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I’m in the process of doing up a new house and like most people interested in food, it is the kitchen that preoccupies my mind.

The market is packed with all sorts of designs to suit all different pockets and if I was going to generalise, I would say that those people who choose the pricey top tier are not the real cooks. We food fanatics seem to put more value on the ergonomics and the gadgets than we do the finish and the fact that a drawer will automatically close even if you don’t push it shut.

I also like to feel a sense of hygiene in a kitchen so invariably am drawn to white, but then again I don’t like it to feel clinical so I am adding in colour and natural wood to ensure that there is warmth. I also find this adds texture which seems to be something that I find important in design. In terms of colour, there is a huge amount of copper coming out in the design books at the moment and it is a metal that I have always loved so I am most definitely erring away from chrome and onto more golden hues.

copper-cookwareCopper kenwoodIf money was no object I would make sure that I had a full set of these pans which are just wonderful in themselves, but I am thinking this is going to be something I need to collect over time instead given my purse. That is unless I find the bronze Kenwood mixer which I have only ever seen in the USA. If anyone can influence that – please bring it to the UK. Then I would have to leap in and get that first.

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The other must for me is some sort of plant life. I know living walls are very of the moment, so I am not going to go there, but certainly an element of fresh herbs growing in my kitchen feels like a must. These troughs on the wall are so lovely and I am figuring out a way of doing that at a level that means I can cut fresh herbs for cooking. I saw this in a kitchen shop and am working on a version right now.

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A few other musts: having a big bin directly below the working surface; good taps; chopping surface adjacent to the hob; gas hob (of course) and lots of storage not only for all the crazy utensils I have collected over the years but also all the pantry ingredients. When I say lots of storage, I mean the type that keeps everything behind doors so that the kitchen doesn’t get cluttered. Even things like the microwave and blender should be kept hidden in my book. Finally I like some sort of central unit so that cooking and socialising can combine as I spend too much time in the kitchen and always love getting people together to eat.

My hairdresser then got me onto the whole hot and cold water thing this weekend. She reckons its a must to have a hot (read boiling) water tap and now my kettle has conked out that seems like a good call, plus filtered cold water to fend off all the furring up of all the white goods, let alone the kettle. Nowadays there are some really great systems that, if installed up front, save a huge amount of time, energy and money so I am glad she gave me a talking to about that…along with sorting out my natural highlights!

Now all I have to do is figure out a way of displaying all my cookery books. I love this unit but have never been able to find it to purchase, so I will have to ask someone nicely if they can make me a wall mounted version. Then I can fill it with lovely tomes of food. Perfect.

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