The UK, although famous for pomp and tradition, has manufacturers that don’t just make classic kitchens but come up with the best contemporary design ideas and give them a unique twist.
Britpop brought regional accents and working class culture into the music business; Britart brought dead sharks into the art gallery but what of Brit kitchens? UK kitchen design has in common craftsmanship, an artisanal approach and the diversity of its inspiration.
“Modern British style is vivid and eclectic but draws from a fantastic heritage of design principles and proud skill base, from Classical through Arts & Crafts to exciting contemporary influences,” explains Jane Stewart, design director at Mowlem & Co. “It’s a synthesis of all that has stood the test of time and all the many wonderful new developments, from technology to manufacturing techniques.”
“British style is often characterised by a combination of superb craftsmanship and a quirky touch,” adds Caroline Gow, senior category manager at Fired Earth; while Steven de Munnich, design director at Smallbone of Devizes, believes: “An appreciation for quality and bespoke design is what sets British style apart, British homeowners have a keen eye for detail and know exactly what they are looking for.”
It’s that quirkiness, and the ability of the British top-end kitchen market to create bespoke designs using time-honoured skills, that gives the industry its edge.