Tips for Creating a Stylishly Curated Kitchen with Clare Altarafi of Clare Elise Interiors

We absolutely love designing and styling kitchen spaces, which more often than not tend to be open plan. Although they may have practicality at their core, by no means does that mean there should be a compromise on design. Our aim when designing these spaces is to incorporate just as much style and interest as we do in other areas within the home. Blurring the boundaries between the need for high functioning areas and beautiful, yet comfortable living spaces helps maintain the cohesive thread throughout the home, and create that effortless curated space that our clients are looking for.

Here are some of our key considerations to enable you to embrace the trend for merging the stylistic qualities of both kitchen and living areas, and achieve an interior that inspires:

Kitchen Shelving

Maximising surface areas within a space that lend themselves to placing art, decorative objects or treasures are key in all areas of the home, and where possible we always try to incorporate shelving in kitchen areas for this reason. Opting for some open shelving over wall units helps to keep these spaces feeling open and lend themselves to creating the perfect kitchen shelfie! Interspersed with both beautiful tableware and artisan ceramics as well as art prints, plants and kitchen appropriate books, there is just as much opportunity to adorn these shelves with just the same amount of love and attention to detail as those in your living spaces and bedrooms. This really helps to soften the kitchen area and add visual interest for the eye in a sometimes more impersonal area of the home.

Photo credit: Matt Gamble

Soften with Seating

We always try and make sure all of our open plan kitchen/living spaces are softened as much as possible with as much seating as we can squeeze and as much opportunity to incorporate cushions as possible. This could mean not just sticking to the fail-safe ‘sofa and dining chair’ combo, but perhaps adding an additional accent chair in an appropriate nook or corner or adding some built-in bench seating in the dining space that means more opportunity to play with colour texture and tactility (and yes, you guessed it, more cushions!).

Photo credit: Amy Harvey

Statement Art

We never leave art off our sourcing lists for these spaces. They play such a huge role in all other living spaces – why not celebrate them here? Given the kitchen/living area is where we all spend the vast majority of our time at home (ok, perhaps pre-Covid home office days), and also entertain friends and family, our suggestion is to always go big, bold and statement with art in here, a sure-fire way to spark some joy looking at something you love, creating some wow-factor and provoking conversation.

Photo credit: Fiona Walker-Arnott

Lighting Lighting Lighting

We all know how important lighting is in the home and essentially the rule that more is more and you can never have enough and this applies to the kitchen and living space just as much as it does anywhere else. Statement pendant lights over islands or dining tables really help centre and zone that particular area and allow real opportunity to create some visual impact. Wall lights above a long linear wall shelf can look stunning as well as creating some stylish low-level lighting for more intimate moments and highlight the decorative objects on the shelves. Floor lamps and table lamps play just as mush of an important role in these spaces and should absolutely not be overlooked as an additional opportunity to create a more intimate ambiance with low level lighting, great when entertaining.

Photo credit: Matt Gamble

Photo credit: Chris Snook

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