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Kitchen Styles

By Advice

There are two main kitchen styles you need to know about; fitted, and free standing. Fitted or built-in kitchens are those that have all the furniture (cupboards, appliances, sink, cooker etc.) fixed against the wall to give the impression that they are built-in to the room. Free standing kitchens have separate units that are not attached to the walls and can be moved independent of each other.

Fitted Kitchens
Anyone looking to utilise a small space should opt for a fitted kitchen as all units are integrated with each other and fixed to the wall giving the look and feel of more space. As they are also a lot cheaper than free standing kitchens they also offer great value for money. Many people assume that being so much cheaper, fitted kitchens will be of an inferior quality. Although there may be some that are not up to scratch, in general, that is not the case. These days, the carcasses of fitted kitchens are almost identical to free-standing ones.

The main drawback of the fitted kitchen styles is the difficulty when it comes to fixing the appliances within. If a fitted appliance needs fixing it can be hard to access and you may need to take half the kitchen apart to reach it. Of course in the modern age this is becoming less and less of a problem, especially when dealing with quality German hardware!

Free Standing Kitchens
Often seen as the more luxurious option for kitchens; the free standing option is usually more expensive. The main advantage of free standing kitchens is the fact you can move pieces around as you require making it easy to change the layout of you kitchen. Plus, any broken appliances can be easily accessed without having to dismantle the rest of the kitchen! The most recognisable version of this design is old fashioned country kitchens; usually incorporating the traditional Welsh dresser.

One disadvantage to free-standing kitchens is it is more difficult to create a unified look; something automatically achieved with fitted kitchens. Units placed here and there can make kitchens look a little cluttered and mismatched. However, those with an eclectic taste may prefer kitchens with a mixture of styles which can have a certain charm if done correctly. One last thing to mention is that these types of kitchens are not always easy to clean as food often disappears underneath free standing units.

Combination Kitchens
Combination kitchens mean you can have the best of both kitchen styles. Why not go for groups of fitted units and wall cabinets but with free standing appliances. This works especially well for those who have oversized appliances such as American-style fridge freezers or cooking ranges which you may not have space for in a standard fitted kitchen.

As mentioned, most kitchens are made from similar carcasses so for anyone on a budget the best bet is to purchase a cheap carcass. That way you can save up for more luxurious worktops, unit doors and kitchen accessories.

Budget Kitchen Design

By Advice

We would all like to revamp our entire kitchen but for a lot of us this is simply too expensive. However, if you learn to think creatively there are lots of budget kitchen design ideas that can transform the look of your kitchen without breaking the bank.

One of the most effective ways to change your kitchen design is with a lick of paint. A different colour scheme can completely change the look of your kitchen for a relatively small price. Light, neutral colours can make the room appear brighter and more spacious. If you are looking for something a bit bolder, painting all four walls may be a bit too much but you can still incorporate bright colours into your kitchen design. There are a few ways of doing this. You can create a feature wall by painting just that one in a bold colour and leaving the rest neutral. Alternatively, paint all walls neutral and use the bold colour as an accent. This could be a colourful splashback, tiles or curtains and tablecloth. You can now even buy kitchen accessories such as kettles and toasters in a range of bright colours.

Budget Kitchen Design 101

Cupboard doors, cabinets, and worktops can often begin to look a little tired even when they have lots of wear left in them. One inexpensive way to update them is to cover them with laminate. You can get laminate in an array of colours and textures so you are bound to find a style to suit your kitchen design. It is extremely easy to fit as it just sticks on top of the original surface. You can even get laminate to look like tiling. Not only is it very cheap but easy to clean so practical too so is the number one choice for kitchen design on a budget.

Even if the rest of your kitchen is in good condition, old flooring can drag the whole look down. Vinyl flooring is easy to clean and comes in many colours. Plus, vinyl is a lot cheaper than stone or wooden floors. For those who don’t want to change the whole floor even a simple rug in your chosen colour scheme can brighten things up.

Do (or Destroy) It Yourself?

When you are designing your own kitchen while on a budget it can be tempting to do all the work yourself but some things are better left to the experts. Do not attempt any electrical or plumbing work if you do not have the right skills or experience. You may think you are saving money by taking on all the work but any mistakes in these areas can be costly to fix meaning it will not be cheaper in the long run.

Finishing touches can make a budget kitchen design come together and don’t have to be expensive. A vase of flowers or a pretty glass bowl full of fruit in the centre of the table can be all you need to create an attractive focal point. When adding finishing touches, remember a kitchen needs to practical, so less is more.

German Kitchen Appliances

By Advice

German engineering is known around the world for its advanced technological abilities and super efficiency. Makers of German kitchen appliances use these expert engineering skills to create superior quality items for all household needs.

That’s why, when looking to kit out your kitchen these are the only way to go. Whether you are looking for a refrigerator or dishwasher, washing machine or hob the chances are the best product available will be one from a German brand. Here are a few of the best.

Neff

Neff have been producing top quality appliances for well over a hundred years. Although their history of excellence speaks for itself Neff continue to work hard at staying innovative and current. They take research seriously and are constantly working on improvements to the quality and sustainability of their products. Neff’s commitment to lowering energy consumption throughout their range means they are not only the perfect choice for the eco-conscious but can save a lot of money along the appliance’s lifespan. You can also but compact kitchen appliances from Neff for a small kitchen. There are a number of Neff showrooms throughout the country.

Bosch

Probably one of the best known manufacturers of German kitchen appliances Bosch prides themselves in producing appliances that deliver first class performance time and time again.  Employees are still guided by the ways of visionary founder Robert Bosch and task themselves with making our everyday lives easier. From small appliances such as compact washers and dryers to free standing ranges and ventilation systems, Bosch has all your kitchen needs covered. With showrooms worldwide and constantly winning consumer awards for greatness Bosch have found the perfect blend of practicality and design.

Leibherr

Leibherr makes refrigerators and freezers. The first thing to know about them is that they’re an environmental conscious company- most of their products are energy star ranked, and everything they make has been CFC free since 1993. When making their refrigerators, they use purified water to make sure they aren’t dumping any chemicals into the local water supply, and they have collection stations for refrigerators that are ready to be thrown away.

One great model is the 24” BioFresh. As the name would apply, it’s 24 inches wide, taking up very little floor space (leaving plenty of room for counters), and instead takes advantage of vertical space to allow for more room. If you’re wondering what BioFresh means, it’s the drawers inside the fridge; they keep produce at near freezing, but not quite, keeping fruits and veggies longer. It’s also got a soft close on the door, which is a device that prevents the door from slamming, avoiding damage and spills inside the refrigerator. And, of course, this is an energy efficient model, which means you save money in the long run on your electric bill.

Miele

Another company with a long history of quality German engineering, Miele are renowned for supplying high-end luxury domestic appliances. As well as offering the regular fare of ovens, hobs and fridges, Miele produce some impressive luxury products. One that immediately comes to mind is the MasterCool; a gigantic state of the art fridge freezer with more added features than you could ever need. It does however cost over £7000 which goes to show that whilst Miele produce superb quality German appliances they do not come cheap. A nice touch is the fact the company organise a range of cooking and lifestyle courses giving consumers a chance to associate more with the brand.

Siemens

Along with the previously mentioned companies, Siemens has long been producing high quality german kitchen appliances. However, they are taking technological innovation further than most now rolling out appliances such as dishwashers and ovens with app-controlled connectivity. This means you could now change the temperature of the oven or set the dishwasher program from your phone. Right now this is available on iOS but there will soon be an Android version too.

Any home can benefit from the German engineering these companies are famed for. All these brands are at the forefront of technology and efficiency and go to prove that the best things for your kitchen really are German appliances.

The Benefits of an Induction Hob

By Advice

When choosing a new hob for their kitchen, people tend to stick to the same old traditional gas hob. However, increasingly popular in modern kitchens is the induction hob. They work by creating electromagnetic energy which produces heat directly between the cooking top and the base of the iron-based pan. Many consumers are now discovering the benefits of an induction hob.

The way induction hobs work make them not only more energy efficient but much safer too. The current of electromagnetic energy transferred into heat only works directly between the hob and the pan without heating the rest of the cooking surface. Many other hobs heat the whole surface which wastes energy and can make it easy to burn yourself. The energy efficiency of induction hobs means they use much less energy than other hobs and are therefore more environmentally friendly so have quickly become the hob of choice for the eco-conscious.

Not only is heating directly under pan a lot more energy efficient but means the rest of the hob is safe to touch making them a lot safer. One useful safety feature is that when you remove the pan the power will automatically switch off meaning there is no danger of leaving it on and someone potentially burning themselves. There are also none of the emissions that traditional gas hobs can produce.

Another great benefit of an induction hob having direct heat is the fact they cook things much quicker. This is because all the heat is concentrated directly under the pan cooking and heating food much faster. Depending on the model an induction hob can cook food in half the time of its gas alternative; a real bonus for those of us with hectic lifestyles. Most induction hobs also feature the ingenious power boost button that allows you to boil water in just 90 seconds!

The benefits of an induction hob include practicality as well as design. Style wise the sleek, black glass surface of an induction hob makes it the perfect fit for any modern kitchen. In fact, with many modern design lovers now favouring an entire black glass kitchen, what could be more in keeping? Practically speaking, induction hobs are also easy to maintain. The smooth surface is easy to wipe down and can be done quickly as there is no need to wait for the surface to cool down. Plus, as the rest of the surface doesn’t get hot there is no way for spills to get burnt on.

They have not always been easy to come by but now all the major players in the appliance industry now offer good quality induction hobs including Whirlpool, Bosch and Neff. They can cost a bit more and you need to buy the right pans but the multitude of benefits they offer make any initial outlay worthwhile, and most of our German kitchen designs now include them. So, if you are looking for energy efficiency, fast cooking times and practicality all wrapped up in a sleek, modern design an induction hob could be the right choice for you.

Blackheath Kitchens

By Advice

Blackheath Products of Halesowen, West Midlands in the United Kingdom supplies high-end kitchen and bath products to the trade. Blackheath kitchens are typically made available to consumers via construction firms, custom builders and select retail locations.

Blackheath kitchens feature more than 300 different worktop configurations to select from, and built-in appliances are available from reputable brands like Hotpoint, Indesit and their own house brand, Blackheath.

The company also provides cupboards and shelving, flooring, lighting, kitchen furniture and everything else one needs for a complete turnkey kitchen, ready to use on day one. All products are designed to interoperate with one another and create seamlessly flowing kitchens that unite luxury with practicality.

Blackheath kitchens include stylish double sinks with built-in dish drainage, available in inset and under-mount styles. Sink accessories can be added to customise the look even further. Examples include beech cutting boards in circular shapes, Astracast stainless steel baskets, metal colanders, accessory combination kits and more.

Taps and faucets are offered in approximately 100 different styles by Astracast and Reginox, available in materials like brushed steel, polished steel, chrome and coated steel, which looks like ceramic but is more durable and long-lived than ceramic. These taps are tinted in a range of colours from pure white to sand, champagne and other neutral colours to black.

Exploring Blackheath worktops further, the company offers sold wood worktops in beech, black oak, walnut, iroko wood, regular oak, maple and more, allowing for use in kitchens with either modern or rustic aesthetics. Laminate worktops by Blackheath include a variety of faux bois and faux stone finishes that are often more durable and easier to maintain than both tasteful and versatile, so you are bound to find a style you like that fits your entire kitchen motif. You will not find any jarring, garish colours here; merely soothing tones of earth, rock and sand.

Blackheath kitchens include splash-back and upstand options galore, plus sturdy Rapide Plus Amalfi 1000mm base units. Most cabinet doors are by Rapide Plus or EXPRESS and run the gamut from sleek white modern pieces to more traditional wood fascia. Colours include stark black or white, cream and natural wood tones ranging from light to dark.

Although consumers typically purchase fitted kitchens by Blackheath, bespoke design services are also available to creatively customise the brand’s offerings to suit your distinctive kitchen configuration. Builders and designers who employ Blackheath products specialise in maximising the use of the existing space; for example, they can recommend locations in which floor to ceiling cabinets are a sensible choice, or help you locate non-load bearing walls to be removed without compromising the safety of your kitchen.

Blackheath kitchens are a great option for home or business owners who prefer environmentally responsible brands. Blackheath’s environmentally sound practices include using sustainable types of wood in its products, recycling scrap materials and fostering energy conservation in its production plants.

If you are looking for a complete kitchen suite in a timeless design that will look elegant for years to come, you cannot go wrong with Blackheath.

Kitchen Colour Schemes

By Advice

When it comes to selecting kitchen colour schemes, you could easily spend the next year of your life debating all of the available options as you plan your new kitchen design. Now more than ever before, you can obtain everything from kitchen appliances to flooring, worktops, cabinetry, back-splashes, lighting, tile and furnishings in virtually any shade or tone imaginable. Faced with such a boggling array of choices, how should you proceed when selecting a colour scheme for your kitchen?

First, consider the potential ramifications of a monochrome look. An all white or all black kitchen is fairly easy to kit out and is a popular modern motif. If you combine all black or all white with one accent colour, your kitchen design will likely continue to have a clean, modern aesthetic. If this kind of a sleek, pared down look emphasising a limited palette of colours does not appeal to you, then consider a kitchen at the other end of the spectrum: traditional.

What are the best colours for your kitchen?

Cool tones, like blues, greens, browns and purples are best for most kitchens. At least for a primary colour. The best thing to do is select a cool tone for your base colour, and add accents of a warm tone. Like blue blended with yellow, or brown and red. Try setting a bright red pitcher like the L. Termain Antique Collection pitcher from Sears on a blue counter to hold your cooking spoons and spatulas. Or a vase of sunflowers on a green table like the Span Mint model from Crate and Barrel.

Whites and creams have always been the standby for kitchens. While they look great and are easy to match, they should be avoided if possible, unless you really like them. As with every other room in the house, white is just hard to keep clean.

Wood in the Kitchen

Chopping board in Silke Kitchens showroomTraditional kitchens often emphasise the use of natural wood in neutral tones like honey oak, warm beige, chestnut and cherry. Country kitchens are one type of traditional kitchen. Other traditional kitchen categories include historic/old world, craftsman style, Victorian and more. In addition to emphasising the use of wood, other natural materials like stone bring in more earth tones for traditional kitchens. These warm tones of brown, sand and bone can be accented with other muted colours like dusty blue, creamy yellow or pale rose.

If these traditional colours and styles do not appeal to you, and if you also don’t like the completely modern look described further above, then you are likely a fan of more saturated colours in bright, vivid hues.

When selecting kitchen colour schemes that incorporate such intense, saturated tones, pare down your choices to no more than five shades. If you add more colours than that to your kitchen, it will look and feel more like a discordant circus than the peaceful family respite it is designed to be.

Matching style and colour

By a large part, your kitchen colour scheme will depend on your style. A country style kitchen will feature a lot of red and blue, while a vintage style will show more creams and browns.

This is not a fast and steady rule, though. What matters more with style and colour is the shade. Take green, for instance. A bright green would work well in a modern kitchen theme, while a mint green brings out the charm of a vintage 60’s era style.

Use Colour Psychology to your advantage

Colours have the power to affect our moods. So why not use this to your advantage when planning a kitchen colour scheme?

A blue themed kitchen can encourage a pleasant calm view on life. Yellow makes you want to rush, so use it in small doses. Purples also sooth, but maybe a little more than a kitchen calls for.

Green is also a relaxing, natural colour. So if you’d like a kitchen that has a relaxing atmosphere, you could do worse things than paint it green, with blue accessories like Lowes Safavieh American Home Blue Oak table. It might not stop your kids from fighting over their homework, but it couldn’t hurt.

Less Is More

One way to ensure you don’t go astray and pick too many colours is to select paint and furnishings colours using the guidance of the palettes at your local hardware shop. You can use five different shades of the same colour working your way from very light to very intense (which is sometimes referred to as a “tone on tone” approach), or select one of the schemes suggested by the paint manufacturers.

These kitchen colour schemes have been designed by colour and interior design professionals, so you can’t go wrong. Simply select the palette that appeals to you the most, then use that palette to guide your kitchen paint, fabric and wallpaper selections. Carry the palette with you as you shop for kitchen furnishings and linens to make sure you always select the correct shades.

Kitchen Colour Schemes… Up To You

Kitchen colour schemes are entirely personal. If none of the suggestions here resonate with you, design your own colour scheme, using inspiration like a favourite vacation photograph or the contents of your wardrobe to help you identify which colours appeal to you the most. If you can only isolate one or two colours you like, take them with you to the hardware store and select a palette that incorporates those colours. Let the design pros guide you in terms of which other colours go well with your favourites. Using this approach, you will customise a kitchen look that is sure to please you.

Creating Space in Modern Kitchens

By Advice

The Kitchen represents the centre of any house, and thus it is no wonder that there are so many people who are trying to create an incredible space that reflects their personality. Inside, people prepare delicious foods, creating something unique and flavourful that can be fully enjoyed. Knowing all this it is no wonder that there are many people who are creating space in every way possible.

Kitchens are meant to be the space where the food is created and there are many persons who believe that it is the heart of the house. Anyway, not everyone is able to have the perfect kitchen, especially when they are many issues related to space and design. However, you should know that a small kitchen can be perfectly functional, especially if you know how to create it. There are a few tricks that will give the illusion of space, and thus, your small kitchen will appear to be bigger.

Here you have a list of suggestions that should be incorporated into your design in order to create the illusion of space in your kitchen. In this way you will be able to have the kitchen of your dreams without too much effort.

White Coloured Kitchens

One of the most important things you should keep in mind is the fact that the walls should be painted into a light colour, preferentially white. In this way you will have the illusion that there is more space. On the contrary, dark colours have the opposite effect, and therefore your kitchen will look smaller. Now that you know this you should make a decision. After all, white kitchens look bigger, and this is a proven fact.

Big Windows

As mentioned before, creating space with light is an amazing way to give the illusion of extra room in your kitchen, and therefore you should focus on this aspect. An amazing way to have more light inside this space is to choose big windows. In this way you will be able to have a kitchen that actually looks bigger.

Creating Space = Being Attentive To Design

If you want to have a kitchen that appears bigger, you will have to know how to place the furniture in order to have more space. This step is essential and it can be applied for any room, and not only the kitchen. For instance, you can place a worktop or breakfast bar in a corner. In this way you won’t have to go around it and you will gain a considerable amount of space. Additionally, you can use many other tricks, according to the furniture you have at your disposal.

Now that you have all this information about modern kitchens, it is time to start creating space in yours. In this way you will be able to create a space that appears bigger and brighter, and more important than anything else, which is modern and fits our times. As you can see, this is not a difficult job to do.

All About Hacker Kitchens

By Advice

Hacker Kitchens of Germany (founded 1938) possesses the largest independently owned kitchen manufacturing facility in Europe, epitomises modern European design and offers home-owners a wide array of upscale, luxurious, turnkey kitchen solutions that effortlessly blend functionality and utility with a clean, elegant aesthetic and clever, visually arresting geometry.

Hacker’s German Kitchens are currently offered in three main lines: the modern collection, the contemporary collection and the traditional collection. Clients can use existing designs from within these collections by Hacker or order bespoke kitchen plans using select elements from the collections.

The modern collection includes cabinets, counters and fixtures rendered in cool, relaxing colours like graphite, polar white and steel blue, plus multiple durable yet sleek materials like oak, concrete, glass and walnut executed in light to medium tones. Some of the most distinctive elements in this collection include curved silhouettes and a stylised floral motif.

The contemporary collection features more vivid, saturated hues like ruby red, midnight blue and slate grey mixed with materials in medium to dark tones like Boston walnut and platinum oak.

The traditional collection focuses on fresh reinterpretations of classic design motifs, focusing on bright, energising colours like saffron yellow (which is a creamy, light yellow hue), ash blue and vanilla white. Although these designs would fit well within a country kitchen, make no mistake, they are still thoroughly streamlined and modern.

Hacker Kitchens can customise your worktops in a variety of materials including quartz, natural stone, Corian, concrete (dyed or un-dyed), and Hi Tech, their own material invented as an alternative to acrylic and granite that is easier to care for and more durable than acrylic or granite.

Some of the convenient options offered by Hacker include “silent-move” drawers for perfect peace and quiet while cooking; climbers and electric cabinets (so you can use all of the available wall and storage space in your kitchen, yet reach it without difficulty); and an amazing variety of bin, insert and special unit options like open shelving, wine racks, cutlery inserts, roll out recycling bins and more. Custom lighting options are also available, like LED light trim-work to highlight the sides of drawers, an innovative use of lighting.

In addition to rendering a custom kitchen design for you or adopting one of its own turnkey kitchen layouts to match and fit into your existing space, Hacker Kitchens can help you select the best kitchen appliances to meet your needs offered by trusted brands like Miele, Sub-Zero, Wolf, Frank and Gaggenau, among others.

Hacker Kitchens collections are excellent for urban homes, petite apartments and flats, modern properties, European villas and for homeowners who crave clean, modern style without hassle or fuss.

Because so many Hacker designs feature light tones and colours, these collections are best for homeowners without many pets or young children who want a spotless and gleaming kitchen with all of the best cutting-edge features and accessories.

Hacker clients include individuals as well as designers and architects, so whether you are building your own luxury kitchen or using a consultant, Hacker products are within your reach.