Interior design trends move in large, looping circles that can take decades to come back around. Even styles which fall out of favor in a major way will eventually be reincarnated for a new generation to enjoy and drool over.
This is happening to the stainless steel kitchen aesthetic right now, and of course, anyone who wants to get in on the action must remember that there’s always a contemporary twist to take into account.
Here’s a quick guide to help you jump on this bandwagon in the right way, without sacrificing the convenience of modern tech.
Settle on a budget & work within it
The amount you’ve got to spend on a stainless steel kitchen overhaul will determine how much you can do.
Of course, your budget can be made to go further if you make savings in certain areas, and do more of the work yourself.
For example, rather than buying equipment to do home improvement work yourself, or hiring professionals, you could rent what you need and put your DIY skills to the test to reduce the expenses.
The alternative is investing in second-hand equipment, which is easy to do online. For example, you can find manual knee mills of the highest quality at Revelation Machinery, and get the best of both worlds in terms of affordability and control over your project.
Focus on specific elements rather than going all-in
The thing about stainless steel kitchens is that if you go too far, you’ll end up transforming what should be a welcoming domestic space into one that feels like the soulless, commercial kitchen pulled straight out of a restaurant.
This is why it’s better to make your choice of stainless steel elements more limited, as opposed to transforming every item and surface into this material.
You might choose stainless steel work surfaces, while contrasting this with natural wood furniture and tiled flooring, for example. You might select stainless steel finish appliances, and leave everything else as-is. You could even just change the light switches, shades, and trims for stainless steel, to be even more subtle.
Consider cleaning and maintenance
The thing about stainless steel is that while it looks great when it’s squeaky clean, it can quickly become a bit of an eyesore as soon as everyday grime begins to build up.
Fingerprint smudges, food stains, liquid spills, and other kitchen mishaps will leave it looking less than perfect. So you need to work out how much cleaning and maintenance you’re willing to do on a daily basis, and adjust your design accordingly.
If you don’t want to spend time scrubbing worktops and high-traffic surfaces each evening, rethink where you’re using stainless steel in your kitchen.
Also remember that stainless steel doesn’t need to be used solo, but can be paired well with other surfaces and materials that are a bit more manageable from this perspective. For instance, stainless steel cupboard frontages which are underpinned by classic white tiles with darker grouting will look the part, and be less of a burden from a cleaning perspective.
Make sure your accessories are on show
Smaller, more affordable touches of stainless steel can be added to your kitchen if you purchase things like pots, pans, kettles, pitchers, and utensils made from this material.
However, if these items aren’t on show unless they’re in use, you’ll not really be getting the benefit of your investment in this fashion trend.
As such, you need to work out what storage setup will maximize their visibility without leading to too much clutter.
If you’ve got a decent amount of surface space to play with, having utensil stands rather than keeping everything in drawers is a good move.
Replacing cupboard doors with glass-fronted equivalents so that the contents can be seen from the outside, while the dust is still kept at bay, is also a good way to let visitors see your stainless steel accessories.
You could even move to open-fronted storage, whether that’s shelving or movable units, to achieve the same effect.
Ensure the lighting doesn’t let you down
Stainless steel is a material that really looks its best when it is in well-lit conditions, so you want to check that your kitchen gets plenty of natural light in the day and that the artificial illumination setup is also sufficient to bring it to life after dark.
Downlighting from ceiling-mounted LED bulbs will work best; just remember to choose warmer varieties, because the cool coloring of certain products in this category will give stainless steel kitchens an overly clinical look.
The bottom line
It’s best to get some inspiration from social media to see how stainless steel can be integrated in kitchen spaces, so get searching and see what catches your eye.
Published by HOLR Magazine.