The Heart of the Family Home

The Heart of the Family Home

We bought our little country cottage just over ten years ago. We were young and foolish and had this idyllic dream of a life in the country. We stretched ourselves financially to the absolute max and for six years lived with our only family bathroom leading from the kitchen diner – so if you needed a shower you’d have to walk through the kitchen to go back upstairs and if nature called in the night – it was a long old walk!

(Not my kitchen sadly…)

In 2013 we finally had enough money to renovate and built a double storey extension creating an amazing open plan family living space with a utility and downstairs loo and building a much needed family bathroom upstairs. Problem was that by the time the work was complete we’d totally run out of money so the kitchen was (and still is) a mis match of lots of hand me down furniture and odd bits and pieces we bought on eBay – I’ve kind of fallen in love with it but I do think that if I did it all over again I would definitely factor in a new kitchen. Let’s face it Mamans – when you have a big family it really does become the beating heart of the family home so it should not be bottom of the list of priorities.

I was recently contacted by Howdens Joinery Co and asked to take a look at a new e-book of kitchen trends they have produced and to let them know which one was my favourite. For me, the kitchen really is the soul of my family home. It’s the place that I want my children to remember with that warm and fuzzy feeling. Masses of us squeezed around the table at christmas and birthdays. Helping me stir whatever I’d be cooking up, doing play dough or their homework while I pottered around preparing shopping lists. It’s where the beautiful mundanity of family life takes place and I just know that when my kids have fled the nest – I’ll miss that mundanity more than anything.

So for me the trend that stood out was obviously ‘natural.’ I need my kitchen to be stunning, practical, durable but most importantly to be warm and to welcome true ‘living.’ I want friends to visit and feel that they can help themselves to a cuppa and for their children to have tea with mine and not worry when there is an inevitable spill. The natural kitchen trend, I think, looks hard wearing and inviting but also stylish and with the capacity to add a few quirks. It was the obvious choice! 

The e-book helpfully gives you some design inspo for styling your dream kitchen, I should be pairing it with earthy hues such as forest and bottle greens and copper accessories – I’m loving the slightly brighter teal and turquoise accents – in my opinion the natural woods need a pop of colour! This kitchen trend also seems to match my new found love of house plants – it’s the perfect look for CheltenhamMaman HQ. 

I’m also loving a Belfast sink – we already have one and it’s the perfect fit for a natural, practical but stylish kitchen. I definitely recommend them. As for the work surfaces I think I’d opt for a warm natural oak all the way. I’m already picturing the lazy family brunches we could be having in this revamped space! 

You guys know me though right? I never pretend to have things sussed in the style department so I completely understand that the natural option isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. In Howdens’ 2018 e-book they also have a ‘refined’ trend – think dark walls and marble, ‘monochrome’ for those of you who love clean simplicity, ‘pure’ for light space with slate finishes and ‘cultural’ – perfect for those of you who follow the hashtag #ihavethisthingwithtiles and finally ‘individualistic’ for those who like to mix it up a bit. I’d love to know your favourites? What must haves feature in your dream kitchen? 

If you’re interested in finding out more about how Howdens can help you create the perfect heart of your family home take a look at their website or download the e-book.


This is an endorsed blog post. 


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