Want to revamp your kitchen diner so that it’s good looking and on trend as well as practical? Find out how here
Pic: Marks & Spencer
Choose a colour scheme
We love deep, dramatic colours, and inky shades are bang on trend for the year ahead. So, if you’re brave (like us), pick bold – but not bright – colour for your kitchen cabinets.
Considering moving in the near future, fickle about colour or just unsure? Stick to a safer scheme – in other words, white or off-white – for the cabinetry and add splashes of colour on the walls, with accessories or simply a gorgeous tablecloth.
Next add texture – we’re suckers for a lookalike marble worktop and splashback, while wood tones make a great contrast for deep colours, such as the grey-blue in this kitchen. Want to add a touch of glamour for the evenings? Look for accessories, such as lampshades or vases in metallics and glass, which will catch the light and add a sparkle.
Get the lighting spot on
Kitchen diner lighting is the most complicated of all schemes to design, especially if the room has a living area, too, because there’s so much to cater for, if you’ll pardon the pun. First, pay attention to lighting the work zones in the kitchen area, whether with lighting under wall cabinets, ceiling spotlights, directional spots or low-slung pendants.
Then, look to the dining area, which will need lighting over the table itself, whether in the form of spots or low hung pendants – a group of pendants looks particularly good here, and if not, over a breakfast bar.
Lastly, consider the living area, with table lamps being the best way to separate this zone from the others and to create a cosy feel at night.
For best effect, ensure the different zones of the room are on different circuits and, where possible, on dimmers, so that you can create different moods within the room, depending on whether you’re cooking, eating or unwinding.
Pic: Walls & Floors
Find the right flooring
An open-plan kitchen diner – perhaps with a living space attached - needs flooring that can do several jobs. First, it needs to unite the space – so one flooring throughout with rugs over to soften it in the living area will always look better than two types of flooring. Next, it needs to be practical – so think wipeable, warm underfoot and crack-proof. Finally, it needs to be the right finish – too glossy and it will show up smudges, too dark and it will make the room feel formal and dingy.
Our ideal? Either tough matt tiles with underfloor heating, cushioned vinyl that looks like stone or does a very good impression of wood or engineered wood in a pale finish. On a budget? Limewashed or painted pine floorboards work well, too, although be prepared for a bit of maintenance every couple of years, especially in areas where they will get splashed.
Pic: California Shutters
Pick the perfect window dressing
There’s absolutely no way anyone is ever going to persuade us that anything other than shutters are the right choice for a kitchen diner. Yes, we tried curtains back in the 1970s, fussy blinds in the 1980s, roller blinds in the 1990s and a minimalist bare window throughout the noughties, but now we’ve happily settled down with shutters – and this time we’ve committed.
Why? Shutters are great for filtering out everything from nosy neighbours and noise to sunlight and cold draughts. They’re classically elegant and easy to decorate around time and again. They won’t need any maintenance other than a wipe down now and then. And they don’t cost the earth if you DIY-fit them. Don’t believe us? Check out our rather fabulous range.
Create a dining nook
Even small kitchens can make space for a dining area – a must if you’ve only been eating on your lap until now. A tiny table like this one can sit four at a squeeze (or eight for drinks and nibbles), especially if you swap a chair for a bench for two. And if space is tight, include a storage unit above the table to store all the stuff you’re likely to need as soon as you sit down – from extra glasses to condiments.
Pic: Marks & Spencer
Display and store
Whether you’ve got bags of space for a big show-off dresser or you’ve sacrificed some storage space in the kitchen area for a dining space, a glass-door storage unit like this one is the perfect buy for taking the strain off your kitchen cabinets.
Go for one that’s as tall as possible to make good use of the vertical space and if your crockery and glassware’s not as good looking as this lot, choose a patterned frosted film to disguise the cupboard’s innards. Find a unit with a couple of deep drawers, too – handy for hiding away everything from candles to takeaway menus.
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Want help choosing the right shutters? Contact us or call us on 0800 195 0 196