Styling a Contemporary Kitchen

Creating a chic and contemporary kitchen is a simple and effective way to set a sophisticated tone for your home. There is so much choice when it comes to modern kitchen cabinetry, so how do you create the perfect clutter-free room for relaxing and entertaining?

We have teamed up with Harvey Jones, specialists in bespoke fitted kitchens to find out how to create the contemporary kitchen look.

Contemporary worktops

Modern cabinetry is all about uncomplicated colours. Bright white worktops are too ‘clinical’ for some people, but for others, they’re a simple and effective way to create an ultra-modern kitchen for family and guests to enjoy! Many manufacturers, including Silestone and Caesarstone, are now producing man-made composites that look like natural materials. Of course, while they can look just like marble or concrete, the real benefit of these surfaces is that they are much easier to look after than natural stones, particularly very porous ones such as marble. Material like faux marble is also amazing for creating protective splashbacks with less of the financial outlay than real marble, such as Carrara. The consistent colours and patterns of the latest composites are perfect for contemporary kitchens, and choice for these have taken off over the past few years to include everything from brilliant white to zingy orange.

Perfect order

We all dream of having a well-organised kitchen. So thankfully, modern kitchen designs revolve around the ‘uncluttered look’ that helps us stay calm and cool as we cook. For most of us, the main problem in keeping our kitchens pristine is our work surfaces. While we all might want that statement — and often used — KitchenAid mixer on show, that doesn’t necessarily work with all the other kitchen paraphernalia we collect over time. Hiding clutter in open-plan kitchens is essential. So, plan plenty of storage areas such as deep pan drawers and tambour units to keep small appliances, crockery and china out of sight. Floor-to-ceiling cupboards with no handles can hide a multitude of sins. So, if you have space, they’re a good investment. But remember, for your kitchen to work efficiently, you need easy access to appliances. Place pan drawers by ovens, larders close to prep areas, and china close to the dishwasher.

Crisp-clear lines

How do you get that sleek, aerodynamic look that creates a stand-out, modern kitchen? The best way is with handle-free cabinets. The in-frame construction of kitchen cabinet doors with no handles is both modern and extremely durable, which gives this design feature an edge on others. In smaller kitchen spaces, the absence of handles helps to make a room feel bigger, while in a kitchen with lots of cabinetry, it prevents an overload of steel handles. If you don’t want to commit to all handle-less doors, then you can integrate a run of classic cabinets a contemporary edge by dressing them with sleek bar handles. For an all over modern effect, add modern built-in appliances and top with cool composite worktops. Or, mix and match your kitchen style by incorporating flat-fronted wall cabinets.

Kitchen utensils

Creating a modern kitchen is simple once you get the basics right. But if it’s all about minimalism and clean lines, what do you do about your cooking appliances? Today, there are plenty of contemporary-looking utensils and gadgets for you to choose from that give a complementary look to your modern kitchen. For example; if you have your heart set on a range cooker, choose one of the more modern steel models from Smeg, Mercury or Rangemaster. Integrate as many kitchen appliances as you want, and if possible, place items such as washing machines and tumble dryers in utility rooms. Ensure your fridge and freezer are stored behind closed doors, then keep sightlines clear by installing below-cabinet, in-ceiling or pop-up extractors. Investing in built-in cooking appliances with a sleek, glass zoned induction hob is another good move for a contemporary kitchen. Give the ideal finishing touch with a few modern-day luxuries — such as a boiling water tap, pop-up power points and cool lighting!

Advice for a contemporary kitchen:

  • Vary your levels

A tall breakfast bar next to a lower-lying island is great for providing a relaxed but modern-looking place to eat in your contemporary kitchen. You can create several levels on a peninsula with a raised area to hide the washing-up from dinner guests, or even get a stool that sits just below your breakfast bar to add an extra level to your kitchen and maximise the seating area available.

  • Simple and effective surfaces

A quick way to keep your design modern is to opt for glass or composite for your splashback. Laying large-format floor tiles and securing them with a matching grout gives the much-loved modern look, too.

  • Customise your worktops

Install very thin worktops that help your units look more like furniture. Wrap a composite work surface in a contrasting colour, or place material around the cabinetry on your kitchen islands and at the end of runs.

  • Brighten up your modern kitchen

If you played it safe until now, get creative with your choice of kitchen lighting. Plinth lights almost make base units look like they are floating above the floor, while installing cool LED strips to the interior of wall cabinets and shelves work to highlight favourite kitchen accessories in a contemporary fashion.

Going for a sleek and contemporary kitchen style with neat worktops and modern appliances not only makes your house look amazing, but it also keeps your room free of clutter giving you much more room to cook, relax and entertain!

Songmics Beauty Box Review And Competition

Songmics Inc is a top 50 seller on Amazon UK and are experts when it comes to organising your beauty products. They have created a stunning range of beauty boxes and cases that allow your to keep all your cosmetics and beauty products in one place, giving you easy access to all your products, stopping you searching around for that favourite nail polish or lippie.

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I was sent the Songmics make up storage cosmetic case in the croco pattern to review. This is a lovely large case with an aluminium frame and glossy purple alligator grained PU skin. The case has secure locks on the top, great if you are trying to avoid little ones getting to your make up (we’ve all been there.), and it has a sturdy handle, and a strap if you want to use the case in a portable capacity. (this would work well for a mobile beautician or hairdresser).

Once you open the case you find two rows of shelves on each side, and a large storage unit in the bottom that is ideal for larger bottles, brushes, even for storing a cosmetic bag, it is that large. You can create your own shelf sizes by adding plastic slats so you can make compartments that suit your needs, and these can be moved around if your needs change.

This is a really attractive looking beauty case that is also roomy, practical and strong. For less than £30 it is a great buy. With protective food pads on the bottom of the case, this is not going to be damaged when it is stored on the floor, and the adjustable and removable shoulder strap makes this portable and practical too.

Competition Time

You can win your own Songmics Make Up storage case like the one featured above by entering the competition below.

 

 

Win Songmics Make up Storage Cosmetic case croco pattern

Dealing With Mobility Problems In The Home

My dad is 63. No real age in our modern times, but in recent years, illness has taken it’s toll to the point where he now struggles with walking any sort of distance, and has resorted to using a stick when out and about. The reality is that mobility is becoming a problem that didn’t exist in the past, and that it is something, that, unfortunately will only get worse.

It is something that I can totally sympathise with. 12 years ago I was struck with sudden, debilitating pain that left me hardly able to walk and move. It came on quite suddenly, with the pain beginning in my hip area, but got much, much worse, to the point where my legs felt like dead weights that it took me all my time to move. I had to have numerous tests, including a full body scan, and it was eventually diagnosed that the pain was some sort of arthritic complaint, although not actual arthritis. Physio and hydrotherapy were used to get my feeling and strength back and eventually I recovered fully, although I can still have twinges and odd pain in colder weather.

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The worst part about the whole episode was the sheer frustration of struggling to do things we take for granted and do with ease. Walking up stairs was a real effort, stepping into the bath or shower was both difficult and painful.  Even getting into bed could be a struggle, and I often found myself unable to sleep as I was just too uncomfortable. Thankfully, companies like Millercare, who deal with mobility issues, stock a wide range of products to make life easier in every room of your home, from pillows to support your back, to bath seats that make bathtime the relaxing time it should be.

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If you have mobility problems, whether they are a natural part of growing older, or stemming from a medical issue, you can find comfort in your own home with just a few tweaks to how you live.