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How I chose my Kitchen Cabinets: Planning colour & Style with Naked Doors

How I chose my Kitchen Cabinets: Planning colour & Style with Naked Doors

When designing a kitchen the bit that first comes to mind, the most important aspect to consider in my opinion is the kitchen cupboards. These really define the space, set the aesthetic for the room and also make a kitchen function the way it should. This is maybe one of your first decisions you make, even before you decide on the colours of the walls, the flooring or the make of the appliances you’ll have and it’s one you really want to get right. And just a little disclaimer - if you like white doors then this might not be the blog for you. The theme is sort of centred around colour….

So where do you start looking?

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Initially my planning and Pinterest pinning featured dark navy cupboard doors but it soon emerged that I was heading down the route to something a little more me and I was being drawn towards dark and moody deep greens with industrial vibes featuring heavily in the details and lighting. What then became clear that there was not an easy conventional route of making this happen. Through friends and online conversations it was apparent that more mainstream kitchen suppliers had quite a limited amount of colours available for kitchen cabinets and I had fallen in love with a particular bluey green - Inchyra Blue from Farrow and Ball. So here was the predicament, I couldn’t go to one supplier who could create my whole kitchen for me on my tiny budget so I had to get creative.

Could I bring it together myself?

In our previous property we had installed an Ikea kitchen ourselves and was impressed with the build quality of the MDF carcasses and ease of fitting (which we were going to do ourselves again here) so we decided that Ikea would be our first port of call. But before we made that trip to Croydon I had a little trick up my sleeve. Thanks to Instagram I had heard of a company that supplied replacement doors to fit Ikea cupboards either the complementary dimensions or bespoke sizes and I knew this was going to give me the options I needed. Enter Naked Doors into the equation. I remember that interior icons Sophie Robinson and 2LG Studio had used this company for colourful and bespoke purposes in their own design projects and knew straight away that this was how my dream kitchen could become a reality. Here is the kitchen that Sophie Robinson designed for the Ideal Home Exhibition last year. I love how it sings with colour!

Designing with Ikea

It’s now over a year ago we made that trip to the iconic blue and yellow towers in Croydon (longest kitchen in the history of the world but sometimes it’s good to take your time) after having spent quite a few weeks designing the kitchen ourselves using Ikea’s online planner software. This method worked well for us before in our flat ten years ago but this room was bigger and with odd angles and dimensions so we had to take time to mull over the layout. In the end I put my foot down about where the drawers and doors should go opting for 80 cm wide drawers on either side of the range cooker for symmetry and the usefulness of these sliding boxes when cooking. I have not looked back! Here is the great interior design rule in practice where you have to carefully balance the aesthetic with the practical. And not forgetting that we all have preferences and may have a partner that also has a say so sometimes a compromise is necessary. I felt quite strongly about wanting big chunky drawers and symmetry when looking at the main wall as you enter the kitchen and as you’ll see from the grand reveal soon, I got my way!

How the magic happens!

It’s worth noting how the doors are actually manufactured in Naked’s Norfolk factory (which is actually an old aircraft hangar) and their commitment to high quality as well as value to the customer means that they use computers to design the doors which are then finished by hand. The manufacturing process combines advanced CNC machinery with traditional hand finishing techniques to bring out the best in the materials and designs. I like this approach which means there aren’t huge lead times for a bespoke product but you know you are getting something of premium quality that also has been made with a little bit of passion as well. The sprayline technology coats each painted front in layers of primer and paint to give a beautiful finish that is incredibly durable too.

How Naked Doors works

I am glad that Naked Doors entered my Instagram feed and gave us options. We didn’t have to go for a kitchen colour that other people had and also we didn’t need to spend the time spraying doors ourselves (even though my darling husband suggested that!). Naked will spray the doors in any colour you want, you just have to specify during the ordering period. Other considerations we had was whether to go for Shaker or Slab fronts and at one point considered the Ladbroke style doors with circular detailing for the handles (see below).

The process

We designed the space and ordered it ourselves which has worked out well and we are really pleased with the layout but next time I think I’d use a kitchen advisor to make sure that we didn’t miss any tricks. I believe that Ikea now do a design service on Tottenham Court Road but to be honest, the staff in any store are pretty skilled in the Kitchen department and answered all our queries to our satisfaction when buying the carcasses. In terms of the buying process with Naked Doors, there were a lot of details and options to be considered but the customer team were extremely supportive and made the whole process very enjoyable and relatively straightforward in something that had the potential to get a little complicated. They actually offer advice on this on their website so you get it right here. Originally I loved the shaker doors but in the end settled on slab doors so we could have slightly more modern hardware. But as you can see in the Brixton kitchen below you can mix doors to get a really nice eclectic look that is a nice twist on the traditional style.

In the Albert Bridge kitchen below you can really how the grain appears in the wood if you go for the oak veneer option and how you can really get creative with colour to create something unique that works for your space. The extra detail of the routed groove in these doors really set this kitchen off don’t you think?

From a personal point of view the journey from my vision (here’s a reminder of our plans) to the purchasing was lengthy but only because we were planning it all and installing ourselves. And now the Inchyra Blue Slab doors are fitted, the Dowsing and Reynold knurled handles are in situ and we are happily using the kitchen. Soon the tiles, flooring and final bits of lighting will be completed (we are so close!) and I cannot wait to share it with you! Please let me know your thoughts on this post below and as always I’m more than happy to answer any questions.

Yours in colour and creativity,

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Disclaimer: This blog is a collaboration with Naked Doors who gave me a discount in exchange for a set of three blog posts highlighting my journey of creating my dream kitchen. All thoughts and opinions are my own and as always I only collaborate with brands that I love and think that will help you in your own home. All photos supplied by Naked Doors.

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