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Top Tips for a Grey Kitchen

Posted by admin on June 18, 2018 at 2:43 pm. Filed under: General

The colour you choose for your kitchen can have a huge impact on the overall look. A grey kitchen is an excellent choice if you are looking to create a room that is timeless, smart and elegant. Grey can be dull if not done right, so we have compiled these top tips show you how to avoid a lifeless look and create a stunning space for your home.

Mix with Wood

Selecting a wooden worktop for a grey kitchen is a stylish way to add a warm, homely feel to the space. In the kitchen shown here, the walnut worktop livens up this area, providing a beautiful contrast to the lighter tones of the cabinets which are painted in Farrow & Ball’s Mizzle. The green tones in the grey used on the cabinets gives them a fresh look whilst the warm tones of the worktop prevent the space from looking cold.

A grey kitchen with a slightly different shade of grey on the island and cabinets

Credit : Pinterest

Different Shades of Grey

For those opting for a completely grey room, choosing a couple of different grey tones to include will create definition and add layers to your kitchen. Using a variety of grey shades will ensure some elements of your kitchen stand out – like the island pictured here. Although the kitchen is exclusively grey – even the wooden flooring has ashy undertones – a darker grey has been used for every aspect of the kitchen to ensure no detail is lost.

Think Shelving

For smaller spaces, using shelves in place of wall cabinets can ensure the grey colour does not overwhelm the space. Whilst they may not work for everyone, shelves are fantastic for displaying decorative items or keeping often-used items within close reach. Read our blog on open shelving to see if this something you could do in your cooking zone.

A modern grey kitchen with bright yellow barstools and accessories

Credit : David Merewether

Colourful or Metallic Accessories

Perhaps the best way to stop a grey kitchen feeling monotone is to brighten it up with vibrant and colourful accessories. A set of yellow barstools adds a summery feeling to this room. A true neutral, grey provides an excellent foundation for any colour – so, if you get bored of yellow it can quickly and easily be changed for a different accent shade.

Because of their ageless and sophisticated style, it is no wonder that grey kitchens are so enduringly popular. Do you have a grey kitchen? We would love to see pictures of it! You can share below, or on our Facebook or Twitter pages.


Would You Choose One of These ‘Divina Cucina’ Smeg Kitchen Appliances?

Posted by admin on June 15, 2018 at 10:32 am. Filed under: General
An open Mediterranean kitchen with an intricately designed Smeg fridge, oven and hood

Credit : Smeg x Dolce & Gabbana

Kitchen appliances are often finished in singular metallic shades, or black or white – brighter hues and pastel colours are used but are seen less often. This Divina Cucina range of Smeg kitchen appliances was revealed at the Milan Design Week and was designed in collaboration with Dolce & Gabbana with the vivid designs celebrating the southern Italian heritage of the two brands.

This eye-catching blue and white design has images of Mount Etna – located near Catania in Sicily – as well as the Greek temples of Castor and Pollux. The style is inspired by the classic Italian style of majolica pottery, which often used pale blues similar to the colour of the Mediterranean Sea. The floral elements are representative of the types of landscapes and vegetation found in the region.

An open Mediterranean kitchen with an extremely vibrant Smeg fridge, oven and hood

Credit : Smeg x Dolce & Gabbana

If the pastel blue and white is too tame for your kitchen, this incredibly vibrant and colourful design could be used to make a statement in any home. With roots in Sicilian cooking and decoration, it features illustrations of prickly pears, lemons and cherries. Traditional bright Sicilian puppet theatre carts have provided inspiration for the design, and the triangular geometric shapes are known locally in Italy as Crocchi.

The collection includes a matching oven, fridge-freezer and cooker hood and it is not the first time these two household names have collaborated – previous items have included blenders, kettles and toasters. Smeg says products in the Divina Cucina range are true works of art and create a new perception of home appliances.

We think these extremely colourful Smeg kitchen appliances could be here to stay – they would look fantastic in modern and contemporary spaces! Would you have these products in your kitchen? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below, or on our Facebook or Twitter pages.


Is A Mexican Kitchen Style Right For You?

Posted by admin on June 11, 2018 at 12:21 pm. Filed under: General

Whilst Mexican-inspired cooking areas have been popular in the United States for a long time, they are yet to influence designs in the UK. However, we think this is about to change – a Mexican kitchen style is a fantastic option for those looking for something a little less common than the Moroccan kitchens that are currently popular. We have compiled several ideas that you could use to create this look in your home – keep reading to be inspired!

Select bright colours for a taste of Central America. Many Mexican homes feature bright appliances, contrasting colours and mis-matched chairs and accessories. This mix-and-match style adds character and warmth to a home, creating an inviting environment. Critics may say the style is too juvenile and jarring, but these vibrant influences will feel uplifting and summery. You can achieve a similar look on our kitchen visualiser tool, which is pictured below, with Babouche paint, white cabinets and a beech worktop. For a more Mexican appearance, replace the upper cabinets with shelves and fill with decorative items.

Tiles are another popular feature in Mexican style kitchens, and are a fantastic way to add colour and patterns into your home. Options with intricate patterns or blocks of colour are a great way to evoke this cheerful, upbeat style. Mexican homes often use two or three different tile designs, which may cover the floor or ceiling. Smaller mosaic tiles tend to be used in higher locations, whilst larger tiles will be favoured for the floor. Patterns can be created both by the tile shape and the decoration it features.

Combine these colours and patterns with some additional texture and detailing. A traditional Mexican kitchen is unlikely to have chromed modern handles, so you could opt for cabinet frontals such as our Twister D. handles or Acanthus knobs. Elsewhere, leaf motifs and natural influences are often used.

Family is an extremely important part of life in Mexico, and kitchens are often designed to be able to fit as many friends or guests as possible. An open plan layout with a large rustic dining table is often preferred. Like in the UK, the kitchen is considered to be the heart of the home, and meals are made in big portions to serve a lot of people.

If you wish to create a Mexican kitchen style on a budget, you could choose accessories and furnishings such as Aztec-inspired cushions, throws, floor runners or crockery as an easy way . You do not have to fully change your cooking space to enjoy this colourful theme.

Would you create a Mexican kitchen in your home? Tell us below, or on our Facebook or Twitter pages.


Style Steal: Jo Whiley’s Kitchen

Posted by admin on June 8, 2018 at 11:05 am. Filed under: General

Jo Whiley has been a mainstay on BBC Radio for almost 25 years. She started on Radio 1 in September 1993 and moved over to Radio 2 in March 2011. Along the way, she has interviewed some of the most iconic musicians around and presented a number of shows – including Top of The Pops, Panorama and the BBC’s Glastonbury festival coverage. A few years ago, she left the bustling North London streets and moved out to the Northamptonshire countryside. We have taken a look at Jo Whiley’s kitchen to show you how you can get the look for less.

Radio 2 DJ Jo Whiley in her kitchen, which has stainless steel worktops and a neutral colour scheme

Credit : John Lawrence

Stainless Steel Worktop

Her cook space has a few modern elements blended with the more traditional aspects – like the vintage-inspired fridge and the stainless-steel worktop. The finish of the worktops matches the range cooker and hood, whilst the surface offers a shimmering quality that is complemented by the white gloss subway tiles. Stainless steel worktops often need to be created as bespoke pieces for every installation – our stainless-steel laminate worktops, offer an affordable and durable option for a similar look. Whilst Jo admits her kitchen is less about cooking and more about entertaining, she has the perfect hardwearing worktop for both uses.

Radio 2 DJ Jo Whiley in her kitchen, which has off-white cabinets and a stainless steel worktop

Credit : Habitat

Neutral Cabinets

The kitchen is monochrome, with a mix of off-white colours and greys, creating a fresh, contemporary aesthetic. This neutral base creates a harmonious effect that ties the more modern influences with the architectural and older features of the property. If you love these cabinets, we sell a huge range of oak cabinets, frontals, handles and accessories, all for a low cost and available in many different Farrow & Ball paint colours.

A Radio 1 Live Lounge sign in Jo Whiley’s house

Credit : Habitat

Career Items

Jo is clearly very proud of her career, as a number of mementos can be seen throughout her home. This Radio 1 Live Lounge sign takes pride of place in her living room, whilst the kitchen features three statues of the band Gorillaz – she interviewed the band’s creators, Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, during her time at Radio 1. A splash of colour is an excellent way to make a neutral colour scheme feel more vibrant so, if you do not have any similar prized possessions, you could use bright accessories – curtains or blinds, cooking utensils and tea towels are all great options.

Jo Whiley and a friend in her large kitchen

Credit : Habitat

Heart of the Home

Like many people, Jo Whiley’s kitchen is at the very heart of her home. Having both a kitchen island and large dining table means it is truly a multifunctional space that can be enjoyed by the whole family at the same time. The sheer size of this kitchen clearly helps, but you can achieve a similar feel by opening up your kitchen and living area for a more flowing, inclusive space. Lighter paint shades and large windows will make the space feel airier, too.

You can easily upgrade your kitchen to look like this for an affordable price. If you love this space, let us know below or on our Facebook and Twitter pages.


Be Inspired by This Open Kitchen Design

Posted by admin on June 4, 2018 at 10:33 am. Filed under: General

If you have a beautiful view, you will want to make the most of it. That is exactly what this customer has done, by creating a wonderful open kitchen design that is deliberately modest – allowing the beautiful British countryside to take focus. If you are looking to create a similar feel in your kitchen we have compiled some of our top tips for you to consider.

Peninsula and Seating

Using a peninsula with breakfast bar to divide the kitchen is a fantastic way to keep the airy, open feel. Placing a wall and door here would have made the cook space feel much smaller but feels so much bigger and more welcoming with the peninsula. The added benefit of this open kitchen design is that the living space is also flooded with light and the views are still visible.

The breakfast bar faces into the kitchen and the stunning views, so the chef can entertain whilst cooking and the countryside can be admired whilst dining. This multi-use space featuring our solid oak worktops blends cooking and living spaces together perfectly, with the peninsula acting as the perfect divider. Having the seats and worktop edge outside the limit of the kitchen floor couples the two rooms together.

Large Windows and Skylight

Enormous windows are a huge part of this open kitchen design – they cover almost all of the back wall to maximise the fascinating vista. This is paired with an impressive skylight above the centre of the room, making the space as light and airy as possible. In fact, it is designed completely around the natural view – the appliances are kept out of the way along the sides, and there are tiny windows squeezed into each corner. All of these steps have helped the kitchen feel closer to the outdoors, bridging the gap between house and garden.

Neutral Colour Scheme

To truly prioritise this view, the owners of this kitchen have chosen a neutral colour scheme which adds to the airy feel. The white walls, off-white cabinets and oak worktop is a classic combination that exudes elegance and timelessness. It would look fantastic in any kitchen, but we love the way the sun illuminates the worktop – showing its quality, craftsmanship and appearance.

The kitchen is kept up-to-date and contemporary with a selection of stainless-steel touches. The appliances, tap, sink and spotlights are all a chromed silver colour and will not date the look over time.

An open kitchen design encourages family members and guests to spend more time there, highlighting its position as the heart of the home. Would you like to create a kitchen like this? Comment below, or on our Facebook or Twitter pages.


Want to Add 4% to the Value of Your Home?

Posted by admin on June 1, 2018 at 10:58 am. Filed under: General

Whether you are considering selling your home imminently or you are planning changes and want to keep the future value of your property in mind, you may be thinking about the best ways to increase the price of your property. According to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), a new kitchen can increase the house price by as much as 4%, which could equate to thousands of pounds. Read on to find out how you can maximise your money.

Is It Practical?

One of your main considerations should be practicality, as this is one of the main things that research has shown prospective buyers will be looking for. Upgrading your kitchen is the perfect time to see if it can be made smarter and maximise use of the space available. You could add more cabinetry if the space permits, or find a use for awkward gaps – perhaps squeezing in a wine rack.

The layout of your kitchen can also decide its value. If it is cramped, see if there is a way of opening it out, and make sure it is as easy to use as possible. The kitchen triangle layout is a good way to plan as it provides great guidelines for a usable space. The kitchen triangle layout will make sure your fridge, oven and sink are a suitable distance from each other.

Is It Appealing?

Freshening up your cook space is fantastic regardless of whether you are selling now or are planning on staying a while longer. A different paint colour, worktop or appliances can create a new kitchen feel, preventing the area from feeling dated. If you are changing the kitchen primarily to add value, we would recommend choosing a neutral or pared-back colour scheme. Whilst it is up to you to personalise and decorate your home in your preferred way, other people may not share your vision and this can be off-putting to potential buyers.

Is It Good Quality?

The kitchen is one of the more expensive areas of the home to renovate and it needs to be able to stand up to years of use. It is therefore likely that potential buyers for your home will be looking for something of a reasonable standard, so finishing the kitchen with good quality products and workmanship is imperative. Solid Wood Kitchen Cabinets only uses solid European oak for our cabinets, so you can be sure that they are built to last. Our range of solid wood worktops are constructed using sustainable timber and state-of-the-art equipment, while our laminate worktops are made with a sturdy core by trusted manufacturers.

Although our products are affordably priced, they are made to the highest quality and will completely enhance your new kitchen.

What have you done to make your house more valuable? Let us know in the comments below or start a conversation on our Facebook and Twitter pages.