Sim­ple KITCHEN UP­DATES

Bring new life to the busiest room in the house by adding fresh char­ac­ter, re­work­ing its ap­pear­ance or sort­ing out your stor­age

Country Living (UK) - - Seasonal Inspiration - Words by jo leev­ers

ALL THINGS CRAFTED

As the room where you are of­ten found stir­ring, chop­ping and knead­ing is all about cre­ativ­ity, it makes per­fect sense to sur­round your­self with hand­made ob­jects in the kitchen. Pleas­ingly tac­tile, they are an apt re­minder that, just as with cooking, it takes time and slow prac­tice to make some­thing good.

At the top end of the scale are items such as a free­stand­ing larder, made-to-mea­sure cab­i­netry or a hand­made din­ing ta­ble – cen­tre­pieces that will set a mood of crafted calm. And the fact that a be­spoke item will be per­fectly tai­lored to the pro­por­tions of your space sub­tly adds to that sense of bal­ance.

But it’s also pos­si­ble to bring the crafted aes­thetic into your home in smaller ways. You may al­ready have ar­ti­san table­ware stored away, but giv­ing pieces pride of place on a man­tel­piece or shelf will high­light their charms. Look out for ce­ram­ics that show the hand of the maker, whether it’s in the way a handle has been moulded to a mug, or the unique swirls or daubs of glaze on a jug.

Chunky chop­ping boards that have been care­fully cho­sen for their par­tic­u­lar tim­ber and grain by a skilled wood­worker will last a life­time. Re­cy­cled glass­ware blown with whorls and bub­bles has far more char­ac­ter than iden­ti­cal pieces off a pro­duc­tion line. And block-printed or hand-em­broi­dered ta­ble linen not only looks beau­ti­ful but feels good to the touch. At ground level, hand­wo­ven bas­kets are a prac­ti­cal ad­di­tion, per­fect for stor­ing fresh veg­eta­bles or po­si­tioned by a back door for shoes, boots or dog-walk­ing para­pher­na­lia.

An as­sort­ment of old chairs and a char­ac­ter­ful pine ta­ble lend in­ter­est to this stream­lined kitchen

Above and far left Tex­tu­ral ob­jects in­clud­ing wo­ven nat­u­ral bas­kets, hold the eye

Left and be­low Shapely ce­ram­ics and wooden im­ple­ments of­fer hand­crafted appeal

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