December has come around once again. With the countdown well and truly on for Christmas, we’ve been getting our food lists ready and checking we’ve got all the utensils we need to serve up a feast. Whether our meal of choice is a roast turkey, boiled cod, dumplings or a nut roast, our kitchens are at the centre of it all, setting the scene for the festivities to come. As our thoughts here at Core turn to this very special room in our house, we’ve been reminiscing about our five best of all time. Though we may be biased, we know each one is extraordinary in its own way. Check them out!
Villa BJ was revolutionary in its use of space and the nature it was built in and around. The olive trees kept firmly in place as an outdoor courtyard grew around them, the light streaming in through the south-facing windows, the open-plan design that allows for the dining table to be in the middle of the action.
The section of the house that contains the kitchen was newly built as an extension to the original farmhouse, an entirely separate living area perfect for hosting away from the bedrooms. What’s more, this section is topped by a green roof that allows it to blend into the hillside, creating an interplay between indoors and out that stretches right around to an L-shaped pool just calling you in for a dip.
A crowning glory and central area of this house, the kitchen brings this whole space together without imposing its presence, allowing it to be moulded to any hosting need. As well as its versatility, our favourite features of this single-wall kitchen include the continuity of this gorgeous wood – used on the cabinets, table and wine rack – that the cabinets are wall-mounted, allowing for easier cleaning and opening the space up even more, and the simplicity and modernity of the overall look created.
Second in the best of our kitchens is more rustic Villa AH. A beach house built to be lived in, its design prized durable materials that offset the surrounding nature and can withstand the weathering that comes in from the coast while maintaining their style. Though this kitchen moves slightly away from the repurposed wood and concrete found in the rest of the house, the heavy iron and wood table invites any and all visitors to sit around it, creating the perfect atmosphere of fun and relaxation for a memorable family meal. Touches of tradition can be seen in the delicate Portuguese blue tiling by the sink, and an interplay between in and outdoors is achieved with doors that open all the way, with mullions continuing the rustic theme and adding structure to the large glass panes.
A warm, inviting environment, this kitchen is practical in all the best ways and sure to be the location of many happy memories this Christmas.
Next: Casa DA – a renovated traditional build turned pop-art masterpiece complete with geometric wallpaper, stained glass windows and complimentary prints in every room, not to mention a variety of recessed ceiling lighting options that open up the space, creating interesting effects to supplement the natural light that streams in through large windows.
Light is something this kitchen is certainly not short on, with under-cabinet lighting making the island look like a world of its own, while delicate glass lampshades hanging over the built-in dining area cleverly section it off without creating a barrier.
One of our favourite aspects of this kitchen has to be the airy space created around the island, perfect for family members to chop away together in preparation for their big meal. Not to mention the four ovens worked seamlessly into the design, providing cooking equipment to feed an entire hoard of relatives at Christmas time, or entertaining year-round.
Second to last is Casa Michel – a countryside home renovation that rose from the ashes of a ruin to become a modern, comfortable house decorated with mementoes from Asia, worked in at all levels to truly underpin its overall feel.
The dining area beyond the kitchen encompasses this exotic feel with a heavy gold-framed mirror and attractive wooden table and chairs. However, the kitchen has a more modern edge in its white design. Practical and clean with its straight lines echoed from the wall cabinets to the island and parallel window, this kitchen is a joy to cook in with ample workspaces and a well-placed sink. Perfect for more intimate family gatherings that have the cook joining in with the action as other family members tuck in nearby, this spacious kitchen is ready to be filled with festivities!
Finally, we come to Casa Azul – a passive house built into its surroundings that opens out like a fan to the south, ensuring its wide windows catch every ray of sun as it arches across the sky to heat the house and fill it with natural light.
Though it doesn’t seem it at first glance, one of the best things about this kitchen is the ample storage. All cleverly hidden, storage, the fridge and other appliances can all be found behind the gorgeous dark wood panelling. Continuing the theme of natural materials and a spacious, effortless feel is the granite-inspired island raised off the floor to provide more lighting and counter space. Whether at the sink or the island, our eyes are automatically drawn to the greenery outside, which brings light and life flooding into this open-plan area.
This type of kitchen is for people who want to keep things a bit separate. Who would rather have their space as they’re concocting each dish before sitting down with the rest of the family around the corner in the light-filled dining room. Designed to provide just that, a geometric house design creates this separation in angles, making walls and doors redundant while still creating distinct areas. Now that’s some good architecture at work, even if we do say so ourselves!
So there you have it – our 5 best kitchens from traditional to more modern, nature-inspired to art-deco. All serving the needs of their residents down to a T, featuring the obvious – counter space and storage – and the less obvious – light, space and a connection with nature. Now, beyond eating and drinking, how will you be entertaining your relatives this festive season? How about making your debut on TikTok and getting your relatives involved in videos a bit like this one?