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7 Clever kitchen design tricks you need to know

Want to know how the kitchen experts design beautiful wine and dine spaces? We talked to female design duo Crittall + Hill for their 7 gold-dust tips for creating the kitchen of dreams.

Hello … tell us about Crittall + Hill Interior Design?

We are Alice Crittall and Rebecca Hill, two designers who are passionate about promoting local craftspeople while trying to challenge the notion of ‘country interiors’. We live and breathe interiors! Alice spent nine years honing her skills at London’s top design studios such as March and White and has lots of experience with renovations. Rebecca spent 10 years in East London working in graphic design and has in-depth experience with her own renovation projects. We have recently completed two local pubs too, The Black Horse in Amberley and The Britannia, Nailsworth.

What do you get asked about most?
Where our clients should focus their budget – without hesitation we say the kitchen. It’s where we spend pivotal parts of our day; getting ready in the morning and reconnecting with loved ones in the evening. The kitchen’s a home office, a school desk, clutter collector and more! And being such a multi-functional space it needs to work with our busy modern lives.

Want to know how to make your kitchen the dream dine ‘n’ unwind space? Follow these 7 top tips.

1. Think about your work triangle

Something we often talk about when it comes to kitchens is the ‘work triangle’. Being able to pivot easily between your hob, sink and fridge will improve the experience of how you use the space, so considering the layout of appliances and work surfaces is important. Think carefully about your daily kitchen routine, where do you go most? Also, always allow for enough space to pull dining chairs or bar stools out, and ensure they are at a comfortable height.

2. Conceal those appliances

If you can, hide unsightly appliances away in a cupboard or drawer. Cooker hoods are often an afterthought, but they can dramatically affect the space. It can be a beautiful architectural detail or a stand alone design feature in itself. Working with a design professional will ensure what could be an eyesore becomes fully integrated into the room. When it comes to cooking, consider what type of hob fits you and your space best. Induction hobs and built-in extractor fans are easier to maintain, but some people prefer cooking on an open flame. For induction hobs we love using the Fisher and Paykel range.

3. Get your lighting and atmosphere right

Kitchen lighting can often run the risk of feeling clinical and stark. A considered lighting layout is key to creating a warm atmosphere. Having different circuits for different purposes is a good idea. Ensure downlighters hit vertical surfaces so that you’re not creating shadows on your workspace. Also consider where your natural light source is coming from. Is your space light and airy, or dark and enclosed? Work with what you have instead of trying to force a space to become something it naturally isn’t. Don’t forget a good sound system, because who doesn’t need a dance in the kitchen! 

4. Pay attention to your paint finish

An inexpensive way to play around with creating a different feel is to consider painting walls in a high gloss to create a more impactful statement whilst also bouncing light around. It sounds unusual, but can be very effective in small dark rooms. Also consider lime paint, for example, Bauwerk is a great one, giving you not only health benefits of working with a cleaner product, but a beautiful finish and the knowledge you’ve used something ecologically-friendly which is better for the planet.

5. Use textiles to soften and add playful touches

Full length tailored tablecloths, window treatments and curtain doors are having a moment! This adds softness and when combined with a bold pattern creates a playful feature. It can be timeless when done in a simple paired back fabric. Splash backs are a good way of getting creative too. We like to go to Balineum for their designs but also their customisation service. Always keep in mind durable finishes too, invest in quality materials for your cabinetry and worktops that will stand the test of time. 

6. Style it out sister

Mix in ornaments and non-kitchen items to add interest. This adds a human quality and allows your personality to shine. Everyday objects such as a salt and pepper shaker or an interesting shaped utensil can also act as a sculptural form. This helps the kitchen to feel like an extension of the rest of your house and will improve the sense of flow and cohesion. Artwork is a great talking point and adds layers to make the space feel less ‘kitcheny’. Rugs are not automatically thought of within a kitchen scheme, but can add a softness and warmth, which is great if your floor is tile or stone without underfloor heating. It can also help break up lines.

7. Be bold with your eco-choices

Creating a kitchen that is eco-friendly is easy to do. Something we place great importance on within our designs sustainability, consider using large dried flower arrangements for example. We love Thistle by Nature who we’ve worked with on numerous projects. Cut down on plastics too with an eco-friendly alternative. From bamboo kitchen utensils to plant-based, non-stick pans. Investing in a nice soap dispenser that can be refilled using either multipack or going to a local refill shop is also a great idea.

Want to chat to Alice and Becca about your project? We are giving an exclusive 30% off a consultation to Muddy Readers! Just click here to read more.

To find out more or book a design consultation with Crittall + Hill contact Email: or call 020 7160 6324 or 01452 405695. Crittall + Hill can help with interior design, kitchen design, bathroom design, spatial planning, 3D visualisation, bespoke joinery and cabinetry and colour consultation.

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