making that dream a reality…
1) Base the kitchen design around what and how you cook
When people are thinking about a new kitchen they usually start with visual inspiration – dreamily browsing those showroom stunners on Instagram or in sumptuous brochures, all beautifully photographed and impossibly empty. But in real life, kitchens should be designed for use, not just for show.
So whether designing your own kitchen or working with a planner, the key is to think about how you use it every day. What do you cook, and what do you use to cook it? How can you conveniently store your most used ingredients and implements? How are your cooker, sink and fridge – the three corners of the famous kitchen work triangle – laid out?
A kitchen designed for efficiency and tailored to your individual cooking style – with all the little annoying things removed (no unnecessary reaching, bending etc) – is the first step to creating your happy place. (There is a science to this, called kitchen ergonomics. You can read more about that in their blog post: Kitchen ergonomics: 5 clever ways to make your kitchen design more efficient.)
2) Design for your space
Another thing to remember when lusting after Instagram and brochure kitchens is that very often they’re built for photoshoots in huge empty studios. So recreating a showroom kitchen within the physical constraints of your own home may be quite impossible.
In real life, you need to think about the space you have available in your home, and how you make every square inch of it work for you. Instead of thinking ‘how can I fit that showroom kitchen into my house’, start with the space you have and think how you can best make it work. A truly bespoke kitchen can be precision-engineered to fit your home, creating beautiful storage and cooking solutions that work with your home’s character and bring the space alive. Sloping ceilings, low beams, immovable pillars and awkward corners can become characterful features to embrace, rather than problems to try and work around.
(And don’t despair if your kitchen space is small – size is no barrier to a great kitchen. See Small but beautiful: A complete guide to designing and maximising the space in a small kitchen.)
3) Go for bespoke kitchen storage
Is there anything more pleasing for a cook than having everything you need shelved, ordered and readily accessible? Just imagine opening a door into a cool and fragrant space and seeing all your dry goods, spices, Maldon Salt boxes and cooking implements conveniently arranged, all ready for you to get cracking on that culinary masterpiece…
Bespoke pantries and larders can be calibrated precisely to your food and cooking preferences. Think pull-out pasta compartments, spice racks integrated into your cupboard doors, pegboard drawers for your pots and pans… If you want your kitchen to warm your heart every time you use it, invest in bespoke storage tailored to what and how you cook, rather than standard cabinetry.
4) Invest in quality materials, built to last
When you’re a keen cook, your kitchen gets seriously heavy use. So if you want your dream kitchen to stay dreamy even after years of hard work – chopping, slicing, the endless opening and closing of doors and drawers – then it needs to be well-made out of good, hard-wearing materials.
High-quality timber cabinets and worktops of solid wood, quartz or marble are worthwhile long-term investments.
5) Don’t forget beauty
So far we’ve talked a lot about the practical side of a well-designed cook’s kitchen. But of course beauty is important too! When you spend so much of your time in it, a kitchen should be a lovely space: a joy to enter, a refuge from stress, a place to be proud of.
Your choice of cabinet style and finish can be an expression of your personality, whether you like calming Scandi minimalism or energising colour explosions. And little details like cabinet handles, taps and splashbacks can have a huge visual impact.
Very often the kitchen sets the tone for your whole home interior décor – and you’re going to be living with it for a long time. So it’s really important to take your time, look carefully at all the options and choose a look that you’re going to love forever. (For more tips on style, check out Choosing colours for your kitchen – an expert guide.)
6) Make room for a touch of magic
One of the great things about bespoke kitchen design is that you can come up with brand new ideas. At Naked Kitchens, they love working with customers to create things that are totally unique to them. It might be a special coffee station, a brilliantly concealed TV cabinet or a bar with both an integrated wine rack and a dedicated wine fridge, so both reds and whites can be stored at the perfect drinking temperature.
That unique touch is what can really make a kitchen magical. So if you’ve got a special kitchen something you’ve always dreamed about, talk to your designer – you may be surprised at how achievable it is.
Naked Kitchens make beautiful, bespoke, bomb-proof kitchens which, thanks to their unique combination of British craftsmanship and cutting-edge automation, don’t cost the earth. They can custom-make the cook’s kitchen you dream about: any size, any space, any design; and built for life.