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Cate's Scandi-inspired kitchen design ideas

If you could give your home a complete makeover, which part would you start with? This was a simple question for interior blogger Cate St Hill who just bought her first house together with her partner Olivier. Discover how she planned her space and incorporated her favourite kitchen design ideas.

A grey kitchen with white tiles and a white worktop.
A grey kitchen with white tiles and a white worktop.

    Keeping the old kitchen wasn’t an option; instead they opted for a Scandi-inspired, open-plan kitchen with plenty of storage and fit for their modern and sociable lifestyle.

    "To begin with, I did my own sketches and then an IKEA planner came round and when through it with me –that helped me to visualise it and get the measurements right.”

    Start planning your own kitchen

    Visualising the kitchen
    During the planning phase, Cate carefully considered where each of the kitchen units would sit. She opted for an intuitive kitchen, giving the space the right ‘flow’, where she wouldn’t have to make unnecessary journeys or have things in unnatural places.

    So, how did her vision become a reality? Cate started to visualise the space by sketching out the plan of the kitchen. By using a scale ruler, she could draw out the units to see how they would fit in the space.

    "It seemed logical to have the fridge and freezer tucked in the right-hand corner, away from the window. It’s always quite nice to look out the window while you’re washing up, so the sink was positioned there, where the plumbing already was. That left the oven in the middle and two units either side. It made sense to have the dishwasher next to the sink and drawers for plates, pots and pans the other side of the oven."

    A place to socialise
    ‘Now, with the advent of the open-plan, kitchens are multifunctional spaces where we all gather. At a party you’ll find everyone in the kitchen. It’s a place where friends and family can gather, entertain and work in as well as a space where we can show our identity and personality as well as dreams and goals’.

    The original kitchen didn’t work for Cate and Oliver. It was separated from the living room and felt isolated at the back of the house. Cate had previously been living in a place with a separate galley kitchen, so it was important for her to make the space more sociable by connecting the kitchen with the living room. For this to work, the wall in-between had to go in order to create an open plan solution.

    View of the living room from the kitchen

    The new kitchen

    I like minimal Scandi designs and interiors, but I’m not a true minimalist – I like to populate it with things I’ve collected and memories.

    Cate St Hill, Interiors blogger

    Scandinavian fusions
    Cate was inspired by the minimalistic Scandi design and added plenty of greenery, such as herbs and plants, to bring the space to life. She softened the sleek, grey units with some slightly textured tiles, also adding natural textures, such as the painted wooden floor and a soft rug along the kitchen units.

    "I was inspired by the light, minimal kitchens the Scandinavians do so well – think muted grey units, clean, white tiles, monochrome accessories and utilitarian, everyday items on show. Open shelving looks beautiful, but we really needed all the storage we could get. I love the look of simple metro tiles but found an image where they had been positioned vertically and thought it was a lovely, new take on the look."

    Looks aren’t everything – it has to be usable and livable, it’s not designed just to be a stage set

    Cate St Hill, Interiors blogger

    AFTER: "The kitchen/living room plan. The wall has been knocked down between the two rooms, the door to the living room has been closed off and the opening to the kitchen widened. The kitchen now runs along one wall."

    “IKEA’S VEDDINGE kitchen really appealed to me. Available in white and grey, the doors are smart and contemporary, just what I was after. They can be fitted with handles or left bare and opened with clever, hidden push-openers."

    Cate St Hill
    An interiors blogger and design blogger living in London and by day an architect and design journalist at Blueprint Magazine.

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