Words by Hannah Tapping
Achieving a luxury room in the heart of the home by combining sustainable principles and innovative design.
When it comes to discernible luxury, your kitchen says more about you and your home than perhaps any other room. It’s not just a place in which to cook, as modern kitchens are much more than the sum of their parts. They function as home offices, classrooms, dining and relaxation spaces; places where tears are shed and laughter is heard; places to congregate at the beginning and end of each day. How we use our kitchens is personal to each and every one of us and no-one knows that more than Kitchen Kit SW, which specialises in German kitchen brands Nobilia and Ballerina, chosen for their beautiful designs and exceptional build quality. With interior trends changing with the seasons I’m keen to learn how this is being reflected in the world of kitchen design.
Olivia explains: “Handleless kitchens will remain highly sought-after in 2022. You might be asking yourself, what exactly is a handleless kitchen and why would I benefit from one? A true handleless kitchen, such as our ranges from Nobilia and Ballerina have handle rails pre-milled in the actual carcasses of the kitchens that allow you to open the doors from either the top, bottom or the side. The benefits are many, not least the minimalist look you will achieve due to the smooth unbroken lines of the doors. A handleless kitchen can also give a spacious feeling, often with the effect of making a small kitchen look bigger and less cluttered, and there are no knobs or handles to clean or get caught up on.”
With kitchens now expected to have multi-functionality, and with so many of us spending more time at home over recent years, company Director, Nigel adds that the popularity in breakfast bars and kitchen islands has sky-rocketed. “They have the effect of achieving both extra space for sociable cooking and also an extension to a dining area. Many of our customers have reported that they have provided a focal point for family to gather, making meal times and coffee catch-ups more sociable than before.” Look at any kitchen Pinterest board or Instagram story and you’ll realise that the days when kitchens were either white or wood have long gone. Both Nobilia’s and Ballerina’s incredible ranges of colour and finish offer a kaleidoscope of choice. Olivia adds: “We are seeing an increasing lean towards dark colours, think hues of deep blue, green or even black. It may seem like a daring choice but going bold with colour makes a statement and is very on-trend. A two-tone effect, whether that be a mix of colours or white with wood for a mid-century modern look, is also proving to be particular popular.”
When it comes to kitchen surfaces this year, stone always figures high on the Kitchen Kit trend list. “It’s both practical, stylish and hard-wearing, and should be the go-to surface for any budding pastry chef as it stays cold. Marble offers unique veining so you know your worktop will be one of a kind. Quartz is an excellent option if you are looking for a wider colour choice, and for a Cornish kitchen then granite is perfect as it will also be in keeping with the local vernacular. Stone worktops aren’t the cheapest option, but they are a wise investment due to their combination of function and longevity,” says Olivia.
Not only do Kitchen Kit take care of the worktops, they offer an expertly curated range of appliances from the likes of Neff and Siemens. While appliances are the necessary beating heart of the kitchen, we don’t always want to have them on display. Nigel suggests selecting integrated appliances: “You won’t detract from the design of your kitchen, as all the work horses will be hidden behind doors. This year will also see the rise in popularity of smart appliances which connect to your smartphone via WiFi. Choose from clever coffee machines, ovens with HD cameras or even fridges with apps to help you manage your groceries!”
Sustainability is of huge national and global importance at the moment and that is certainly the case when it comes to kitchen purchases, as Olivia explains: “We are able to reassure our customers that quality, environment and energy efficiency have been part of the Nobilia philosophy from the very beginning, with each kitchen in the range meeting stringent international quality, environment and energy guidelines. In 2009, Nobilia was the first kitchen manufacturer to be certified in accordance with PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes) with their timber products coming from sustainably managed semi-natural forests and carefully controlled sources. It’s a similar story with Ballerina. They have adopted an ecological product design meaning their kitchens benefit from a long lifespan, carcasses made from sustainable material timber derives from sustainably managed forests.”
Taking the sustainability story one stage further, Kitchen Kit have partnered with Verto Homes, the UK’s first housebuilder to specialise in the design, build and sale of smart homes which produce zero carbon emissions. Creating beautifully designed homes across the south west, Verto’s belief is that: “When you live in a home it’s often the little things you really come to appreciate, which is why they select natural materials that blend in with the surroundings, interior colours that create a sense of tranquillity, and quality appliances that work beautifully, day after day.” With this ethos aligning with Kitchen Kit’s own, all kitchens in Verto homes are designed and expertly fitted by Olivia, Nigel and their team. Each house type has its own kitchen design, chosen for its premium quality and engineering and fitted with the most energy-efficient appliances. “We have our own highly experienced in-house installation team,” says Nigel, “and I think that, along with the fact that Nobilia kitchens were exactly what Verto were looking for in terms of form and function, were deciding factors in us securing the contract.”
For private customers, Kitchen Kit offer a tried and tested process for achieving the kitchen of their dreams. A showroom visit comes first, and with a wide range of kitchens in situ, customers can experience the quality and finish first hand. A private appointment is offered to discuss needs and wants and then once a layout and design has been agreed upon, each kitchen is manufactured specifically to the customer’s requirements ; nothing is off the shelf here. As previously mentioned, with experienced fitters, installation is seamless and to the highest of standards. From conception to handover, every detail is considered.