Monthly Archives

March 2016

Website updates

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We’re working hard here at The Plymouth Kitchen Company HQ to improve the website and maximise our visitors’ experience. As part of this, we’ll be adding regular blog posts about kitchen design so that you have a one stop shop for inspiration and advice.

So if you have any questions, send them on through!

Your question will become the subject of our next blog post.

Put us to the test: there’s not much we don’t know about great kitchen design.

Choosing the right kitchen lighting

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Lighting your kitchen well is the key to showing off your home’s best feature. Dreary lighting doesn’t do shiny new worktops and fabulous flooring any favours at all so it’s worth investigating your lighting options.

There are three main types of kitchen lighting and your choices for each will vary.

Lighting your workspace

The first area that needs attention is where you’ll be working. Illuminating your worktops is easily achieved by installing under-cabinet lighting (which can often be the least expensive option). Alternatively, you can embed spot lights into the ceiling directly above.

Start by identifying the areas in which you plan to do most of your work. These usually include the chopping area and over the cooker.

In these areas, you can use halogen bulbs for a gentle glow instead of a harsh beam of light.

Ambient lighting

A lot of people use ambient lighting as well as more practical approaches. This kind of lighting will usually appear in the centre of the room. Using large fixtures with various bulbs can help you to achieve gentle lighting that reaches into all corners of the kitchen, illuminating darker spots.

Your ambient lighting is best installed with a dimmer switch so that you can control the intensity of the light in the room.

Accent lighting

When you’ve chosen a new kitchen, there may be certain features that you’re keen to show off. If you have a favourite picture or perhaps some exposed brick, fitting bulbs that illuminate these will help draw the eye.

Save energy

When installing new kitchen lighting, it’s a good idea to look into LED lights where possible. If you’re fitting plenty of bulbs, LED alternatives can end up saving you a considerable amount of money. If you’re having your kitchen fitted by a professional, ask them for advice on using LED lighting.

What makes a great kitchen?

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When you’re designing a new kitchen for your home, you need to get it right so that the finished product is everything you’ve dreamed of. It can be very difficult to envisage the final kitchen so you need to follow some basic rules to make sure your design ticks all the boxes.

Sociability

Providing you have enough space with which to work, you need to keep the social aspect of your kitchen in mind at all times. After all, the kitchen is the hub of most homes.

Building in features such as islands and breakfast bars is a great way to create a central seated area for friends and family. If you don’t like the idea of high seats at countertops, you could section off an area for a comfortable table and chairs. Somewhere you can relax with the Sunday papers while the dinner simmers away in your fancy new oven…

Function

At the heart of great kitchen design lies function. After all, a beautiful kitchen is no good if its layout or space planning is off kilter.

When you’re working with awkward-shaped rooms especially, you need to make sure that the design of your kitchen isn’t going to present problems. This is when it’s particularly handy to enlist the help of a professional designer. They will have access to software that can help you maximise the space you’ve got available and stop potential drawbacks such as doors that collide with one another.

Appeal

Your new kitchen has got to be a place in which you love to be. If you’re the type to place great importance on kitchen design (which we can assume you are – as you’re reading this article!), you’re going to want to fall in love with the room.

Depending on your styles and tastes, appealing features can vary extremely. Some people love the cool finish of stainless steel appliances contrasted by bright white cabinets while others love the modern look of exposed brick and dark mahogany.

Whatever your tastes, make sure there’s a dramatic central piece to your kitchen, be it a designer oven hood or a contemporary island. You want something to draw the eye as soon as someone walks in.

Picking out the perfect worktop material

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It’s the place where most of the magic’s going to happen, so choosing the ideal worktop material is an important step when you’re planning your new kitchen. Which you go for will depend entirely on your personal style and the kind of use your worktops are going to get. Let’s look at the most popular options.

Granite

Effortlessly stylish, granite has long been a popular choice for modern and traditional kitchens. The appearance of granite is slightly mottled, giving it some real personality and making a striking style statement.

The pros of using granite are that it’s extremely heat resistant and very easy to keep clean. Also, granite tends not to stain or be susceptible to water damage. Plus keen bakers will love the coolness of a granite worktop – ideal for rolling out dough!

Wood

The eco-friendly option, wood is one of the most popular choices for modern worktops. The choice of various grains, hardness and finish is what keeps people coming back. Also, wood worktops are very easy to keep clean.

The downside of choosing wood is that it can score easily and get a little water-damaged, especially near to the sink. Applying the right coatings should protect it from most damage but scores are hard to avoid. Treat with care!

Stainless steel

Always popular with chefs, stainless steel worktops are the most hygienic option. Plus they create a super-modern, streamlined effect in more contemporary kitchens. Stainless steel worktops are very durable and strong – but beware of scratches as they mark easily.

Stone

Engineered stone worktops are extremely strong and hard-wearing. Most people opt for stone worktops if marble or granite worktops are a little out of their price range. It has the same benefits of being heat and stain resistant, but it’s a more affordable option.

When installed well by experts, stone worktops can look absolutely fantastic and last for many years.