For many, the kitchen is the heart of the home.
It’s where we sit down to a tasty meal and catch up with family, where we entertain and drink wine with friends, and where we relax on our own with a cup of tea, gathering our thoughts while preparing for the day.
A space so many use so frequently, it’s important that when designing or refurbishing your kitchen that you know what works for you, and what appliances and accessories you require.
Barry Douglas is a senior designer at North East Interiors, a local, family-run business based in Bridge of Don on Denmore Road, which specialises in designing and fitting beautiful bespoke kitchens and bathrooms.
He works alongside his brother – also a designer – his mum, who looks after the office; his dad who oversees the jobs and their team of seven. The business, which has been operating for more than 20 years boasts a show room highlighting key trends and kitchens from the firm’s primary manufacturer, German company Schuller.
But you don’t need to invest in a whole new kitchen just to change the way it looks says Barry, it’s all about understanding the space and the appliances you need to have in place to ensure your kitchen runs smoothly.
He said: “The best advice I tend to give to people is whether its partial renovation or doing up the whole room, firstly weigh up what you maybe don’t like about the room or what isn’t working for you. Some people think there’s nothing they can do, but it’s important to weigh up the good and bad things you like about it. It may just be that something is in the wrong position or you need more storage of some sort.
“Figure out what you want to get in. The key building blocks – appliances – are the big elements. “It’s knowing if you’ll need two ovens or a big fridge or stuff like that. Once you have them in, you can worry about everything else.”
Looking at the top trends that are anticipated to grace the kitchen interiors world, Barry reckons the clean lines look is in.
“It’s carrying over from last year but it will still be a cleanliness of design,” said Barry.
“Keeping things as clean, simple and as uncluttered as possible will definitely still be popular in 2019. “There is a little bit of a trend where there’s a bit more grey and charcoal tones being used in kitchens and then complemented with wood tones or pastel colours to soften them up. Cleanliness is the predominant factor at the moment and I think that will be here to stay for a while.”
And the same goes for fixtures like handles and accessories taking pride of place on the worktops.
He said: “Tying in with the whole cleanliness and minimalist finish, the first preference for handles on doors at the moment is actually handle-less – or hidden handles. I would have to say the option of handles which sit on the top and are integrated into the door are the most popular. It’s a handle but its very easily hidden so it looks handle-less.
“For those handles on show they’re much more likely to be square or rounded this year and on a smaller scale. Some people prefer a handle, but most people are looking for handle-less just now.”
But it’s the industrial and urban theme that dominated 2018 that Barry says is the main trend that’s here to stay.
“The industrial theme is still pretty big,” said Barry.
“I can’t see a sudden shift towards really country style kitchens or anything like that. In the north-east of Scotland it’s clean, flat doors and those slightly more industrial colours like greys and metal finishes that are definitely still going to be big for the first six months to nine months of this year at the very least.”
And again, it’s the more modern build of open plan kitchens and kitchen spaces that will continue to prove popular throughout 2019.
He said: “More and more people are looking for open plan spaces and taking walls down. It’s not just a kitchen on its own anymore. It can be a kitchen diner, or a kitchen with a family area.
“Once you’ve figured out what you want your space to look like, you can then consider where you want your seating to feature. Will it be an island? Or maybe it’s a bar space for stools and high seating that you’re looking for?
“At the end of last year I had quite a few people looking for a more informal, casual dining area, something between a stool at a breakfast bar and a dining room seating arrangement, so I think that may be something more and more clients will ask for in the future.”
Barry also highlights that by using one manufacturer to supply materials for all of the business’ jobs ensures quality and consistency and safeguards that each individual kitchen will not look incomplete by crossing over brands.
He said: “As a studio we have one kitchen manufacturer we use and that is Schuller. Over the years we’ve had British, Italian and French kitchens, but the quality of the products and the diversity of the items Schuller offer is excellent. It’s a German brand and they offer hundreds of different styles and colours of kitchens and they can accommodate every client with their range. There’s wall solutions, corner pull outs, you name it, they have it.
“It makes life really easy for our clients and gives them a cleanliness of thought by not crossing brands. It’s pretty customisable and they tend to listen to what the market is looking for so have quite a big range.”
Click here for more home & interior news and features.