5 Ways to Add a Hint of Style to Your Kitchen

Kitchens can be quite dull if we let them, yet they’re also one of the places in the house where we all spend the most amount of time. It’s not just all about dishwashing, cooking, cleaning and oven care, it’s also important to make the kitchen a lovely and fun place where you enjoy to spend time on.

A kitchen refurbishment might not be up there on the list of “things to do before the Christmas come around”. Yet that’s not to say you should overlook it, as injecting a bit of style into your kitchen needn’t be too time intensive nor costly.

Here are five ways you can add a bit of style to this part of your life, particularly if this room is the hub of your home.

Add New Blinds

Kitchen blinds add so much to a room, they are stylish, particularly if your style tends towards minimalism, and they also help to keep your room energy efficient but helping to retain heat in Winter, and keeping the room cool in Summer.

Neat fit blinds, of the sort that DirectBlinds.co.uk are so good at, are ideal if you have strange sized windows as they can be made to measure, and can also be designed in a range of styles and colours so they can be a real feature of your kitchen and can suit your style of kitchen.

Display Artwork

Putting up something fashionable and cool on your walls is one way to inject a lot of style into your kitchen. Yet you needn’t have to take to just the walls either. Consider putting artwork or attaching stylish trinkets or items to your appliances too. A painting can look just as good framed up on your fridge freezer if you choose wisely and place it right.

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Colour

Taking to exposed parts of your kitchen and touching them up with well-chosen shades or colours of paint can also really help transform the look and style of a kitchen. Stay away from metal and look for paint-easy surfaces instead. Shelves or furniture work well, but only if you think paint can actually improve the look of them. Sometimes the rustic look actually works better!

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Sometimes adding a bit more style to a kitchen can be achieved as easily as moving around a few pieces of furniture or better arranging the space. Look at what you have in the kitchen currently and see if you can’t minimise it and add space or otherwise move things around to compliment each other and help bring attention to other interesting parts of the space. Perhaps you can add things to shelves and table-tops that can make your kitchen look that little bit cooler.

Lighting

Finally the way you light your kitchen can make massive changes in the how the space looks and feels. Opt for elegant lighting with chandeliers or modern up-lights and you can really change the look of a tired kitchen to something a whole lot new and fresher.

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Adding a hint of style to your kitchen is something all fashion-conscious moms might want to think about. A few simple changes can really make a big enough impact to really transform the way you think about your home.

The average cost of a kitchen per region

House prices vary hugely across the UK by region, but are renovation prices also affected? The cost of a kitchen differs widely throughout the UK. From disposable income and the size of a home to the size of a kitchen and the extravagance of appliances, the budget and subsequent cost of a kitchen renovation can range from hundreds to thousands of pounds. But what about the region? Does that also affect kitchen prices?

According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), in 2015, Kensington & Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham was the local area with the highest gross disposable household income (GDHI) per head (£52,298), more than two and a half times the UK average. Haringey and Islington sat in the top ten (£27,153) and Nottingham had the lowest GDHI per head (£12,779). Your overall monthly income will affect how much disposable income you have, and a higher disposable income gives you more opportunities to invest in a bespoke kitchen design.

The Telegraph, with the help of estate agents Savills, mapped out where the largest homes were being built in the UK in 2015. Their findings showed Oxford and Bournemouth to be the top two areas with the smallest new-build homes. Guildford and the New Forest were placed in the top ten areas with the largest new-build homes, averaging at 146 m² and 141 m², respectively. One of the best parts of developing a new-build property is reaching the stage of choosing the kitchen and bathroom suites. Often the most expensive investments, the kitchen and bathroom provide homeowners or developers with the opportunity to add a splash of luxury into the home.

For many homeowners, the kitchen is the heart of the home, and consider it a multi-purpose space for the family. Open-plan kitchen designs have helped create spaces that homeowners can use for more than just cooking. From hosting parties and having family dinners, to breakfast and homework stations, the open-plan kitchen has almost limitless purposes. And what’s more, open-plan spaces have the potential to make you money, too. Research conducted by the National Association of Estate Agents revealed that opening up space and kitchen makeovers are within the top four home improvements that will add value to a property.

The English Housing Survey found that the average kitchen was around 10m² in area, although 5% were smaller than 5m² and 16% were larger than 15m². Not surprisingly, kitchen size varies considerably with the type and size of the property and so, larger kitchens generally require more furniture. If an investment is made in the quality and durability of cabinets, the renovation will cost a little more than selecting lay-on-door styles.

With all things considered, the average cost of a kitchen varies and region plays a small role in helping you decide on how much to spend on your new space. Instead, the cost can be broken down by house price, house size, and homeowner income. According to the 2017 Kitchen Trends Report from Houzz, the average budget and spend for kitchen renovations in UK homes is between £10,001 – £25,000, with 22% of homeowners spending between £25,000 – £50,000 and 10% spending over £50,000.

disposable income and the housing region are the main factors which influence the average cost. It goes without saying that a bigger house, with a bigger kitchen, is probably owned by someone who earns a larger salary and therefore spends more on a kitchen renovation, than someone living in a small, one-bedroom flat. However, it’s wise to also be aware of the costings of extravagant appliances, the finish of the cabinets and the construction of the furniture, as these will also affect the end cost of a new kitchen.

Making Your Kitchen Cosy This Winter

The clocks have gone back, the nights are drawing in and temperatures have definitely dropped. Yes, Winter is almost upon us. Brrrr.

If you’re are planning a new kitchen, then you might well have spent a lot of time pondering the type of bespoke cabinetry you want or worktops, splashback materials such as acrylic sheeting and the appliances you and your family will need to keep things running smoothly. You might have even started to think about lighting and wall colours but the one thing that can often make or break the usability of a kitchen – particularly during the winter months – is often not given nearly enough thought.

How you heat your kitchen, whether it’s radiators, a cast-iron range that runs the central heating, or underfloor heating, your choice will have a huge impact not just on how you use your kitchen when it’s complete but also how you design the room from its inception. Kitchens are often the hub of the family home, used for dining, chatting, standing around and drinking coffee, but none of this will happen if the room is cold when the oven is off.

BACK TO BASICS

The key to a heating system that works efficiently is a good boiler. When you’re planning your kitchen design, it might be worth factoring in a new boiler rather than repairing it if yours is more than 15 years old as they’re not nearly as energy efficient as new models. Updating an old system to an A-rated condensing boiler could reward you with a 90% increase in efficiency. Also, replacing a boiler could free up room for more cupboards or worktops and you’ll benefit from instant hot water if you opt for a condensing combi-boiler.

CHOOSING YOUR TYPE

  • Radiators

For many years, central heating systems running a series of radiators have been the heating of choice. But although most homes already have these in place, you can update them from dated 1970s flat panel models to one of the many stunning styles on offer from specialists such as Bisque or Aestus. This can totally update your room, or can tie in with your period features.  For modern kitchens look at ladder-style vertical radiators in sleek white and steel finishes and for classic kitchens pick something a little more period in it’s look like Bisque’s Classic range, which echoes Edwardian shapes.

If you’re particularly eco-minded then aluminium models are a good option, as they heat up and cool down much faster than traditional radiators, which will save both time and energy.

One thing you should do if considering radiators is ensure you have just the right amount to heat the room. There are aplenty of online calculators to help you do this – just pop in the room’s dimensions, the number of windows and the calculator will give you the BTUs or wattage required.  Also look at the size of your rad so it doesn’t swamp your room.

  • Underfloor heating

A great option if your kitchen is being designed from the floor up; underfloor heating gives comfortable radiant heat and can deliver great savings too.

Depending on what type of heating you opt for, it can be used under most types of flooring, including: stone, tile, wood and vinyl. It’s best to check your floor is a suitable match before you go ahead and invest, but a large kitchen with porcelain or ceramic tiles are almost always a perfect fit with underfloor heating.

There are two options, electric and wet systems. Electric flooring is easier to fit, being a network of wire elements on a mesh that is placed below the flooring or wet systems, which use water pipes below the floor. An electric system is easier to lay and can be retro-fitted fairly easily if you’re laying a new floor, just check with your builder first. Wet systems require more work and are better suited to renovations such as new extensions or completely new builds.

One of the biggest benefits of underfloor heating is that you don’t have to give over valuable wall space to radiators, meaning you can often include more cabinets for additional space and bespoke storage solutions. This is great news if you are struggling for space. It is also vital to have your kitchen design finalised before the pipes or matts are laid for the flooring, as it would be an absolute waste to heat built-in cupboards, or under appliances. A floor plan from your expert designer will help any heating engineer advise not only the best pattern to lay the floor in but also where to place the controls on the walls. Using a timed thermostat means that you can set the heating on to warm the room just enough so it’s a little easier to step into your kitchen on a frosty winter morning.

  • Cast-iron ranges

While an ‘always-on’ Aga is often the traditional choice in farmhouse designs and looks very attractive and rustic, it will provide a radiant heat to warm your kitchen on a winter’s morning but it can’t run a central heating system. If you want your heat-store range to do that, then opt for models from Stanley or Rayburn, which can often run up to 20 radiators.

  • Go mobile

Finally, consider investing in an app-controlled heating system such as Hive or Nest so you can switch on your heating, using your phone, wherever and whenever you feel the need with great ease.