If there is a grandstand moment for an Irish house, today it simply has to be the kitchen. Modern architecture has coaxed us on to bold, better rooms. In terms of design, materials, finish and accessorising, we seem finally to have found our stride in Ireland, expressing everything we love in the open plan. Staying with a classic Italian-inspired glossy, taking a nod to the freestanding Victorian with a bespoke in-frame, or making a modern statement with distressed metals or luscious veneers, there’s enormous opportunity to individualise your space. Do not assume a small, independent craftsman is all corbels and milk-paint. Many master carpenters now have startling modern choices in their repertoire.
In counters, poured concrete, thermoplastics, eco-friendly Formica (layers of paper sealed in resinous sandwich) and quartz-rich composites are providing the ancient appeal of traditional stone with some very sophisticated competition.
Starting out, it’s easy to get positively tipsy on the blinding beauty of doors, appliances, flooring choices and hardware but layout and essential material quality are the bones on which you hang all that fabulous finish. Build on a logical floorplan that suits your available space. Get it right and quality carcasses could be refaced in years to come with new doors or counters.
Is the standard kitchen triangle being bent out of shape? Personal habits, new configurations, (you may have as many as three wet areas in a very big kitchen), can force you to question a rigid, three-sided format. Spend time with a good designer and their client-friendly CAD technology, to navigate your way to that new dream kitchen.