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How to improve your kitchen’s flow with curved cabinetry

Leave the straight and narrow behind and stay ahead of the curve…
   Luke Arthur Wells  |  written on: 06-12-2018 11:50am


The contemporary kitchen is usually quite a straight-lined affair. Whether that’s the regularity of shaker-style cabinetry or the classic rectangular kitchen island, a fitted kitchen is more often than not formed of these linear shapes, while a sense of softness is brought in through accessories. However, thinking outside the box, if curved cabinetry and worktops are used in the right way, they can be a real triumph of craftsmanship. 

First up, let’s talk storage. Choosing curved cabinetry is never really going to create more storage. As you cut corners to shape the curve on the outward bend, such as on a kitchen island, you will almost always lose valuable storage space. Sometimes though it’s a small sacrifice worth making.

traditional,shaker,island,curved cabinetry,cream,classic,l shape,breakfast bar
Inspiration by Second Nature


What curves can do is create a more welcoming, flowing space. In the classic kitchen island set up with one wall of cabinetry and the island in front, the island can feel like a barrier to the kitchen. It’s those cooking on one side and those not cooking on the other. The curving of edges softens this divide, allowing the eye to travel with the shape of the cabinetry and worktop into the rest of the kitchen.

island,curved cabinetry,curved island,yellow,wooden flooring,handleless,white,wall display,artistic
Inspiration by Second Nature


On the other side of the kitchen, the curve of cabinetry promotes a better flow for cooking. Think about how you’d move around a space with strong right angles – you’d step, pivot 90 degrees and step – whereas when you have the guiding shape of a curve you naturally follow its outline, making the space feel ‘smoother’ to traverse.

shaker,island,curved cabinetry,classic,grey,wooden,raised breakfast bar
Inspiration by Second Nature


Using curves to define working areas is also a great way to add a flowing element to the room. Take a look at the Second Nature Remo kitchen below and how the subtle curve is added around the sink. It defines this task area without restricting it – a similar idea could be applied around a hob too.

island,curved cabinetry,aqua,blue,white,plate display,coastal
Inspiration by Second Nature


There are lots of ways that curves can be applied to the kitchen, so if all that sounds good to you, the real question to ask next is that do you find them visually pleasing. Curves may be having a bit of a moment, but they’re not for everyone, so float it as an idea in your kitchen re-design, but you might find sticking to the straight and narrow preferable.

Credit: Second Nature (Cover image)

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Luke Arthur Wells


Luke is an interior designer, stylist and blogger at www.lukearthurwells.com. He’s a believer in understated interiors that don’t have to shout to be heard, and he’s currently practicing what he preaches renovating a Victorian terrace in Essex, where he lives with his partner and two pampered pups. When it comes to his design style, he loves new and interesting building materials, a carefully chosen white paint and he also has a weakness for coffee table books and a fresh bunch of eucalyptus.

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