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17 September 2014
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Nina Campbell


The kitchen has come out of the basement and found its place in the heart of our homes. As such, it is often a multi-purpose room, needing to be both functional and comfortable. Nina Campbell shows you how.

Mix old and new

cups and cherries, chandelier and a modern cooker

Nina's signature style is to combine the best of old and new - and she makes no exception to this rule in the kitchen. Of all the rooms in the house, she believes that the kitchen is the one where modern technology is most welcome.

Chic new appliances, a good quality oven and practical storage units that look both sleek and work well are essential to make the preparation of food as easy and enjoyable as possible.

Table setting, glasses and a vintage-style plate

However, with all that technology and modernity, it's good to have elements that give character and reflect the general style of your home. For example, in a New York loft, Nina hung a chandelier over the modern worksurface. Alternatively, an old table works well with a contemporary kitchen. Classic fabric used for curtains or blinds and vintage crockery on display also looks homely.

Before adding design details, think about what you'll be doing in your kitchen - if you're a prolific cook, a chandelier and excessive soft furnishings will only collect grime. However, if you're more of a takeaway or microwave dinner person, you can afford to be more decorative and less practical.

Also, if you do prefer your home to look old-fashioned, remember that many kitchen essentials can also be traditional in appearance - think retro fridges, traditional fuel burning stoves, and classically styled kettles, toasters and food mixers.

A new look for less

Replacing a kitchen is an expensive job but as long as you are happy with the existing layout, it is possible to update your room on a more modest budget:

  • Change the worksurface - it will transform the look of your room. Make sure you get a professional tradesman to do the work as mistakes can be expensive.
  • Change the cupboard doors or handles. Replacing small round knobs for longer, brushed steel handles will instantly bring your kitchen up to date. New doors can give the room a facelift. It's much less expensive than replacing the units, and it works.
  • Alternatively, if you like the look of your doors but still fancy a change, why not repaint them. If they're wood, you will need to sand them back first. Whatever material your doors are made of, ensure you get compatible paint to get the best effect.

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