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    Posts by Lawrence

    10 Tips for a Better Kitchen (PART TWO)

    1. It’s all about efficiency: put a lot of thought into how use your items and THEN design your kitchen. Store your breakfast bowls and foods near the breakfast table. Keep all wrapping and plastic utensils near a bench or a work surface to wrap leftovers or pack lunch for tomorrow. Place your fine dining dishes and bowls up top away from the kids and your normal plates near the dishwasher for ease of access.
    1. Plan your circulation: paths throughout a kitchen should be at least 900mm wide. Paths within the cooking zone should be at least 1050mm wide for a one cook top kitchen and for a two cooktop configuration, at least 1200mm wide. When planning, these measurements also apply to kitchen island benchtops.
    1. keep an eye on the traffic: keep the handles higher up on cabinets so they don’t catch on to little ones when they run past and cause spills. Decide on a model of a fridge before you design your kitchen to appropriate create a space for it to open and make it accessible to both passer-by’s and people cooking at the stove.
    2. Giving each other space: plan for the clearance of doors and their swing paths. For efficiency and to save hassle make sure that doors don’t bang into each other.
    3. Find the right height for the microwave. The height of the microwave although seemingly insignificant, however something that is in such frequent use when placed inadequately will lead to frustration, hassle and sore backs in the long run. For adults about 325mm above the bench will be an appropriate height and for kids, slightly below the standard 900mm benchtop is conventional.
    4. Determine the island’s function. In any form of design from interior architecture to exterior architecture it is a basic commandment that form always follows function; if you plan to use the island benchtop as a dining table as well, plan it such that there is enough space between the cooktop and the dining portion of the bench.
    5. Plan landing space. when designing your kitchen, allow for 200mm of space on either side of the cooktop and the fridge as well. It is best to have an landing zone near the microwave, to be able to temporary place the hot food once you pull it out.
    6. Consider the countertops. For people who frequent the kitchen, an large gap on either side of the stove top is important, especially between the cooktop and the sink. For people who prepare simple meals or simply use it infrequently, other aesthetic priorities might be first on the list. Furthermore; for parents who want to teach their kids how to prepare food and bake from an early age, varying heights is also an option to consider.
    7. Double up. A snack bar, a small second fridge, a displaced second dining table can help get those snackers out of the way of the chefs and in a busy household that is the key difference.
    8. Arrange the range. Place a shelf next to the stovetop preferably up high for storing condiments, utensils, and equipment. Mount s hooks on the splashback or from the ceiling to hang pots and pans.


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    Top Kitchen Design Mistakes

    DO: Have one element that is fun or creative

    DON’T: Be boring.

    In order to stand out from the crowd, the best kitchens always have some kind of soul that makes the kitchen warm, inviting and personal. Every time we take on a job we see it as a chance to make something new and creative and truly unique that brings out positive emotions in each individual customer.


    DO: Know enough is enough.

    DON’T: Overdo it.

    Often kitchens can be over designed; excessive use of materials and colours, too many fancy doors and lift up doors, too many attempts at being modern and contemporary. The age old saying of less is more is very applicable in any form of design, a concept does not have to be overly complex to be successful.


    DO: Make a small kitchen work for you.

    DON’T: assume that bigger is always better.

    Spaciousness is often overrated in terms of interior design; we often get customers wanting to downsize their kitchens as large distances between key points in the kitchen can get tiring and frustrating to use on a day to day basic. A well designed kitchen with lots of thought about practicality and long lasting, good quality materials can make a small space work perfectly for you.


    DO: Leave some space to breathe

    DON’T: Don’t go overboard with cabinets and fill the whole room with cabinets

    The placement of every drawer and cabinet should be done on a ‘need to be’ basis in which you careful think beforehand what you’re going to place and where. Too often customers just want to fill a room with cabinets; a lot of these cabinets go unused and the circulation of the kitchen is completely ruined, it also requires a lot of unnecessary movement to get ingredients or components that should be placed next to each other.


    DO: Invest in aesthetic cabinets that will last a lifetime.

    DON’T: buy things for cheap and regret it in a few years.

    A kitchen is the core to the home; it’s something that you use frequently, constantly opening and closing doors and drawers, these panels and doors take a lot of wear and tear.

    it’s something that is crucial to every party and something that you want to show off and continue to show off at parties for years to come. Consumers are often tempted to purchase flat pack predesigned kitchens from hardware or furniture stores, these are usually made overseas without the quality and standard of the Australian market, and when it breaks prematurely it will be something that you’ll regret.


    DO: Have counter top around wall ovens and microwaves.

    DON’T: Put these appliances alone.

    Make sure there is adequate space around ovens or microwaves that serve as a landing zone next to these appliances. The last thing you want to do is put on your oven mitts and have to hold the 200 degree turkey 10 steps across the kitchen to place on a countertop and possibly give yourself second degree burns in the process.


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    10 Tips for Kitchen Design

    1. Extend it! Tired of having to fill up pots and then having to lug them to the stove top; this process can really take a toll on your back after a few trips. You can install a swing out tap for your sink also called a pot-filler. Even installing a simple extension hose will allow you to fill your pot from the stove without the hassle of carrying it back and forth.
    1. be classy, be efficient and be safe: install a magnetic metal strip to the splashback, this allows you to keep the knives out of reach of children for their own safety, depending on how you decorate the strip it can give the kitchen a more classy and transitional look which is very popular at the moment.
    2. Make waste easy to manage: trending at the moment are inbuilt bins fixed and mounted on the inside of cabinets and pantries. You can get an assortment installed to separated the general waste from the recycling and glass; this will save you the nightmare of having to separate it later and make it much more convenient.
    3. Thinking Shorter: put any snacks that the kids will need on a varied height bench; this way they wont have to come to you every time to get access to those precious snacks.
    4. Multipurpose kitchen: put up a message board of some kitchen near the phone, often cooking dinner or a preparing for a party is a long process. Any phone calls or messages or even a grocery list needs somewhere to go to be able to be seen clearly. As such install an whiteboard or a black board around the side of the cabinets or fridge.Have a spare drawer for drawing or writing tools nearby.
    1. plan ahead with the electronics: with something like a stylish glass splashback for it to look stylish it has to be put in in one piece. Plan where you will put the electronics and what equipment you need to use so you have power outlets wherever you need them.
    1. Cut cleaning time.Careful design decisions make cleaning easier. Wire shelves don’t catch spills and leaking boxes will cause stains and crusty messes compared to glass waterproof shelving. undermount sinks don’t have a embossed rim to worry about which catches crumbs and spills. In terms of cabinet finishes; matte finishes don’t reveal stains like a glossy finish does.
    2. Change it up.Avoid boring and monotonous repetition of cabinets and pantries by varying the door style with some embossing or glass. Extra details could be wine storage or frosted glass or varying glass door designs to add some flavour.
    3. Use light colours in a small kitchen.Dark colour schemes makes a space visually appear smaller than it already is. By using soft or neutral colours, we can make the kitchen look more inviting and spacious.
    4. Find a focal point.Decorative tiles, fancy shiny floor boards, Italian designer appliances, glossy cabinets and busy speckly countertop patterns give the eyes too much to look at all at the same time. Pick one key focal point in the kitchen and allow the other areas to complement it.
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    7 Kitchen Design Styles for 2015

    Have you been toying with the idea of revamping your kitchen and think 2015 may be the perfect time to take the plunge? Before you start searching for a pro to tackle the project, it’s important to think about what you’ll need and how you can improve your kitchen setup, as well as what you want the space to look like. It’s also worth reading up on emerging kitchen trends, which may provide a spark of inspiration and, ultimately, influence the design of your new cooking zone.

    Though we can’t write your dream kitchen wish list for you, we can lend a hand with a list of design elements that are on the rise. We recently caught up with three designers who shared their short lists of kitchen design ideas they believe will be the biggest trends of 2015.

    1. Furniture-style design features. Interior designer Greg Natale predicts that furniture-style cabinetry and other features will be one of the top trends in 2015. This approach marks another step in the evolution of the kitchen as the hub of the home and a treasured space the whole family can enjoy, rather than just a functional area that’s used for food prep and cooking alone. “The incredible designs available celebrate the different elements of the kitchen as pieces of beautiful furniture, not just workstations, which allows people to bring their own personal, warm, welcoming touch to this space,” he says.

    2. Airy (and user-friendly), open shelving. “We are seeing a trend toward using open shelving as a practical solution for the kitchen space, rather than simply for display,” says Sydney kitchen designer Kesha Pillay of Art of Kitchens. “Open shelving personalizes the space, making it feel lived in and warm, while keeping the kitchen functional and easy to use.”

    3. Wallpaper that wows. Want to add interest and character to your cooking zone? Incorporating wallpaper — which will be a major trend in 2015, according to kitchen and bathroom designer Lee Hardcastle — into the design of your kitchen is the perfect solution. “Wallpaper provides an easy way to add visual impact, even in small amounts,” Hardcastle says. “Wallpaper gives you the control of complementing the architectural elements throughout the kitchen or adding a beautiful contrast to an otherwise simple color palette.”

    4. Modern traditional style. Designs that marry modern and traditional elements will be one of the most influential looks of 2015, according to Pillay, who says that homeowners are shunning ultrasleek, contemporary kitchens in favor of spaces that are “warm, homey and reflect themselves.”

    “This trend is affecting everything from cabinet design to colors, materials to textures. We are really mixing it up,” she says. “Flat-panel cabinet doors are being replaced with classic door profiles, such as Shaker doors,” for example. And materials are being mixed, such as stainless steel with wood, and wood with marble.

    5. Ceilings that make you look up. Next year will see statement-making ceilings, says Hardcastle, who designed the striking kitchen seen here. “For a long time now, we have all forgotten to look up. More emphasis will go into ceiling design, in terms of shape, features etc.,” he says. “Whether it be through the use of lighting, bulkheads or coffer ceilings, or the addition of classic embellishments, our ceilings will become part of the room’s beauty once again.”

    Not sure how to take your kitchen ceiling design to new heights? Look to the space here for inspiration. The wood design feature that frames the kitchen thoroughfare and runs from one side of the island to the bank of cabinets on the opposite wall instantly draws the eyes up, as does the row of clerestory windows that creates the illusion of a floating ceiling.

    6. Luxe metallics. While silver, chrome and stainless steel are three metallics commonly used in the kitchen, next year warmer metals, like gold, copper and bronze, will have their moment to shine, according to Natale. “Metallics in all their forms were prominent at [Paris design fair Maison & Objet], from copper to bronze to gorgeous gold, and I’m a fan,” the designer says. “The texture and gleaming finish of metallics provide a stunning accent to most palette choices.”

    7. Touch-me textures. “There’s a move toward using more textured and tactile materials,” Pillay says. Natural marble and granite in honed finishes, as well as engineered stones that replicate raw finishes, are a few materials we’ll be seeing a lot of next year, the designer says.

    Wood will still be a trend in 2015, Pillay adds, but in finishes that represent it in its natural form, rather than high-gloss or smooth finishes.


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    Looking back at the top kitchen designs of 2014

    1.  Compact Corner Sinks

    Whether it’s a chic, contemporary model or a traditional one as pictured below, small, compact corner sinks make an ideal solution for small kitchens.  Most kitchens don’t utilize the corner for anything more than a counter top or appliance; but putting a corner sink can save space and open up the circulation flow of a kitchen. this was a large trend in 2014.

    2. Warmer Metal Fixings

    last year there was a shift toward warmer metal tones such as brass and copper, edging away from the brash, stainless steel and chrome colder metals.  Iron and similar tones maade a come back, very much leaning towards the timeless traditional.

    brass fixings

    3.  Monochrome Basics

    Like the Scandinavians do best: Simple, classy and sleek.  The trend has been around for some time, but this basic, stream lined look was here to stay 2014.  To avoid a cold uninviting kitchen experience, add some natural wood accessories, which will do wonders to the aura of the room.  Tiled splashbacks aren’t welcome here: Just solid slabs of marble, strips of glass or other solid wall coverings.


    4.  Outside Kitchens

    Outside kitchens, like the one below were a big hit in the year that was 2014.  While they’ve been growing and have been popular in the United States for a while, other countries had not picked up the trend until the latter parts of 2014; when planning for an outdoor kitchen, keep in mind weather as a limiting factor.

    outside kitchen

    5.  Interesting & Colorful Splashbacks

    The kitchens of 2014 were yearning for a sip of excitement and edge which is why interesting and colorful splashbacks become popular.  Grand Designs magazine has placed this as the number 1 Kitchen trend for 2014. Most designs featured tiles with interesting patterns, in colors (blue), colorful splashes of the rainbow or exotic designs.  Keep the rest of the kitchen minimalistic.

    Patterned Walls

    6.  Burst of Blue

    Blue was the colour for 2014 and was without a doubt a winner for kitchens also.  The popular kitchen designs of 2014 were not limited to one type of blue either, they for a lack of a better phrase mixed it up;  soothing navy blues, uplifting sky blues, energetic electric turquoise; they all have their merits, and if done right, they’ll hit the spot if combined together.

    Blue kitchen

    7.  Au Natural

    Old is new, and outside is inside. the contemporary and minimalist trends of the turn of the decade is starting to phase out like all trends and designers are trending to a more natural look with wood and wooden textures making a huge comeback. Natural wood or stone counter tops, natural walls (possible brick veneer), natural wooden cupboards.  Anything that comes from the earth was in, not only does the wood add a degree of warmth, it shows sophistication and class.

    natural materials

    8  Black Countertops

    Again, we’re going natural black countertops here using black granite or quartz.  Whether left glossy, or has a dull matte finish, in contrast with a cool white interior, oozes a timeless and clean cry of, ‘I’m not new, but I’m here to stay, and I look GOOD!’.  It’s was not a fresh trend but god was it popular and with anything popular, the trend isn’t going to expire without a fight. Black counter tops were definitely in for 2014.

    black countertops

    9.  Open Shelving

    Kitchen cabinets will always be useful in all kitchens, but in 2014 we saw a trend towards open shelving.  Why hide away those eye catching kitchen accessories and crockery behind closed doors: These have design and appeal too.  the people of 2014 wanted to not only show off their kitchen but the utensils that they had stored inside as well; these all add a sense of personal taste and style of the kitchens.

    open shelving

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