This week we caught up with Linda Barker, our Creative Director, and she talked us through how she adds a unique touch to her kitchen designs.
When talking to our kitchen designers, I often find myself discussing the virtues of creating a unique kitchen design for our customers and introducing quirky ‘one off’ elements into a room to set it apart from any other.
Often this can be achieved using accessories from small bespoke shops, or using architectural salvage finds. Salvage is something that I love in my own home, whether it’s a pair of candlesticks, a bar stool or a light fitting.
A salvage piece can really set a room apart, introducing a uniqueness that is a counterbalance to the ordinary or the ‘newness’ of a room. Designing a kitchen that is functional, original and good looking can be quite a task! After all, there are over 2,900 decisions to be made when designing a new kitchen – so our Design Team have to work pretty darn hard to make our kitchens something that our customers find totally rewarding and stimulating.
The creation of a beautiful kitchen is all about using different yet complementary colours, textures and shapes. Lots of this comes as a given if customers are opting for the Linda Barker Collection and are prepared to look at using two or three colours together in one space. However, some of which, dare I say it, doesn’t always have to come from Wren.
A trio of lovely pendant lamps, for example, that hang over a breakfast bar could be unique salvage finds. A set of old wooden chopping boards propped against the tiled splash back might come from an olive farm in Italy, or an antique pestle and mortar on an island unit can all contribute to a successful kitchen space. I realise that it’s difficult to plan a look that relies on rummaging around boot fairs and antique markets, particularly if this rummaging gene really is out of your comfort zone, but a lot of these things can be found on eBay or similar online sites, so it’s something that can even be done whilst you’re still in bed!
Right now I’m watching an oversized convex wall mirror and an industrial retro bar stool, both on eBay and both of which would look great in a kitchen environment…
To inspire our kitchen designers, I point then towards inspiring interior designers, such as Abigail Ahern – a brilliant designer who isn’t afraid of using bold, dark colours all around the house. I try to encourage our new Designers to look at amazing salvage sites such as Bailey’s home-store and The French House, as well as good old eBay.
In short, home is such a tiny word for the place that is our safe, comfortable and nurturing place, and the fact we can make a home uniquely ‘ours’ makes us, the designers of our homes, pretty important. So, with a little bit of unconventional salvage, designer one-offs or antique searching, we’ll be able to elevate our kitchen space into something with a definite *wow* factor and one which has a unique stamp on it. A kind of signature style that is all our own because, at the end of the day, interior design is about creating uniqueness and individuality in our homes.