How to Create a Quintessentially English Kitchen
We love heritage in this country. It seems that the English architectural traditions are enjoying a wave of popularity with so many new homes built to resemble Georgian, Elizabethan or even Tudor styles. If you have a house that looks amazing from the outside, you might also want to follow the trend inside and make sure your English kitchen fits the overall style.
What is an English kitchen and how to create it?
When we say English kitchen, most of you will probably think about Downton Abbey with its grandiose kitchen featuring an enormous kitchen island and beautiful stone tile flooring. The good thing is that you don’t need a 1000 square feet space to create an impressive kitchen.
Ready-made off-the shelf kitchens that you find in the big outlets will hardly do the job. You will probably be looking at bespoke kitchens made to measure especially for your house with your specific requirements in mind. It is also practical because we rarely start from a blank canvas with a nice square shape.
In many cases kitchens come with quirky architectural features or they have a story behind them having been converted or extended. Going for bespoke kitchens, you will maximise space as all kitchen cabinets will be made according to your specific measurements.
Historically, the heart of an English kitchen was the hearth. Everything else was centred around it. Today it’s a rarity but if you want to follow the tradition, you’ll probably want to choose a nice, big range cooker in one of the classic enamel finishes and then plan your kitchen around it.
When it comes to periods and styles, kitchen cabinets are quite difficult to build according to strict design principles because the main consideration has to be ergonomics and safety. If you’re offered a 100% pure Georgian kitchen, it’s likely to be less than 100% accurate because the requirements back then were quite a bit different from what people expect of their kitchens today.
That’s why many customers find that the easiest option for creating an English kitchen is to go for the classic shaker kitchen style. The name may put you off because it sounds American, however, Shakers – the religious sect that originated this interior design style – was actually founded in Manchester.
Surfaces are Important
It’s the surfaces that will either make or break the whole English kitchen campaign. Centuries ago you would struggle to find Italian marble used as worktops in an English kitchen. So if you’re after purity, your material choice would be rather limited. We expect you would choose granite worktops or solid wood worktops to stay true to the idea.
Other important elements of a quintessentially English kitchen are a solid wood breakfast table, a kitchen island, stone flooring and an exaggerated kitchen dresser featuring display doors with intricate glasswork. A big dresser is a must-have in our opinion. Once you’ve figured out the layout and cabinets, it’s time to think about décor elements. Copper, wrought iron and shabby chic tends to go very well with an English kitchen design.
Costs-wise, if you’re going for the bespoke kitchen option, you’re looking at an average price tag of £7,500. Everything else depends on the accessories and enhancements you go for. A good quality enamelled range cooker costs anywhere between £1,500 and £12,000. Accessories also come with very different price tags.
Some people buy most of their accessories at architectural salvage yards. It’s a great way to save money and a guaranteed way to fill your English kitchen with heritage objects, not just ones that look authentic but were actually made thousands of miles from Britain.