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Kitchens carry a great deal of kudos within the home, consider how many of the features and advertisements in interiors magazines are associated with the kitchen? The role of the kitchen has changed a great deal in recent years; as a child, my parents set a great deal of store by a farmhouse living style kitchen and when house hunting this was a the holy grail of kitchens! Hours were spent removing walls to create the desired living kitchen. And this in a nutshell is the new way we live, the kitchen has ceased to be a place where we cook, clear up and then leave behind to watch telly. We now spend a considerable amount of our time in our living kitchens, and a whole new vocabulary has thus been spawned such as modern farmhouse and Scandinavian style kitchens.
With this change of direction, there has been a shift in thinking as to how we accessorise our kitchens from how we display kitchen ware, tableware & kitchen utensils to a change in attitude in storing food stuffs and cooking ingredients. Where once we furnished the best room, it is now the case that we want nice things to surround us as we cook, eat, enjoy a glass of wine with our mates or read. Nice things that is that offer a practical and functional use.
Open plan kitchens
Central to this new way is the actual kitchen unit, or should I say lack of kitchen unit. Fitted kitchen cupboards have given way to open plan kitchen shelving & free standing pieces of kitchen furniture. Who wants to delve into the back of a kitchen cupboard for the rice, when the jar is close to hand on the shelf above the hob. This new way of kitchen living isn't just more attractive, it also offers a practical alternative and with the trend towards refill shopping it's also eco friendly. Storage jars create a Scandinavian style kitchen look, indeed, our Danish suppliers offer glass food storage jars in different styles and sizes.
Kitchen hook rails
In my own kitchen, an iron hook rail runs the length of the kitchen. It offers functional hanging storage for cooking pans, colanders, measuring spoons and various utensils. I love the effect this creates in the kitchen and it also keeps everything close at hand when cooking or dishing up. Hook rails are available in many different forms and lengths. A rail can be added to the underside of a shelf-perfect for utensils or mounted on a blank piece of wall for tea towels. We offer a range brass, iron and coal hook rails to compliment the overall look of your kitchen.
Kitchen shelving and hooks offer the basis for the overall look. For the go to pieces of kitchenware, I conducted a mini poll on Instagram. Table cloth & napkins featured strongly, as did serving dishes and pretty glasses for the table. To these I would add linen tea towels and nice cleaning utensils.
Tablecloth is a simple way to instantly freshen up the kitchen, a vintage or modern linen tablecloth looks pretty but can be a faff to launder. Our range of linen oilcloth has a linen like appearance but has the added bonus of being wipe clean. Available in a range of designs from smart striped oilcloth to a classic plain linen.
Linen napkins are making something of a comeback, cotton or linen, a napkin adds to the overall look of the table.
Which brings me to my tea towel obsession. There is something reassuringly calming about a neatly folded tea towel on the work top. The kitchen is tidy, the jobs are done and all is well. I am quite exacting about the tea towel, there is no room for souvenir tea towels in my kitchen! A linen or heavy cotton cloth is a given and I have a nostalgia for the Irish laundry cloth style stripe. So, our tea towels feature stripes in red, blue, charcoal and mustard (which compliments my yellow kitchen perfectly). Finished with a small central hanging loop.
Like wise, when it comes to buying drinking glasses the old adage of buy well, buy once bears weight. Wine glasses from La Rochere are made to last, these are beautifully weighted and sit pleasantly in the hand. They are also extremely durable, La Rochere glass goes through the dishwasher without clouding and doesn't chip or break easily. The La Rochere bee glass is the iconic design, we also offer the amboises & Versailles designs.
I also love the retro style of school glasses, these simple and durable beakers are reminiscent of school lunchtime and I love the look of these stacked on the kitchen shelf.
I like drinking glasses to be simple in style and prefer a heavier glass and this is also true when it comes to plates and dishes. I like dishes to made from earthenware or stone ware. More rustic in appearance, these pieces will also be more durable and stand up to the rigors of daily life. I don't believe in keeping things for best!
Jugs & Pitchers
I would also add jugs and pitchers to this list, whether it be for serving water or juice at the table or for placing a jug of cut flowers. I would agree with our Instagram poll, that you need lots of them and in a range of sizes.
And finally, cleaning brushes. We began stocking a range of natural cleaning brushes a couple of years ago. These pieces are both really useful, from the vegetable brush to the beech handled dish brush, but they also look great on the kitchen windowsill. Mine sit in an old Indian brick mould on the windowsill.
Cleaning products are very much a functional part of kitchenware, but I don't see why functional things have to be unattractive and I think this is probably the biggest change we have seen in the kitchen. These days everything from the roasting dish to the storage jar and tea towel can be functional and aesthetically pleasing. Which I think is progress!