MAY
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Dramatic Black Kitchens - Make a Bold Statement!

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We see sparkling white kitchens everywhere and they do look beautiful, however have you considered a dramatic and chic black kitchen instead that can be just as functional and just as aesthetically pleasing! A space dressed in black is very timeless and sophisticated, not to mention it can create a cozy living environment with a lot of added warmth. This would be ideal for cooking family meals and entertaining guests! Whats even better, is that you do not have design your kitchen in straight out black to make a strong visual impact. Since black is a neutral hue, it can be incorporated in so many ways, from all black to adding accents of white, brass, gold, even pink! 
 
Black can be used in any space from modern to country style. So whether you go with a monochromatic color scheme or infuse another color into your kitchen design, you will be amazed at just how stunning this aesthetic can be.
 
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Tips to turn your kitchen into a cosy corner of home

While kitchens were once considered the domain of moms and grandmothers reserved solely for cooking and baking, more people are starting to realise that kitchens are a space where families and friends can gather together to spend quality time.
Turn your kitchen into a warm and welcoming space that everyone wants to spend time in.
 
Open it up
For kitchens that are separated from the rest of the house by walls and doors, consider removing a wall or two to create a more open space that’s easier for the family to access. Creating an open-plan kitchen provides a more flowing and brighter space that the whole family can enjoy.
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Add comfortable seating
The key to turning a kitchen into a family space is ensuring there’s enough room for everyone to sit comfortably, and that it’s spacious enough for everyone to be in there at the same time. If space allows, add a round breakfast table with cushioned chairs, which doubles as a place to eat, do homework, chat and work if need be. You can also make better use of your kitchen island or breakfast nook if you have one, by adding comfortable bar stools for extra seating.
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Keep the decor simple
A family room should be a space where everyone can relax. The last thing you want to do, particularly if you have small kids, is decorate the space with items that are highly valuable and breakable. Instead, why not frame any painting or pieces of art that the kids have done and put those up on the wall – this gives kids a feeling of pride and sense of belonging.
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Create schoolbag stations and homework nooks
Make room for the kids to complete their homework while you prepare dinner, by creating a homework area where the kids can sit, as well as a station where they can leave their completed work for you to check once they’re done. This is a great way to encourage the family to spend more time together – even if it’s just completing the day’s responsibilities – not to mention keep an eye on their progress in school work. 
You can even put up a white board or paint one of the walls with black chalk paint available from your local hardware store, to help with maths problems or even just drawing out spider diagrams.
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Enhance the lighting and colour
Rooms that are bright and filled with natural light are instantly more inviting. Change up the fluorescent bar lights and replace them with stylish down lights that can be positioned according to your needs. Open the blind or curtains during the day to let the sunlight in, or if your kitchen doesn’t get that much light, add a few lamps that bring warm shades of light into the space. 
If your kitchen is on the smaller side, opt for lighter colours in natural shades to make the space seem bigger, and add a few mirrors to reflect light across the room.
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KITCHEN DESIGN MISTAKES THAT MAKE CLEANING DIFFICULT

Make sure your dream isn’t a nightmare to tidy
The kitchen is the most used room in the home, so it’s no wonder it gets untidy the quickest. Unless dust, stains and clutter are kept in check, they can easily take over. That’s why it’s important to consider cleanliness when designing a kitchen. It’s an overlooked area and there are common design mistakes that make cleaning a challenge.
 
To keep your kitchen clean, however, you don’t have to resort to a stainless steel space with a drain in the floor. Simplicity and streamlining are often enough to keep kitchen life tidy and organised. Here are some of the most common design mistakes that make cleaning a kitchen difficult. Heed them and keep your kitchen spotless long term.
 
 
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Mistake 1: You installed lots of shiny surfaces
High-gloss kitchens look great on design blogs and in architectural magazines. They are, however, a challenge to maintain in real life. Aside from being easy to wipe down, stainless steel, mirrors and lacquered finishes show off smudges and fingerprints. Consider going matte with large surfaces, or opt for burnished and brushed finishes.
 
If you have already outfitted your kitchen with high-shine materials, keep surfaces clean with a streak-free glass cleaner, or simple soap and warm water.
 
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Mistake 2: Your commitment to open storage is waning
Open cabinets and storage have been trending for a while now, but they’re not for everyone. Families and busy workers in particular. If you are considering open storage and cabinets think about your lifestyle first. Do you like everything in its place? Are you vigilant about putting away ingredients as soon as you use them? If you answer “no” to either think twice about open storage.
 
When open storage is in place, you can keep them in good order with minimal effort. First, store packaged products outside of eye-level or in the periphery. Put dry goods in matching glass jars. Pack loose items in sleek boxes. Finally, use your open storage for decorative dishes and keep more practical items stowed away.
 
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Mistake 3: So many seams and gaps
Once upon a time, traditional cabinets and tile countertops may have seemed like lovely design choices. Now, they’re a horror story. Stained or filled with inaccessible dirt and dust. The more seams and gaps a kitchen has, the more opportunity dust has to make itself at home.
 
To minimize the chance of seams and gaps gaining grit, select frameless cabinets and have a professional install stone or laminate countertops. Use an under mount kitchen sink with an edgeless drain to allow water and food to slip by. Gaps may be unavoidable with tile, but a darker grout hides stains.
 
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Mistake 4: Your kitchen is stocked with ornate details and knick-knacks
Even if minimalism isn’t your thing, you have to admit, the kitchens are easy to keep clean. Ornate details on dining furniture, textured surfaces and lots of accessories and textiles attract dust and even grease. They require much more than a wipe down to keep clean. If your kitchen is multipurpose – with a computer station or child’s play area, it’s even more difficult to maintain a tidy appearance.
 
To avoid a dust trap, keep the design simple. You don’t have to go minimalist. Mid-century modern and Shaker kitchens are both traditional, yet simple, design styles. If your space is multipurpose, keep items that create clutter in creative storage solutions. Or, you could consider a clear out. Minimal living is more pervasive than ever. Have a friend help you figure out which items are keepers and which can be passed onto someone else.
 
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Mistake 5: Your cleaning supplies are a world away
In this busy day and age, maintaining a kitchen’s cleanliness is harder than ever before. Storing your cleaning supplies in another area of your home doesn’t make life any easier. Let’s face it; if your broom is in the basement you’re not going to be super eager to sweep up after dinner.
 
If you’re in the midst of a kitchen redesign, create ample storage space with cleaning supplies in mind. A storage closet or pantry with space for a broom and cleaning products is the ideal. Though, a drawer will suffice in a smaller kitchen. If your space is small, keep a few products at hand. A multi-surface spray, sponge, and hand broom with a dustpan are a great start. Having them within reach makes maintenance cleaning much more appealing.
 
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CHOOSING YOUR COUNTERTOP EDGE STYLE

Small details like countertop edges can make a huge difference in your kitchen. It’s no secret that planning and building a new kitchen is quite a process. The amount of thought that needs to go into this process is enough to make anybody’s head spin. Choosing cabinetry, deciding on a colour palette, and choosing the right tiles for your kitchen floor are just some of the decisions to be made. Yet, one element that is often overlooked when planning a kitchen renovation, is what countertop edge style to choose. Most people will spend a lot of time and energy in choosing the perfect countertops. What many people don’t realise though, is that there’s more to it than simply selecting the right material and colour. You have to consider the edge as well. It might not seem so at first, but getting the edges right will make a world of difference to the look of your countertops. There are some that believe kitchen countertop edges don’t matter and that edges are merely a personal preference. What these people overlook, however, is how highly decorative edges can create an illusion of making the space look smaller. The eye is naturally drawn to these edges, creating a focal point that ignores the overall kitchen look. In a small kitchen, getting your countertop edges right is a crucial design consideration.
 
Naturally, there are many things to consider when selecting an edge profile for your countertops. The most obvious first consideration is style. The edge you choose should match naturally with the rest of your project, or you run the risk of having a kitchen that’s visually unbalanced.
 
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So what are the options when it comes to choosing the perfect kitchen countertop edge? Below are 3 main options: 
 
Single Bevel
A single-bevelled countertop edge is a square edge cut along the top at approximately a 45-degree angle. This is a very popular edge because its sleek straight lines can add a touch of sophistication to a small kitchen without overwhelming the rest of the elements in the space. Countertop edges should complement the overall look, never dominate it. The single bevel edge often also looks like more expensive and exclusive than it actually is, depending on what countertop material you choose.
 
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Bullnose
Bullnose is a slightly more refined countertop edge. It’s a smooth, rounded edge that is an understated option that suits most material choices. Generally, there are two types of bullnose edges: full and half bullnose. Both options give a soft touch to any countertop and are known as timeless choices that often surfaces in traditional kitchen design. A full bullnose edge makes the counter edge appear slimmer, and in some ways, more modern. These edges are also more child-friendly – as straight edges may cause injury.
 
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Eased Edge
An eased edge style is characterised by a subtle softened square that soothes the hard, sharp edges that you’ll commonly find on laminate countertop options. The eased edge style is another great option for small kitchens. When used in combination with a complementary surface material, this style will create a sophisticated, modern look. It’s also an ideal edge choice for kitchens with oddly shaped counters and strange angles.
 
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Colour Blocking in the Kitchen

Colour blocking, the trend of using bold blocks of colour, has been in popular culture since the 1940’s. After losing some prominence for a few decades, colour blocking is back, and it looks like it’s here to stay. Because of its inherently linear design, the kitchen is one of the rooms in the home where the trend can easily be incorporated. Whether you choose to bring colour blocks into the interior design of your kitchen through the cabinetry, floors, walls or accessories, it’s a great way to add vibrancy and personality to your kitchen. Here are seven ways to successfully incorporate colour blocking.
 
 
COLOUR BLOCKING FOR THE MINIMALIST KITCHEN
Liven up a very minimalist kitchen with colour blocking. Use a vintage palette of dusty pink, mustard, bright orange, light blue and sea green to provide a fresh take on bringing colour into the kitchen without cluttering it. 
 
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CONTRASTING COLOURS 
Contrasting colours are often used in colour blocking. Two colours that are equal in intensity are applied in equal measure to provide a harmonious interior. Choose one colour as a background colour and add the contrasting colour sprinkled on different surfaces throughout the room. 
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FOCAL FLOORING IN BRIGHT COLOURS
Give your kitchen a completely modern make-over with brightly coloured epoxy floors. Use the same colour on a few cabinets randomly placed around the room. The success of the design lies in the stark contrast provided by the colours.
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SUBTLE COLOUR BLOCKING TOUCHES
Colour blocking doesn’t necessarily have to be bold and bright: any light colour can be introduced to a room with equal success.
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A COLOUR BLOCK ISLAND
There is no better way to give centre-stage to colour in the kitchen than with a centrally-placed kitchen island. The island is allowed to be the main focus in this room, with no other features detracting from its prominence. 
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UPPER CABINETS IN MULTIPLE COLOURS
Take colour blocking to a new level and provide a strong focal point. Working with several different shades of colours. Use black painted splashback to strengthen the intensity of the colours further.
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COLOUR BLOCKING ON ALL SURFACES
There are no rules when it comes to colour blocking. Use a different colour treatment on different surfaces. Using brightly coloured bar stools provide a fresh pop of colour against a neutral island unit. Takes the trend further by extending the coloured wall cladding into the adjacent living areas.
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Kitchen Faucets

To find the perfect kitchen faucet, tap into the details
 
Though their most practical application is to provide hot and cold water, kitchen faucets play a large role in a kitchen’s design. There are so many to choose from. The styles and costs vary wildly. Simply put, one faucet does not fit all!
 Though investing in a kitchen faucet may seem overwhelming. The right information makes it much easier. Here are some practical how-to's for you to consider while buying a new kitchen faucet.
 
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Looking for a new kitchen faucet is lots of fun, but there are a few functional considerations:
 
1. Mounting style
The most typical kitchen faucet mounting styles are: countertop mounted, sink mounted and wall mounted.
 
2. The internal parts
Are they individually replaceable? If so, you won’t have to replace the entire kitchen faucet if a part breaks.
 
3. Valve type
Ceramic disk valves are the latest faucet technology. Two ceramic disks control the water flow and form a seal when locked together. They are the most expensive valve type, but the most reliable. Compression valve faucets are the cheapest, but most prone to leaks. Ball valve faucets have a rotating ball that regulates water flow. Cartridge valve faucets use a rubber O-ring to control water flow.
 
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Brass is by far the best material to invest in. Ideally, both the body and the controls of the faucet should be made of brass.
In terms of finish, brushed nickel is exceptionally robust. An additional coating with a material like titanium prevents scratches and tarnishing. Chrome is the least robust, but the least expensive.
Brass, nickel and pewter most readily hide fingerprints and smudges. Chrome is the most difficult to keep visibly clean.
 
There are currently 3 distinct kitchen faucet handle styles. Each has its pros and cons. One will be right for you.
 
A single handle faucet enables flow and temperature control in a fluid motion. Though the temperature control is not as precise as a two-handle faucet, they are popular because they are very convenient.
With its separate hot and cold handles, a two-handle faucet enables more precise temperature control. They are the most traditional faucet, but managing two temperatures separately can be an inconvenience.
Hands-free kitchen faucets are a fairly recent innovation with a range of benefits. They minimize mess. Children and those with mobility issues can access water much easier than with a traditional faucet. The only con? Temperature control is still done by hand.
 
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Consider all of the details brought up thus far. Determining the correct faucet for you and your kitchen relies on a combination of function and style.
Functionally, consider your lifestyle. If you have young children, a durable and easy to clean finish is ideal. If accessibility is an issue, then handle-free may be a good option. Pullout handles are great for cleaning up the sink after heavy food preparation.
 
Stylistically, think about your current kitchen design. It should be well established by the time you are ready to purchase a faucet. If your kitchen is sleek and contemporary, a simple faucet design with clean lines is best. On the other hand, if you have a farmhouse-style kitchen, a wall-mounted kitchen faucet with a patina finish and two-handled control would suit. A chef’s kitchen demands a high-arc stainless steel model with pullout nozzle.
 
Modern, unadorned and angular designs are on-trend. Ninety-degree angles are making a comeback. Pullout nozzles remain highly desirable. In terms of finish, gold and warm metals are trendy and timeless options. Matte black is thoroughly ahead of the curve.
A faucet with a high arc, however, is always hot stuff.
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MAR
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Two-toned kitchen cabinets is a trend that’s not going away

Two-toned kitchen cabinets is a trend that’s not going away

Not surprisingly, many kitchen renovators are opting for two-tone when it comes to choosing cabinetry. And it doesn’t take much to realise why this style is catching so many people’s attention. Whether or not you’re having your kitchen designed professionally, or doing the renovation yourself, two-toned kitchen cupboards and cabinetry add an inviting dynamic to your space.

There are many different colour combinations to choose from; but in the end, the goal is to create a cohesive space with just the right amount of contrast. Here’s how to get the look right:

 

Choose a focal point

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The simplest way to apply the two-tone trend to your kitchen is to decide on one set of cupboards to turn into a focal point for the space. A kitchen island, for example, is an excellent starting point, because of its central position in the layout. But don’t feel limited by the arrangement of your kitchen. Before making any hard-and-fast decisions, try planning out the area to see how your choice of colour will draw the attention to various angles of the room.

After you have decided on the where to apply your focus point, it’s time to think about the colour. If you decide to go this route, remember that your choice has to be appealing to the eye. It could be a big bold shade that stands out or something a little more subtle. Some people like to opt for trendy colours like dark blues and pastel yellows.

 

Thinking past paint

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If you are not a bold colours kind of person, don’t worry. There are plenty of other ways to get the two-tone look. Certainly one of them is to use separate materials for your cabinet design. A wood finish would be a good option for at least part of the design. That way you can combine your wood element with laminate for a stylish, contemporary look, or a glass and aluminium combo to give the kitchen an industrial feel.

If you’re planning on mixing and matching, remember that the design is always the key to success. Your starting point should be to choose your kitchen style and the materials you’d like to use. By doing so, you can ensure that the final product will exceed expectations.

 

Darker on the bottom

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Another common way to incorporate the two-tone trend is to use a darker colour on your bottom cabinets and a lighter colour on the top. On the one hand, it’s a design that lets you make a statement by using a bold colour on the bottom to help ground the space. On the other, the lighter top cabinets will make the space to look bigger by drawing the eye upward.

If this is your chosen two-tone route, you have a choice to make. You could pair a bold shade with a lighter colour. Or, you can consider an Ombre appearance. In both instances, the key is to copy the lighter colour in other areas throughout the room.

 

Don’t forget coordinating elements

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Whatever you decide when it comes to your kitchen cabinets, there’s one key element to bear in mind: every single one of your cabinets should have some form of coordinating detail. Consider that if you have two very different sets of cabinetry in the same space, it’s super important to include a few details that indicate that they belong together.

You can go about tying your cabinets together in a number of ways. You can, for example, try using two different shades of the same colour as an equaliser. But if you’d rather include 2 distinct hues, you should seriously consider using the same hardware throughout the space to run a thread through the whole look.

The two-toned kitchen cupboard design trend is here, and it looks like it’s going to be around for quite a while. Use the ideas above as your design inspiration to create a look that suits your style and taste. With a few little tweaks, you can create an on-trend look you’ll love for years to come.

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MAR
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THESE ARE THE TOP KITCHEN DESIGN TRENDS FOR 2019

This year is all about refreshing your cooking space.

In the New Year, many homemakers will look to refresh their favourite spaces, often starting in the kitchen. In 2018, we saw everything from banquette-style seating to two-toned kitchen cabinetry, and will continue to see innovative new designs prevail in the New Year. 

Whether you're planning to remodel your kitchen or get inspired for a simple refresh, there's a whole new crop of design trends to consider for 2019.

 

CLEVER, CONCEALED STORAGE

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Clients continue to gravitate towards concealed and clean integration in our kitchen designs, with maximized and clever storage solutions.

 

PEWTER AND GUNMETAL HARDWARE

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Pewter and gunmetal are the trends we love. They're not as harsh as matte black or as specific as brass or gold, but it gives fixtures some texture and depth

 

OPEN SHELVING

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A new trend is replacing kitchen upper cabinets with metal, wood or glass shelving. This adds to the overall bold statements many want to make in their homes, forgoing the minimalism that was popular in years past.

 

VINTAGE VIBE

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We’ll continue to see traditional elements and forms in harmony with modern design in 2019. Think honed, natural stone, organic basalt tiles, hand wrapped rattan furniture and vintage-inspired fixtures and lighting.

 

COLORED UPHOLSTERY

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In 2019 we are officially closing the door on pure white kitchens. Even if it's just one element of accent color such as blue counter stools, a patterned roman shade or powdered coated island pendants. Pops of colour will be sneaking into the pure white blank slate of kitchens past.

 

USE OF WOOD

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People are increasingly seeking connections from nature. It creates a welcoming and calming environment, and is a timeless, versatile material we love. We see a growing desire for lighter, airier spaces, and wood is a wonderful material to incorporate to achieve this.

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MAR
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The work triangle and work zones

The concept of the kitchen work triangle was developed in the 1940s by the University Of Illinois School Of Architecture. The goal was to show that by designing and building a kitchen with efficiency in mind, overall construction costs could be reduced. 

The aim of the kitchen triangle is to create the best work area possible in this busiest of rooms. 

Since the three most common work areas in the average kitchen are the stove, the sink, and the refrigerator, the kitchen work triangle theory suggests that by placing these three areas in proximity to each other, the kitchen becomes more efficient. If you place them too far away from each other, you waste a lot of steps while preparing a meal. If they are too close together, you end up with a cramped kitchen without adequate space to prepare and cook meals.

Here are some examples of standard kitchen layouts with their work triangle:

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The kitchen triangle concept has faded in recent years, as it's become somewhat outdated. For instance, the kitchen triangle is based on the idea that one person prepares the entire meal, which isn't necessarily the case in 21st-century families. 

And open concept kitchens which are popular with newer-style construction often don't require such uniform layout. In these kitchens, the design tends to focus less on a work triangle and more on kitchen work zones that may even spill over into the dining or living areas. One example of a work zone would be placing the dishwasher, sink, and trash can close to each other to make cleaning up easier.

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Remember, your lifestyle should determine the functionality of your kitchen, not the other way around. The work triangle is not a law, merely a suggestion. Although it can be a helpful tool, don't let it inhibit you from thinking outside the triangle when it comes to designing your kitchen.

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329 Hits
MAR
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Minimalist Kitchens

The kitchen is probably one of the busiest places in the house. Keeping it neat and organised most of the time can be a real struggle, especially if cleaning is not your favorite activity. A minimalist kitchen may be the answer to your cleaning dilemma.

When designing a minimalist kitchen, only include the essentials. Each piece should serve a specific purpose. The rest should be removed. There is more than just one way to incorporate minimalism in your kitchen. It depends on your taste and the place you have.

Below are some ideas for a minimalist kitchen

 

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Focal Points in the kitchen

Focal Points in the kitchen

Whether you’re planning a new kitchen or doing what you can to improve an existing one, adding a focal point can make the interior of your kitchen exciting. Always remember that the main aim when creating a focal point for your kitchen is to draw attention to that specific space or area. There are many ways that you can do this, both decoratively and by design. Creating a focal point by design will usually involve creating a main area of interest.

 

For example, you can add a large island to your kitchen.

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A painted kitchen island could make this focal point even more interesting.

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Open shelving where you can display neatly packed groceries, homemade jams and pickles, even bought jams and pickles decanted into glass jars, or even your collection of cook books is another way to incorporate a focal point.

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Colour can be a great aid too, particularly when it comes to highlighting certain areas. For instance, you might consider painting one wall a different colour, or even painting cabinet doors to make them stand out from white or pale-hued walls.

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Another way to use colour when creating a focal point is using brightly coloured stools in your kitchen. This will certainly make the seating area pop.

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A dressed up fridge is another way to create an eye catching focal point.

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A unique kitchen hood or extractor can turn the cooking area into the focal point. Using a contrasting colour or finish will make this area attention grabbing.

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Some more ideas to create a focus point in a kitchen, make a fun chalkboard wall

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Make use of an attention grabbing backsplash

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Even streamlined minimalistic kitchens can have a focal point, but it’s up to you to decide what this will be and how you will draw attention to it. To prevent plain or less aesthetically pleasing areas from becoming a focal point, keep these areas clean and tidy and don’t draw attention to them with decorative items of any sort.

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FEB
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How to make your kitchen feel bigger and more inviting

How to make your kitchen feel bigger and more inviting

Use glass cupboard doors and mirror backboards

Glass cupboard doors, especially with mirror back boarding, create more space. Your kitchen will feel lighter and brighter and at night you can create a beautiful fractured lighting experience by placing down lights in the cupboards.

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Use light paint and keep your walls and fittings the same colour

Small spaces appear much bigger when painted in a light colour. Be sure to paint your cupboards and your walls the same light colour for an even bigger feeling space.

Avoid using dark colours that absorb the light and make the space feel claustrophobic. A simple coat of paint can make a huge difference to the atmosphere created in your kitchen and won’t cost you an arm and a leg!

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Choose “small footprint” furniture

Be careful and meticulous about the furniture you decide to put in your kitchen, colour, dimensions, small foot print, and use of space within the furniture’s design will all impact on the space you are trying to create within your kitchen.

Small margins make a big difference, so choose carefully and if you get it right, you’ll have that great spacious feeling.

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Shine the light, create more space

No likes to be in a dark, enclosed kitchen. The use of soft white light, small light fittings and glass to reflect the light instantly turns a dark small space into an inviting space where you can sit down, make a cup of coffee and read a book.

Your mind will feel free and you’ll be able to think and relax.

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5 ways to incorporate marble into your kitchen

5 ways to incorporate marble into your kitchen

Stone has long been a popular choice for kitchens. The perennially-stylish, hardy material makes for an easy-to-clean, resilient surface for prepping, chopping and cooking – perfect for the modern kitchen.

 

Colour blocking

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Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that marble plus colour is too busy. If you consider that marble is, at its core, a natural material and as a result, is a neutral colour, it works perfectly with brighter colours.

 

Embrace the marble dark side

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If you want the timeless style of marble in your kitchen, but you’re worried about keeping it fresh and modern, consider black marble. As we know, black is timeless and when used in natural materials, is striking but not overwhelmingly dark.

 

Don’t forget the basics

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If black is too severe, take comfort in the fact that a stone-coloured marble is timeless and will likely work with whatever decor you already have in your kitchen. This kitchen shows us that even with considered decor accents, you can work the marble effect in and it will like a dream.

 

Now you see it, now you don’t

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Having said all of this, marble doesn’t need to be the scene-stealer in your kitchen. You can pick a very neutral colour with barely-visible veining and allow your marble to become a simple hardworking kitchen surface.

 

Go wild

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Let’s not kid ourselves, marble is not cheap. If you’re going to splash out, and you want it to make a statement then we suggest embracing the ‘go big or go home’ mentality. This kitchen has worked in two different colours of marble, one very dark piece and a lighter one with exaggerated veining. The two clash in a really striking way and because the rest of the kitchen’s decor is minimal and clean, it’s not overwhelming at all.

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How to design your kitchen as a central point of your home

Transform your kitchen into the perfect place to get together

Whether you want it to believe it or not, the phrase “the kitchen is the heart of the home” has a lot of truth to it. It most certainly is. There was a time when kitchens existed for only one reason – to prepare food. There were no kitchen islands with matching bar stools. No open-plan, multipurpose layouts. Thankfully, that time is over. If it isn’t the most social space of your home already, there are a few key ways to transform it into the central point of your home.

Get ready to bask in the warm glow of family and friends in a kitchen designed for getting together and socializing.

Go open plan

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First, consider the open concept. It’s a great way to open up your kitchen to the more social spaces of the home, like the living room. Though the open concept is the most obvious way to make the kitchen the central point of your home you’ve always wished for, if you’re not in an open concept home already, it’s important to consult with a designer and contractor to ensure that a renovation is done correctly. When you’ve opened up the space, demarcate the kitchen from the living space with a low wall, or some shelving.

In an open-plan layout, designers always strive to create separate zones within one larger space. But to make the end result feel cohesive, you need to think about your choice of materials and furniture groupings. Repeat the use of the same wood, for example, on your kitchen countertops and living room table to unify the areas. Or opt for the same floors, or hang complementary art in both areas. The possibilities are endless. Get more tips on how to join your kitchen and living spaces in this article

Divide the space

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You can “separate” the spaces of your open plan layout with a breakfast bar. Both the young and young at heart enjoy sidling up to a space the straddles both the living room and kitchen. A breakfast bar with high stools, for instance, is a great place for kids to eat breakfast in the morning, and hang out and do their homework when you prepare dinner.

To create a kitchen designed for socialising, you can also install your hob in the kitchen islandbecause the seasoned host knows that the best dinner parties begin before your guests even sit down to dinner. They begin at the hob. To make your kitchen the perfect spot for entertaining, place the hob in the centre of the kitchen on the island. Induction hobs are an ideal option as they are as thin as the island counter itself. Also, in addition to looking great, their speedy heating and cooling abilities make them a safe option for mingling around.

Set the light

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Finally, light up your kitchen right because lighting is an excellent way to change the overall atmosphere in a space. Make the lighting too bright and people feel exposed. Make it too dim and your guests won’t be able to see each other across the table. To create the maximum social effect, bathe the entire kitchen space with recessed pot lights operated by dimmers. Then hang pendant light fixtures in the places you envision family and friends gathering around: like the dining table, the breakfast bar, or the kitchen island.

 

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Designing the Perfect Laundry Room

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Your laundry room may not be the most important room in your home. Yet, designing your laundry to be a productive and attractive work area can improve the atmosphere in the space and remove the gloominess of this daily chore. Before you begin, think about how you would like your laundry room to look. Try drawing a design first while taking the following into consideration:

Your washing machine size and type, where you want to place the sink (if any), the amount of counter space you would need to work comfortably, where you would like to place the cupboards etc. You may find that there are certain limitations that will stop you from realising the exact vision you had for the laundry room, however, that doesn’t mean that you can’t work around these limitations.

 

Appliances

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If you intend to buy another washer and dryer, you should consider either of these options: stacking your washing machine and dryer or have them standing beside each other under the counter. Both these options will save you a lot of space, and in both instances, it would be best to buy a front-loading washing machine and dryer.

Your laundry room should always be designed around your washing machine and dryer. The reason is simple: electrical points and water supply are elements that won’t change without considerable cost. So if you need to move your appliances, you’ll need to move the water supply connections and electrical outlet sockets too.

 

Work Space

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Let’s be honest, we all use our laundry rooms as a multipurpose room. It’s a place to store pet food, keep the ironing board, and hide the vacuum. Not having enough workspace can leave you feeling exasperating. The room will appear disorganised, particularly when your laundry is doing double duty for something besides washing and drying garments. Having a well spread out space, with an abundance of counter space won’t just allow you to do the washing; it’ll also open the doors to numerous other tasks and uses.

Consider how much worktop space you will need, and build it in. Space will be needed for items such as clothing hampers/baskets, laundry supplies, cleaning detergents and other clothing supplies. Having more counter space will add more advantages to you. Invest in more than you think you’ll need.

 

Sink

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If you have the space and water supply available, a sink in your laundry room is an added advantage. If space is restricted, you can use the area on top of the sink to your advantage as well, by simply putting a cover over the sink when it’s not being used.

 

Storage

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Every kitted laundry room requires lots of storage space, as there are many potentially hazardous items that need to be stored away safely. Stuff like cleaning detergents, washing detergents and other chemical supplies, not to mention the ironing board, brooms, dusters, dust pans and other tools required to maintain your home.

Overhead cabinets are not only a good idea, but a big advantage because they increase your storage space without taking up floor space. Investing in overhead cabinets instead of racks will also help keep your laundry room organised and neat.

Base cabinets offer more space than the overhead ones but take up more space. You can place these under some of your countertop areas.

 

Finishing Touches

Keeping the room looking well-organised and neat is important. That’s why the final touches in your laundry can have a significant impact, and give the room some much-needed character.

The best laundry plans are those that are planned from an angle of both comfort and convenience. It goes without saying that you will invest a considerable amount of time and energy by doing the laundry, so you should make the room a space that is friendly, and maybe even fun to be in.

 

Laundry Baskets

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Laundry Baskets are not only handy in the laundry, but some of them look great. They come in a variety of styles such as wicker, wire or plastic. They have the potential to add a touch of style to your laundry room.

 

Lighting

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Take full advantage of the windows in the room for natural lighting. Having a good overhead light is important too. A nice small chandelier fixture in a laundry room will give the space an elegant and stylish look.

Lighting under the countertops is another way of adding functionality and personality to the room. They provide excellent work area lights and are easy to install and inexpensive.

 

Ironing

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Do you sort, fold and iron your laundry in different rooms? It’s a good idea to start sorting out your laundry to suit the task of ironing. Setting up your ironing board close to a countertop would be very convenient. If you don’t have an ironing board, then select a countertop close to an electrical socket to get the job done.

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Kitchen Pantry Designs

If you’re blessed with the space, invest in a kitchen pantry. It’s a concept that hasn’t always been popular. But as kitchens have evolved, the humble kitchen pantry has become an almost indispensable addition to many kitchens. In fact, most homeowners put the kitchen pantry on top of their “wants” list these days. It’s not hard to see why. Whatever the size of your kitchen space, you’ll always need a convenient place to store your groceries. This critical storage requires careful thought and planning, and a pantry to make things easier.

But what goes into designing the perfect pantry? For starters, a pantry should be large enough to hold at least a week’s worth of groceries, and close enough to the food preparation area to be easily accessed. Size matters of course, but with the right combination of simplicity, organisation and location, you can easily create a pantry equally as functional as a full-size walk-in.

There are a few key characteristics of an effective kitchen pantry:

Convenient - Your pantry should be located at or near the area where food is prepared.
Visibility - Everything in the pantry should be seen at a glance.
Accessibility - It should be possible to remove items without moving others around.

In creating a pantry of note, it’s important to stick to these 3 principles. By doing so, your pantry will almost always be convenient and easy to use. Now for some more information on the most popular pantries available to homeowners today:

 

REACH-IN PANTRIES

Reach-in pantries are shallow cabinet-style pantries where the goods are stored on shelves that aren’t too deep. Deep pantries, of course, hold more goods. If you have the depth, you’d be tempted to use the entire space by installing deeper shelves. This is a mistake. Inevitably things you use often get pushed to the back as you add other things, so you end up with stuff you cannot find or get to without moving the things in front of the items you need. This is a clear breach of effective accessibility discussed earlier: It should be possible to remove items without moving others around.

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PULL-OUT PANTRIES

A pull-out pantry is essentially one big shelf that slides from out of the unit or wall. The shelf can be accessed from both sides, a move that helps it tick the accessibility box well. While not quite as convenient as a batwing reach-in pantry, the pull-out pantry is a good option if your space isn’t particularly wide.

This is also a slightly more expensive solution. It is important to use gliding hardware that prevents the pantry from being slammed – and this comes at an extra cost. The individual shelves inside the pull-out can be made adjustable though, a fact that improves the flexibility of this style of pantry.

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WALK-IN PANTRIES

As the name suggests, a walk-in pantry is a small room or closet dedicated to food storage. For many homeowners, this is the Shangri-la of pantries, and unfortunately, a mere dream for apartment dwellers. A walk-in is, of course, an excellent choice for storing large quantities of goods. One drawback though, is that if the pantry is too big, it could become inconvenient to use on a daily basis. In this case, a smaller pantry or shelf is recommended to stock often-used items that need to stay close at hand.

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The Minimalist Kitchen

The kitchen is probably one of the busiest places in the house. Keeping it neat and organised most of the time can be a real struggle, especially if cleaning is not your favourite activity. A minimalist kitchen may be the answer to your cleaning dilemma.

Minimalism is one of the hottest design trends right now. More and more people are choosing the simpler and easy-to-maintain space over the heavily decorated places. The core idea behind minimalism is functionality. This is what makes it a great solution to the hard-to organize cooking area.

When designing a minimalist kitchen, only include the essentials. Each piece should serve a specific purpose. The rest should be removed. There is more than just one way to incorporate minimalism in your kitchen. It depends on your taste and the place you have. Here are, however, some ideas that will get you started.

 

Work with Your Space

The design of your kitchen depends on the size and architecture of your place. The good news is that minimalism is appropriate for both big homes and small apartments.

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Create an Effective Layout

The layout of your kitchen needs to be straightforward. You can stick with the traditional and effective work triangle layout. This refers to the area between the three major kitchen components – the fridge, the stove and the sink.

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Remove the Excess

The key to a minimalist and organised kitchen is getting rid of the unnecessary.

The main reason for the cluttered place is keeping too many things in a tiny space. It’s more convenient to just leave it on the counter than taking out and then putting it back in its place.

Being a minimalist doesn’t mean that you should own only the basics. It’s more about storing things according to the frequency of usage. Put essentials in the easy to reach areas, while the other items should be well kept.

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Keep it Simple

This is the mantra of every minimalist. Incorporate only appliance you know you will use. Don’t simply arrange items for display. The same goes for the furniture.

Minimalism is not fussy or complicated. A dining set or a counter island is enough. You need to have enough room to move around. The more furniture pieces you include the less natural flow you will have. This will also make everyday cleaning and maintenance a breeze.

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Stick with the Neutrals

Clean lines and neutral pallets are the trademark of a minimalist design. White, beige and other unobtrusive shades adds sophistication and modern sense to the place. You can use the neutrals as a base. Create interest with details in bright shades.

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The Work Triangle

The concept of the kitchen work triangle was developed in the 1940s by the University Of Illinois School Of Architecture. The goal was to show that by designing and building a kitchen with efficiency in mind, overall construction costs could be reduced. 

The aim of the kitchen triangle is to create the best work area possible in this busiest of rooms. 

Since the three most common work areas in the average kitchen are the stove, the sink, and the refrigerator, the kitchen work triangle theory suggests that by placing these three areas in proximity to each other, the kitchen becomes more efficient. If you place them too far away from each other, you waste a lot of steps while preparing a meal. If they are too close together, you end up with a cramped kitchen without adequate space to prepare and cook meals.

Here are some examples of standard kitchen layouts with their work triangle:

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The kitchen triangle concept has faded in recent years, as it's become somewhat outdated. For instance, the kitchen triangle is based on the idea that one person prepares the entire meal, which isn't necessarily the case in 21st-century families. 

And open concept kitchens which are popular with newer-style construction often don't require such uniform layout. In these kitchens, the design tends to focus less on a work triangle and more on kitchen work zones that may even spill over into the dining or living areas. One example of a work zone would be placing the dishwasher, sink, and trash can close to each other to make cleaning up easier.

Remember, your lifestyle should determine the functionality of your kitchen, not the other way around. The work triangle is not a law, merely a suggestion. Although it can be a helpful tool, don't let it inhibit you from thinking outside the triangle when it comes to designing your kitchen.

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Picture-Perfect Small Bathrooms

When your bathroom is short on space, the right vanity can help you live larger than your square footage. These small-bathroom vanities offer big style without overtaking the room.

Placing a vanity in a corner takes advantage of every inch of floor space and also allows for storage options on two walls. Corner vanities offer extra space that might otherwise go unused. Opt for a light colour to keep the area from feeling dark. An open unit with a shelf for a storage basket will also make the area appear less cramped.

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The best small bathroom vanities are those that are both functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. A light colour freestanding cabinet with mirrored doors is a great example. The mirrors visually expand the space.

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A wall-mount basin appears to float and lends an airy look to a small room by freeing up the floor space below.

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A lack of space doesn't mean a lack of style. To give your tiny bathroom a sophisticated look, use a dresser-style vanity. In addition to looking great, a dresser-style vanity offers plenty of storage space in its drawers to keep toiletries and towels tidy.

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A floating vanity is a great way to give the illusion of more space in a small bathroom. Installing a large mirror above the unit will further trick the eye into thinking the room is larger than it actually is.

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A rounded vanity seems more delicate and petite than its square or rectangular counterparts, making it a great choice for a small bathroom. Mimic the base's shape by choosing a round basin.

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A pedestal sink is a classic choice for saving space. Even if the top is quite large, the unit will appear smaller thanks to the slender base. To make up for lost storage, install a shelf above the basin.

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Many vanities have an open area below that’s hidden by two doors. A more space-savvy choice is one that offers wide and deep drawers to keep supplies out of sight and well organized. 

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Focal Points in the kitchen

Whether you’re planning a new kitchen or doing what you can to improve an existing one, adding a focal point can make the interior of your kitchen exciting. Always remember that the main aim when creating a focal point for your kitchen is to draw attention to that specific space or area. There are many ways that you can do this, both decoratively and by design. Creating a focal point by design will usually involve creating a main area of interest. For example, you can add a large island to your kitchen.

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A painted kitchen island could make this focal point even more interesting.

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Open shelving where you can display neatly packed groceries, homemade jams and pickles, even bought jams and pickles decanted into glass jars, or attractive herbs and spices is another way to incorporate a focal point.

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Colour can be a great aid too, particularly when it comes to highlighting certain areas. For instance, you might consider painting one wall a different colour, or even painting cabinet doors to make them stand out from white or pale-hued walls.

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Another way to use colour when creating a focal point is using brightly coloured stools in your kitchen. This will certainly make the seating area pop.

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A dressed up fridge is another way to create an eye catching focal point.

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A window can easily become the focal point by using chic window treatments. Try adding a classy blind or characterful café curtains. If privacy isn’t an issue, you could even fix glass shelves across the window and using them to display pots of easy-to-grow herbs like parsley, thyme, marjoram and sweet basil.

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A unique kitchen hood or extractor can turn the cooking area into the focal point. Using a contrasting colour or finish will make this area attention grabbing.

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Some more ideas to create a focus point in a kitchen, make a fun chalkboard wall

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Make use of an attention grabbing backsplash

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Even streamlined minimalistic kitchens can have a focal point, but it’s up to you to decide what this will be and how you will draw attention to it. To prevent plain or less aesthetically pleasing areas from becoming a focal point, keep these areas clean and tidy and don’t draw attention to them with decorative items of any sort.

 

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