The Relaxing Kitchen

How to... design a relaxing kitchen

Black kitchen with white topped island and mixed bar stools
Ben Anders

For Laura Harper Hinton, co-founder of healthy restaurant and coffee roastery Caravan, the kitchen is a place to relax and come up with new ideas for her recipes. Here’s the four-step fast-track to her laid-back style…

1 It’s all about storage In my last kitchen, everything was on display, but after having kids I decided it needed to be a bit neater. Minimalist isn’t the right word, but I wanted to be able to put things away rather than having stuff out on workbenches. My kitchen’s a bit more pared back than I originally thought it would be, but I love its sense of calm.

Laura Harper stood in her kitchen next to island
Laura Harper, co-founder of Caravan in her kitchen. First featured in the July 2017 ‘Wellbeing’ issue of ELLE Decoration.
Ben Anders
A Black kitchen pantry with toaster, coffee machine and various glass jars 
A well-ordered pantry in the kitchen of Laura Harper, co-founder of Caravan. First featured in the July 2017 ‘Wellbeing’ issue of ELLE Decoration.
Ben Anders

2 Keep the decoration quiet I never use bossy colours that dominate a room; texture is key. The walls are decorated with a clay plaster. Its warm tones make the space feel peaceful. And I’ve consciously avoided spotlights, since I’m not a fan of the harsh light they emit.

View between kitchen island and dining table to black-framed bifold doors leading into garden
The kitchen of Laura Harper, co-founder of Caravan. First featured in the July 2017 ‘Wellbeing’ issue of ELLE Decoration.
Ben Anders

3 Buy what you love I’m fanatical about vintage chopping boards, which I collect like a magpie. You gravitate towards things you love, and I can’t stop buying them, even though I clearly don’t need any more.

Various wooden chopping boards on kitchen worktop next to sink
Wooden chopping boards in the kitchen of Laura Harper, co-founder of Caravan. First featured in the July 2017 ‘Wellbeing’ issue of ELLE Decoration.
Ben Anders

4 And finally, install a pantry! It’s my favourite thing ion the kitchen. I was obsessed with finding a logical way to store everything, including mixers, food processors and blenders, as I’m not a fan of having them out on bench tops. It’s so organised now.

Check out Laura’s book here... Caravan: Dining All Day, £16.59

And for even more inspiration on all things kitchens ELLE Decoration Kitchens Volume 3 is available absolutely FREE with the April 2019 “Decorating” edition of ELLE Decoration, on sale at all good UK newsagents.

Covers of ELLE Decoration Kitchens supplements Vol 1 and Vol 2
ELLE Decoration Kitchens Vol 1 and Vol 2
ELLE Decoration
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