Blog

23rd November 2018

Illustrated rendering of a kitchen design

The smallest room in your house might be the kitchen but there is still a lot to celebrate. It just might take a bit more thought to ensure you have the ‘must haves’ for your kitchen and that each of the design elements make the space work for you.
 
Sounds obvious, but when space is at a premium you really need to prioritise what is important. Delicious, homecooked food is always a wonderful thing to come out of the kitchen, can’t help with the cooking, but there is definitely a lot you can do to make sure you have a functioning kitchen.
 
Think outside the box
 
Depending on the layout of your house, there might be an opportunity to locate some of the appliances in close proximity to the kitchen. A small room nearby could be converted into a utility room to store some of the more bulky items, such as the fridge or washing machine.
 
You might not want to relocate the dishwasher from the kitchen, in which case slimline versions can be used to reduce the amount of space needed. Why not go even more radical and maybe not even have a dishwasher but a slightly larger sink for washing-up.
 

Kitchen utensils illustration

A Great excuse to de-clutter
 
We’ve all done it, opened a kitchen cupboard and found a wonderful gadget we were given several Christmases ago, used it once, because it was the right thing to do and thrown it into the back of a cupboard. It’s amazing how much you can clear out when you only have a limited space.
 
If you actually looked at the pots, pans and utensils you use on a regular basis and only had these stored in your kitchen, you would be pleasantly surprised. Not only that, you would get your ‘moneys-worth’, because as soon as they wear out you simply replace, ‘like for like’, and carry on doing what you’re doing.
 
Stylish and practical, what more do you want
 
Kitchen cupboards and draws aren’t simply there to make your kitchen look great, obviously they do, but can also solve a range of design and storage challenges. Available in all shapes and sizes, from straight edges to curved corner units, vertical spice draws and corner cupboards, there is so much choice.
 
What this means is that if you are clear about how you want your kitchen space to work, a clever design will deliver what you need. Yes, even down to the cupboard and draw handles, or lack of, why not go completely seamless and have handle-less units, saves you having to navigate round them in such a small space.
 
The answer is up there somewhere
 

kitchen utensils illustration

Kitchen storage doesn’t have to be in a cupboard or on the worktops, why not look at the hanging options. A good start might be with a magnetic board near the cooker. All the knives lined up and stored for easy access when cooking, you just need a bit of wall space.
 
Racks for hanging pots, pans and utensils is another way to have all your essentials close to hand. The space above our heads in a kitchen can be a bit wasted, so this is a great, practical option and can add to the overall style you’re wanting to achieve.
 
Using colour can add to the space
 
Choosing the right colour palette for a small space is really important. You do need to be cautious, particularly if using dark colours, as this can close an area inwards and actually make it feel smaller.
 
Mixing colours is good but don’t use more than 3 or it will become very busy, with each element fighting against each other. The best option would be to keep it light and airy, have good LED lighting, reduce the amount of clutter, at least the bits that are on show, and install ‘Tardis-like’ cupboards that can hold your kitchen essentials.
 
The good news is that whatever your size of kitchen, there are lots of options to choose from. As a kitchen fitter, I can help you with those choices and keep the ‘heart of your home beating’ – why not get the ball rolling and get in touch today.

wooden spoon with a heart shaped hole

Blog

6th November 2018


Walk into any kitchen shop on the high street and you’ll find a cooking gadget for absolutely anything. Whether you want to slice, peel, shred or juice, there will be some designer looking object that you simply can’t live without.

The reality is you’ll probably use it once and then carefully place it in the back of a cupboard. So, what about the gadgets you can build into your kitchen, harder to throw away and definitely ones you will not fall out of love with.

5 Kitchen gadgets to make your life easier


Number 1 – A Sound Bar

We all love music in the kitchen. Traditionally this would be delivered through a music system, then came the portable sound bars which connect to your smartphone and most recently the Echo and Alexa devices.

The downside is that you still need to find space in the kitchen to store these items and, to be honest, be very tempted to leave them in a draw or cupboard.

Well you can now have a sound bar built into the fabric of your kitchen. Adapting kitchen cupboards and even the ‘kick boards’, a system can be installed that blends seamlessly into the units and can play all your favourite tunes whilst you are cooking.

Number 2 – Charging Points

Cluttering up your kitchen worktops with charging plugs and cables can make the space look really untidy. But with the amount of time we spend in the kitchen, it is a place where we want to re-charge our phones and iPad.

There are a couple of easy solutions. A half-way house is to install specially adapted sockets that already have a USB charging point, you simply plug in and charge.

If you really want to de-clutter, you can adapt one of the draws in your kitchen and install a charging tray. This will allow you to place the item on the tray, plug-in and re-charge out of sight, but hopefully not out of mind.

Number 3 – Lighting

Not what you expect on a list of kitchen gadgets. Of course, they should be LED because on average throughout the year, you probably spend more time in the kitchen with the lights on, so you want to be energy efficient.

This little beauty is for motion sensitive lighting. When you have left the kitchen, sat down, started watching TV, maybe fallen asleep and forgotten to switch the lights off. Well you don’t need to worry because these lights will turn themselves off if there is no movement detected in the kitchen.


Number 4 – Kitchen Taps

At one time you could only choose between mixer taps or single hot and cold taps, regular temperatures nothing too complicated. Then it was simply a case of choosing the right style for your kitchen.

Enter the instant hot water taps, no need to boil the kettle to make a cup of tea, simply turn the tap and pour. There is even a tap which runs as cold water and you simply pull the extension hose out to make instant hot water, or why not have a spray tap with a flexible attachment.

Number 5 – Extractor Fans

Often installed as a must have, a necessity to remove those lingering kitchen smells, the much-maligned extractor fan. But have you seen the variety that is now available, definitely part of the design essentials and a gadget in its own right.

They come in all shapes and sizes. Perhaps installed as a feature sitting above the cooker either on the wall or over a kichen island, even built into a cupboard or ceiling. You can also get angled cooker hoods, the clue is in the name, installed at an angle for those who always bang their heads on the canopy.

So next time you’re in that kitchen shop, looking at all the wonderful little kitchen essentials that will save you chopping time, just spare a thought for the larger gadgets and maybe think about how they could make you love your kichen even more.

Blog

23rd October 2018

Pale blue kitchen with gloss tiles

Never, never underestimate the power of a kitchen. An entire house will be judged on the look and feel of this one room.

But what can you do if the heart of the home looks tired, outdated and has probably seen better days?

Well thankfully there is a lot you can do and it doesn’t always involve ripping out your kitchen. In fact, a kitchen makeover will involve less mess, less hassle and a smaller budget.

So, what are the secrets and how can you perform a kitchen makeover – well let’s look at the star attractions.

Stylish Kitchen Cupboards and Cabinets

These are the first thing you see when you walk into a kitchen, probably covering the most area within this space. The most common issue is the colour and style, which if you add wear and tear, will very quickly make the kitchen look outdated.

There are 3 makeover options, all of which involve removing the doors:

1.   Sanding down, preparing and painting the doors a different colour – great if you have a creative flair but remember you have to live with the end result

2.  Covering the doors with a vinyl, a bit like wrapping a vehicle to change the appearance – probably need a professional to do this unless you are an expert with sticky-back plastic

3.   Choosing a completely different door and simply replacing the old with the new – an opportunity to flick through a big glossy brochure to choose the colour and style you like, then out with the old and in with the new

The transition will be immediate but what else do you need to change to bring the whole room together?

Collage of kitchen drawer styles

Knobs and Handles

Another way to update a kitchen is to change the knobs and handles on the cupboards. You often see this happening on a set of draws for the bedroom and definitely part of the makeover gang.

Why not try something slightly quirky in the kitchen, like spoons or forks for handles or simply update with a more modern style. There is a lot of choice which means plenty to think about, so you can mix and match whatever you fancy.

Winning Worktops

A worktop can be a finishing touch for your kitchen or a way of making a statement. The options are very black and white, you can stick or twist, stay with what you already have or replace with new.

The good news is, there are a wide range of materials available for a worktop like wood, laminate, granite and all the composites in-between. So, if you’re looking for a replacement there is plenty of choice.

Alternatively, if you like the worktop you have but annoyingly it is damaged in certain areas, there are companies who can fix this so they look like new again – saving you time, money and the hassle of replacing like for like.

White kitchen units and a grey floor

Making a Splash

Tiling in a kitchen can be a seamless part of the overall design or a striking element that is noticed as soon as you enter. To be honest, tiling itself might in some quarters, be seen as a bit out dated – everybody is now talking about splashbacks.

This does exactly what the name tells you. A functional wall covering designed to catch any cooking debris, yes that’s right splashes, but easy to wipe clean. All without the headache of grouting – so really quick and straightforward to install.

So if you think that your kitchen is feeling sad and you want to make the heart of your home beat again – consider a makeover to bring it back to life.

Blog

9th October 2018

Family sitting around kitchen table

Why is it that in any house everybody always heads for the kitchen?

It’s where people meet and chat about what they’ve done, what they’d like to do, the latest gossip, in fact every aspect of life is covered, specifically in this room. The conversation can even be about the kitchen, after all we spend enough time in them.

So, what are the ‘hot’ kitchen topics and do any of them sound familiar?

1.   What’s for dinner? 

Probably the most talked about subject. Everyone arrives home and makes a bee-line for the kitchen. Sometimes you can smell something cooking and it’s a game of guess what’s in the oven.

It’s then either a relax and wait for the food to arrive or hunting in the kitchen cupboards, because it wasn’t exactly what you wanted and you fancy something different. 

2.   The right mix of kitchen cabinets versus draws

Kitchens are a bit like a TARDIS, capable of absorbing all your pots, pans, cooking ingredients, glasses, mugs and crockery. The truth is there is so much ‘stuff’ that you struggle to find what you are looking for.

Planning a kitchen layout can help, so can decluttering but that’s a whole different topic. Having cupboards next to the cooker containing your pots and pans makes them easy to access or an ingredients draw, so you can pull it open as you’re cooking.

3.   The kitchen looks ‘out dated’

I bet we’ve all, at some stage in our homeowning lives, looked at the kitchen and thought it looks tired or old fashioned. Considering the amount of time spent in this space it can be a niggling issue, one that you have to look at everyday.

The thought of ripping out a kitchen to start again feels like it would be expensive and inconvenient. How on earth do you live if there is nowhere to meet, cook and chat?

Thankfully you can have what we call a ‘kitchen makeover’ and why not, every other room can have one. A fantastic way to update the style, look and feel without striping it all back to a bare room.

4.   I can never get my kitchen tiles clean

Tiles have long been the preferred choice for filling that space between the kitchen worktops and your bare walls. But the grouting, an essential element, is difficult to clean, inevitably shrinking and cracking the longer it’s in place.

Enter the splashback. A wallcovering that looks stylish, functional, adding dare we say, a ‘splash’ of colour to your walls. No grouting just a continuous wall covering that is easy to wipe over and keep clean.

5.   Do we need a table in the kitchen?

Getting everybody together and eating a meal is difficult, after all we’re all busy getting on with our lives. So, to even consider getting rid of the kitchen table, the one piece of furniture where everyone gathers together, sits and eats a meal, might feel uncomfortable.

You could always go out on a limb and consider a kitchen island – not so much isolating yourself but creating a meeting point for your favourite room in the house.

An oasis within any kitchen where you can prepare food whilst others sit, chat, drink and generally tell you how to cook! An incredibly sociable essential for any kitchen and capable of hosting a meal, providing everyone likes sitting up to the bar.

And then there is the most popular kitchen topic, not on the list of 5 as it’s more of a statement than a conversation piece – ‘your dinner is in the dog’. Although once stated there are sure to be more words to follow…

Leave us a comment and tell us what you talk about in your kitchen.