Style and design tips for a dream kitchen area

I received a concern from a reader asking me to share some pics and concepts about my kitchen area.

She advised me she was in the middle of a property revamp herself: “Congratulations on your attractive residence.

“I have been on the lookout for photographs of your kitchen everywhere. I love it. I am in the middle of a renovation and would drastically recognize it if you would share some photos of your kitchen or even the components you used?”

Pricey reader, thank you for your concern and form words and phrases.

Jennifer Sheahan: ‘The kitchen was the most vital area for me to get correct.’

As my reply grew in length I realised I have a good deal of ideas to share on kitchen area style and design and so I determined to make it the matter for this week’s column.

The kitchen area was the most vital location for me to get proper. Everything else in this area — the residing home, dining space, and backyard garden — was designed immediately after the kitchen area had been finalised. I truly consider the kitchen area is the coronary heart of the property.

I adore baking and cooking and so I shell out a good deal of time in it. I also put a good deal of considered into the layout and layout, and so I hope you uncover the following beneficial.


I was adamant that my kitchen would not have overhead cupboards. In this small place (my kitchen is around 6.5 sq. metres) I sense they would have built the room claustrophobic.

It was essential to me to have a feeling of openness at eye level so that the area felt larger and spacious.

This essential cautiously arranging storage in the remaining space obtainable, which I will include later.

There are no wall-mounted cupboards here.
There are no wall-mounted cupboards below.

I also chose a down-draught extractor hob (Bora Pure — love it) so that I would not have to set up an overhead extractor admirer.

The temptation would have been to put in a conventional U-formed kitchen in opposition to the three partitions in this article, which lots of kitchen suppliers proposed as I was purchasing about, even so that format felt limited and cramped to me.

It also would have pressured me to drop just one of the sliding doorways, which convey so a lot gentle and openness into this area, and which I appreciate to toss vast open in summertime to deliver the exterior in.

So following several iterations the suitable structure was lastly manufactured feasible, thanks to Dawn Guidera in Savvy Kitchens.

I have no overhead cabinets or extractors.

I have the peninsula which gives exceptional countertop space and produces a separation from the dining location.

And that indicates I can have my charming next sliding door to provide in all the beautiful sunshine we get below in Eire. The modest place feels open up and ethereal with no obtaining dropped performance or storage.


Eschewing overhead cabinets intended getting additional clever with the remaining house, and so here are my major tips for building storage in the kitchen:

Go ground to ceiling

Assuming you really do not have extra substantial ceilings, it will make absolute perception to fill the gap usually left previously mentioned kitchen cabinets. 

Every square inch of space is considered.
Every square inch of area is regarded as.

There is plenty of offered house remaining more than higher than complete-sized kitchen appliances this sort of as fridge freezers. This is the location to retail store your lesser-applied cumbersome items — just remember to purchase a stepladder.

Use the corners

Corner models offer you lots of house, and pull-out Le Mans models are superb for providing easy access to that awkward spot.

Test pocket doorways

Pocket doors slide again into themselves enabling you easy entry to cabinets and added countertop place. I simply cannot propose these hugely ample.

Do not ignore narrow spaces

Most kitchen units are normal dimensions, and so that can indicate you close up with some gaps as these models are equipped into your place.

Usually these are panelled more than but this is a waste.

I have a 10cm area beside my fridge which has instead been turned into a broom cabinet, and I can not tell you how substantially things I am equipped to squeeze in right here.

Use open shelves

Rather than currently being guiding shut cupboard doorways, I have open shelving for glassware and books. I also have a peg rail previously mentioned the hob which offers hanging storage for objects these types of as pots and pans, with out taking up place.


The type of my kitchen was the past point I regarded. I wished a bold color, and I required a cottage really feel balanced with a modern day type.

Experienced I the spending budget I would have picked out serious wood panelling, but I didn’t, so I have alternatively mimicked the seem working with MDF doorways with a V-groove carved in. I also would have splashed out on stable wood cupboard interiors with dovetail joints, but all over again this was out of finances so I have much more MDF which does the task adequately.

My cupboards are painted with Railings by Farrow and Ball, and I also had the interiors of my pantry cabinets painted India Yellow (also by F&B) which adds an excess splash of color when opened. The paint is finished with a matte major coat, which provides a complex complete and would make the panelling show up more sensible (I feel in any case).

My countertop is Delecatta Carrara Quartz (from Whole Dwelling in Limerick by means of Savvy Kitchens).

Some say you simply cannot use Cif or bleach on quartz but I’ve been making use of both of those with abandon and so far so great. It is a strong and quick to clear countertop and I’m extremely pleased with it.

Other options that I considered (out of my finances at the time) have been an engineered stone like Neolith — just about indestructible — or a polished terrazzo countertop.

Ultimately my kitchen area backsplash is Zellige tiles from the Mosaic Factory.

At first look these could seem tricky to thoroughly clean as the area is uneven, but in simple fact they are excellent as there is barely any grout among them and they have a clean area. I adore them!

My remaining tip on products is the sink — I have a typical stainless steel sink in gunmetal gray, and it is a aspiration to continue to keep clean up. I was talked out of having a wonderful Belfast sink for this very explanation, for which I am now thankful.