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Interiors: Take inspiration from Samantha Cameron and inject personality into your kitchen

PUBLISHED: 09:30 28 February 2015

City White kitchen, Magnet

City White kitchen, Magnet

Archant

Kitchens are for eating, drinking and socialising, but the heart of the home also speaks volumes about our taste - as a glimpse into the kitchens of Prime Minister’s wife Samantha Cameron and celebrity chef Nigella Lawson recently revealed.

26/01/2015 PA File Photo of Samantha Cameron, the wife of Prime Minister David Cameron, has breakfast in her Downing Street apartment with Philip Kiley (left), eight, from Chorley in Lancashire, and Stevie Tyrie, eight, from Manchester, as part of her support for the charity Contact A Family which helps families with disabled children26/01/2015 PA File Photo of Samantha Cameron, the wife of Prime Minister David Cameron, has breakfast in her Downing Street apartment with Philip Kiley (left), eight, from Chorley in Lancashire, and Stevie Tyrie, eight, from Manchester, as part of her support for the charity Contact A Family which helps families with disabled children

While there’s a homely, eclectic feel to the Downing Street space, with open shelves cluttered with pots and pans and a blackboard on the wall for family messages, Lawson’s made a full-on feminine statement with fuchsia-pink cabinets and drawers, in her new London home.

It just goes to show, the recipe for a perfect kitchen is highly personal. There’s no one right ‘look’ - what matters is that this space suits you and the way you want to live.

“There are several factors to take into account when choosing a kitchen,” advises Craig Burgess-Allen, UK manager for Rational kitchens.

“Consider the style of the rest of your home, especially if you have an open-plan layout with spaces flowing into one another, as you want to avoid choosing a style which jars with the rest of your design scheme.

Carradale kitchen; Selby ceramic rise and fall ceiling pendant and Cecile bar chair, both from the Croft collection, John LewisCarradale kitchen; Selby ceramic rise and fall ceiling pendant and Cecile bar chair, both from the Croft collection, John Lewis

“Equally, don’t feel obliged in a period home to install a traditional kitchen. The priority is for a functional space, which is easy to work in and is visually appealing, and modern ranges can be hugely successful as a stunning, calm pared-back contrast, when the rest of the house is highly embellished with flourishes and detail.”

A kitchen can make or break a property deal, and it’s estimated that it can add up to seven per cent to the value of a home.

“Bear in mind that adventurous colour choices may look great in the showroom but can be hard to live with, and aren’t generally advisable if you’re considering selling a property,” Burgess-Allen points out.

“If you feel colour-starved, play with colour in worktops and tiling. Always consider the natural light available, and opt for light reflecting surfaces if it’s limited.

Cookhouse Metro Tile in white with teal grout, British Ceramic TileCookhouse Metro Tile in white with teal grout, British Ceramic Tile

Here we look at the essential ingredients for a celebrity-style kitchen; simply add your own taste!

Premier style

There’s a relaxed, informality about Samantha Cameron’s kitchen, with its neutral colour scheme and mix of wood, steel and marble finishes, which would appeal to those who want to avoid a conventional contemporary approach.

“Kitchens are no longer the place to hide your personal possessions. It’s time to express your personality and put your worldly goods on display for everyone to see. Glass-fronted cabinets and open shelves make it easy to quickly locate kitchen kit and personalises the room,” says Hayley Shaw, head of merchandising at Magnet.

Onda kitchen in Orchid, RationalOnda kitchen in Orchid, Rational

“The polar opposite of high gloss, in 2015 we’re getting touchy-feely in the kitchen, by introducing rich textures to cabinets and worktops. Mixing vintage materials with modern finishes adds instant character, and is extremely indulgent for those seeking cutting edge trends.”

Colour recipe

Nigella’s kitchen hue puts an individual stamp on the space, but if that’s cooking up too much of a colour storm, play safe by using colourful accents for easy-to-change items, such as wallpaper and accessories.

“Colour’s great in a kitchen and massively on trend currently - green and deep cranberry pink are particularly popular. But remember that, although coloured fitted furniture injects fun, and vibrancy can make a statement in a key room, this could affect the saleability of a house,” says Amanda Watson, head of design at Betta Living.

Anglepoise maxi pendant; Dual range cooker; Jersey pottery fruits de mer mackerel oval dish, John LewisAnglepoise maxi pendant; Dual range cooker; Jersey pottery fruits de mer mackerel oval dish, John Lewis

“Painted doors in more neutral colours, like sage, chalk and grey, with maybe a central island painted in a warmer stronger shade, delivers a modern yet timeless look, which might be more advisable for those hoping their kitchen will stand the test of time.”

need to even empty the cupboards - and could be around half the cost of completely replacing a kitchen,” says Troy Tappenden, managing director of kitchen makeover company, Dream Doors.

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