In the Design Studio: British Inspiration for American Kitchens

ANNA GIBSON

This is a sponsored post by Anna Gibson, owner of AKG Design Studio and an award-winning, certified kitchen and bathroom designer. AKG Design Studio is a boutique design firm specializing in kitchen, bathroom designs and cabinetry sales. Contact her at 571-989-2541 or [email protected] and check out her work on Houzz; Pinterest; Facebook; and Twitter.

In “honor” of England’s vote to Brexit from the European Union, we decided to take our kitchen investigation “across the pond.” Whereas stateside kitchens are often expansive and detail-driven, in the UK, cozy kitchens with an emphasis on function are the norm.

Still, designs in each country fluctuate with modern trends. Since U.S. design often takes its cue from Britain, we can look at current British trends to discover what we might see over the next few years in our own country.

Downsizing

Kitchens 1 Traditionally, European kitchens are kept separate from the rest of the house. Kitchens can be smaller since meals are eaten in a separate dining room away from food preparation, which isn’t considered glamorous or guest-friendly. Downsizing the kitchen is a trend to watch out for as the desire for smaller homes overall continues to increase.

Smaller Appliances

The practice of integrating appliances into the cabinetry — also known as flush mounted appliances — is one factor that contributes to the European kitchen’s coziness.

Kitchens 2Also, appliances may be smaller; for example, a 24″ fridge is more likely in Europe than the typical 36″ Americans require. Since more U.S. consumers desire fresh, local produce, our fridge space might be lessening soon too.

Daring Color Palette

There’s nothing wrong with stainless steel, but who doesn’t want more options? Banana yellow, Prince purple, or candy apple red, for example? Kudos to European designers for realizing the kitchen can be as full of color as any other room. As cabinets American designers continue to offer bright colors and patterned wallpapers, perhaps these trends will rub off on our kitchen color schemes too.

Cabinet Options

Frameless cabinets are one way Europe thinks outside the box. Since most frameless cabinets are high gloss laminates on MDF (think IKEA), they are fairly easy to maintain.

Some American designers view high gloss cabinetry as high-end because it offers a sleek contemporary look that can modernize the traditional kitchen.

UKCultural Priorities

According to The English Home, even cozy kitchens must include a table at which tea can be taken. This “adds informality and a coziness to what might otherwise be a purely functional room.”

Since Americans have long heralded the eat-in kitchen, this may be a case where our social gathering habits may be influencing Europeans instead of the other way around!

Since downsizing and the desire for fully functioning and integrated appliances is already becoming a factor in kitchen renovations in the U.S., we’re already seeing the influence of European design trends. U.S. consumers, though, will always prioritize one important cultural tradition: having a designated place for your family to gather around.

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