How to create a laid-back kitchen, the expert guide


Knowing how to create a casual-looking kitchen means you have an antidote to the hustle and bustle of the world. When modern lives are so busy, creating a calm and relaxing atmosphere to come home is more important than ever. In the kitchen, an unfinished look is more lively and natural, especially in older or period properties. A modern fitted kitchen would have shaken off its inherent rustic charm.

That was the idea behind the design of this kitchen by stylist Nora Eisermann and photographer Laura Muthesiu from Our Food Stories. Using fixtures and accessories from deVOL to bring their kitchen ideas to life, they created a dream space that works with the building rather than against it. “We chose to restore and celebrate the character of the original old school and install a much more informal kitchen with layers of personality, texture and vintage details,” says Nora.

How to create a casual kitchen

casual looking kitchen with plaster walls and marble countertops

Kitchen design by Our Food Stories with deVOL

(Image credit: Our Culinary Stories @ourfoodstories)

1. Mix the styles, but calmly

The key to an “unfitted” fitted kitchen is to mix styles and materials, but in a calm and thoughtful way. “We used deVOL’s Real Shaker range in Mushroom for the main units, then added a freestanding pantry in white stained oak to break things up and introduce more storage,” Laura says, and these are her ideas for keeping. -eat that are so alluring. “The two furniture designs are very different, but the finishes share the same soft, neutral tones so they work harmoniously together. ”

2. Go for open shelves

casual looking kitchen with open shelves and plastered walls

Kitchen design by Our Food Stories with deVOL

(Image credit: Our Culinary Stories @ourfoodstories)

When it comes to kitchen shelving ideas, they are essential for creating a relaxed and homey look, keeping a space filled with your favorite things. “Choosing open shelving instead of wall cabinets is another way to avoid an overly fitted look,” says Laura. ‘deVOL made the shelves in the same oak as the pantry, which helps to unify the space.’

3. Opt for a statement piece

casual-looking kitchen with marble sink

Kitchen design by Our Food Stories with deVOL

(Image credit: Our Culinary Stories @ourfoodstories)

Marble kitchen ideas are always in high demand, and here Laura and Nora have really embraced them with their sink. “Every kitchen needs an element that stands out and here is the Arabescato Corchia marble sink from deVOL, which has the vintage charm of a traditional skirted design – think Belfast – but with modern fluted details. Simply beautiful, ”says Nora.

relaxed kitchen copper accents marble countertop

Kitchen design by Our Food Stories with deVOL

(Image credit: Our Culinary Stories @ourfoodstories)

“We bought the same stone countertops for the surrounding units and then switched to deVOL’s custom hand-aged copper on the island,” says Laura. “The contrast helps make the island feel like a stand-alone piece, but it’s also visually linked to our collection of vintage copper pots and pans. Rich metals like copper and brass, which we have on faucets, shelf brackets and handles, again fromVOL, contribute to a cozy atmosphere. Materials will age and patina over time and use, due to water marks, acid spills etc. which is not for everyone, but for us it just adds more character and a sense of history.

5. Choose oak parquet

There are many different types of floors that work in a kitchen, but if you’re starting from scratch you can’t beat the relaxed nature of oak. The original flooring here was unrecoverable under multiple layers of concrete, but the Beaumanor oak parquet from Floors of Stone is a compelling replacement. The solid oak planks are lightly aged with an aged patina that can easily pass for antique. Dark oak also forgives scuffs and stains, making it a practical choice in a well-used kitchen.

5. Add handmade items

relaxed kitchen handmade bowls in a pantry

(Image credit: Our Culinary Stories @ourfoodstories)

While the overall effect of these amazing rustic kitchen ideas is that the space is very calm and casual, it’s the little details and accessories that make it interesting. “The supply of handmade items, like Crackle pendant lights and subway tiles, means each one is slightly different and adds a uniqueness that you can’t get from machine-made,” says Laura. “We also used traditional lime paint on the walls, which has a wonderful, imperfect texture and is one of our favorite ways to create a relaxed space. Whether it’s new but made to look old or really old, nothing is too precious, and everything is designed to be used. ‘ Knowing how to create plaster effect walls can give you the same vibe.


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