44 Civic glory
Don’t neglect the most important room in the house–neptune can make it beautiful
By stages through the 18th and 19th centuries, Liverpool brought into being its town hall, perhaps the greatest Georgian civic building in Britain, as Steven Brindle explains
THE best kitchens don't just loo k beautiful, they behave beautifully, too. They understand exactly what we need fromthemtomake o ur days easier. So much more than a place to cook, our kitchens are a place to sto re things sensibly, tod ine with family and friends and to lovingly decorate with the things that bring us jo y every single day.
Cook, but cleverly
If yo u have a kitchen island, make the absolute most o f t.i Often, we spend just as much time preparing food as we do coo king it, so coax yourself away from the stove and chop in the heart of your kitchen. The same can be said fo r clearing up. Opting fo r a powerful hand-rinse tap makes no n-dishwasher safe crockery quicker to clean. This wo rks even better when yo u build the sink into yo ur island, but o nthe side that’s closest to your cooker to minimise movement. It means that when yo u’re entertaining o r have children sitting at the tabledo inghomework, youcommunicate face to face, rather than with your back to them. It’s a perfect example o f‘ kitchen zoning’— a practice that gives yo ur kitchen rigour, but in a way that feels like seco nd nature.
Thoughtfully made cabinetry
Before we contemplate types, the first bit of advice is to always choose cabinets that are expertly crafted using the highest-quality materials—your kitchen will thank you for it. Not only is it built to last, but well-made cabinetry tends to have been well-thought out too. You’ll find much more choice, with many a secret trick, such as a little drawer within a bin cabinet for storing liners, racks inside cupboard doors that are designed to fit the tallest of bottles, and adjustable shelving that fits in with you, not the other way around (check out Neptune's zigzag shelving).
On the subject of cabinetry, try to not be blinded by cupboards; tiered drawers are perfect for pans, slim slots can be built in for breadboards, breakfast trays and tea towels, and shelving is a lovely alternative for arranging glassware. So mix things up and include a little of everything—you’ll find your kitchen a million times easier to live in.
A kitchen is the room that, quite possibly, offers us the most attractive of storage options. The dresser and the larder, for
example, hark back to times gone by. Novel notions aside, they also put on the most superb performance. Dressers are a home to cutlery, crockery and table linen, be it dayto-day essentials or occasional pieces, and are almost pieces of art in themselves. Larders are calmingly quiet realms where everything has its proper place, helping to curb the habit of the occasional tin or spice pot roaming into the wrong cupboard.
Never underestimate shelving. You could even leave an entire run of cupboards open-faced as an unconventional take on the dresser. Likewise, a rail of peg hooks are ideal for hanging mugs and utensils, with the shelf space above used for cookbooks or fresh herbs.
A place to perch
A kitchen without somewhere to sit and eat is a kitchen that hasn't reached its full potential. The dining room still has a definite place in our homes, but it’s the kitchen table that gets the most use. The ideal is an extendable table that waits in the wings for weekday breakfasts and family suppers, but springs tolife when a large group of friends descend for the weekend.
If space is limited, a couple of bar stools at a kitchen island provide a perch to enjoy relaxed meals or tea and biscuits. We always suggest positioning the dishwasher close to your eating area, too, to make your journeys to it shorter and less frequent.
With all this in place, your kitchen will already be a pleasure to look at, but remember to treat it as any other room when it comes to decorative touches. Artwork is fabulous in a kitchen, as are lamps, plants, vases and candles. A wicker basket, whatever its shape and size, will add interest and beautiful crockery somehow always takes a meal from delicious to delectable.
Discover Neptune’s craftsman-made kitchens at neptune.comand, for a limited time only, receive a free sink base cabinet when you spend more than £8,00 0 on any of its four kitchen families. For further information, please contact us at neptune.com
Neptunewill shape any kitchen to its family’s needs, with hand-crafted and bespoke cabinetry that brings a roomto life. Suffolk kitchen, from£10,000
Above: Neptune’s Chichester kitchen, from £8,000. Left: Suffolk chopping block, from £895. Below left: Ashcroft tray, from £38, and Bowsley tableware, from £8. Below right: Harrogate dining table, from £895, and Harrogate chairs, from £220. Above right: Chichester 5ft open-rack dresser, from £2,165