If truth be said, a kitchen is a room that doesn’t always feel as warm and as inviting as we would like. Very often, our interior design choices are dictated by a lack of space or purely practical motives. What can we do if the most creative room in the home is in need of something to give it a personal touch?
We asked Andrea Castrignano, interior designer and expert adviser when it comes to alterations and restyling, helping us to see the rooms in our home in a different light.
Kitchens are a central and essential room in any home; they are the hub and the main activities of everyday life revolve around them. It’,s important to make them a space that is functional yet comfortable. A lot depends on our personal idea of what we consider to be inviting, but using materials like stone, wood and ceramics and opting for warm colours, will definitely result in a more pleasant, convivial and harmonious space.
Using colour, provided it is homogeneous and properly thought out, adding a contrast colour that complements the rest of the concept, or using decorative wall elements are good starting points. Ceramics have been more design-focused for some time now; it is a material that I recommend without hesitation because it has gone through a sort of evolution and has become a concept used in architecture and interior design. At Ceramica Rondine I had the pleasure of rediscovering the uses for small sizes, a dimension that was a huge success at Cersaie 2015. I like these modules because they give you a great deal of options and freedom as a designer.
From this point of view, I would certainly suggest having a look at the Brick Generation project as I think it is extremely interesting.
It is very innovative ceramic product because it combines the use of porcelain stoneware with the pleasure of seeing it in a domestic setting. It has an interesting link with the past - the look of brickwork that we are all accustomed to seeing - with porcelain stoneware’s special quality of being waterproof. You can use it for a creative splashback behind the sink, for example. The great advantage of this idea is that you also have a wide range of colours to choose from: if there is a lot of space in the room, you can be bold and go for old red or a multicolor option - like the colours in London. Otherwise I recommend sticking to paler shades, like the grey and the sand in the Tribeca collection.
One idea is to repaint or customise your kitchen worktop or wall cabinets with carefully chosen decorative elements to give the room an extra special personal touch. Making good use of the lighting with decorative light fittings in unusual shapes and colours and - lastly - adding lots of accessories.
Neutrals and warm tones are definitely a passepartout and an excellent decorative and design element: they are an ideal background for adding a splash of colour in a matching or contrasting shade and this will make the room look more dynamic. From this point of view, I still like wood effect ceramic floorings that are still hugely popular because they give a home a welcoming look. Reproducing the look of a natural element like wood gives you the feeling of warmth that only this material can offer, without losing sight of the practical features offered by porcelain stoneware.
Ceramica Rondine has an interesting new wood-effect product in a variety of different shades and a strong allusion to the past: Bricola, wooden floorboards inspired by the structures at Venice that mark out the navigable channels in the Laguna.
The first thing to think about is the practical aspects of a kitchen. It has to be a pleasant space to cook in; the spaces and fittings have to be designed with care so that they are comfortable and leave enough space for you to move around... and let’s not forget that nowadays your guests are often invited into the kitchen!
Adding a personal touch to a home is essential. The splashback behind the sink is a surface that certainly adapts well to trying out new ideas in terms of materials and colours. It’s important that you don’t go too far though, you have to choose a material that is easy to keep clean. I’d opt for New York, in the Brick Generation project collection. It is a covering that comes in the classic colours - white, almond, black and grey – and has the look of the stylish facades of the buildings in Brooklyn Heights or the more elegant brownstones in the Upper East Side.