23 Sep 2019

New work surfaces make all the difference in kitchen revamp

When interior designer and blogger Kate Young first viewed her new home she knew it was the one. Despite the magnolia walls, brown carpets and the cream kitchen, she fell in love with the rural location, the views, the layout and the living area’s oak floors.


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The kitchen had beautiful stone flooring and was a good size, big enough for a large dining table. However, the kitchen units looked dated and the cheap brown worktops had seen better days. While everything was perfectly useable, Kate was itching to get it updated as soon as she could afford it.

As a blogger, Kate had to hold herself back from sharing the kitchen on social media, but after a few months, two things were crystal clear: the units were well made and the layout worked well. It was necessary to find the right aesthetic to make it all work together and tie it with the rest of the house. She fell in love with a pared-back overall scheme of neutral tones with black taps, while being certain she would have to repaint the kitchen units and jettison any cream tones.

The search was on for new worktops; the simplest way for an impressive transformation given the scale of the surfaces. Initially overwhelmed by the sheer abundance of choice as well as budget constraints, Kate was striving for a classy, neutral aesthetic. While the look of marble would have worked for the space, it was too costly. Wood, too, was not ideal due to being high maintenance and tricky with the desired undermounted sink.

Reluctant to save for years before being able to update her kitchen, she kept looking, and realised she wouldn’t have to give up on her dream. The Aria worktop range combines the beauty of natural materials with the durability and ease of maintenance typical of solid core surfaces. As a fully waterproof and non-porous surface, Aria also enabled the incorporation of her long-standing wish for an undermounted sink.

A neutral, subtle design was needed to match the rustic countryside detailing. Eventually settling on Polar White in 20mm thickness with matching upstands, the kitchen had to feel as light as possible.

Following the install, the repainting of the kitchen units was no longer necessary. The clear white worktops brought out a subtler tone in the cabinets, unlike the old brown worktops, which made them look very yellow. Replacing the dated old metal handles with leather ones was crucial to add to the sleek yet earthy new look and to add texture to the plain shaker style units. The icing on the cake to finalise the minimalist, contemporary design was a matte black tap and a white undermounted cast iron sink, matched with a new ceramic hob and a stainless steel oven.

Kate comments on the final result: “Our kitchen is the most used room in the house and the result has far exceeded my expectations. I have a beautiful, practical kitchen which will last for a long time. As with every room in the house, always choose carefully what you invest your money in. If you have good solid cupboards try replacing doors only or just handles. Worktops are the biggest game changer in the kitchen, do your research and order samples!”

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