Looking to redesign your kitchen? Want to create a space to spend time cooking, eating, entertaining and unwinding? Read on to peruse our favourite kitchens and hear about the stories that inspired them. Now find out 10 expert tips for designing your kitchen.


Serene space

Fire Made founder Ana Ortiz invites us into her spacious, stylish kitchen with beautiful views over the Somerset countryside

I’m Ana Ortiz, chef-director of Fire Made, designers and makers of fire cooking equipment made in England. I live in Somerset with my husband, Tom, and our daughter, Isabella. The kitchen is open-plan and goes out to our patio and garden. It is also attached to a big old cellar as it is an Edwardian house and so has plenty of pantry space.

The wow factor of this house is the view across the Blackmore Vale, and the kitchen enjoys this outlook, which was a huge bonus as we spend so much time in here. The first thing we did was to change the window to big folding doors, so we have a real connection with the outdoor area.

Ana Ortiz in her kitchen in Somerset

The kitchen was simply designed, so it was easy to style. I was keen to add some colourful art to the walls, including paintings by my daughter. We also added some Ecuadorian textiles, baskets and dishes. The decoration is inspired by South America but with a twist of vintage. I love vintage reclamation shops and there are lots of places here in Somerset. I have found loads of gems over the years, either close to home or on our travels.

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The view is so relaxing – to come down and look at this fabulous big open space and cook. Whatever the season, hearing the birds or even listening to the rain beat down is so relaxing. One of my favourite things to do is to sit down and read while waiting for a cake to bake in the oven, or curl up by the window while choosing recipes from wonderful cookbooks for supper.

My favourite moments are cooking with my family and friends all together. A few times we have done tamales and humitas, which is traditionally made in groups – the process takes a while, so more hands makes it easier, and they are always worth it. We then do a little banquet to enjoy our feast and, because we end up making hundreds of tamales, we then split the leftovers so everyone takes the goodies away to their houses.

Kitchen Haven Somerset

Playful and perfect

Harriet Mansell, chef-owner of Lilac in Lyme Regis, shows us around her small but cleverly thought-out space in Dorset

I’m the owner of Lilac Restaurant & Wine Bar in Lyme Regis, Dorset – I run the business and work as a chef. My passion is working with wild ingredients, and I forage for my menus. I live just outside Lyme Regis, in the countryside, along with my dog Louis and cat Peddy Pops. My kitchen is small, functional and accessible. When I moved into my rented cottage, the ground floor space offered an open-plan dining and living area, so I created a kind of galley through shelving – something I very much needed for all of my equipment and ingredients. I do love cooking and coming up with something tasty from whatever I have lying around. And I love entertaining – that’s what made me want to be a chef. There is nothing like a well-crafted dinner party.

Harriet Mansel in her kitchen

I really needed to make my open-plan living space as functional as possible to fit in as much kitchen equipment as I could. It’s a small space, so I simply went for as much shelving as would comfortably fit in without overwhelming the space. I took inspiration from my professional kitchens. I loved cooking Christmas dinner for my mum and dad last year. I made a classic beef wellington and beautiful veg sides, and we ate at the nearby table, then relaxed in front of the log burner. It was super-cosy but comfortable and, for me, that’s a really fond recent memory.

What makes this my perfect kitchen is that it’s mine to use, for now. I have the great privilege of living by myself with everything I need and love around me. What makes me appreciate it even more is that it took me a long time to find somewhere to rent, as it’s very hard to find long-term rentals in my part of the world. So I really do appreciate it tremendously. I get to feel playful in this kitchen, it’s everything I need. I love that it’s open-plan – there’s something so sociable about that when I have people over, and it’s home. I love that.

Harriet Mansell with her dog side by side a close-up image of her pantry

Perfectly formed

Author and broadcaster Martha Collison shows us around her small but ultrafunctional space in Hove

I’m Martha Collison, a recipe creator, cookbook author and broadcaster living on the (sometimes) sunny Sussex coast. We picked Brighton and Hove as a place to make home because the food scene is electric, with more independent restaurants and cafés than you can shake a stick at. It has all the perks of being a sizeable city but with the benefit of being privy to fresh seafood – caught by fishermen and sold at the port each morning – and local produce grown and harvested across the South Downs. I live with my husband, Michael, and we are really excited to be welcoming our first baby in just a matter of weeks. Living in a place as popular as Hove means space comes at a premium, so our kitchen is small but perfectly formed.

We’ve made a few tweaks since moving in two years ago to help it work better for us – it isn’t the dream Instagram kitchen but it is beautiful in my eyes. I’m passionate about the fact that you don’t need an expensive, glossy, marble-topped kitchen to be a great chef, so even though our space is a little more humble than other kitchens, it suits our lifestyle and the size of the flat, and it’s still possible to turn out great food. When we were flat hunting, one non-negotiable was that we wanted an open-plan space, as I spend so much time in the kitchen devising new recipes and cooking for friends and family, and didn’t want to be tucked away in a box room at the back of a flat. The kitchen is U-shaped, and I have a trusty hand-painted IKEA unit nearby to store larger appliances, plus a cupboard full of cake tins. It’s a traditional shaker-style kitchen, with a wooden worktop and white herringbone tiles. It is a well-used and well-loved space, so I like for items to serve real purpose as well as look stylish. I love handmade ceramics and splatterware, so have gathered a lovely little collection from antique shops and independent artists over the years.

Shot of Martha Collison's home kitchen

I know we will be looking to move in the next year or so as our family grows (I’ve got my fingers crossed for an island and walk-in pantry) but it is a kitchen that has brought us so much joy. It proves that it is possible to host dinner parties, cook for family and friends and create an oasis of calm without everything needing to be perfect. Open up your home, regardless of its level of impressiveness, and you will reap the rewards of sharing food with friends old and new.

Martha Collison in her home kitchen

Kitchen haven around the table

Hospitality PR consultant Alice Noakes show us her cosy kitchen in north Dorset

My name is Alice Noakes and I am a PR consultant specialising in food, drink and boutique hotels in the UK. I live in a small
village in north Dorset, right on the border with Somerset and Wiltshire. I live with my husband, my two boys and our dog, Otter.

Ours is a rectangular kitchen with a country cottage feel. We have shaker-style units with oak tops, a butler sink and a large
kitchen table to sit around. There is a lovely exposed stone wall, which was the original exterior of the house before it was extended, and there is a traditional stable door that Otter likes to poke his head over to see who’s coming up the drive. The kitchen was already in when we bought the house, but we knew we wanted a farmhouse-style table for everyone to sit around, and we brought in an old dresser that my sister had upcycled to store crockery. I like to have an eclectic mix of furniture styles from different periods in each room, so we also added a mid-century sideboard that my parents were getting rid of.

Cosy kitchen in north Dorset with dining table in the middle

We’ve lived in the house for almost three years and we were lucky that the previous owner had done quite a bit already. We’ve been slowly adding our own touches by smartening up the worktops, changing the radiators, adding art and that kind of thing. If I had to pinpoint what makes this my perfect kitchen, I would have to say the views of the garden and the way the sunlight streams through in the morning and dapples on the stone wall. My own favourite spot is sitting at the kitchen table in the evening when the kids are tucked up in bed, with a glass of wine and a cookbook.

White kitchen cabinet with glassware and various knickknacks alongside an image of Alice Noakes in her kitchen

Farmhouse charm

The Beckford restaurant group’s Chloe and Charlie Luxton show us around their rustic period kitchen

We live with our three children, 20 chickens of varying shapes, sizes, ages and colours, two collie labs and a tortoise, Sydney, in a Grade II listed farmhouse built in 1699, and surrounded by two acres of overgrown garden and, bizarrely, six garages, left over from when it was a farm and now filled with stored furniture for our new hotel and two classic 1960s cars.

The kitchen is fairly small, in an awkward L shape, with the staircase to one side and an old fireplace in the middle, opposite a white Aga. We inherited the design from the previous owners and have painted the original oak cottage-style doors an Annie Sloan blue, added brass doorknobs, stained the worktops dark oak and improved the lighting. Plain English it is not, but rather comfortable
and functional, and conveniently sits beside the orangery where we have our dining table, having repurposed the old dining room into our study.

Having created a double-width gap through the original outside kitchen wall into our new orangery, we moved the kitchen table, allowing us to create extra circulation space within the kitchen. The orangery has no TV but a large corner sofa and Victorian club chair, looking out into the garden, and it is where we try to talk to our children, having prised them away from their various screens.

Rustic farmhouse kitchen with blue cupboards and brown stone floor

We worked with the architect Charlie Luxton (no relation, but he is named after Charlie and is also his father’s godson) to build the black-painted, larch-clad orangery, which squared up the footprint of the building and linked all the ground floor rooms to create a central point. It also allowed us to move the kitchen table out of the quite small and tricky shaped kitchen. One day we will design a Plain English kitchen but, in the meantime, we have adapted a very traditional wooden design into something a little more modern.

The obtaining of planning and subsequent building of the orangery was incredibly easy. The design was so modern by comparison to the main house, the local council were very happy to see the clear demarcation of the development of the building. Three months later, having remained living in the house, we were sitting eating supper in our transformed kitchen. The main kitchen design we left as inherited but modernised the worktops, colours and fittings to bring it a bit more up to date.

Chloe and Charlie Luxton in their rustic farmhouse kitchen

In with the old

Jules and Steve Horrell, of dining experience Horrell & Horrell, invite us into their farmhouse-style home

Our kitchen is our favourite part of the home – a bright open space with huge floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the garden and barn. We designed our own kitchen and had it handmade by a local craftsman when we bought the barns back in 2016. We both have a love for eclectic vintage furniture, which features heavily in the space.

When we bought the house back in 2016, we designed our dream kitchen, then a large empty space spread across two rooms. One area is dedicated to cooking and preparing, with a range oven, central island and old wood-fired Rayburn cooker. The other room houses our family dining table, a vintage dresser filled with family finds and a huge larder cupboard – all sourced from Wells Reclamation. We have always been inspired by old rural farmhouse kitchens in France and Italy, which are the beating heart of the home, with space to prepare, cook and eat together with family and friends.

A rustic farmhouse kitchen styled for Christmas with candles and foliage

We lived in the space for two months before deciding on our final designs. We wanted to experience the light and space at different times of day. Our kitchen was hand-built and took three months from design to final install. We never really liked the original colour of the units and recently repainted them in Borrowed Light by Farrow & Ball, which we both love – it actually felt like having a whole new kitchen. For us, the perfect kitchen is one that can accommodate everything our family enjoys, from preparing and cooking meals, to handling our garden and orchard harvests, and entertaining friends. Our favourite memories are from the festive period. Food is a significant part of Christmas for our family, from our annual fondue night with homemade sloe gin, to a huge roast ham and our garden chutney on Boxing Day.

Jules and Steve Horrell in their farm house style kitchen home

The modern home kitchen

Carousel head chef Ollie Templeton invites us into his carefully planned modern home kitchen

I’m Ollie Templeton, a chef and co-founder of Carousel in London. I live in Hackney with my girlfriend. My kitchen is relatively large, especially to the size of the flat, running down the length of the room with an island in the middle. I would say it is modern and Scandi-inspired.

I renovated my flat two years ago and went through a long process of designing a kitchen that was the focal point of the flat. It dominates half of the room and makes the most of the light from big windows and skylights. I wanted to make a room that felt spacious, and that was simple and easy to navigate. Storage was key – I’m a chef, which means a lot of ingredients, but I didn’t want any shelves on the wall to keep the aesthetics clean, so the main design point was the island, providing all the storage I needed for all food, equipment and tableware.

Ollie Templeton's kitchen, including a large wooden island, a large window by the sink and skylights

I got rid of all the old hardware from my old kitchen but kept my trusty Kenwood blender (that I found on the street) which barely works. And I couldn’t live without my small cast iron rice cooking pot I bought in Japan a few years ago. I probably eat a meal with rice three times a week at home, so it comes into regular use.

What I love about my kitchen is the light, the space and the minimalism of it. It is a nice space to cook in and also easy to clean down (the main reason I went with induction). I recently made 80 sandwiches at home before our Carousel summer party. I was kind of laughing at myself as I had to get up at 6am to make them all in time before we took a bus to Rye – I was thankful for the space but also happy to be making the team a delicious lunch.

Two images: one of Ollie Templeton leaning on the wooden island in his kitchen, the other his a living room featuring a colourful patterned rug, olive green sofa and art hanging on the wall

The light and bright kitchen

Cookery writer Claire Thomson invites us into her colourful family kitchen in Bristol

I am a chef, food writer and author. I have worked in many restaurant kitchens and have owned my own restaurant here in Bristol, but having three children (and a degree in journalism) ultimately led me down the path of cookery writing, much more simpatico with family life.

We moved here post-pandemic, and we bought it for the kitchen alone. A huge, bright, white space, it’s certainly the spot in the house where we all spend the most time together. We have a 2.2-metre kitchen table and it’s here that I write my cookbooks, we all eat dinner together, the kids do their homework, we play cards and so on.

We have done some work on the garden, we have planted quince, plum and damson trees – all three are babies now but will grow big and strong in the south-facing garden, and I’ll be able to make jam for years to come. Huge bi-fold doors onto the garden really give the kitchen an inside-outside feel, which I love.

Claire Thomson's kitchen including a large colour-coded bookshelf and bi-fold doors

A sharp chef ’s knife is most crucial. I do also love my KitchenAid mixer – that gets a regular thrashing with bread and pizza doughs, cake batters and making pasta mostly. I have to say, I love my new Everhot oven – bright yellow, it’s a bonkers pop of sunshine in the kitchen, a real centrepiece.

My kids were keen for an island when moving house was first mooted, and they were right. In the morning, when we’re all getting ready for work and school, the island is a hotbed of activity – cups of tea, packed lunches assembled, hair bands, spelling tests, hurried pieces of toast eaten, it all happens on the island.

It’s a 1930s house – our old house was Victorian and had much narrower, smaller rooms. This new kitchen is a big, bright space with lots of windows where we can see the garden gate and I can watch the kids troop off down the lane to school each morning. My favourite memories in my kitchen are with the children and my husband, Matt, all eating a favourite meal together and, afterwards, playing cards with the music on and lots of chatter.

Two shots: one of Claire Thomson's kitchen including a grey island and large disco ball, and Claire sat at her kitchen table

The vibrant family kitchen

Interior designer Sophie Robinson makes the most of vibrant wallpaper and colour for her spacious family kitchen

I’m Sophie Robinson, interior designer, TV presenter and podcast host, and I live outside Lewes in East Sussex with my husband, Tom, who’s a builder, and our son, Arthur. We live in a rural setting surrounded by woodland.

I chose to work with Magnet and opted for its traditional Ludlow cabinet style as it’s fitting for our period country house, but the colour scheme would be where I could keep it feeling fresh and modern. Rather excitingly I have launched a new collection of fabrics and wallpaper with Harlequin this year, so picking a hero print was the place to start. The Woodland Floral wallpaper is an archive design that we recoloured to fit in with a more modern and fresher palette, and I used this to steer the rest of the scheme.

I set my heart on a yellow kitchen as it’s such a joyful and uplifting colour, and paired it with chalk pink base units. I love how the Magnet kitchen designer colour blocked the tall units in the yellow, so they look like a freestanding cupboard. I then added a third colour to the island in deep red, so it really anchors the room. I can’t tell you how much pleasure seeing these colours brings me, all tied together beautifully by the wallpaper pattern. I love using wallpaper in kitchens, it helps give them a strong style statement. If you avoid papering behind the hob or around the sink, it’s perfectly practical. You can even seal it with a coat of matt decorator’s varnish if you want to protect it and make it wipeable.

Sophie Robinson in her colourful pink and yellow kitchen

Creating the layout for the kitchen took the most head scratching – it’s always a tussle between wanting enough storage without filling the room up with too many cupboards. I settled on plenty of deep drawers for all our crockery and cookware. The yellow larder units take care of all the food storage, with integrated fridge and freezer, and central pantry unit.

I love to create a kitchen that looks as pretty as any other room in the home. This can include using open shelving to display favourite pieces of china, glassware and pictures. Decorative lighting adds a further design detail and rugs bring colour and pattern to the floor. Full-length curtains at the windows also help the room feel softer and cosier.

I’ve only had this new kitchen for a couple of months but one of the things that I’ve discovered is that I find myself enjoying cooking. We’ve had multiple people over for supper and I love how we can all spread out, propped up on bar stools, sat around the table, or walking food out to share in the garden. It’s been a game changer to the way we live and enjoy our home.

Sophie Robinson's kitchen, including floral wallpaper, wooden table and chairs and leafy plants

The pretty and practical kitchen

Chef Silvana Franco shows us around her functional yet inspired home space

I’m a food writer specialising in simple, modern recipes that anyone can cook. I also write topical news stories on food trends and offer solutions – food dilemmas can usually be solved with forward planning. My work also involves photo or video shoots in the kitchen. Having all my kit to hand for styling shots is much easier than working at a location and having to lug everything with me, though cleaning up isn’t so much fun.

The kitchen is an L-shape, about seven metres in both directions. It has windows and doors looking onto a south- facing garden and lovely daylight. It’s a minimal, contemporary design with maximum storage for all my kit. Getting the island right was important, as I spend a lot of time working at it. I’ve seen enough scuffed and marked surfaces to know that mine needed to be stain- and heat- resistant. I considered many before choosing carbon-neutral dekton (a type of quartz), and it’s still in great condition.

Silvana Franco preparing fruit in her kitchen next to a shot of the island

I like to chat to guests as I cook or while the kids are eating, so we made sure the counter was suitable to sit at, with bar stools that tuck under. In order to maximise storage, I decided to partly brick up the sliding garden doors to fit an extra run of cupboards with windows above. The oak-topped counter offers a contrasting surface, and is home to a drinks and toast station. Drawers and cupboards beneath hold all the cereals and spreads, plus a second set of cutlery and tableware so the everyday stuff and whatever the kids need are in one place.

My goal was maximum functionality – I wanted a kitchen I could enjoy working in and was easy to keep clean. There’s a lot of floor space, so I chose large tiles to minimise grouting, but I do seem to spend a lot of time sweeping it. As we frequently shoot in the kitchen, I avoided reflective materials as much as possible – apart from my induction hob and oven doors, all the surfaces are matte.

I’m not sure it’s my perfect kitchen but it completely meets my (and the family’s) needs. I’ve got enough workspace, and we have a vintage extendable dining table that will neatly seat us four or extend to 12 for bigger meals. As the cook, I always feel at the heart of the action, rather than tucked away doing the chopping.

Silvana Franco's kitchen including a wooden table and chairs and hanging plant pots

The renovated restaurant-to-kitchen

Kwoklyn Wan shows us how he renovated his parents’ former restaurant into his dream family kitchen

My name is Kwoklyn Wan and I’m a third-generation restaurateur and Cantonese chef. Just over a year ago, my wife Jo and I bought my parents’ old restaurant, which is on the outskirts of Leicester city centre in a 130-year-old three-storey Victorian end-terrace, which we are slowly renovating back to its former splendour as our home.

First to be fully renovated is our beautifully spacious kitchen and dining room, brightly lit from the bay windows at one end and looking down the long room towards the centre island kitchen area, all overseen by our mysterious wise man Jin, a terracotta ornament of an old Chinese wise man who sits watchfully on a local railroad sleeper above the sink area.

One of the biggest reasons we bought our property was its size – with such a wide variety of rooms and levels to play with, and all very spacious with high ceilings, as was fashionable at the time it was built. The kitchen truly is the heart of our home and where we spend most of our time, so it needed a few special features for it to work for us.

Kwoklyn Wan preparing food in his kitchen which has been renovated from a restaurant

The first of these was a large centre island where we could cook and still be able to entertain our family and friends, so our hob faces into the room giving us the freedom to be cooking and still enjoy the company of our guests. The second was the dining space – we wanted a kitchen that could also fit in our large South African railroad sleeper wood dining table. We love to entertain so a big table that seats eight to 10 people was a must. Third was a walk-in pantry – having lived in smaller properties where kitchen cupboards were always packed with ingredients and mystery bottles, we had a very clear vision of the old-style walk-in pantries where everything is visible on open shelves.

My favourite memory is from Christmas 2022 – it was our first year in our new kitchen and we had all of my family join us for a traditional turkey roast. It was so lovely to get all of us back into this amazing Victorian property again, but as our home, instead of a restaurant. We all have so many memories working in this space, and this was the first time in more than 40 years that we had all had a chance to enjoy the space as a family home.

Kwoklyn Wan's spice rack and large dining room feautring a large wooden table and decorate red rug

The modern London kitchen

Food writer and cookbook author Shivi Ramoutar shows us around her sleek, modern kitchen in London, a place to work, relax and enjoy spending time with her young family

I am a food writer, cookbook author and TV presenter, and I live in London with my husband, Ben, my seven- and six-year-old sons, and four-month-old daughter. We moved into the house at the end of last year. As with all of our previous kitchens, this one has become the heart of the household – I work from it and my kids do their homework, play and do arts and crafts in it.

It has a rectangular shape, with half the space used as a dining area with a conservatory-style glass-panelled roof – gorgeous for light – and the other side the cooking area. There is a little bar area that I love to work from, with a hatch to the dining side of the kitchen. It’s very family-style, with kids’ art, timetables, etc, and touches of our adult life – chandelier-style lights above the bar, art from before kids, and a handful of my cookbook collection.

Shivi Ramoutar in her modern kitchen, featuring light blue kitchen fittings and a conservatory-style glass-panelled roof

My must-have kitchen equipment includes a veg peeler (my version of a mandoline), pizza cutter (for chopping salad bits in a hurry), Nutribullet (for everything from pestos to smoothies and pancake batter) and our Aarke sparkling water maker – we don’t seem to drink water if it isn’t bubbling!

One of my most treasured moments in my new kitchen was very recently, when my daughter started her foray into the world of weaning. We all sat around the table for the very first time, eating a meal together, and it was a joy to finally have every member of the family at the dinner table, doing one of my favourite things ever – eating, chatting and enjoying each other’s company.

Shivi Ramoutar's modern kitchen, featuring light blue kitchen fittings and a cupboard featuring plastic containers

The kitchen with coastal charm

Cookbook author and food stylist Rosie Birkett gives us a tour of her stylish, light-filled kitchen at home on the Kent coast, designed for both work and time with her family

I’m Rosie Birkett, an award-winning recipe writer, cookbook author and stylist living on the Kent coast with my husband, our baby and dog. We have a long, narrow galley kitchen which is situated in an extension on our Victorian terraced house. The style is classic shaker cabinetry with raw plaster walls and marble floor tiles. There are antiqued brass fixtures and modern flourishes, and I’ve taken inspiration from European travels across Italy and France.

When we moved in, we gutted and renovated the kitchen, and played to its strengths – it’s south facing and looks out onto our long, wild garden. I love that aspect because it’s flooded by light, even on a grey day. I wanted a calm, classic space that felt spacious and light despite not being huge, and that’s what we’ve achieved. I painted the uPVC door frames and windows in a Frenchic green which was a great way of updating and changing the look to be less plasticky, without the expense and waste of replacing the doors and windows.

Rosie Birkett's light filled kitchen including white tiles, tiled floor and a marble kitchen top

I’ve stayed in lots of Airbnbs and holiday rentals around Italy and France, and I just love how they always have compact but beautiful kitchens. The use of marble, handmade tiles and natural materials in these places really inspired me, along with kitchens designed by deVOL, which I’ve always admired. First we had to find a builder to rip it out, then it was about finding the right suppliers for the new kitchen, as well as specialised kitchen fitters and tilers for the floor and splashback tiles. We also decided quite last minute to use a plasterer to replaster the walls, which made a huge difference, and we ended up leaving the raw plaster because I just love the way it looks.

While the wooden cabinets were an investment, they will last, are beautiful quality and give me joy every day. For appliances I went for Neff, which has proved a wise choice – I love the space created by wall-mounted, slide-and-hide ovens, and the ease and cleanliness of the induction hob, which I made sure was big enough for my cooking needs, as often induction hobs can be a bit on the small size. Our chequerboard marble floor tiles were from Floors of Stone, and I adore the sense of space and length they add to the room, they are quite dramatic and really draw the eye, so I kept the paint on the cabinets white and raw plaster walls as I love the textured look and the shade of pink. I bought gorgeous handmade Moroccan Zellige tiles for the splashbacks and I love how they look almost pearlescent in some lights.

Aside from the cabinets, I’ve also sourced antique furniture including our ercol chairs and kitchen table, and a beautiful glazed cupboard where I keep my best ceramics and props.

Rosie Birkett's light filled kitchen, feautring a large rustic off white cabinet, plants, flowers and dark blue crockery

The vibrant kitchen

Chef and cookbook author, John Gregory -Smith, invites us into his colourful, light-filled west London kitchen

I’m a chef, TV presenter, content creator and author who specialises in Middle Eastern and North African cuisines. My kitchen is built within one massive room that works as a living space, dining area and kitchen. It’s where I film everything for my social media channels, TV appearances and shoots. The space is designed first and foremost to entertain, with maximum room to sit down and eat, and then have a full-on kitchen disco late into the night; and secondly so I can film. There is a hob on the kitchen island and loads of natural light. It’s very clean lines, with plenty of storage and a vibrant blue splashback.

The space was designed to let in as much natural light in as possible for filming, so we have huge floor-to-ceiling glass doors that frame the garden beautifully and a skylight just above the kitchen island. The rest was built around this. My mum and my sister designed the space to make it their dream entertaining hub for the family. There are up to 30 of us so they wanted something we could all squeeze into.

John Gregory-Smith's light filled kitchen with grey island and white bar stools

I need loads of storage for all my props. I collect Moroccan plates, small pinch pot bowls and random tiles from all over the world. And then I have all my work appliances – everything from an air fryer to a blender. This kitchen has huge, deep draws on both sides of the island, each one a treasure trove of tableware and appliances. And we have massive pull-out cupboards that turn into a vast pantry for spices, herbs and pasta. Everything is very durable. The surfaces are made of composite, meaning no chips, cracks or stains. You can hurl rose harissa on anything and wipe it off, spill turmeric and it vanishes, or bump into a corner with a Le Creuset pan and nothing will chip.

My favourite time spent in the kitchen is sitting at the table, food everywhere, rosé on tap and my family all around me. That’s the best and, thankfully, my partner and I are very lucky that we get to do this lots.

John Gregory-Smith's drawers and sink area with cupboards filled with glasses

The urban jungle kitchen

Rukmini Iyer, author of the bestselling Roasting Tin cookbook series, invites us into her period London home, and shares exactly how she transformed the kitchen into her dream space

I’m Rukmini Iyer, and I’m a food writer, stylist and author. I live in London with my partner, Tim, our baby daughter, Alba, and our border collie, Pepper. The kitchen is my favourite room in the house and it was the major selling point when we bought it, even before the refit. It’s a large, airy space in an extension off the original Victorian building. I love that there’s room for a long island unit, a dining area and a living space (which is now home to Alba’s playpen). One of the nicest features is the glass door at the end of the kitchen, which folds into the wall, so in summer the room seamlessly flows into the garden. I’d describe the style as warm and classic, with pops of bright colour and an urban jungle vibe.

When we redesigned the kitchen, the key thing for me was to bring warmth and colour into the space. The kitchen had large white tiles on the floor, white units, a white island and white countertops, and it just wasn’t our style – it felt a little clinical and cold (though luckily there is killer underfloor heating, so it wasn’t cold in reality). I do all my recipe testing and writing in the kitchen, so it’s really important for me to be in an inviting space that fosters creativity.

Rukmini Iyer's bright kitchen with pops of vibrant colours

I was actually partly inspired by photographs of food writer Georgina Hayden’s kitchen, who you recently featured, and by Tim’s mum’s kitchen – after a visit to her home in Cornwall, I realised that the cosiness of wooden floors and painted wooden units was what I wanted, too. We got the parquet floor done first by FloorWorks, who were so knowledgable. And, for the kitchen, I went to Wren Kitchens, as I thought it was great value and quality (and picked out the same units as before, as I missed my last kitchen). Tim had the very good idea of upgrading the drawer and cupboard handles to lovely curved brushed brass ones, and sourced them from Dowsing & Reynolds, with the brushed brass hot and filtered water tap from Lusso Stone.

Pinterest boards are so helpful in pinning down the style of kitchen that you want as a starting point. Then, practical things: it’s easier and cheaper if you position a new gas oven in the same place as the old one, and place a sink or washing machine where there’s existing piping. Our only disaster was that we wanted a complicated chevron tile pattern behind the units, and the tiler did a dreadful job. Don’t look too closely at the photos – the edges are so uneven! My favourite things about this kitchen include having a ‘station’ for Pepper’s bowls, built into the island; I love that Wren incorporated nooks for pets. And I love having a small wine fridge, keeping the main fridge free for food.

Rukmini Iyer's putting a bunch of flowers into a vase

The Scandi-influenced kitchen

Cookbook author James Rich talks us through the inspiration behind his country house kitchen in his period home in Somerset

I’m James Rich, home cook and author. I live in Somerset with my husband, Pip, dogs Henry and Ted, and cat Kiki. My rectangular kitchen has two large windows looking out over an orchard, and the dining room, utility, hallway and snug all come off it, so it’s really the heart of the home.

Our house is an 1840s ‘gentleman’s house’ built in bath stone, and we’re fortunate to have spacious, Georgian-style rooms with tall ceilings. We love the period style of the house but wanted it to feel fresh and light, too. Our kitchen has original flagstone flooring and an Aga, which give it a country house feel, but we’ve created a Scandi-inspired space to balance the traditional with the modern.

James Rich preparing food in his kitchen

The only thing we kept from the original kitchen was the much-loved (but slightly battered) Aga. It had been the heart of the home, and something we couldn’t bring ourselves to take out. The only other element we kept was the flagstone floor, which had been covered in concrete and 70s lino.

We worked with local craftsmen Heartwood (heartwood.co.uk) to create a bespoke space. My husband is in interior design and I write recipes, so we needed something that was aesthetically pleasing but also practical and useful. We wanted natural materials, and opted for English oak for the cupboards and drawers. We needed a worksurface that looked great but was hardy and durable, so we opted for granite from a local supplier. The idea was to balance the stone floor and granite surface with softer materials and wood tones. We painted some of the units in a terracotta colour (Hari by Atelier Ellis) to warm up the room, and kept the walls simple, in an off-white, to emphasise the light flooding the room from the big south-facing windows. Key elements to include were plenty of space to work – a large kitchen island with seating – and storage space for the utensils, pots and pans we’ve accumulated over the years. We also wanted everything integrated, so none of the white goods were on show.

A large wooden spice cupboard and marble kitchen top with serving boards

The practical kitchen

Food writer and stylist Georgina Hayden’s personalised kitchen space is ideally designed for cooking, eating, working – and dancing

I’m a food writer and stylist from north London, with Cypriot roots. I write, shoot and develop books in my kitchen, as well as filming both pre-recorded and live TV here. It’s the centre of the home for me, my husband Peter and our young daughters Persephone and Elektra. The kitchen is large and open plan; it makes up half of the ground floor of our house and is also our dining room, plus a small lounge/play area for the girls. It’s airy and bright, with lots of windows. Unlike all the other rooms in the house, we have kept the walls white so that all the objects in the room really sing.

We had quite a few requirements for the kitchen, the basics being that there was a good area for me to work and develop recipes, a dining space and plenty of storage and shelving. The extras were things like it needing to be a suitable shooting space and that the flow of it worked on camera. I would seriously consider not having cupboards if you can. Having all my items in drawers (including my food processor, cake tins, saucepans and frying pans) makes the kitchen much more user- friendly. Think about surfaces seriously, too – we have two different surfaces, as I wanted marble for shooting but knew all too well how much of a nightmare it is day-to-day. Do you want your main surface to be something so temperamental? Having said that, I wouldn’t change the back unit for the world. Our main island is topped with pietra cardosa, a beautiful stone that is heat-resistant and striking.

Georgina preparing food inside her light-filled kitchen

The island is a dream – it has shelves on one side for cookbooks and deep drawers on the other for saucepans, plus a five-ring hob with a ton of prep space around it. I love my freestanding larder – it’s the only tall unit in the kitchen, and houses the microwave, plus all my dry goods. I always have so much going on, so a large double butler sink is needed (it’s also great for washing my kids in!). I cannot live without my wall-mounted knife magnet. It’s wooden, looks good and keeps the knives out of reach of the girls.

We love a kitchen disco, any day or time. We often just turn the lights out and put our disco lights and music on, and have a kitchen disco. It’s the perfect space for a little party and dance.

Georgina Hayden's kitchen and living room space

The natural kitchen

Registered nutritionist and writer Kerry Torrens talks us through the transformation of her Devonshire kitchen to create a space to spend time in

I’m a registered nutritionist and food writer living in a Georgian rectory in Dartmoor National Park with my husband and two dogs. When we moved to the house, we were determined to relocate the kitchen, the room we spend most of our time in, from its dark interior room to the beautiful, bright conservatory that had been installed by previous owners. The wall-to-ceiling glass on almost three sides of this room envelopes you in the landscape and provides great levels of natural light. The rectangular shape allows for far-reaching views across the garden to the moorland beyond.

We wanted to echo the landscape with the materials we used so we decided on wooden cabinetry made from Dartmoor oak, and to tie in with the history of the house, the design offers a nod to the Arts and Crafts movement – renovations elsewhere were completed during this period. We used mirrored tiles behind the Aga to further reflect the natural surroundings and to complement the glass chandeliers that we also inherited from previous owners.

A kitchen in a conservatory, featuring a large wooden island, wooden shelves and a chandelier

Siting our kitchen in a conservatory meant we had to totally rethink what a fitted kitchen could be, given our room has no complete walls. This made us question what storage we needed and, of course, what work surface would be appropriate given the high level of reflected light. We also had to incorporate many different functions within the essential island unit, such as providing adequate work space, room for a sink, clever storage such as our glassware cupboards and crockery drawer, an eating area as well as the all-important electric points. I was keen to ensure tidy, clear work surfaces – this meant we needed clever in-built storage with retractable shelves so we could use appliances without constant lifting out and putting away.

This is my perfect kitchen, from the storage and natural elements mirroring our surroundings to repurposed materials, including the church lectern I use for my recipe books, and the stained glass over the interior doors.

A dining room featuring a large wooden table and chairs, a large candle holder and a glass chandelier

The farmhouse-style kitchen

Gardening and cookbook author and teacher, Sarah Raven, shows us round her open-plan, contemporary farmhouse-style home kitchen in East Sussex

I am a teacher, writer and podcaster. I run my own gardening and cookery school at Perch Hill in East Sussex, and am the author of many books. My kitchen is an open-plan living, kitchen and family hang-out room, with a wood burner at one end and an amazing view over a small wildflower meadow, and then to the woods and countryside beyond. It also has French windows all along the southern side with a kind of contemporary farmhouse kitchen feel.

Sarah Raven's kitchen/living room at Perch Hill

We designed it with the cooker/hob facing out into the room for easy chatting when I’m cooking, rather than having my back to the room. That was an idea copied from my middle stepson’s kitchen in his London flat and I love it. I also copied the drawers without handles from friends in Stoke Newington. I am anything but a minimalist (every shelf in my kitchen is jam-packed) but I like this minimalist design look.

My husband Adam designed it with our builders – and the whole design and build was quite straightforward with some lovely local cabinet makers who constructed it. With hindsight, I would get a hob with at least one strong burner so I could do really good crispy stir-fries. I also wish we had a dishwasher right there rather than in our mini back-kitchen, as there’s a lot of carrying to and fro.

Sarah browsing seed catalogues and in her kitchen living room at Perch Hill

The monochromatic kitchen

Renowned chef Judy Joo, owner of the Seoul Bird Korean street food restaurants, shows us around her stunning modern home kitchen

I am a French-trained Korean-American, and I’ve been living in Marylebone for 17 years, working as a chef, restaurateur and writer. My kitchen is modern, spacious and designed around a massive stove. It is rather monochromatic (silver and white) with clean lines, and minimalist, yet still warm and reflective of my personality and style of cooking. I knew that I wanted to put in a Molteni stove, and then we designed the kitchen around this epic centrepiece. I wanted it to be a gorgeous space that was highly functional and durable as well. All the cabinets go up to the ceiling and there is storage in every void. Deep drawers, large cabinets, a huge walk-in pantry, two full refrigerators and lots of shelving make the kitchen very practical.

A grey and silver kitchen with modern fittings and vibrant flowers on the island

I also wanted a front-facing hob on the island to use for filming, but I didn’t want to break up the clean flat countertop. So I installed an induction hob and inlaid it to make it completely level with the countertop. This way I could easily cover it up with a chopping board or even a placemat if necessary. I also wanted an eat-in bar area for informal dining. This front bar area of the countertop has three stools and has become the most popular place to perch in the kitchen. The stove was made bespoke – it has four burners, a four-zone solid top, briquette grill and wok station. Two mammoth ovens complete the unit and a stove tap makes it easy to fill pots as well. I have a commercial hood that sucks out
all the smoke. I also recently added a HotSpot Titanium instant boiling water tap, which I absolutely love and use all the time.

I love the look and the functionality – a balance that is sometimes hard to achieve. It really is a completely unique kitchen.

Jars of spices, bowls and pots stored in a silver metal cupboard

The eclectic kitchen where old meets new

Chef and cookbook author Ben Tish shows us round his eclectic kitchen in east London

I’m the author of cookbooks Grill, Smoke, BBQ; Moorish; and, my latest, Sicilia; and chef and director at Cubitt House – a group of food-led central London dining pubs. I live in Limehouse, east London, with my wife Nykeeta and our two dogs, Piglet and Peanut. We have an odd-shaped galley kitchen with a dining area, which leads out to the garden. The kitchen is in an old fashioned, early Victorian style, which fits our old house – built in 1882 – with some contemporary touches. It’s the heart of the house and we spend the most of our time there.

I wanted a kitchen that was sympathetic to the house’s age while having a contemporary feel. Design inspirations included the kitchens in [furniture manufacturer] deVOL, the Cotswolds, Georgian and Victorian houses, and Farrow & Ball.

A collage of Ben Tish's kitchen, showing the large metal table, dark blue cabinets and marble counter top

We had an idea, got a designer to look at the cabinets and galley area, and then we added all the extra touches ourselves – old artwork, paint, furniture and shelves. Our advice to anyone thinking of renovating their kitchen is to plan, plan and plan again. Ensure you get a great builder who can manage the project, too – you only want to speak to one person when you are stressed out.

There are many things that make this my perfect kitchen: access to the garden – it’s great for photographing food; it’s a place I happily sit and work or relax in, as well as cook; it’s on a different floor to the living room, so I can play music without interrupting the rest of the house; and the oven is perfect for heavy cooking. My happiest memories of my time spent in this kitchen are enjoying weekend dinners with Nykeeta and the dogs.

A collage of Ben Tish's kitchen, showing the marble top, wooden shelves and a metal cabinet containing mugs, pans and bowls

The spacious, light-filled kitchen

Food photographer David Cotsworth shows us round his spacious, light-filled family kitchen in the heart of Surrey

I’m a food, portrait and lifestyle photographer. I live with my wife Becky, our two boys Charlie and Edward, dog Ziggy and cat Max in Englefield Green in Surrey. We’ve lived in the village for 14 years and absolutely love it here. Our open-plan kitchen is bright and modern, about 35 square meters, with a breakfast bar, dining and living areas and bifold doors that open out to the patio and garden – it’s the place we spend most of our time together as a family.

When we bought this house in 2016, it had a small kitchen with separate dining room. We wanted a bigger kitchen that looked out to our garden and for it to be open plan, so we knocked the dining room through to the kitchen and extended to the side, giving us a much bigger living space. We worked with an architect to help us make the most of the space and incorporated a utility room to hide away appliances. The bifold doors, along with large roof windows, help bring in natural light – when we open them, it feels like we’re bringing the outside in.

David Cotsworth - A Kitchen to Covet

I love how much natural light the kitchen gets, thanks to the seamless extension to the patio when opening the bifold doors. The underfloor heating is also great, as it allows you to maximise wall space without the need of radiators. The kitchen island is great for preparing food and being able to sit and socialise with friends and eat with the family. There’s also plenty of storage space, plus room to sit on the sofa looking out to the garden while the doors are open in summer.

I always remember when we were determined to host Christmas for the first time during the renovation. The kitchen fitter left on 23 December and we were still painting the skirting on Christmas Eve, an hour before everyone arrived. It would be the last Christmas we’d spend with my dad, so it was a special time.

David Cotsworth - A Kitchen to Covet

The rural family kitchen

Georgie Pearman, co-owner of Country Creatures, a collection of boutique hotels and pubs in the Cotswolds, shows us around her elegant rural family kitchen

My husband Sam and I live near Stroud in the Cotswolds. We own and run Country Creatures, which operates properties in the area including The Chequers in Churchill, The Swan at Ascott-under-Wychwood and The Double Red Duke in Oxfordshire. We are also directors of Cubitt House in London, which operates six central London pubs, some with rooms.

A collage showing a large light filled rural kitchen with hanging art and plants and a woman cutting bread on a large wooden table

It’s a busy family kitchen with dogs, cats and teenagers. At the moment it’s pretty simple and one day we’ll redecorate properly but it’s very functional, so it suits us perfectly for now. It has an AGA, which we love to use as a giant radiator and obviously for cooking roasts. Because the kitchen is so simple, we’ve tried to incorporate lots of art and plants.

The kitchen is south-facing so we’re lucky that the table and chairs overlook the garden, and there’s lots of natural light. It was important that we could bring some of the outside into the kitchen and obviously it had to be spacious enough to allow us to host our friends.

We inherited the kitchen from the previous owners and we didn’t need to do much to it except paint the walls and put up some artwork. We like having a separate area where you can put all the washing-up when we have friends over, so you don’t see it. We would also love to have a proper cold room with marble shelves rather than a fridge.

My favourite memories in the kitchen are always at Christmas, when everyone arrives and we all sit around the table. On a weekly basis it’s the Sunday lunches – we’re a big fan of a long lunch.

A collage showing Georgia Pearman standing in her kitchen with a dog and a large black Aga

The sleek, functional kitchen

Chef and author Saiphin Moore shows us around her sleek, supremely functional kitchen in east London, where an abundance of space to store ingredients and get creative is king

I am a chef and author, and live in Wapping, east London. I opened the first Rosa’s Thai Café with my husband Alex in 2008 after serving my family recipes on a market stall in Brick Lane in 2007.Our home kitchen is large and in the centre of our flat. It’s a square room with lots of light. There’s an industrial-style cupboard around the oven with shelving to store my ingredients, which I have quite a few of! There’s also a large island that the room is centred around, which is the perfect set-up for cooking. The kitchen is very airy, with windows overlooking the terrace and the river so we can catch the natural light from all angles – it’s a very peaceful room.

A light filled silver kitchen with a large kitchen island, wooden stools and floor to ceiling windows

I have five fridges, which is a lot, but they’re necessary to store everything I need. I require lots of space to keep herbs, for example, which are key in Thai cooking. I needed a kitchen that was designed for the way I wanted to use it and makes sense for how I cook. For me, that means large work surfaces, lots of storage and space for people to sit without getting in the way.

The space was previously used as a living room, so everything in the renovation had to be brand new. Look at other people’s kitchens and spend time in them, if you can. This is the best way to learn what you want and need. You can have the most beautiful kitchen but it might not be functional at all. When I cook and people are standing in the kitchen, I’m so happy – it’s like a chef’s table for my friends and family. When I have a party, I’m always thinking of the next one.

A light filled kitchen with a large wooden table and bench, wood panelled floors and a floor to ceiling balcony doors

The elegant Spanish kitchen

Chef, restaurateur and cookbook author José Pizarro’s lets us look around his home kitchen, combining Georgian elegance with a subtly classic Spanish style

I’m a chef, restaurateur and cookbook author hailing from a beautiful village, Talaván, in Cáceres, Extremadura, Spain. I’m very lucky to live in a beautiful Georgian house in Kennington, south-east London, with my partner Dr Peter Meades and our two dogs, Conchi and Pie.

Ours is a basement kitchen with original Georgian features; it’s the beating heart of our home. We love to entertain, so it’s a good size for that, and it also backs onto our patio and garden, which is one of my favourite features.

José Pizarro’s home kitchen, featuring an elegant grey island, a dark wooden table and regal chandelier

The kitchen is a space for us to gather our guests, but it can also be used as a sanctuary for us to unwind in (the wine cellar helps there, too). One aspect that’s important to me in particular is having a gas hob. Whereas all of my restaurants are electric, at home I love cooking with gas – there’s something about the heat it creates and the look of the flames that somehow makes the experience of cooking earthy and primal.

The happiest memories I have of time spent in this kitchen happen whenever my mum comes to visit and I get to cook meals for her. After all the food she prepared for me growing up, it brings me great joy to be able to repay the favour.

A shelf holding decorative glassware and Jose's wine cellar

The ergonomic kitchen

David Carter, the chef behind London barbecue restaurant, Smokestak, and Italian, Manteca, shows us round his minimalist, ergonomic home kitchen

I think you’ve always got to look at the blank canvas, what the infrastructure is like and what is going to work within the space. Where we live, just off Columbia Road, all the houses are the same – two up, two down terraces, and so locating the kitchen at the rear made most sense for the natural light, and so it leads into the garden.

David's airy kitchen with dark blue kitchen tops and cupboards

We definitely thought a lot about the ergonomics of the space. As a chef, the less walking you have to do in a kitchen, the better, so the fridge, sink, range and dishwasher were all fitted with this in mind. We also wanted to make it timeless. We looked at all these amazing appliances and induction hobs but actually settled on quite straightforward, classic pieces, such as the Lacanche range cooker, as we were really keen to make sure we acknowledged the building’s age, while also making it suitable for modern life. I think you have to really celebrate the small victories when working on a renovation like this, as they are few and far between, but always worth it in the end.

David cutting veg on the kitchen island

The light-filled kitchen

Hollie Newton’s airy, light-filled Dorset kitchen brings the outdoors in, combining whitewashed Scandi simplicity with pops of colour for added warmth and character

I’m a screenwriter, creative director, gardener and cook. I wrote a bestselling gardening book a few years back, How to Grow: A Guide for Gardeners Who Can’t Garden Yet (£20, Orion Spring). I live down by the sea in Poole, Dorset, with my husband Tim, toddler Bertie and our doodle, Lettuce. This is our home – a dilapidated 1920s bungalow that we bought four years ago, completely renovating it from top to bottom.

We have a light, bright, L-shaped kitchen/living room – about 40 square metres – with an enormous peaked floor-to-ceiling window extension that makes it look far bigger than it is. The entire back wall is glass, so even on the dreariest of days it’s impossible for the kitchen to feel gloomy or cramped.

Hollie's airy, light-filled kitchen featuring a smart white Island and blue door

We kept the room L-shaped, retaining a square of terrace, so the doors open onto it. It’s gated, so it’s a natural toddler play pen. The link between the garden and kitchen is important, as I grow a lot of food in the raised beds and greenhouse. There’s nothing nicer than picking ingredients for dinner. Bespoke bookshelves house cookbooks, but my design master stroke was to hide the larder and utilities behind a sliding door – it’s disguised easily.

The units are Howdens, but we got marble-like composite for the tops and brass fixtures. We went to a timber yard to find wood for the shelves – uneven-edged, so you get a sense of the trees. The tiles in our splashback are a commission from my friend, and we splashed out on a new sofa and wood-burning stove for the snug. I used white-grey Scandi tones as a backdrop for the view, with pops of colour – the pink sofa, rescued pub sign whale, Farrow & Ball blue sliding door – and natural textures for warmth.

Hollie's airy and light-filled kitchen including floor to ceiling windows and smart grey kitchen cupboards

The glam and earthy kitchen

Acclaimed interior designer Abigail Ahern has created a kitchen rich in natural tones and textures, with leafy garden views

I’m a retailer, designer, author and teacher. The kitchen is approximately 30 square metres and I joined forces with Herringbone Kitchens to design a range of modular kitchen cabinets. The kitchen is timeless and chic: slabs of natural quartz are on the island, work benches and black splash, and the cabinets are painted out in my infamous inky saturated palette.

Abigal's open-plan kitchen with glam furnishings and rich, earthy tones

I wanted a kitchen that was practical but at the same time super glam, as it’s an open-plan arrangement in our house, so I wanted it to blend with the other zones, like the den and dining area. I also wanted to have a view of the garden while cooking and for it to be somewhere that I loved to hang out in and entertain.

The five things that make this my perfect kitchen are: the NEFF appliances – I love them all, from the oven to the fridge, the warming drawer to the steam oven; the lighting – it adds so much atmosphere, from my beautiful chandelier to the little table lamps on the counter; the open-plan shelving – it’s so much nicer than looking at a lot of closed doors, and it’s made the kitchen feel super chic; the pantry – housing all my dry and tinned goods, plus other appliances – has been a big game changer as it’s a beautiful piece of cabinetry and hides all the stuff that isn’t that great to look at; and little details, such as the aged brass hardware on all the cabinetry have elevated it to a whole other level.

Abigal's glam outdoor space adjoining the kitchen and dark open plan shelving

The sleek kitchen

Mark Joy’s less-is-more approach to his kitchen involves rearranging the space to make it the heart of the home, as well as a pleasure to cook in

I’m a marketing consultant who worked for agencies for 25 years before becoming a freelancer six years ago. I currently work as head of marketing for the luxury retailer Chesneys. I live in St Margarets, London, with my wife, a director of a PR firm, and our 21-month-old son Henry. Our kitchen is a compact rectangle contained in a rear extension, with bi-fold doors that open on to the garden. The kitchen is a Beckermann with NEFF appliances, white Corian surfaces and an island that houses the hob. It’s well loaded with tech, including three ovens (conventional, steam and microwave), an induction hob, a large fridge with filtered water and ice-maker, and a small wine fridge. It’s even got a NEFF warming/proving drawer. Just outside the back doors is our heater BBQ, another essential for us all year round.

A sleek white kitchen with a wooden island, counters and kitchen table

We didn’t design this kitchen ourselves, though we have made alterations. It’s not the biggest in the world but, with the amount of storage, useful tech and great light, it’s lovely to use, and its connection to the south-facing garden is so good. From April to October the doors are often fully open from first thing in the morning to bedtime. I’m a keen cook (and a very disappointing 2013 participant in MasterChef) and do the majority of the cooking, and I need a space that is easy to use but also enables me to do more advanced things, when the inspiration strikes.

A sleek white counter space with kitchen appliances and a purple splash back

The homely kitchen

Chetna Makan’s light-filled kitchen merges a sleek, practical cooking space with an inviting dining area, perfectly suited to her love of family get-togethers

I’m a food writer and author living in Broadstairs, a small seaside town in Kent. I’m very lucky to have a south-facing kitchen, which means I have light from the minute the sun comes out until the time it goes down. It’s a very modern kitchen with clean lines, but full of things that we use all the time as a family. We moved into this house 11 years ago with two small babies, and one of the things that we fell in love with was the spacious kitchen. It was my dream to have the kitchen-dining area extended into a big rectangular room – finally, last year, I decided that it was time to update it and make the whole space feel like one.

Chetna Makan's light filled kitchen, including dark grey kitchen fittings and a marble splashback and kitchen counter

Browsing Instagram, I found a London-based company called Sheraton Interiors. I visited the showroom, and as soon as I saw this particular kitchen, I knew it was the one. I like deep, dark and warm colours, so I chose anthracite units and white surfaces, and I added a couple of wooden shelves just to break up the design and add more warmth. I particularly love my spice drawer as it’s made the whole cooking process so much easier. I also love the appliances I use, all of which are from NEFF – I have been using them for few years, so it all feels very comfortable. I use the open shelving to store all of the cookbooks I own and the main kitchen bits and pieces that I use every day, but also for shooting my YouTube videos. There are so many happy memories from my time in this kitchen. Many gatherings, celebrations and get-togethers. One of the most special has to be when my mum, dad and sister’s family all visited us one summer, and we cooked many meals together. That had to be the best summer in our home.

Chetna Makan's dining room table

The "seaside chic" kitchen

April Preston’s Devon kitchen is a unique hideaway designed to bring in the outdoors, where home and work life pretty much merge into one

I live in a beautiful seaside town, Budleigh Salterton in Devon. I wanted my kitchen to be a big enough space for us all to hang out there together, and there are several places to sit, from the small settee to the stools, and the banquette and chairs around the table. The kitchen looks out over our beautiful garden (which was originally designed by Mr Bostick, the glue man!) – I wanted to ensure that we made the most of the views with bi-fold doors and, as they lead onto a terrace, it pretty much feels like I’m outside when the doors are open.

April's kitchen island

I had to have a kitchen that could take an Aga. I grew up on a farm with an Aga, and have yearned to have my own ever since. I not only love the way it cooks, but it has a very strong emotional and nostalgic pull that has made our house feel like a real home. I wanted a little bit of glamour in the kitchen, and the copper sink and three glass pendant lights have definitely brought that. But my absolute favourite bits of the kitchen are the wooden shelves and the larder. I hate cupboards, particularly eye-level ones, and have always had kitchens with open shelves. But, unfortunately, that can mean lots of clutter – hence the larder. Plenty of seating options means the whole family can all be in the same space without annoying one another. I love light, and am an avid Instagrammer, so I need it for photographs. Pretty much every element of the design and makeup of the kitchen maximises that.

April's pantry and cookbooks

The rustic Italian kitchen

Emiko Davies' kitchen is a much-loved place to work, cook and eat, that pays tribute to the traditional designs, textures and colours of her adopted homeland

I’m a cookbook author and, although I’m originally from Australia, I’ve been in Florence for more than 15 years. We’ve just bought and renovated our first home – an apartment that dates back to 1800 – in San Miniato. After living in the tiniest apartment in Florence, we feel spoiled in this space with its high ceilings and huge, two-metre high windows that look out over the valley. We wanted to make the most of the room so we could put in a large Smeg multi-zone induction cooktop and wide sink by the window, while also having plenty of counter space. Very Simple Kitchen in Bologna makes functional, versatile, custom kitchen modules inspired by vintage industrial workbenches. This meant everything would be durable and practical, but as it can all be made using any material or colour you can imagine, it would also be less ‘professional kitchen’ and more ‘home’. The cabinets are powder-coated in a chameleon-like colour that changes according to the light – sometimes it’s a dark, smoky blue, other times it’s a deep teal hue.

Emiko's oven, fridge and dining table

I fell in love with the terrazzo top as soon as I saw it – it’s an ancient Italian technique that recycles stone and marble off-cuts, so it’s pretty and practical. We decided to not do shelves or kitchen cabinets – I love how open the kitchen feels with its tall ceilings – but we do need to put things somewhere! We pulled out an old table from my mother-in- law’s attic that had been forgotten about for almost 40 years. When it was cleaned it up, we discovered it had a marble top. The kitchen is the heart of our home, and it is the first time we’ve actually had space to have a dining table.

Emiko's kitchen table and dresser

The minimalist kitchen

Richard Makin has fulfilled his dream of having two kitchens – a test space for his work as a cook, and the other as a minimalist yet welcoming family hub

It’s been my dream for as long as I can remember to have two kitchens and recently that dream came true. I’m a food writer and vegan recipe developer based in Hastings with my husband, Peter, and our rescue dog Ripley. We’ve converted the existing basement kitchen of our Edwardian house into a functional test kitchen, and installed a separate casual kitchen/living room on the ground floor. We call my test kitchen the ‘plant dungeon’ since it’s down in the basement and is always full of vegetables. It’s a decent-sized space with a view out into the garden, but my favourite feature is the en-suite pantry, which is my most used room in the whole house. The space is lit by industrial-style bulkhead lights from a local homeware store named Dyke & Dean. Most of the counters are on casters, which means I can rearrange the layout to suit my needs. If I’m shooting food photography, I can push the counters right up to the window to make the most of the natural light.

Richard Makin's high chairs at the table

The ground-floor kitchen is much more casual. This space was intended for making coffee, eating breakfast and entertaining guests, so it looks very different to downstairs. The space was crafted by local workshop, Johnson Bespoke, which made everything, from the Japanese-inspired floating cabinets to the minimal metalwork dining island. We chose grey, polished plaster for the walls, which is beautifully imperfect and contrasts nicely with the warm parquet floor. It’s a lovely, uncomplicated space to sit and work with an early morning coffee while the sun comes up. But it’s equally suited to enjoying a glass of wine with some friends, or curling up on the couch with a good book and the log burner roaring.

Richard Makin's sink and tea tray

The industrial warehouse kitchen

Alastair Hendy’s double-height warehouse kitchen combines functional repurposed catering equipment with outsized, durable utilities to create his ideal workspace

I’m a food and travel writer, photographer, and retailer living in Shoreditch, London, with my partner, John Clinch, in a split-level warehouse apartment that we converted from scratch in 1996. Our L-shaped kitchen, on the lower level, covers 25 square metres and has an adjoining scullery and pantry, making it the core of the home. The look is industrial, steel and concrete, almost brutalist, and very much unfitted. The equipment is all commercial, restaurant- grade – much of it bought from an auction in Battersea – and chosen for its no-nonsense good looks and efficiency. Industrial kitchen equipment was chosen for its efficiency, with open storage on trolleys for fluidity and their ergonomic possibilities.

Birds eye shot of Alistair's kitchen

Being a food photographer, shop owner, designer and hoarder of all things beautiful, I have lots of props stashed away. Being a full-on cook, too, I need an efficient workspace and everything here is not only my aesthetic, but also fit for purpose. The materials can take a bit of a hammering and improve beautifully with age. The central worktable came from a school (for £100), which I customised with stainless steel to cover its crumbling melamine top, and I painted the wood with off-white eggshell. Three wall-mounted Anglepoise lamps are ex-hospital, and cost £2.50 each, in the days when no one valued industrial. I’ve upcycled and re-purposed all my life, and getting a bargain is in my DNA. I trawl boot fairs, auctions and international antique fairs. I love the old canteen trolley in the scullery (£95) – it holds so much. The new cooker and fridge are where the serious cash was spent: heavy-duty Zanussi gear.

Alistair's sink and light

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