Contemporary Kitchen. Chevron in NorsewoodContemporary Kitchen, London
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Take a pewFor a really relaxing way to feel part of the garden, try a window seat like this one. The protruding bay creates a deep ledge, ideal for a padded seat and some cushions.Here, the owners have chosen a botanical fabric for their cushions. The design blends in with the greenery outside and helps to frame the view.
Develop a soft sideA window seat is an explicit invitation to pause and take in the view, introducing a more relaxing element to a hard-working space such as a kitchen. Add an upholstered seat pad and cushions and it’ll soften the room texturally as well. Note how this seat’s upholstery and cushions link with both the bottle green of the metro-tiled splashback and the foliage of the garden for a space-stretching blurring of inside and out.Are metro tiles here to stay?
The alternative: A window seatWhy it’s a contender: It’s sociable and relaxingOne of the great things about an island is how it can make kitchens more sociable – the cook can prepare food while easily chatting to guests. But there are other, much more luxurious ways to include friends and family in your culinary activities. In this airy room, the window seat is surely the main attraction for visitors. Imagine chilling out on those cushions while chatting with the cook and enjoying the view of the garden.
Enjoy the viewSometimes the best way to invite nature into your home is simply through a window. If you are lucky to have a nice view, or a pretty back garden that’s uplifting to gaze out at, don’t block it off. Invite it into your home and leave windows bare of dressings. If you’re planning building works, factor views in when designing and shopping for windows. And design gardens so they can be enjoyed from inside your house, too, which is something that can often be forgotten when we arrange our borders and beds.
You might have different motivationsWhile some renovators are spurred on by an image of the finished project – a pristine kitchen extension like this one, for example – others simply aren’t quite as driven by the idea of completion. Which can be, like, really annoying for both parties.DIY projects are fertile ground for this kind of couple discontentment. If you’re in the former camp, you will be infuriated that a person can sleep at night having paused halfway through the re-grouting project two months ago! If you’re in the latter, you will vainly argue for quality of life, weekends off and the importance of mental rest. This kind of relaxed attitude, of course, does not extend to a relaxed response when said partner is prodded towards completion; the ‘doer’ will tread carefully, itching to get in there and finish it themselves, or grumbling to get someone in. But if this is you, be warned: the repercussions of ‘taking over’ may be greater than the satisfaction of seeing the work finished. Throughout this impasse, a comfortable resentment will blossom between you.
Start from the bottom upImagine walking into this room and listening to your footsteps. Good-quality flooring sounds as good as it looks. And, if your kitchen leads onto other rooms, it makes sense to link the spaces with the same flooring, like the beautiful wood parquet seen here.Concerns about how well wood holds up in a steamy kitchen environment are understandable, but you should have no problems with a well-oiled or varnished wooden floor. Your supplier should be able to advise you on the most practical finish. Alternatively, consider good-looking stone or porcelain tiles for the same amount of ‘wow factor’..