If there is one positive to come from the COVID-19 lockdown, it’s the escapism the Netflix sensation ‘Selling Sunset’ gave to many across the country. Full of drama, glamour, and some of the most breathtaking homes in the world… what’s not to love?
While the show is based around the lives of real estate agents at The Oppenheim Group, we couldn’t take our eyes off the stunning homes, and more specifically the kitchens. We take a look at what you could learn from the show, and how you can bring aspects of the L.A. lifestyle to your home in the UK.
1. The kitchen is the heart of the home
Open plan living is something that is favoured by most, and something that is on display in spades in Selling Sunset. All of the homes have an impressive kitchen, which is often the first room that the realtors show to prospective buyers and their agents. And it’s obvious to see why, when they are such spectacularly spacious rooms. In addition to the open plan kitchen-living spaces, the rooms also typically have to-die-for views of the stunning L.A. skyline with an infinity pool in the foreground.At Davonport, we understand that a kitchen is an investment that can ultimately make or break a house sale. The right kitchen can make the difference between getting the asking price or having to make a deal. Therefore, the spend on the kitchen has to be appropriate for the value of the house – quality speaks volumes here.
The trends in the UK are slightly different from those across the pond, as we’re starting to move away from the fully open-plan nature of homes towards more of a broken plan way of living (a way of using space that combines the spaciousness of open plan but with more distinct zones and separation for different uses.) Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure that the positioning of the cabinetry and additional furniture in the kitchen is perfect, in order to maximise space and create that all important flow around your home and into the garden – something that is just as important in the UK as it is in L.A.
2. White white white
One thing that will become apparent when watching Selling Sunset, is that white is the colour of choice in the large majority of kitchens. While there are the odd splashes of colour here and there, the main theme throughout most of the homes is a bright white – not a shade of cream or ivory but a true bleached, unforgiving kind of white.
These bright white kitchens look fabulous in the glorious L.A. sunshine, however, amidst the UK’s rather more temperamental weather, they can feel cold and sterile. At present we’re still witnessing the tail end of the greys, and some darker blue hues, but to be on trend in the UK at present, you should be opting for natural earthy greens.
3. Size does matter
The kitchen islands in the Selling Sunset homes truly are something to behold. As you might expect in multi-million dollar homes, they don’t do things by halves. Breakfast bars are de rigueur and in many cases, some of the islands will incorporate seating for up to 6 or even 8 people, as opposed to the more common 3 or 4 bar stools we are a custom to seeing here in the UK.
At Davonport, we understand that a breakfast bar is still highly sought after for casual dining, but various alternatives are also growing in popularity. Banquette seating offers a far more flexible solution that adds a touch of personality and individuality to a kitchen. These seating areas can be incorporated ‘inside’ the L shape of an island, or even as a circular seating zone at the end of an island.
4. Double up
The most prestigious homes in the show will more than likely incorporate a complete ‘chef’s kitchen’ which as the name suggests, is designed to meet the needs of a professional chef – presumably to make hosting dinner parties a cinch.
The room will often include adequate space to accommodate a team of cooks, as well as a wide variety of top-end appliances. Not only will the chef’s kitchen likely include multiple ovens of different types, such as steam, convection etc, but it may also comprise a warming drawer, a gas range cooker, as well as a second sink and second dishwasher.
Whilst it’s still rare to be asked to spec out a kitchen to this extent, long gone are the days when homeowners only ask for a dishwasher, fridge-freezer, and cooker. The demand for appliances of all sorts has sky-rocketed, and our kitchens now have a wide range of appliances built-in including wine fridges, coffee makers, warming drawers, hot water taps, teppanyaki and even on the odd occasion, a second dishwasher!
5. ‘Lite’ industrial twist
Whilst white is the primary colour in the kitchens on the show, they often include small touches of wood, granite, concrete and marble, creating a ‘lite’ industrial touch. Some of the common additions include bar stools with dark metal legs, chunky open plan shelving, and urban-style pendant feature lighting, as well as lots of chrome, and brushed stainless steel.
Industrial style is something that is very popular in the UK due to its versatility as you don’t have to go the whole hog – which means if you change your mind in years to come or if you want to refresh the room, the style can be easily updated. For example, our Shoreditch kitchen is a luxury take on the eclectic, urban look and features an iconic Crittall Windows ‘InnerVision’ sliding pantry door. This helps separate areas of the room with a nod to industrial styling, without needing to make a huge statement in the cabinetry design or worktops.
Season four is highly anticipated, and we can’t wait to get lost in the glamorous L.A. lifestyle again, and of course, have a peek into more beautiful homes. In the meantime, if you’re looking to design your own dream bespoke kitchen then be sure to get in touch with one of our expert designers today.