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Recipe for a British-Style Kitchen

There’s no exact formula for designing a kitchen. Every home is a little different, and every homeowner has their favorite colors and ideas on the appliances and features that need to be in their dream kitchen.

Anglophile or British kitchens have been growing in popularity over the past several years, and each one is a little different. But this look, perhaps because it’s rooted in history, has some traditional ingredients that you’ll find again and again. And when you mix several of these features, you can create that distinctive and timeless look.

If you’re fascinated with this kind of kitchen – and who isn’t these days – here’s a step-by-step recipe for creating your own Anglophile kitchen.

Start with Soft White Walls

Photo credit: @farrowandball and @eyeswoon

Soft white walls are like the flour in a cake – it’s the foundation everything else is built on. A softer white is a warm way to start that ensures the kitchen will feel inviting and a bit demure, no matter what else you add. In a British kitchen, we love the range of soft whites inspired by history from Farrow & Ball. This collaboration with Athena Calderone of Eyeswoon features Wevet walls and cabinetry in Railings. Other warmer whites from F&B include Dimity, New White, and Schoolhouse White.

Add Your Custom Cabinetry

navy and white eclectic kitchen
Photo credit: Adam Kane Macchia

The custom cabinetry with all sorts of storage and nooks for appliances is a key ingredient in the British kitchen. It springs from that “a place for everything and everything in its place” philosophy, and we think it’s a good thing. As the center of the home, the kitchen needs to look pulled together at all times. But since so many things happen there – cooking, eating, homework, socializing – and every family has different needs, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all kitchen.

Substitute a Picture Rail for Upper Cabinets

Swapping upper cabinets for a picture rail or slim open shelf gives your kitchen a lighter, more airy look. Plus, it’s a great place to store crockery or display artwork or vases. Here, designer Laura Butler-Madden painted walls in Farrow & Ball‘s De Nimes and added a super handy plate drying and storage rack and shelving painted in the blue-black shade Railings. A strategically placed bar for hanging utensils or knife strips also works well here.

Sprinkle in Natural Wood Accents

Photo credit: Studio Dearborn

Natural wood is a welcome addition to any room. In the kitchen, it adds more warmth and helps ground and soften the space. Wood floors, beams, and cabinetry are fine choices. In this discreet pantry, designer Sarah Robertson installed a wood pullout bin, counters, floors, and door to tie in with wood features in the rest of the home.

Incorporate Classic Hardware and Fixtures

Photo credit: @plainenglishuk

Accent your custom cabinetry with classic kitchen hardware: Latch closures, oval knobs and bin pulls, as in this beauty by Plain English. But you can mix metals or choose a not-so-traditional finish to keep it fresh. Wall- and deck-mounted faucets were a necessity in the old days, but now that they come in so many gorgeous finishes, they feel like a decorative accessory.

Layer in Some Natural Elements

Photo credit: @devolkitchens

Anytime there’s a touch of nature in kitchen – whether a bowl of fruit, a messy vase of olive branches, or a potted pilea – it reminds us where our food comes from. It evokes popping out to the chicken coop to gather eggs or to the garden to cut fresh lettuce or mint. Even if you had everything delivered by Blue Apron it makes people feel good about eating there.

Finish with a dash of quirkiness.

pati robins kitchen
Photo credit: @patirobins

There’s a dose of individuality and surprise to our favorite kitchens. It’s such an intimate room that reflects the personality of the owner and the people who create and eat there. Just this corner of UK photographer Pati Robins‘ kitchen lets you know there’s a delicious story just waiting to be told.