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Fixtures & fittings

Sinks, taps and handles are some of the hardest working features in the kitchen and can be key design features too. Often an afterthought, they can provide the finishing touches.

Space is a consideration when it comes to choosing your sink. If you have room, opt for a 1.5 bowl, to allow for food preparation and dishwashing. A variety of styles are available – round, square or rectangular – with or without integral drainage. Look for models that can be undermounted rather than inset, so the worktop leads straight into the sink without a visible edge.

Popular stainless steel creates an industrial look, but composite models allow you to integrate the sink to your worktop for a seamless finish. Chunky Belfast sinks, which add a hint of utility chic, are particularly useful for soaking pots and pans, but there are other ceramic options if you want a hit of crisp white cleanliness on a smaller scale.

Taps may seem like a minor feature, but chosen carefully, they can be a sculptural focal point. Contemporary styles range from curvaceous models which help soften up a severe scheme, to uncompromising angular designs for a state-of-the-art look. And for the ultimate in flexibility, add a hose spray tap, which extends over the whole sink.

When it comes to choosing handles, the most contemporary of designs are integrated. A subtle horizontal lip on cabinets doesn’t break up the finish and creates a linear feature, extending along a bank of units to emphasise the sense of scale.

Modern protruding handles also have a linear look and work well hung horizontally. Choose from the chunky to the barely there, in brushed steel or nickel effect, to make a striking contrast with glossy cabinets or the natural beauty of wood.