Interiors: Food for thought

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Whether you’re thinking about selling your house or simply want to create a warm and welcoming feel to your existing dwelling then forget about fancy fixtures and finishing touches in a sitting room or a state-of-the-art bathroom. The one space that will sell your house for you quicker than you can say ‘estate agent’, or will instantly impress visitors and set the tone for the rest of your home, is your kitchen.

But before you start checking out paints, pots and pans the first thing you need to do is dispel the myth from your mind of kitchens being shiny havens full of glistening chrome and gadgets in order to look good.

The other thing to remember is you needn’t shell out a fortune on buying a totally fitted design. In fact, by mixing in different elements – an antique armoire to house all your crockery for example – you are in fact creating a unique look that will immediately give your kitchen personality instead of a bland identikit feel.

At the top end of the market there are companies such as deVOL (  who will create a stylish yet informal kitchen for you, working in hand-crafted cabinets, wooden worktops, enamel butler’s sinks and elegantly painted Shaker style furniture. Plain English ( is another specialist who will create beautiful bespoke pieces for your dream kitchen.

If you’re sold on a more unified, fitted look then have a look at the websites for Howden’s Joinery ( and John Lewis of Hungerford (

If your budget is tight you can still achieve a fabulous fitted kitchen courtesy of Ikea’s excellent economic selection or create one that’s filled with charm and comfort by being a little eagle-eyed and cannily creative.

A kitchen table and chairs are obvious essentials if you have the room but if you’re squeezed for space then opt for foldaway versions. HomeSense ( and Habitat both sell a good variety.

There’s a huge choice of dining delights on the high street, too, but if you’re handy with a sander and paintbrush then you can always transform second-hand buys. If your style errs on the more conservative side of things then buy off the shelf.

If gutting your kitchen isn’t an option then repaint existing cupboards to instantly give them a new lease of life. International Paints ( has a good selection.

Refreshing paintwork on walls and sugar soaping any grubby areas such as splash-backs will also help to invigorate your look. Some new crockery, cutlery, glassware and table linen will complete your kitchen’s new and improved feel.

Try Dunelm Mill ( and Marks & Spencer for a brilliant collection of treats that will suit all tastes but still leave you enough change to conjure up a celebratory meal in the hub of your home.

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