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The Devil’s in the Details - Choosing Finishing Touches


Richard Davonport | 13 June 2016

When it comes to finishing touches for decorating the home it’s usually ornaments and soft furnishings which spring to mind. However, when it comes to the kitchen finishing touches are slightly different; although many consider cupboard and drawer handles, splashbacks and lighting to be finishing touches these are in fact integral to the design and aesthetics of the room, and should be considered early on when designing the space.

At Davonport we have found that most clients have a good idea of what they want in terms of colours, style and the atmosphere they want to create before they start planning for their own kitchen, which is invaluable in getting the design of their new kitchen just right. However there are a few things which some may not realise they need to consider at such an early stage. Lighting especially should be thought about at the design stage so that appropriate wiring can be put in place. In addition, at Davonport, because our kitchen furniture is bespoke, mantles are tailored so that they fit perfectly with the splashback that clients have chosen, so the splashback also needs to be decided very early on so that this can be done.

When choosing handles in particular there are a few things which should be considered; how they affect the look of the overall room, how practical they are and their longevity. For example, modern style kitchens, like our Linear collection, will be better suited to minimalist details such as bar handles, whereas a classic shaker style kitchen may be better matched to cup and knob handles. However, you should always choose a handle that feels pleasing and is easy to use - ergonomics, as well as aesthetics, are pivotal in the kitchen. In the same vein, whilst there is a growing trend for more complex handles - for example some now incorporate a catch - whilst these can look beautiful it’s important to check they will still be practical to use. If you’re set on a traditional style handle but want your kitchen to have a contemporary feel (or vice versa), the current trend for copper and bronze is a good solution as these finishes suit a wide variety of kitchens, from classic country schemes through to industrial and contemporary designs.

Splashbacks can be subtle or statement, depending on the style of the rest of the room. Ultimately, it should complement the kitchen cabinets, be easy to clean and durable. When it comes to styles and materials, if your kitchen cabinets and walls are neutral in colour and contemporary in style then you may choose to add a colourful splashback as a focal point. Alternatively a neutral splashback will balance coloured cabinets, and help to keep the whole room light and airy. Glass, metal and other high shine materials are best suited to modern kitchens, mirroring contemporary style cabinets which often have gloss fronts. Tiles are also very popular for splashbacks. There are infinite tile options available; from small mosaic tiles to larger styles, there are countless colour, pattern and finishes available.

A new kitchen is often part of an open plan space which incorporates a dining and living area, and is likely to be a multifunctional space in which you spend most of your time. Therefore your lighting scheme is crucial; it needs to highlight features, not overpower the room, and create a pleasurable ambiance fitting to the style of your kitchen’s decor. Ideally, you should ensure that you have a good mixture of types of lighting, so that you can either illuminate the whole room, sections or particular spots, depending on whether you’re throwing a party, an intimate dinner, or focusing on a task like cooking. A mixture of ceiling, wall and task lighting will achieve this, enabling you to tailor the amount of light you need or want in any number of different situations.

Whilst these are important design elements which are often not considered early on in the design process, genuine finishing touches, on the other hand, include accessories, curtains or blinds, statement crockery, dining chair upholstery and worktop appliances such as a KitchenAid or coffee machine. These can all be thought about later on in the design process as they won’t impact on the installation of the kitchen and can be swapped easily to revamp the look of the kitchen without affecting the functionality of the overall room.

If you need advice on designing a kitchen and what it is important to consider from the start of the process, or help sourcing genuine finishing touches, please get in touch or drop in and speak to one of our designers.

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