Kitchens

Kitchen lighting - what you need to know!

You may have the kitchen of your dreams all thought out but what about the lighting? There is no point having a jaw dropping kitchen if the lighting doesn't highlight it's best features! The right kitchen lighting can introduce several levels of brightness, make small kitchens feel larger, and dramatically alter it's mood and feel. 

A good kitchen lighting system needs at least two elements: bright, shadow-free task lighting for safe cooking and preparation, and atmospheric illumination to create mood, highlight architectural features and make the room feel more inviting.

So here are the different types of lighting to think about...

Ambient Kitchen Lighting

This is general lighting which should be used for your whole kitchen area which will allow you to see everything. You may wish to use a single pendant (or a group of say three) over your kitchen breakfast bar or table to create an ambient lighting mood, especially if used with a dimmer. Not only will the lights be practical but there are many stunning designs which can bring together the whole design of your kitchen.

Kitchen Task Lighting

Task lighting is the more focused lighting. You will want to install task lighting over your sink, cooker or other food preparation areas so that you can see what you are doing. You may want to consider downlights, track lighting, under cabinet lighting.

Accent Kitchen Lighting

Accent lighting is used to highlight features of your kitchen - cabinets, cooker alcoves, or art work for example.

Recessed lights

Kitchen spotlights or downlights, as they are also known, are the base of modern kitchen lighting, they provide ambient lighting for the entire space while being discreetly located in the ceiling.

Pendant Lighting

A breakfast bar pendant light is ideal for a kitchen as it creates a task light for eating or reading at a breakfast bar and it also provides focal interest.You might also want to consider a rise and fall pendant which will allow you to lift the pendant out of the way and lower when you require an ambient intimate light setting

Cupboard & shelves lights

Having lighting underneath your cabinets and shelves allows you to see more easily for food preparation and also gives a nice soft overall ambient lighting to your kitchen.

Plinth lighting

Plinth lighting is excellent for creating mood and ambiance within the kitchen, which is especially useful if you dine in the kitchen. Plinth lighting is relatively new but you do not need a big budget to achieve the look. Simple plinth lights are fixed into the flat kick panel to the under side of the kitchen floor unit. These lights give a soft glow and cast light across the floor. 

Kitchen Island Lighting

Kitchen island LED lighting creates the perfect ambience and attracts friends and family to sit and socialise. Winning!!

So now you have know what kitchen lighting options are available call us for a free quote and let us design your dream kitchen for you!!

Why we love Crittall!

Crittall metal-framed windows were first invented in the 1880s, and enjoyed a heyday in the art deco era. Today, they are having a resurgence as doors onto a garden, a room divider or good old-fashioned windows. Metal framed glazing has never looked so good. Scroll down and check out our tips on how to use them in your home!

The use of crittall to separate areas of the house and creating two separate entrances just looks so impressive!

Crittall is a great way to add light to a small dark space like a hallway.

Crittall allows you to frame the outdoors and bring some ultra cool style to the living areas.

Crittall is a great way to separate living and dining areas whilst still keeping that open plan feel.

Crittall adds some classic and contemporary style to any room.

Use crittall to show off your personal collections whilst still giving you the option to have some privacy.

Crittall is a great way to frame an interior courtyard and create a dramatic look.

Crittall doors can be used as wall replacements to separate the bedroom from the rest of the house keeping the house light and airy.

Crittall is a great way to separate a little space like a utility from the rest of the home.

Use crittal doors to separate the dining area from other parts of the house whilst still letting the light in! 

Now you know how crittall can make your home super stylish contact us for a quote and let us design the house of your dreams.

Colourful kitchens!

With summer just around the corner we are feeling inspired by these super colourful and kitchen colour schemes. These will make your friends and family feel so cheerful you'll need to turn on the music and crack open the prosecco immediately.

Splash back inspiration!

If you are designing a new kitchen or you want to spruce up your existing kitchen then why not style up your splash back for a super trendy look.

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Use the tiles to create a statement wall! Your guests are guaranteed to go WOW!

Add some real fun and colour  to your kitchen with some bohemian tiles. These work perfectly against the natural wood work tops.

Coordinate the splash back with your island bench!

Use a mirrored splash back for a super glamourous style!

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Don't go for a small splash back- GO LARGE and create a statement wall which coordinates with the flooring and the worktops.

Use the original brick work for a fantastic industrial backdrop to your kitchen.

Coordinate the kitchen table with the splash back. The copper really works well with the grey cupboards- NICE!

Kitchen design checklist.

It's a daunting task designing a kitchen from scratch but don't worry, we have some advice which will ensure your kitchen will perfect! 

Firstly you need to think about:

Who is going to be using the kitchen on a daily basis?

Do you cook every day?

Do you want a dining table/area or breakfast bar?

Do you entertain often?

What other tasks will be undertaken in the room? Will it be used for entertaining, laundry, homework or relaxing?

Whatever your answer we can help you create the best kitchen which will suit all your needs. See our guide below for some more helpful hints.

Kitchen storage solutions
Think ahead about the things that could genuinely clutter your counter top: microwaves, bread bin, kettle, cutlery, bottles of olive oil? Do you have enough room for all of it? Can you get rid of some appliances or will you need more wall cupboards?

Plan a place for everything. Site pan drawers within reach of the hob and crockery cupboards or plate racks near the dishwasher. Place spice stores close to where you’ll be cooking, sinks and pull-out bins near to where you prepare food, and keep your food storage to one area of the kitchen to make unpacking the shopping easy. 

Kitchen flooring
Consider the ‘traffic’ passing through your kitchen when choosing the flooring. The more it is used the tougher it needs to be. 

Kitchen worksurfaces
The kitchen worktop is going to be perfect for you! Don't scrimp here! There are many materials to choose from: laminate, wood, granite, Corian, glass, concrete, stainless steel, the list goes on.  Check out our kitchen tops guide here.

Kitchen heating
Radiators take up a lot of wall space, so before you lay the floor, it’s a good idea to think about whether or not you want underfloor heating. 

Kitchen design

Normally people put the sink in front of the window but you probably have a dishwasher so put your hob or the space between sink and stove, as your default viewing spot, as this is where you’ll probably spend most of your time.

Allow for ample room for waste disposal.

Design twice as many plug sockets as you think you'll need.

Make sure you decide on a splash back which complements the kitchen perfectly by coordinating it with the flooring, work top and walls.

Let us create the perfect kitchen for you. So give us a call for a chat today!

Kitchen Worktops- the ultimate guide!

The kitchen worktop is a crucial element to a kitchen and deciding on the right material can be stressful. If you are struggling to decide what type of worktop you would like for your new kitchen then check out this pro's and con's checklist so you can be confident your worktop will be perfect for you!

 

Pro's: Composites (engineered quartz) have all the qualities of stone but are lighter, non-porous and do not require sealing. The material can be used for walls, floor and counters, is stain resistant, hardwearing and is highly scratch resistant.

Cons: Composites can be expensive and are not as heat resistant as natural stone.

Pro's: Glass can be made in any size or shape, it is easy to clean and hygienic. It is extremely durable, heat resistant and has a limitless range of colours.

Cons: Glass is expensive!

Pro's: Laminate is affordable, durable, water resistant and easy to clean, laminate worktops realistically replicate the look of natural materials such as stone and wood. The worktops are quick and easy to install.

Cons: Laminate scratches and has visible joints plus you are limited with the types of sinks you can use.

Pro's: Concrete is a tough and durable material that is available in a range of colours/tones but must be sealed for protection.

Cons: Concrete is expensive!

Pro's: Granite is a good choice for kitchens as it withstands high temperatures, is water resistant, impervious to most stains.

Cons: Stone surfaces are porous and must be sealed. Marble and limestone are luxurious and striking, but are high maintenance.Beware of wine and citric acid spills (such as lemon juice) that can damage all stone surfaces. Natural stone is heavy and so the kitchen cabinets will need to be reinforced.

Pro's: Stainless steel is tough and has natural antibacterial qualities. It’s also waterproof, chemical and heat resistant, which means that hot pans can be placed on the surface without scorching.

Cons: Stainless steel will scratch and leave finger marks.

 Pro's: Copper can easily withstand heat and oil splashes. It’s also naturally anti-bacterial and anti-microbial. It’s a warm and enduring surface that will reflect light and add a glow to the room. 

Cons: Copper will scratch and will need to be polished frequently to keep it shiny.

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Pro's: Wood is eco-friendly and sustainable. Consider oily hardwoods such as iroko or teak as they are both water-resistant and have antibacterial properties

Con's: The work top will need to be treated will hard wax or oil protective coats at installation and once or twice a year thereafter. Wooden tops do scratch.

Pro's: Solid surface composites (Corian, Maia, Encore) are heat and scratch resistant. It has no visible joins and is stain resistant plus it can be moulded into any shape.

Cons: Composites are expensive and the least eco-friendly option.

Designing a Family kitchen!

There are many elements to think about when designing a kitchen especially if you want it to suit the whole family. The kitchen is a place to cook, relax and socialise so your kitchen must meet the needs of everyone. So here are a few tips on what to think about when designing your perfect family kitchen.

Do you have toddler or teenagers?

Do you need to keep an eye on the kids whilst cooking?

Keep these things in mind when designing your kitchen.

A rustic dining table and dining chairs which complement the colour scheme of the kitchen tie both sides of the room together, creating a stylish and family friendly environment.

Use an island so you can help the kids with homework whilst you cook.

Centralise the dining table so the whole family can come together.

A central island allows the kids to grab and snack and the pantry is a must for the ultimate family kitchen.

Add a sofa to the room so friends and family can relax or socialise together.

A sleek and highly polished kitchen makes the space inviting and seemless.

If you need more ideas or information about designing a kitchen then give us a call and we'll create the perfect kitchen for you!

http://www.idealhome.co.uk/kitchen/kitchen-ideas/family-kitchen-design-ideas-39725

Parquet - the new ways to use it!

Like other wooden floor designs, parquet is incredibly resilient, so investing now means you will be blessed with a floor that will look good for decades. It can also be easily tweaked to match your changing tastes over the years. Paint it, sand it down, stain it or just give it a coat of varnish, its versatile nature means you can adapt it to suit almost any style or colour scheme. Here are some brilliant ways in which it can be used around your house...

Chevron parquet can make a narrow space look wider!

Chevron parquet can make a narrow space look wider!

Hexagonal parquet works in both modern and traditional homes!

Hexagonal parquet works in both modern and traditional homes!

Try parquet on a statement wall for a ultra sleek modern look!

Try parquet on a statement wall for a ultra sleek modern look!

Use parquet in the bathroom for a warm and luxurious feel.

Use parquet in the bathroom for a warm and luxurious feel.

Mansion weave parquet is great for difficult shaped rooms!

Mansion weave parquet is great for difficult shaped rooms!

Fans of minimalist, try painting your parquet white for that ultra modern look.

Fans of minimalist, try painting your parquet white for that ultra modern look.

Why not try staining or painting your parquet for that contemporary twist on the classic flooring.

Why not try staining or painting your parquet for that contemporary twist on the classic flooring.

 

Now that you've seen some oft he way parquet can be used around the home, contact us for a quote or call us for a chat!