I have a minimalist kitchen finished in matte whites, with a concrete/stone paneled island and lower cupboard doors. It's a clean look and I want to keep it that way, a complete 180 from the previous kitchen where I had shelves overfilled with my favourite mini-cocottes and teacups. I love colourful objects, but these days I'm very choosy about how to use them, ie. nothing gets attached to the walls and decoration is limited to essential functional objects, like my coral red pentagonal pepper mill (above) that gets to hang out by the hob. I've found that this is the best approach for satisfying my wants for colour and form while remaining true to my minimalist aesthetic, and a brilliant way to get it is with graphic linens.
House of Fraser invited me to review some kitchen linen from their range and I was immediately drawn to the colourful geometric design of the Juxtapose collection from Linea. Simple and bold, it's very Scandi, and looks especially striking with whites and other neutrals. The linens in this collection include a set of three tea towels, a full apron, and double oven mitts, all in durable cotton.
Who wouldn't want to wear this fantastic apron? It's got a big front pocket in grey and fastens at the neck with adjustable D-rings, and its great style makes it perfect for hosting, though I'll admit I won't wear it while making any kind of red sauce. That's the thing about great-looking kitchen linens, you don't want to stain them. But there is a way to avoid permanent messes while still getting use of your beloved designs. I use the apron for making rice dishes and pasta and if one day it gets a bit stained, well it's ok. It's an apron after all, and that's why stain remover exists. The double oven mitts are brilliant. Until now I've never had the type that are joined and I can already see the value - you can't misplace one at a time when you need to drain a boiling pot that very second! I've used them for taking my heaviest cast iron pot about eight steps from the island to the sink and there was no chance at all of burning my hands. The mitts are heavily insulated so you're well-protected.
Bold tea towels are a staple in Dutch and Scandinavian homes and you can see why! Today, below, I was using the fully printed version - the other two are solid medium grey and white with the triangle patterned trim - to catch the drips from my washed little gem leaves draining in the colander. I also use them for blotting washed herbs by putting the stems between the folded layers (and once or twice forgot they were there and left them out of the recipe, oops!). And I leave them out, because they liven up my island without busying it up, and they're ready for duty when I inevitably come over with something that needs draining.
Inspired to add some graphic punch to your kitchen? Look for linens in your favourite colours and patterns. Or, if you're a fan of the understated, why not step out of your comfort zone and try something more vivid and fun? They'll lift your spirits as well as your space!