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The kitchen: heart of health

 

The superhighway of wellbeing starts with your fuel, and it’s a lot easier to create wholesome food, and feel good about doing so, if your kitchen has adequate storage, easily accessible pots and pans, and the room itself is well arranged. This isn’t about creating show off, look-at-me kitchens though. After all, eating is seldom about display, rather it’s about recognising the importance of the kitchen at the heart of our health, as well as our homes, and working out what can be done to help both along.

 

So, this month ELLE Decoration is going kitchens and cookware crazy as we mount a month long #EDkitchens digital takeover! Translating as, we’re celebrating this vital home hub across all of our Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter feeds, as well as on this site. Because, I feel that if you look after this space, everything else in your home will start to come together too; it’s not referred to as the heart of your home for nothing! So, be sure to follow the hashtag (#EDkitchens) to get all the insider intel, and join in the fun. The thing is, kitchens don’t have to be complicated, but they do need to work. So herewith, to get you started, my personal check list of things to bear in mind when planning, updating or refining any kitchen.

 

1 People tend to put the sink in front of any windows. But consider this, you probably have a dishwasher, so you’re not standing in front of the sink for extended periods anymore, which was traditionally the point of giving yourself a view in days of yore, ie enabling keeping an eye on children playing in a back yard. Today, I suggest either your hob (see below), or the space between sink and stove, as your default viewing spot, as this is where you’ll probably spend most of your time.

This home in Melbourne features a kitchen that marries silver travertine cladding the island unit with a quartzite stone countertop, a chestnut floor and stained oak cabinets. Every detail combining to make a glorious textural whole. First featured in the September 2016 edition. Photographer Tess Kelly.

This kitchen in Melbourne puts the hob in the hot spot. It also scores major deluxe points by marrying a silver travertine clad island unit with a quartzite stone countertop, a chestnut floor and stained oak cabinets. Every detail combining to make a glorious textural whole. First featured in the September 2016 edition. Photographer Tess Kelly.

2 I read once that kitchen worktop space should be minimised as it just ends up as a magnet for non-kitchen related “stuff”. To an extent this is true, but I think this is more a factor of inadequate storage elsewhere than a need to restrict surface area in the kitchen. It pays dividends though to think ahead about the things that could genuinely clutter your countertop: microwaves, bread bin, kettle, cutlery, bottles of olive oil? Do you have enough room for all of it? Or will more wall cupboards make sense. Or consider giving up one unit of worktop for a cupboard that stretches from floor to ceiling.

Sometimes it's just a pop of green that's required to give both you and a room a lift. This image is from one of my favourite ever homes we've published, first seen in the June 2016 edition. See the back issues link at the bottom of the post if you want to pick up a copy.

This image is from one of my favourite ever homes we’ve published, first seen in the June 2016 edition. Here a long, open display shelf and plenty of under cabinet storage mean the worktops are pleasingly clear of clutter, instead just the things that are used everyday are close to hand with space left over for “objets”! See the back issues link at the bottom of the post if you want to pick up a copy.

3 Always add in twice as many sockets as you think you’ll need. Enough said.

 

4 And don’t forget to allow ample space for waste disposal. With a need to separate out our paper from glass, if not vegetable peelings too, and for some the requirement to hold onto it all until a specified collection day, it’s increasingly important to seriously consider where it will all go. Buckets of rotting food on your worktop is not a good look. Neither are overflowing bags of old newspapers. IKEA do some great inexpensive waste sorting bins that fit in their drawer systems, but you still need cupboard space to house them, or else a nook to hide them away. It’s not factoring in things like this that can scupper even the most glorious of cook spaces.

 

5 Save costs on your units if needs be, but never your worktop. In many kitchens this is the most visible bit, being a horizontal surface that’s completely on show, and therefore it’s the element that has the most immediate visual impact. It’s the finishing touch that makes the look, so it also needs to weather well. As far as I’m concerned it should be one of the first things you think about, from both a budgetry and aesthetic perspective. To draw a fashion analogy, it’s a bit like the little black dress that’s lifted to new heights by an utterly fabulous pair of shoes — this is the effect a great worktop can have. In my homes over the years I’ve always used Corian because it can be formed in any shape you desire (think fully integrated, curved splash backs and inset sinks), is seamless, practically indestructible and it comes in myriad magnificent colours.

Arguably the copper-clad cupboard fronts rather steal most of the attention in this kitchen, but anything less than a seamless Corian worktop would have killed the look. For more details see ELLE Decoration Kitchens Volume 2. Link at bottom of post.

Arguably the copper-clad cupboard fronts rather steal most of the attention in this kitchen, but anything less than a seamless Corian worktop would have killed the look completely. For more details see ELLE Decoration Kitchens Volume 2. Link at bottom of post.

6. Don’t neglect your splash back. Following on from the above, this part of your kitchen design is akin to tying a beautiful ribbon around your finished prize. So if it’s not integrated with your worktop, why not have some fun with it. It’s just as easy to tile in coloured stripes as it is to use all the same colour, but oh so much more striking, especially if paired with a complementary wall colour. And check out this post for some other great splashback ideas.

These hand-made tiles in varied shades of blue from 'Made a Mano' add a wonderful stripe of colour and texture to this otherwise very simple kitchen.

These hand-made tiles in varied shades of blue are from ‘Made a Mano’: they add a wonderful stripe of colour and texture to this otherwise very simple white kitchen.

6 Clutter is never your friend, but nowhere more so than your kitchen, so step one for any serious kitchen reboot is a ruthless audit. Have you fired up that ice-cream maker, ‘Nutribullet’ or spiraliser in the last six months? No. Then get rid. The path to wellbeing starts by surrounding yourself only with things you use, or love. It’ll make you happier, I promise.

In this house in Sweden, an IKEA kitchen looks super luxe with "Voxtorp" walnut veneer cabinet fronts, open shelving and a glossy acrylic countertop. A white tap by Nivito is a clever choice too as it effectively disappears into the white-tiled splashback. First featured in the April 2017 "Decorating" edition of ELLE Decoration. Photograph: Andrea Papini/House of Pictures Styling: Alexandra Ydholm

In this house in Sweden, an IKEA kitchen looks super luxe with “Voxtorp” walnut veneer cabinet fronts, open shelving and a glossy acrylic countertop. A white tap by Nivito is a clever choice too as it effectively disappears into the white-tiled splashback. First featured in the April 2017 “Decorating” edition of ELLE Decoration. Photograph: Andrea Papini/House of Pictures Styling: Alexandra Ydholm

 

Text by Michelle Ogundehin, Editor-in-Chief of ELLE Decoration

 

And for extra added inspiration on all things kitchens why don’t you download ELLE Decoration Kitchens Volume 1 our first 100-page Kitchens book, available as a digital edition for just £2.99 via the ELLE Decoration app. And there’s also ELLE Decoration Bathrooms Volume 1, downloadable via the same app.

 

BUT ELLE Decoration Kitchens Volume 2 is available absolutely FREE from 2 March to 5 April 2017 with the current April “Decorating” edition of ELLE Decoration, on sale at all good UK newsagents.

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#EDkitchens Follow the hashtag on InstagramFacebookPinterest and Twitter for more kitchens fun.

#EDtrendbulletin #EDUKApr17

Twitter @ELLEDecoMO   Instagram @michelleogundehin

See also michelleogundehin.com



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