Thursday, 18 October 2012

Bespoke Kitchen Design On A Budget

We've all looked admiringly at those kitchens that feature in the glossy magazines yet one look at the price tag that accompanies them and most are left in little doubt that the dream of ever having one will remain just that.

So for most, it appears that the only option is to head down to the big box stores to weigh up the more standard kitchen offerings but wait one minute - before you decide to hand over your visions to stores who will most likely, not be able to meet them why don't you consider a do it yourself bespoke kitchen design?

What will the benefits be if you do?

Well for one, you won't end up with a design that may already adorn hundreds if not thousands of other kitchens up and down the country and secondly you can put your own creative stamp on your home - one you can stand back and be proud of and one that is your own individual canvas.

At this juncture I'll wager most readers will be thinking "Is this guy nuts? He begins by telling us that our dream kitchen is out of budgetary reach only to advise us by the second paragraph to consider buying bespoke"

Well no I'm not nuts, although many who know me might disagree, and yes, I did say "bespoke"

You see "bespoke" may seem to be a word that belongs exclusively to those with pockets as deep as the oceans but it really isn't.

To my mind it defines, individual, tailored, unique and made to measure. All of these can be attained on a budget so with a little extra effort on your part you can source worktops, doors, splashbacks and cabinets that are made to your specifications and styles.

It doesn't matter where in the world you live, you'll be able to source kitchen components that smaller, lesser known manufacturers specialise in that doesn't come with the price tag associated with those glossy mag projects I referred to at the beginning of this post.

Glaziers, stainless steel fabricators, kitchen cabinet and door manufacturers, you"ll discover many of these local to you and provided you have a drive and determination to source your products in a more unconventional manner, then you too can end up with a bespoke yet affordable kitchen.

In a recent article I imparted a few tips on how to bespoke your kitchen design and although your project may not be the centrepiece of a high end mag, it will be your individual masterpiece if you take the time to source kitchen components separately

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Opting for Safe LED Kitchen Lighting

The kitchen is one of the most important spaces in the home for the chef. This space must be conducive in its furniture and fittings to inspire the cook as well as those having their meals there.

Different homeowners have different styles in decorating their kitchen. Some may sport a particular theme such as Italian, English, Western or Asia. There may be a wet kitchen as well as a dry kitchen. There may be a dining area for meals or a countertop for simple breakfast and snacks. Hence, lighting is a crucial component of the kitchen.


The kitchen has an important function. Hence, every component in the kitchen must contribute to the achievement of that function. Even lighting components are crucial to the success of the kitchen's function. Poor lighting may cause accidents in the kitchen besides producing poor quality food.

This is the reason why more consumers prefer LED lighting for their kitchens today. The kitchen lights must be bright enough to view the surroundings clearly to avoid accidents. LED lights offer a consistent shine that would not create shadows or spots in any corner of the kitchen with the proper planning in installing the lights. The cook would be able to see clearly all the ingredients and utensils without making any error; the salt would not be mistaken for sugar and the different sauces would not be misused.


It is important to install the right type of kitchen lighting properly to ensure safety in the kitchen at all times. The kitchen is one of the easiest spaces in the home to cause danger with a spark of fire from a short circuit or unmanned stove.

One can cut down the percentage of accidents happening from the kitchen with the proper installation of kitchen lighting. LED lighting for the kitchen proves to be better lighting choices as they are more durable and vibration resistant. LED kitchen lighting products have no dangerous or hazardous materials like lead or mercury. Hence, consumers are safe from any accidental lead poisoning or mercury intake.

Installing LED lighting for the kitchen allows consumers to go about their kitchen tasks with a peace of mind. They can be assured of consistent performance with longer lifespan when using LED based lighting products in the kitchen.

Good lighting technicians would be updated on LED lighting residential products for the kitchen to position them at the right locations that would make the kitchen the safest place in the home.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Basic Tips For Designing An Efficient Kitchen

While most rooms in a home will be designed with relaxation and comfort in mind, the kitchen is a place where efficiency needs to be the foremost consideration - it is, after all, a space to work in rather than a place to chill out. A good kitchen design is one that not only provides the equipment needs to carry out household tasks, but actually makes the process easier. Cooking and cleaning become much less of a chore when everything is optimised for ease of use.

However, with
kitchens it is important to realise that fashion and function aren't mutually exclusive terms; you want your kitchen to look great and dazzle guests as well as being easy-to-use. Over the past few decades, as houses have gradually got smaller, the kitchen has evolved from a singular space for cooking and incorporated other rooms, in particular the dining room. This means that you also need to consider space for eating and socialising in your kitchen. Here are some basic tips on how to design an efficient kitchen.

kitchen designers refer to three main tenets of a kitchen; the cooker, the fridge and the sink. You should base your kitchen on this triumvirate and the way in which you will use them. One of the most popular, and effective, layouts is a triangle formation commonly referred to as the kitchen work triangle.

The triangle refers to both the layout of the appliances and the line between them, which you will work to. It's important to remember that you don't need to set out your appliances to a geometrically-perfect triangle - rather you need to set them out in a way that makes it easy for you to get between them when you are working. This means leaving enough space between them for you to work in, as well as allowing for multiple people to use the
kitchen at once (someone cooking and someone washing up at the same time for example).

The work triangle is also useful for configuring the storage space you will need in your
kitchen. It goes without saying that you don't want any cabinets above the three major appliances, but also make sure not to place them over counters you will be using for prep! Under counter cupboards are more or less okay anywhere so long as they don't obstruct you as you work!

If you have a larger
kitchen, it's worth looking at installing a kitchen island. Placed in the centre of the kitchen, you can use the island as a space for extra appliances or dining space. It also serves as extra storage or can be used to place your cooker on if you require more space for food prep.

If you're uncertain as to whether your
kitchen design is efficient, it's worth talking through it and drafting it up with a design professional. Often these professionals will have access to kitchen planner software which allows for 3D plans and lets you walk through your design as if it were real! This should give you an idea of what does and doesn't work and allow you to alter your design accordingly.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Anti Slip Kitchen Floor Tiles

Wonderful kitchen plans are loved by everyone but keeping in mind all the important factors in essential. It becomes difficult for you to select from a variety of options available in the market. You can get a comfortable work zone with anti slip kitchen floor tiles only. Before choosing tiles for kitchen flooring, the usage of kitchen, liquid spilling, materials use, flooring design and cost of flooring are to be analyzed.

For those who spend maximum time in the kitchen, flooring of the kitchen should be made extremely comfortable for the feet. It would be advantageous if materials such as vinyl, laminate, linoleum or cork are used for this purpose. The main advantages of these materials are the excellent grip they provide. Ceramic kitchen tiles may be used in the place of carpets as they get faded in due course of time. A kitchen is a place where liquid spilling may not be avoided. If your kitchen gets liquid spilled often, it is advisable to use such types of tiles which are easy to clean and maintain. Use of tiles which have the tendency to stain water may require extra care to handle.

The use of wooden sheets for kitchen flooring may be avoided, as it would not provide the comfortable work zone. It is difficult to prevent the wooden flooring from absorbing water. There would not be any option left other than replacing if the flooring wears out. If the chance of dropping things in a kitchen is high, very durable materials would be recommended to avoid breaking of the dropped objects. Slippery kitchen flooring, ceramic tiles and similar flooring's may be avoided if children or elders make the maximum use of kitchen.

When you wish to renovate the home, cost of the flooring is to be well thought-out. It depends mainly on the complication of installation and the material. Tiles may be purchased from different manufacturers in the construction industry. Comparison of prices may be made to find out the best prices. One should carry a detailed plan with the exact measurements of the kitchen while buying kitchen flooring. Confirmed prices may be obtained from the sales executives and the retailers by following this practice. While selecting the kitchen tiles, sheets or planks, a virtual combination of the furnishings such as cabinets, counter tops etc should be done. Large tiles are recommended as there will be only little space between the pieces of the tiles and hence cleaning becomes easy. Comfortable work zone with anti slip kitchen tiles may be selected but the color combination matters a lot as it decides the mood of a person who uses the kitchen.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Kitchen Floor Tiles - Choosing The Right Flooring For Your Kitchen

Considering the variety of kitchen floor tiles available in the market, it seems a difficult task for one to choose a particular variety among hundreds of other types of slabs. There are clay slabs, stone pieces, polished and glazed tiles. In clay alone, there are over hundred designs, colors and patterns. The stone pieces include marble, granite, slate, quartz, travertine and limestone. Clay made slabs are cheaper than the stone pieces but they are in no inferior to stone slabs. But stone pieces are much beautiful that their clay counterparts. In addition, every variety has its advantages and disadvantages that one should consider prior to arriving at any decision.

Internet has tons of articles and blogs written by eminent architects and interior designers. They have expressed their opinion regarding the quality of construction material available including kitchen floor tiles. Articles and blogs authored by experienced architects make a good read and they also provide vital information on the advantages and disadvantages of various slabs available in the market. One should read some articles or blogs on tiles so that he could differentiate between clay and stone slabs. This knowledge will help you determine your needs and also help you choose right flooring for your cooking area.

Ceramic kitchen floor tiles are considered cheap and the best because they are stronger than stone and as beautiful as marble. Ceramic pieces are available at cost effective prices on online stone and slabs stores. If you don't find ceramic pieces interesting then look for porcelain and polished slabs. Polished pieces are attractive and also they are easy to clean. These slabs are much in vogue these days. If you are apprehensive about the durability of polished pieces then you should read some information on polished slabs to know how durable they are. You will be amazed to know that polished slabs are long lasting, scratch proof and stain resistant.

Those who can spend lavishly on home renovation should consider stone kitchen floor tiles. Granite is the right choice for upscale homes and modern eat-in kitchens. This stone is very beautiful, hard wearing, water proof and stain resistant. It can withstand scratches and bear the weight of refrigerator, oven, wine cooler and other bulky objects. Slate is another stone slab that can improve the look of your cooking area and also keep the eat-in kitchen hygienic. But marble is the tops the list of stone flooring.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

6 Buyers Tips in Checking Propane Gas Grills

Looking for the right grill to buy does not require too much thinking. It may be that tedious to look for the right ones for you, but it surely pays to know more about the things you keep at home. In shopping for propane grills you should know what you should consider before buying.

Although there are a lot of grills nowadays with advance grilling technology, they are not 100% perfect. Popular grills like the Weber Q 300 and other well-known models has their own cons and you should not be ignorant on this. It may be a defect when manufacturing, or some issues with the warranty. A slight malfunction of the propane grill could lead to serious damage. Whether you are a seasoned grill user or a full-time beginner it still pays to know these important guidelines.

The 3 basic parts of the propane grills:

• The hood- it is the enclosure that covers the grill when cooking.
• The system- it's where the catch pan and the tube line is located.
• The cook box- it is the main body of the grill. It is composed of the burner's tubes, the cooking grates and the heat dispenser.

The Stability Check

You should check the casters and the wheels. Learn what type of material used in making them and see to it that they meet the appliance's standards. Also, make sure that the structure of the grill and the material used can withstand varying and extreme conditions. It is also important to choose grills that are made of welded solid steel.

Check the Hood

Most shoppers believe that if the hood is heavy, the grill is good enough. They are satisfied to open and close the hood a couple of times and that for them the grill is good enough. Although it may be a fact, it's not enough bases to assure the quality at all. You also need to check on the performance. See to it that it's sturdy, weather resistant, safe to use and is effective in any cooking condition.

Check on the Grates

Grates that are made of porcelain-enameled steel, cast iron or stainless steel are the only grates considered to pass the appliance standards. Beware of grates made of nickel-plate or chrome steel, they tend to accumulate rust over time.

Check the Catch Pan

Don't choose propane grills that will ask you to flatten out an empty soda can to catch the grease and dust. It's best to have one with funneling system that leads the grease and dirt away from the burners but will not end up dripping to your patio or floor. See to it that the design enables you to remove and attach the catch pan easily.

Look further by lifting the Grates

Usually, full-sized propane grills there are two burners that are evenly situated below the grates. But you still need to check if they are evenly run through the size of the grates. The purpose of this is to minimize the flare-ups and allow the control of the temperature even while cooking. Make sure that the grates are made of high-grade stainless steel as well.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Table Decor: Tips and Tricks for Choosing Fine China and Everyday Dinnerware

Whether you're getting married or just looking to invest in a quality set of fine china or everyday dinnerware, you're probably wondering where to start. These home accessories are worth investing in, as they're used frequently either on a daily basis or on a special occasion basis. That being said, you may find yourself wanting to match your existing home decor to your china, but matching certain home accessories and decor isn't always a good idea. Here are a few tips and tricks for choosing fine china and everyday dinnerware.

Basic White

White dinnerware and fine china, whether it's bone china or porcelain, is always a great choice because basic white is a timeless look. Even if you choose a trendy set, these home accessories will go a long way, making them a worthwhile investment. That being said, you can never go wrong with a basic set of round dinnerware or fine china.

Go to a Retailer

It may be tempting to just purchase the first pattern you fall in love with online, but that might not be the right dinnerware for you. These particular home accessories can be extremely delicate or they can be ultra-sturdy. That being said, you'll want to actually feel the pieces before you purchase. Even if you choose to find the pattern in store and then order it online, you'll be better off.

That being said, take note of how the dinnerware or china feels in your hand. If you're afraid of breaking it just by touching it, then that might not be the right choice for you.

Hand Wash or Dishwasher?

As expected, certain fine china pieces may not be dishwasher safe. If you're not willing to hand wash these pieces every time you've used them, you'll want to steer clear of fine china and other dinnerware home accessories that are 'hand wash only.'

Opt for Well-known Companies

While it may sound silly, you'll be saving yourself a huge headache by buying these home accessories from a well-known company. Larger companies that have been around for a while are more likely to be able to offer replacement pieces, or direct you to a secondhand dealer who can replace your pieces, even if the pattern or piece has been discontinued.

How Many Pieces Do You Need?

If you're into modern home decor or table decor, chances are, your tastes and item usage is also pretty modern. That being said, do you really need a five-piece or a seven-piece table setting of fine china or dinnerware? These home accessories can be costly, so if there are pieces you don't need or won't use, don't order them. In some instances, you may not have a choice because they come in sets. However, if you don't need a saucer plate and matching teacup, don't buy it! It's not worth spending the extra money or wasting the storage space on pieces you don't need and won't use.

Don't be afraid to only purchase the dinner plate and salad plate, especially if that's all you'll use.

Mix and Match

Finally, when it comes to home accessories and decor, it's perfectly okay to mix and match! Especially when it comes to fine china or everyday dinnerware. If you like two different patterns, go ahead and mix them, especially if they blend well together or are a good representation of your tastes.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Find Kitchen Remodeling Contractors

Sometimes, before you even hire home improvement contractors, you need to know the type of renovation in which you are interested. You need to figure out whether your project requires home repair contractors or other services, or whether it is a do-it-yourself endeavor. You may also find information on all different types of home services from architect reviews to home repair contractor reviews, so if you have a job that requires professional assistance, you may locate the best people for the task.

For example, if you are interested in remodeling your kitchen, you may be able to do some aspects of the project yourself and require the assistance of kitchen remodeling contractors for other aspects. If you have a small kitchen, there may be certain remodeling and design techniques that enable you to better utilize what space you have.

The major components to kitchen remodeling are storage, lighting, and appliances. Budget and space limits do not need to hamper your kitchen redesign. You may transform your small kitchen into a room that is warm and efficient.

Since you have a very specific amount of available space to work with, you should look into purchasing compact appliances. For example, a refrigerator that is 24 inches deep, rather than 30 inches deep, saves you some space. You may also be creative regarding where you store these appliances, such underneath or above cabinets.

You may ask the home improvement contractors to create an island in the center of your kitchen so that you may use it for storage. Its convenient location will ensure that you may access the appropriate cooking and baking tools from anywhere in the kitchen, even when you are in the midst of preparing a meal or baking a dessert.

To maximize counter and cabinet space, you may store your pots and pans by hanging them up. Doing this leaves additional storage space and gives your kitchen a homey look and feel. Another remodeling option is to invest in a galley kitchen design, which incorporates cabinets and appliances that line up on different sides of a corridor. This design may give your kitchen an added depth.

You may also create the illusion of more space with clever, creative lighting. Light under the cabinets or counters to give your kitchen more dimension and to make it appear bigger. You may also install deep counters and cabinets to increase available work space and accommodate more appliances.

Do your research to determine the type and level of help you may need for your kitchen remodeling project. You may want the assistance of an architect or designer, or you may feel comfortable simply relying on the advice of home improvement contractors. When you decide your best course of action, you will be able to effectively transform your small kitchen into an efficient work space.