JUN
10
0

6 Things to do before meeting with your designer

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{Weizter} {Kitchens}

If you are planning to renovateyour kitchen, we recommend working with a kitchen designer from a recognized comapny such as Weizter. Given the investment that a kitchen If you are planning to renovateyour kitchen, we recommend working with a kitchen designer from a recognized comapny such as Weizter. Given the investment that a kitchen remodeling project involves, it is important to have the expertise of an experienced design professional to address all of the details. A kitchen designer can help you save time and money, and attain satisfying outcomes.

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1.    Develop a Wish ListMost homeowners begin the remodeling process with a “wish list” where they identify what they NEED and WANT in a new kitchen. “Needs” are the items that are essential to meeting your project objectives. “Wants” are items you’d like to include in your kitchen remodel but are optional. 
2.    Set PrioritiesNext, you will want to set priorities for your wish list. Establishing priorities can help you contain costs over the course of the project. To help you set priorities use our free Kitchen Planning Guide. In the guide you will find a handy checklist designed to help you prioritize your wish list items.

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3.    Collect Ideas and PhotosBrowse through magazines and books on kitchen planning and design ideas. Visit online galleries to view kitchen projects. Here are a few great resources:
Houzz's "Kitchen Design Photos"Pinterest's "Kitchen Design Ideas"You can also create an “ideas” book on Houzz or a Pinterest “board” to email to your designer or you can make a scrapbook with photos and design ideas that reflect what you want to include in your project. Bring the scrapbook or a mobile device (tablet or smartphone) with photos you’ve collected to your meeting.
4.    Determine Appliance OptionsWill your kitchen remodel include all new appliances, all the appliances that you currently own, or some combination? It is helpful to identify appliances early in the process because the dimensions installation requirements will be factored into the overall kitchen design. A good designer will address this with you.

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5.    Establish a Budget RangePerhaps the most impotant part of your planning is budget.  An area where people tend to get sheepish about.  Prior to meeting with a kitchen designer, it is helpful to have some idea of the budget you have to work with for your kitchen remodeling project.  A designer is knowledgeable about product lines, vendors and costs. Your designer will make suggestions to help you achieve your desired outcomes and keep within the budget limits you set for the project.  Remember, ferraris dont cost the same as other cars, so be realsitc.
6.    Develop a List of Questions to Ask Your DesignerPrepare a list of questions you would like to ask your kitchen designer at the initial meeting. Here are some suggestions:
How can the efficiency of my kitchen be maximized?Where can appliances be placed?What built-ins can be used in the design?How can pantry storage be factored into the layout?How should cabinets be organized? Discuss the purpose of each unit.Consider stackable shelves, rollouts, cup and plate racks and dividers to meet your needs.

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  126 Hits
126 Hits
JUN
03
0

Wall Finishes for your kitchen

There are many different ways to add character to a new kitchen.  Often, wall finishes are overlooked, but, could uplift an already gorgeous kitchen very easily!

Take a look at these great alternatives to paint or tiles.

1.  Wallpaper

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Now that wallpaper is stain and water-proof, it's about time it made its way into the kitchen. With new digital-printing techniques, you can have realistic finishes to your wallpaper. Choose from abstract geometric prints to patterns that replicate wood, stone and concrete

 2.  Marble

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Marble has always been associated with grandeur. Take a cue from the Ancient Greeks and drape this luxe material across not just your walls, but also your floors, countertops and even your sinks to up the opulence quota of your kitchen.

 3.  Concrete

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Another popular choice is exposed concrete. As it goes well with other materials, it easily lends itself to industrial, minimalist and contemporary styles.

 4.  Wood

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A wooden panelled wall is a great way to bring in that rustic, log cabin feel, especially if you choose ones that have pronounced grains and grooves.

5.  Exposed brick

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In this coach house conversion, the designer strips away the plaster to expose the red brick walls of her kitchen. The designer pairs them with industrial lighting, floating shelves and matt white cabinets, further complementing the rustic yet industrial interiors.

6.  Rough stone

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You can achieve that rough stone finish on the wall through masonry work or with tiles. As shown here, it can be the ideal accompaniment to a smooth all-white interior.

7.  Tile

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Metro tiles envelope this kitchen in a way that gives the space a subtle symmetry. In addition, they also offer a smooth transition from one living zone to the next.

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108 Hits
MAY
25
0

ARTWORK IN KITCHENS

The kitchen is a room, often overlooked when it comes to hanging fine art. It is true that, many kitchens are wide open, but if your space has even one wall The kitchen is a room, often overlooked when it comes to hanging fine art. It is true that, many kitchens are wide open, but if your space has even one wall (even a backsplash), or is self-contained, there are plenty of opportunities. Not only can artwork bring in color, it can set the mood, and add life and soul to sometimes sterile environments. For inspiration, have a look at how art, both figurative and abstract, is displayed in these modern kitchens.

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  114 Hits
114 Hits
MAY
18
0

Different Kitchen Island Types

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Moveable Islands

You can barely even classify this as a kitchen island, but we do have to start somewhere. Moveable islands are more like portable prep areas that you keep to the side of the kitchen rather than featuring prominently and permanently alongside your primary counters. The butcher block trolley is a familiar type of rolling "island."

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Pros: Cheaper and easy to move in and out.
Cons: Moveable islands tend to roll. These wheels tend to become unlocked with surprising frequency. When locked, these types of wheels do not provide enough grip on floors, especially when cutting or mixing on them.

Freestanding Island - non-fitted

These islands differ from the portable, moveable islands, listed above, in that they do not have wheels on the bottom. More importantly, they actually strive to emulate a "real" kitchen island. 
At just under a meter, they are the right height for prepping food. They don't have the annoying tendency of those rolling islands to slide away when you're trying to cut something.

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Pros: If you want something resembling an island, this is the way to go. 
Cons: You may be surprised at the smallness of these islands. 1.2m long tends to be the maximum length. Is that big enough for you? 

Kitchen Tables

It's got four legs and a flat top, so it's a table, yet it's positioned where the island usually is, so it must be an island. It's nothing more than a table that's used as an island for preparing food.

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Pros: Easy to bring in and "install." Easy to remove if you don't like it (it's not attached to the floor). Using a table as an island also gives your kitchen a certain Martha Stewart charm, but in a good way.
Cons: It's just an extra flat surface--no fancy frills, no extra storage, no sink, no backsplash. It's just a table.

Fitted Kitchen Island

An island built out of pre-existing materials: a base cabinet (or two or four) topped with countertop material.
Now this type of built-in island, which is fixed to the floor, is considered to be permanent. Usually, these islands range in size from 1.2m up to as long as the countertop slab size allows(without a join) or as long as your space allows (with joins).  Stone countertop sizes range from 2800m up to 3.2m.
Pros: By far, the easiest built-in kitchen island for a homeowner to build but not the cheapest. 
Cons: The back side, which is ordinarily not seen in cabinet form because it faces the wall, must be covered with a veneer or finished piece.

Fully equipped Kitchen Island

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Alternatively, if your kitchen has space for it, you can marry two base cabinets back to back. Also, you'll need to have countertop material cut "to size."
The fully functional kitchen island does everything that the primary countertops do:  electrical, sink, drainage, and ample countertop space.

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Pros: This isn't just "auxiliary counter space." This is almost an entire second kitchen.
Cons: Your costs have skyrocketed due to the addition of plumbing. The sink's supply and drainage do not conveniently tap into the main sink's lines (in the same way that a dishwasher, located next to the sink, will do).  Your island's lines run into and under the floor, eventually meeting up with main supply and drainage lines.

Dual use Kitchen Islands

Is it a kitchen island for cooking or is it a kitchen island for eating?  It can't quite make up its mind, so it has decided to be both. This island combines the two functions but still delineates them so that cooking is done on a lower level and eating on a higher level or even a lower, dining height level.
Pros: This type of island is ergonomically correct. Optimal counter height for a standing cook is 900mm. Best height for a bar top is 1.1m and seating height of 750mm.

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Cons: By providing dedicated eating space, you reduce your cooking space. There is no way you can prep food on that upper deck, even if you wanted to. With a flat cooking/eating island, you could always impinge on the eating area if you had to.

  184 Hits
184 Hits
MAY
12
0

KNOW THE DIFFERENCE...GRANITE VS QUARTZ

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Many customers face the dilemma of whether to purchase a quartz or granite worktop and often ask what is the difference. Many customers face the dilemma of whether to purchase a quartz or granite worktop and often ask what is the difference. In this article we will explain the main differences between a quartz and a granite worktop.

Granite Worktops
Granite is a natural igneous rock which is formed in the ground over millions of years. This is quarried out of the ground in blocks the size of a mini bus. It is then cut into large slabs approximately 3 meter by 1.9 meters. Finally it is polished using diamond tip polishing wheels and then shipped to South Africa if not locally sourced, ready to manufacture your granite worktops. Granite offers more random veining and uneven colour patterns, specially in the light colours compared to a quartz worktop.

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Granite Advantages
More cost effectiveSecond most durable worktop (after quartz)Natural lookHeat ResistantStrong specially dark colours

Granite Disadvantages
Porous specially light coloursRequires Re-sealing

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Quartz Worktops
Quartz Worktops is a natural crystal which is mined from the ground it is one of the hardest stones in the world. This is then crushed into a fine sand and mixed with 3 to 7% polymer resin and other components. It is then set into slabs which are approximately 3 meters by 1.4meters. These engineered slabs are then polished using diamond tip polishing wheels and then shipped to South Africa ready for fabrication. Quartz is manufactured on patented breton spa machinery by silestone, caesarstone, cimstone, zodiaq and technistone.  In recent years quartz has become more and more popular due to the fact it comes in a vast range of colours. Many quartz manufacturers have started producing quartz that look like marble, but with the exceptional properties of quartz.

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Quartz Advantages
Heat ResistantNon-porousMost durable worktopWide range of colour choiceStain ResistantAntibacterial

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Quartz Disadvantages
ExpensiveRestricted width size compared to granite.In summary quartz and granite are both very durable surfaces, with quartz having the slight edge over granite. Both are very popular choices that will add value to your property and provide years of use.

  173 Hits
173 Hits
MAY
04
0

ADDING VALUE TO YOUR HOME

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Moving home can be a complex process due to all the moving parts and logostics involved, from those first tentative glances in estate agent’s windows, browsing through Moving home can be a complex process due to all the moving parts and logostics involved, from those first tentative glances in estate agent’s windows, browsing through hundreds of potential homes that are right for you and your family, up to that moment six months after you get the keys and you finally unpack the last box, the whole process is fraught with potential anxiety.

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Add to that the fact that the average cost of moving currently stands at a record R25 000.00 and it's clear why many families are finding it makes sense for their sanity as well as their finances to stay put and improve, rather than move.


Wheres the sense in that you ask? Where would you start?

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Maybe you’re the sort of person who’d struggle to put a shelf up, but don’t let that put you off. Paying other people to do improvements can add tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands to your house price, making your home a more enjoyable place to live – BONUS– but also making it easier for you to move up the housing ladder in the future, as your home’s increased value will help bridge the funding gap to your next home.
With all home improvements, planning is key, as one in four projects ends up going over budget. We’ve all seen those TV home improvement shows where the hapless homeowner ends up bemoaning their overspend – so it’s worth doing a little extra planning work upfront to avoid this.

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Kitchen improvements are the single most expensive benifit to any home....yes, ANY home.  On average, an upgraded kitchen, when done properly, could add as much as between 6% - 10% to your homessale price.

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Things to bear in mindThe suggestions below will potentially add value to your home if carried out well. Bear in mind though that the costs and potential impact on your home’s sale value indicated here are only intended as guides – the actual figures could vary significantly. And of course, for any home improvements you should take necessary precautions to help ensure the work is completed to satisfactory quality and to time and budget:
Take the time to plan exactly what you want to achieve – consulting structural engineers and architects if necessary.

Agree the cost beforehand – set aside a strict budget but allow a contingency in case of overspend

Agree on a realistic time frame upfront, but remember there may be unavoidable delays, caused by bad weather for example

Keep up regular communication with the builders

Have a contract in place to cover both parties.  You could possibly save money with special discounts by paying in full upfront.


The popularity of open-plan kitchen and dining spaces means kitchens are increasingly the focal point of a home, providing everything from the dinner table to the place where kids do their homework.


A basic makeover, focusing on changing fixtures and fittings such as door and drawer handles and adding energy-efficient appliances, can make a surprising difference at minimal cost.


If you're wanting to fit a completely new kitchen, including appliances, research shows you can expect to pay R80 000.00 - R100 000.00 on average and in doing so could add around 6% - 10% to the value of your home.

  212 Hits
212 Hits
APR
08
0

Gloss or Matt kitchens...Which is best?

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With regards to the title of this articles post most people have already got their favorite. That's an excellent position to be in, but given that you are here reading this post we will assume that you are undecided.  Gloss or Matt Kitchen? What one is the best?  Well, put quite simply, it all boils down to 'Personal Choice'. 


The popularity of matt or gloss changes over the years. Six or seven years ago there was a real move towards a matt finish being the most sought after.  Gloss had a few years 'of fame' in between then and now ... however, in 2018, we can quite confidently say that matt kitchens are by far the most popular. We would predict that the popularity of a matt finish will continue into 2019 and even 2020.

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The key to achieving the right look in both styles is by choosing a quality product and installation. Matt and gloss kitchens can form the basis of a visually stunning design that is timeless in appearance, easy to maintain, and very durable. But if you compromise on quality, then you risk having a kitchen that lets you down in the years ahead.We have now established that a high-quality product is essential for a successful gloss or matt kitchen; however, the problem still remains on how to choose between a gloss or matt kitchen! 

Gloss Kitchens

 

The quality of installation is essential to your kitchen’s appearance, but it is also important to realize that gloss kitchen colours can look slightly different in appearance under different light settings. Eye level units will, in general, reflect more light but you can also reflect other colours. It might be worth considering the installation of LED lights which will alter the visual appearance of the doors. This is something that we have done on many occasion and can work really well in both matt and gloss kitchens but especially well with the reflective properties of a gloss door. The effect of light in the space is an elegant look, but an added bonus is that reflected light also creates the impression of a larger area, particularly within lighter gloss kitchen colours. Ideal for some smaller kitchen spaces. The smoother the surface and lighter the colour, the more light is reflected, and the bigger and brighter a kitchen space will appear. High Gloss white can really help maximize the space.  

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Gloss kitchens are easy to wipe clean making them a stylish and practical choice for families, amateur cooks, or pet owners. Gloss kitchen finishes are widely accessible in a range of materials, colours and prices too. 

  • Can make small spaces appear bigger
  • -Easy to clean- A wide range of colours
  •  Can mark easily

 

Matt Kitchens

 

As with gloss kitchens, the quality of product and skill set is one of the primary requirements for getting the best possible looking kitchen, and the matt kitchen is one of the most stunning possible looks for a kitchen.

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As suggested by its name, it is different from the gloss kitchen because it has a non-reflective surface for a more subtle look.The matt kitchen has a more solid base of colour than a gloss kitchen as it doesn't rely on a light source to maintain its colour. 

The matt kitchen can be described as one of understated class and elegance and convey a feeling of pure luxury. 

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The matt kitchen, like the gloss kitchen, is durable, scratch resistant and also easy to clean, but with the added benefit of fingerprint and smudge marks being less noticeable.  As with gloss kitchens, white doors will give the impression of a bigger space, but to a lesser degree due to the lack of reflection. However, graphite or charcoal grey is proving to be extremely popular... and looks absolutely stunning.

  • A look and feel of luxury and elegance
  •  Easy to clean
  •  A wide range of colours
  •  Finger marks less obvious  

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So is a gloss or matt kitchen best?  Ultimately, it's still about personal preference, so it’s actually not about what is best, it's about what is right for you. At Weizter we have plenty of examples of both, and we would be happy to meet up to show you samples in person so that you can make a proper comparison.  Above all, we suggest that you recognize that high quality is the key; even if it's not the lowest in price, the quality of your kitchen is what will remain when the 'price tag' has long been forgotten!

  129 Hits
129 Hits
MAR
30
0

NO WALL CABINETS...GORGEOUS OR JUST UTTERLY INSANE?

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Why oh why would anyone not want wall cabinets in their kitchen? Why oh why would anyone not want wall cabinets in their kitchen? Something interesting is happening in the world of designer kitchens and we’re excited about it!  No wall cabinets seems to be a trend that’s gaining more and more traction.  What is it about this style that makes these kitchens so damn attractive?  It must be staged for the photo shoot?  Its not practical, where would I keep all my must have cooking items?  

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Let’s understand what it is about this style that draws us in.For starters, it’s easy on the eyes and clutter free, with its clean lines and simple appeal, taking us back to stylish Parisian kitchens which make us think we’re movie stars sipping on an espresso and munching on a pain au chocolat, reading the morning news on the sidewalk of some little café.  But where would I keep my novelty mugs and my collection of pots and pans accumulated over the last 20 years?  Good point?

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Well, the truth is that we usually have more than we need and over many years become numb to the fact that our kitchens and cabinets become overrun with clutter and unnecessary knick-knacks.Think about it!  When you take your family of four away for the weekend to a self catering resort, what do they supply you with?  Do you manage? Are you able to cook and survive on the bare essentials?  Of course you miss your Kitchen Aid mixers and your Le Creuset pots and pans, but what stopping you from decluttering and offloading some of those items that you haven’t used in over 6 months?  That doughnut maker that sits at the back of your not so easy to reach corner unit or the million and one mix match Tupperware containers that nearly always fall out of your cupboards when you need that special one at the bottom of the pile.

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This style is in no way a style for everyone, but would it not be better to come home to a neat, clean de-cluttered space with a sleek low level quartz splashback or a full wall of subway tiles and just stand in awe of the beauty that is simply breath taking?  More is less?


Okay, so not everyone is happy to do away with wall units…enter the open floating shelf.  Dust trap!  Yes, it looks pretty, but is it practical?  Surely your ugly, yet essential, pots and pans wouldn’t be an attractive sight, but ask yourself the same question…how much of this stuff do I actually use frequently.  If you’re honest enough with yourself, I think you will find that you could actually make it work and at the same time offload some of your older items to people that may find better use for them.

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This style offers you that chefs kitchen look with an industrial flair.  You dont have to just do floating shelves, open units could also be a very appealing addition to your kitchen.

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The fact is, this style may not be for everyone, but it could work for everyone if we just gave our cupboards a proper clean out and stuck with the essentials.  Let Weizter show you how!

  138 Hits
138 Hits
MAR
23
0

CHOOSING THE CORRECT HANDLE FOR YOUR KITCHEN

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It’s often the most daunting task when faced with the question on which handle you would like in your kitchen.  This could be due to the fact that there are literally thousands of different handles to choose between all with some difference in colour, texture, shape and size yet when looking through samples, these all become distorted as they tend to look as though most of them would work with your design...but they wont.

I like to refer to your handles as the jewellery of your kitchen, little bits of bling that accentuate that beautifully designed kitchen and don’t detract from it but rather add to the overall design.{Weizter} {Kitchens}

Having said this, it is imperative that we take note that when it comes to handles, form should not take preference over function and that these two elements need to work seamlessly together to form a coherent bond between aesthetics and functionality.

It is key, that your handle selection looks good, but it also needs to feel good, comfortable on the grip, after all, this is the actual part of the kitchen that receives the most contact other than your work surfaces.

One could select a handle that emphasizes the length or width of a cabinet door.

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In contemporary kitchens, this is usually the case where longer sleeker handles are used to accentuate certain features.

Concealed handles are also important in this regard because they allow for one to really focus on the linear lines of the kitchen and  don’t detract from the overall design.  Although, these do tend to become dust traps and one often finds that it can be confusing as to which side the door is hinged and you’re not always certain on which side to pull open from.

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In some instances, it is worth considering no handles if you only want to focus on aesthetics.  However, the same problem with hinging presides and its worth mentioning that the push open mechanisms usually cost a pretty penny.

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In more traditional designs, one may consider a combination of two different types of hanldes and dont forget, knobs.

Knobs have evolved somewhat from your grand mothers kitchen and now come in an array of finishes from pewuter, bronze, copper, rose gold, glass and even crystal.  One could match up to three different handle types in one space as is the case in the image below.

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Whatever it is that tickles your fancy, just remember that your Weizter Designer is there to assist you and guide you.  They’ve done this before and have extensive knowledge on what works and what doesn’t work.  Ultimately, the choice is always yours.

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  106 Hits
106 Hits
MAR
17
0

Celebrity Kitchens, which is your favourite?

Prepare to be seething with jealousy in just a few moments: Your favorite stars have the most stunning kitchens ever. The world’s rich and famous really do seem to have the best taste and have effectively infused their style into their beautiful homes. For us food-obsessed people, these gorgeous kitchens are the epicenter of these glamorous lofts and mansions. Whatever your tastes are, we are absolutely certain that you will be inspired and in awe of every single one of these state-of-the-art celebrity kitchens.

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend

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Kim Kardashian and Kanye West

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Lauren Conrad

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Naomi Watts

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Roberto Cavalli

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Sarah Jessica Parker

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Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen

 

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  170 Hits
170 Hits
MAR
10
0

HOW TO TELL ITS TIME FOR A NEW KITCHEN

A kitchen renovation is a big, big project. There’s the planning to be considered, and the budget — not to mention the fact that your kitchen will be out of commission for at least a couple of months. So how do you know when you’re ready to take the plunge? Here are seven tell-tale signs that it’s time.

#7: You’re precariously short on counter and/or storage space

Do you find yourself scrambling for counter space every time you cook? Are your cabinets so packed that you have to store kitchen items in other parts of the house? If either of these things is true, a remodel that expands your storage and/or counter space could save you a lot of hassle.

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#6: The layout is awkward and/or dangerous

A poor layout can make working in a kitchen very inconvenient, while other features, like the hob only islands that were so popular in the ’80s, can be downright dangerous. (Imagine a child or passerby catching the handle of a pot cooking on the stove — not great.) Whether your layout is truly hazardous or just a bit of a pain, a reconfiguration could be worth it.

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#5: Cleaning your kitchen is a nightmare

Tile countertops with deep grout lines and mottled linoleum floor tiles that never quite look clean are just a few of the culprits. If you have a high-maintenance kitchen, you definitely know it, and you’ve probably spent time complaining about it, too. Renovating your kitchen could go a long way towards enhancing your happiness with your space, and your cleaning routine, too.

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#4: Outdated appliances are running up your electric bill

Older appliances can be a real energy suck, which means money that’s coming out of your bills every month. If you suspect that your appliances could be a drain on your budget. Over time, new appliances could actually pay for themselves.

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#3: Your kitchen just doesn’t suit your lifestyle

Maybe you have a small, cramped kitchen but you love to cook. Maybe you love to entertain, but your kitchen is separated from the rest of the home and you feel isolated from your guests. Maybe you’re a two-cook family with a one-cook kitchen. If your kitchen is significantly affecting your lifestyle, and you’re planning on being in your home for a while, this could be reason enough to renovate a kitchen that by other people’s standards might be perfectly acceptable. (Just remember to donate and/or sell those used appliances and cabinets!)

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#2: A decrepit and/or dated kitchen is dragging down the value of your home

You may not be particularly concerned about your older kitchen’s odd quirks or unusual style, but if you’re planning on selling your house anytime soon, this could be a hang-up for potential buyers, and a feature that could lower the sale price of your home. If you’re renovating only for financial reasons, a consultation with a real estate agent or kitchen designer is probably in order.

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#1: You hate the space so much you don’t actually use it

Whether it’s falling apart, or just very ugly, if you hate your kitchen so much that you can’t stand to set foot in there, and you find yourself eating out more often than you should — it might be time for a change.

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  131 Hits
131 Hits
MAR
02
0

BEST COLOURS FOR KITCHENS

Choosing paint colors can be a time-consuming and frustrating process when there are so many shades to choose from. The good news is that are certain colors that work best in specific rooms.

When it comes to kitchens, white, grey, blue, red, yellow, and green really shine. Each of these shades can do something different for the room, but they all help create a warm and welcoming space.

Warmer colors such as red are believed to stimulate the appetite and are an excellent option for kitchens. Red is incredibly versatile and there are multiple shades that would really pop in a kitchen, either on the cabinets or the walls.

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Most people start their days in their kitchens, and white can really energize a room. It feels fresh and clean, and an all-white kitchen will really wake you up the minute you step in it. You can also have more fun with your countertops and backsplash in an all-white kitchen and choose brighter colors or designs for those.

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Grey is a neutral that's been taking center stage lately in many homes. It often gets categorized as being too cold, but with the right shade, it can work wonders in a kitchen. Best of all, it pairs beautifully with a wide array of other colors and is the perfect base to build upon in a kitchen. It also works well as a countertop or cabinet color.

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Like a ray of sunshine, yellow can instantly brighten up a room. Also believed to make people hungry, yellow has a soothing quality and will instantly make people feel calm and happy in your kitchen. A good option for small spaces, yellow can make rooms feel bigger and brighter, and it pairs well with white and gray accents.

Blue is another color that works well in kitchens. When lighter shades of blue are used, they can create a crisp, clean look and are recommended for walls, cabinets, or even the ceiling. Blue is an invigorating color and works best when used sparingly; otherwise it can overpower a room. Dark blues also work well in kitchens, but it's important to accent the rest of the room with hints of white, gray or other neutral tones to keep it from feeling too intense and dark.

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Green is also a smart shade to use in the kitchen. There are many different shades to choose from including mint and apple green, which pair nicely with white and wood accents. If you're willing to be more adventurous, try emerald green, Pantone's Color of the Year for 2013. A striking shade, it can add a jolt of energy to the kitchen when used for an accent wall, cabinets, an island or even the floor.

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A GUIDE TO KITCHEN ZONES AND ZONING

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What’s the best way to set up a kitchen? If you’ve been cooking for any length of time, you’ve either figured this out for yourself, in your own kitchen — or you are still looking for that magic solution. This diagram might not be how your kitchen actually looks, but the way it divvies up the space is useful information for any kitchen. Here’s what we can learn from it.

If you’ve ever planned out a kitchen, or even just read enough cooking blogs, you’ve no doubt heard of the kitchen work triangle (the idea that in an ideal kitchen, the line drawn between the refrigerator, hob/stove, and sink creates a triangle within which the cook can easily and efficiently move about).

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But some say it’s more useful nowadays, given the variety of kitchen sizes and arrangements, to think not in terms of a triangle, but in terms of work zones. You probably can’t change the placement of the refrigerator, or where the sink is in your kitchen, but you can change your relation to these spaces and what you choose to store and set up in their vicinity.

Here are five things we learn from this diagram that you can apply to your kitchen — no matter its size or shape!

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  1. Divide your kitchen into five zones.

The basic work zones to think about in your kitchen are as follows:

  1. Consumables zone: The area used to store most of your food. This may actually be split into two zones: one for your refrigerator (fresh food) and one for your pantry or food cabinets (dry goods, oils, etc.).
  2. Non-consumables zone: The area used to store everyday dishes, including plates, bowls, glasses, and silverware.
  3. Cleaning zone: The area that contains the sink and dishwasher (if you have one).
  4. Preparation zone: The area where most of your kitchen prep happens. This may be a stretch of countertop, or a kitchen island.
  5. Cooking zone: The area that contains the stovetop, oven, or range, and possibly the microwave.

Most kitchens can be divvied up into these areas. Even if you have a tiny apartment galley kitchen, you still probably have the essentials: a fridge (consumables zone), some cabinets (non-consumables zone), a sink (cleaning zone), a little countertop space (preparation zone), and a stove (cooking zone). Once you’ve mapped out your zones, you’re ready for the next step.

  1. Store items as close to their related zone as possible.

The point of dividing your kitchen into zones is so you can store things in the right place to improve your cooking flow! For example, knives, mixing bowls, chopping boards, spices, and other prep utensils should be stored where you do most of your prep work, in the preparation zone. Cooking utensils, pots, pans, and bakeware should be stored as close to or near the stove or oven, in the cooking zone.

  1. Store your everyday dishes in the cabinet closest to the sink or dishwasher.

Digging into the details on this a little more, this diagram notes you should store your everyday dishes (the non-consumables) right next to the cleaning area, or where your sink and dishwasher are.

This makes a lot of sense when you think about it. What are you normally unloading from the dishwasher? All your everyday plates, glasses, and silverware! So whatever cabinet is closest to your dish rack or dishwasher, that’s where you should store your dishes if possible.

  1. Create prep space as close to the stove as possible.

Another thing we noticed in this diagram is how the prep area is situated next to the stove. We agree.  We note that one of the most important things in setting up a kitchen is to have adequate counter space close to the stove. Ideally you shouldn’t have to take more than a few steps to put your prepped food into a pot on your stovetop, or in the oven.

If you don’t have a lot of existing countertop space next to your stove, this is where you need to get creative! Whatever space you do have, clear it off and prioritize it as a prep space. Remove the microwave and move the fruit bowl! You need that space to chop vegetables or mix ingredients, so let it be just that.

When that’s still not enough, you might consider adding a small kitchen island.

  1. Just do your best!

Of course, keeping items precisely within their zone isn’t always entirely possible if your kitchen is tiny and you need to, say, store your bakeware on top of the cabinets, or the only available pantry space is in a cabinet across the room from the fridge. But this idea of seeing your kitchen as a collection of zones and grouping things together by their purpose is something to work towards! There will always be exceptions unless you have a perfect kitchen. (Does anyone?)

 

 

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CLIENTS DESIGN AND BRIEF

Often as designers, we are tasked with trying to understand our clients needs and requirements.  Trying to differentiate between the needs, the wants and the nice to haves all while having to consider a budget at the end of the day.  Easy?  Never!  Which is why we spend so much emphasis on meeting with all the decision makers involved with your new kitchen and really try and deliver something that you will all love...not just once its installed, but 10, 15 even 30 years down the line!

Below are some images of designs where one of our clients was specific about their requirements.

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We ticked all the boxes:

  1. The kitchen needs to lend itself to the style of the house, contemporary yet under rated.
  2. There needs to be an introduction of timber to compliment the white high gloss on the doors.
  3. We need to use quartz counter tops.
  4. The appliances had already been purchased, so we needed to incorporate existing appliances in this design.
  5. The space needs to be practical from a cooking perspective and needs to flow seamlessly from kitchen to the living areas, namely the dining room and lounge.
  6. The kitchen would need to allow for seating as it is a family home and our client often entertains.
  7. Only soft close doors and drawers would do.
  8. The budget was also something that needed to be very seriously considered.
  9. We would need to have this kitchen delivered and installed by the end of March. No later. Definitely doable.

Tell us what you think!  Contact us so we can help turn your dream into a reality through our professional designers and world class factory!

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Appliances - Built in VS Integrated

In today’s modern world, choosing appliances can be very overwhelming.  One trend that is becoming increasingly popular is that of built in and integrated appliances, often the line between built in and integrated become a blur.  We hope to explain the differences in this post to aid you in choosing your appliances a little more effectively for your requirements.

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Although similar in their function of creating a more cohesive, sleek and custom fitted look, they are however, not the same.  Lets take a look at the differences.

Built in appliances are designed to be visible.  You will always see them, however, they are usually quite attractive with stainless steel accents and tinted glass fronts.  Some have stylish LED light features and colour accents.

Often appliances such as ovens, microwaves and coffee machines etc, do create some sort of focal point in the kitchen and do add a very contemporary look and feel to the environment. Appliances such as fridges, dish washers and washing machines are considered free standing, which means they are not secured or fitted to any of the cabinetry.  What does this mean in terms of giving them a built in look?

Well, these appliances, for one usually always protrude past the counter space or side panels.  We can make them look “built in” by creating sides and tops, however, there is always a gap between these sides and the appliances.  Fridges for example now come in many different sizes and depths vary drastically, some as much as 900mm deep which means that they would stick past your cabinets by at least 300mm...that’s a whole ruler length!  Unfortunately, there is often very little that can be done to overcome this dilemma without adequate space.

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Integrated appliances on the other hand are designed to blend in seamlessly with your kitchen and the finish you select.

These appliances don’t come with a fancy front, but rather, a bland, usually white front with holes for brackets to be mounted to.  These bland doors are there so that your kitchen supplier can add the same finsh as what is in your kitchen to your appliances.

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Appliances that usually get integrated include more commonly, fridges, freezers and dish washers.  Occasionally you are able to get integrated washing machines and tumble dryers as well.

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Open Plan VS Closed Kitchens

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There will always be people that choose one side or another, open plan or closed.  Let's look at the benefits of each.

Open plan kitchens are typically better geared for entertaining or for families where you can have constant interaction with your guests or children, perhaps while you supervise their homework or with friends over a glass of wine.

Open plan kitchens generally allow for better lighting as they are usually situated in close proximity or adjacent to the lounge or dining room, areas which typically have larger windows for more light.  So once existing walls have been removed, this would allow for better illuminosity (natural light).

However, the cost of the removal of walls, tiles, relocating of plumbing and electrical points could prove costly and perhaps not even worth the exercise.  Funds could then perhaps be better utilized on upgrading your new kitchen with soft close doors and drawers or better appliances.

Another downside of open plan kitchens is that regardless of how good your extraction appliance is, there will always be lingering cooking smells in the kitchen which would now permiate the rest of the house as well.  not good if you dont really enjoy the smell of your cooking.

Noise is another factor to consider.  As there are no walls to absorb sound, it does tend to travel more easily.

Something to consider is that your new open plan kitchen would generally need to be kept pretty neat and tidy as it will now be on "display"for guests to see.

Closed kitchens are considered more private and intimate which is great if youve been cooking up a storm and the kitchen is in a bit of a state...simply close the door and worry about the cleaning later.

However;  closed kitchens do tend to isolate the cook from interacting wirh guests, so if entertaining is a high priority, open plan is probably better suited to your lifestyle.

Besides being able to close the door and forget about the mess in the kitchen, the number one complaint regardign closed kitchens is that they tend to "trap"smells and are typically noisey areas.

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