Advantages of installing quartz worktop in the kitchen

Quartz worktops are amongst the most popular kind of kitchen worktop used today, with several new homes being built with them. If you are planning to use quartz worktop in the kitchen, then you will realize how installing them can make the cooking space look absolutely stunning. But it is not only about its toughness and visual appearance too that can withstand the heat of the cooking space.

Kitchen quartz worktop is made of 93% quartz crystals and the leftover 7% comprises of resin and bonding agents, with extra materials added for decoration purpose.

caesarstone.co.uk: Kitchen quartz worktop

caesarstone.co.uk: Kitchen quartz worktop

There are some cases when it may be a pigment that stains the surface a particular color. This makes an attractive finish however, one that retains the obvious look of a natural material. Today, kitchen worktops are made of quartz with extra materials like mirrored flecks or small metal flecks.

The metallic flakes produce a gleaming effect that lights up beautifully and has a spectacular impact on the overall look of the cooking area. Adding mirror flecks in the manufacturing process will make finished worktop look reflective and catch light in innumerable ways that will make the ultimate result look simply astounding.

One of the advantages of manufacturing kitchen quartz worktop is the color and effect runs all the way through worktop just like the ones that are made with a veneer and can begin to chip, crack, peel away or tear thus, revealing a hideous and unclean surface beneath.

From versatility, durability and visual appearance factors, quartz worktops are the best option for anyone who wants to make their kitchen a great combination of functionality with style. Well, do you know the different alternatives that you should consider and how do you compare them?

Regarding solid worktops, quartz worktops are reasonably priced, with granite worktops leveraging the benefits of a solid surface at a higher cost. Stainless steel is another smart choice of professional chefs and cooks though stainless steel is mainly used in the kitchen. When combined together with a bold highlight color for tiles, stainless steel will simply look unbelievable.

Another alternative to quartz worktops is Corian that are the most popular used in the cooking area. Corian worktops offer various advantages, in particular to versatility, visual appearance and durability.

Corian is the most adaptable amongst all kinds of materials used for manufacturing kitchen worktops. It can be cut, moulded, glued and even vacuum formed, meaning that almost any design can be made with the help of it. Like other worktops such as quartz worktops, Corian worktops are not flat and can be made in three dimensions than only two.

When you are considering appearance and style, Corian are found in more colors and styles than other types of solid worktop. With almost 70 different designs and styles available and with several more added to the range almost every year, if you cannot find your choice in the Corian range, you will not be able to find it elsewhere.

Thus, which one should you opt for if you want to install solid worktops – quartz worktops or Corian worktops? Well, if rugged durability is what you are looking for, then kitchen quartz worktop is the perfect choice as it has the look of natural stone appearance and is extremely hard by nature.

Kitchen Appliances That Will Transform Your Life

modern gourmet kitchen interior

Your kitchen says a lot about you, but you don’t need to have the latest fancy gadgets to whip up a culinary storm at home. There are lots of appliances out there that will take the hassle out of eating well and make your life easier. We’ve rounded up some of the essentials.

Water Purifier

We could all benefit from drinking more H2O and a water purifier makes it even easier to glug down those recommended eight glasses a day. A water purifier removes impurities and other nasties from your drink which not only makes it safer to consume, but gives it a clearer, better taste too. Different water purifiers operate using different processes and come in all shapes and sizes so be sure to shop around and make sure you don’t buy one that’s too big. It’s always a good idea to look out for companies and brands that offer service and guarantees after purchase too.

Coffee Maker

Give yourself the kick you need in the morning or brew up a palate for guests at dinner party with a coffee maker. When looking for the best one to buy, easy cleaning features are a must! Also look out for added extras such as manual water control, a steam wand and water filter. If your budget stretches to it you can also buy coffee makers that will grind coffee beans for you too.

Soda Maker

You can’t beat a glass of ice cold soda on a hot summer’s day, but the ones you find in shops are often full of sugars, sodium and additives – not ideal if you’re trying to make healthy eating a priority. So you can’t really go wrong with a soda maker. These applicances don’t use electric and can churn out up to sixty litres of the fizzy stuff using refillable carbon dioxide canisters. And with nowhere near the amount of nasties that you find in the big name brands.

Hand-Held Blender

There’s nothing worse than coming home after a long day at work and having to cook something, so soup is a great option. You can batch cook it and freeze so it will be ready to eat in just a few minutes. Get yourself a hand-blender and you can mix up a healthy and delicious soup in minutes – no more of the tinned stuff! Of course, a hand-blender also comes in very useful if you’re a keen baker too.

Slow Cookers

The ultimate appliance for anyone short on time or money, a slow cooker really is indispensable. Perfect for creating budget meals you can just throw your meat, vegetables and stock inside it and leave it to bubble away while you’re at work or out at the weekend and when you come back your kitchen will be filled with the scent of a hearty stew, curry or casserole that will be ready in minutes. The key to finding the best is to look for slow cookers with removable inserts.

How to: Get a Clutter-Free Kitchen

You know what they say: a cluttered house leads to a cluttered mind, and the same goes for your kitchen! A messy kitchen, with odds and ends shoved into random cupboards won’t help you make a delicious meal – but a clean and clutter-free kitchen just might. Learn how to get a clutter-free kitchen with our tips.

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  • Serve sticky products – things like honeys, jams, syrups etc on a lazy Susan or on a large tray. Then you’ve just got one thing to wash rather than having to wipe down the whole table. Sounds obvious, I know. But it’s not, surprisingly!
  • Keep cookbooks on open shelves, but just make sure they’ve away from the hob and oven – otherwise, they’ll get covered in grease, and the humidity means that they’ll end up falling apart far sooner than necessary.
  • Pop pretty towels and oven gloves on a shelf with pegs – just make sure the pegs are at least two feet away from the oven and hob, again, so that they don’t get greasy and dirty from the food being cooked.
  • Arrange everything according to how often you use it, so you’re not rooting around for things that you use regularly. Plates, glasses, cutlery etc that you use everyday should be put into lower level cupboards, while cooking equipment such as blenders and slow cookers can then be put into higher up cupboards or your pantry.
  • If you’re lucky enough to have a pantry, or a tall tins cupboard, group like for like together – tinned veg, tomatoes and passata, bottles of olive oils and vinegars etc so that you can just know where everything is. It’s also a good idea to have a little cupboard, or a little spice rack so that you have access to all of your spices in one go instead of having to search through your cupboard.
  • Another good idea is to organise by cabinet – for example, keep all bakery goods in one cupboard. In my kitchen, I am a bit of an avid baker, so my icing colors, icing sugar, moulds, icing tools and so on are all kept in one cupboard, along with my measuring cups, cookie cutters and baking moulds.
  • Store all of your actual cooking utensils – as in, the stuff you use to cook with – pans, pots, frying pans, etc, all in one place, as close to the stove as you can. It makes life easier.
  • Make sure that your kitchen has the triangle rule – the stove, the sink and a bit of worktop should be, ideally, in the shape of a triangle as this is thought to be the easiest way to work, as it gives you easy access to everything you need.
  • Pop spoons, spatulas, fish slices and spaghetti spoons into a pretty pot by the stove so that they’ll be within arm’s reach whenever you need them.

Source: Real Simple

DIY Tips: How to Update Your Kitchen Cupboards

Learn how to revamp your kitchen and update your kitchen cupboards by following our tips – an easy way to totally change the look of your kitchen without breaking the bank. Take a look at this link for painting and decorating supplies to help you get the job done.

paintedcupboards

Fit New Handles

If your cupboards and drawers are in good nick, the easiest way to update them instantly is to add new handles. It’s cheap, cheerful and really easy, too. Wooden handles are lovely in country kitchens, cast iron handles in period properties and modern brushed steel handles in a contemporary space. For a quirky look, add ladybird or bumblebee knobs.

Painting Cupboards and Drawers

The easiest way to paint cupboards and drawer fronts is to do it in situ – when the cupboards and drawers are in place. You can take them off, if you like, but it’s much less faff to just paint them where they are. Take the handles off first, or if that isn’t possible, cover them really well with masking tape. When painting timber, you’ll need to sand the doors and drawers down first, then apply a primer, then a gloss or eggshell paint. Eggshell paint is best, as it’s quicker and easier to apply, is hard-wearing and won’t flake off – and because it isn’t high-shine, it won’t show up imperfections. Apply two thin coats, rather than one thick coat, and if you do use gloss, make sure you apply it in thin layers with a brush to let the grain of the wood show through.

Painting Melamime

If you want to revamp melamime, rather than timber, lightly scuff the door and drawer fronts with wet and dry sandpaper first, then use a specialist cupboard paint. You could also use spray paint, instead – just make sure that you use it outdoors as it does get everywhere!

Do Something Different

You don’t just have to paint cupboards and drawers one colour. Get creative with the masking tape and paint on stripes or a two-tone design. You could also use a stick-on stencil, or, paint one cupboard with blackboard paint – perfect for writing shopping lists on or for letting your children get creative. Alternatively, try wall stickers instead – choose a peel off variety and that way, you can change up the look as and whenever you like.

Replacement Doors and Drawers

If your cupboard doors and drawers are really completely beyond repair, it’s best to replace them. Most companies will sell replacement doors and drawers and they’re actually a lot cheaper than you might think, especially if the carcasses of the cupboards and drawers are of a high quality. High gloss doors require little maintenance, making them a great choice for most kitchens, while panelled doors are traditional and perfect for country homes – although they are fairly difficult to clean.

Source: UKTV Home

DIY Tips: Design Tips for a Galley Kitchen

A galley kitchen might be small, but it doesn’t have to be uncool. Learn how to design a galley kitchen with style and flair by following these simple tips. Take a look at these links for building materials and kitchen goods to help you get the job done.

galleykitchen2

Even the narrowest of kitchens can look large and spacious with the right design aesthetic.

Go Unit Free

Although it might not be the most practical choice, walls that are utterly cluttered with units can seem very crowded and so in some cases, if you can get away with it, try to avoid using wall units – and if you do, think about using glass-fronted units to make the space feel bigger. You could also put up plenty of shelving, instead, painting the shelves so that they match the walls – and this will make the space feel bigger.

Opt For Flat Fronts

Flat fronted units won’t take up too much space and because they don’t have too much detail, they help to keep the space simple and clean-looking. Make the room feel even bigger by choosing units that have a slight gloss or reflective finish as they’ll bounce the light around the room.

Choose Integrated Appliances

Build ovens, microwaves, fridges, freezers and any other appliances that you can into the kitchen. Integrated appliances will make the whole space more streamlined. If you don’t have space – or if you cannot afford integrated appliances, choose goods that are all the same colour so that they at least match in appearance. It’s also a good way to introduce colour to your kitchen – and if you want to update, you can just replace goods without having to fork out more money. Stainless steel always looks good, too.

Create a Focal Point

Every kitchen needs a focal point – even the smallest of kitchens. Spend your money on a “wow” cooker and hob or on a fabulous fridge and people will look at that piece of kitchen gadgetry rather than at your small kitchen or teeny units. Spend more money on these focal points and save on your kitchen carcasses and worktops.

Choose Lighter Worktops

Lighter worktops generally work better in a smaller, galley space, as they make the room look bigger and again, bounce light around. It’s generally best if worktops are fairly plain, too, without patterns or flecks of colour. Because worktops can be fairly plain this also allows you to spend a little more on integrated appliances and the goods at the top of your wish list.

Source: 4Homes

DIY Tips: Planning a Galley Kitchen

Galley kitchens have a bit of a bad reputation and although they are compact, if you plan them properly, can be very effective and just as chic as a larger kitchen. Take a look at these links for building materials and kitchen goods to help you get the job done.

galleykitchen

Galley kitchens are sometimes described as “corridor” kitchens, compromising of two rows of units against either wall, with a corridor between the two.

Planning the Layout

The layout of any galley kitchen is incredibly important. What’s really important is that the space between the two rows of units is at least 1.4m as this is generally enough clearance for the doors to open and for the oven doors to open. If you can, an ideal layout is to “sink” the oven, hob and cooker head into the wall, so that it sits flush against the units surrounding it. Even better, follow the layout of the image above, with double height units on either side of the cooker and some worktop space in between.

Add the “Work Triangle”

The work triangle is made up of the sink, the oven and hob and the fridge. Generally, there should be a loose triangle shape between the three goods with enough elbow space for you to move easily between the three. In a galley kitchen, it often works best to have the sink and drainer on one side and the oven and hob on the other, and a fridge at one end of the kitchen. If space is limited, you might choose to have the fridge and freezer tucked underneath the worktop.

Add Plenty of Storage Options

Although kitchens can look a little bit cluttered when there is lots and lots of wall cupboards, it’s really the most practical option. Instead of going for standard wall and base units, consider putting large drawers into awkward spots where you may be unable to fit a cupboard. Deep drawers would work well for pans, frying pans and large pots and pans. Tall units with pull out larders also work really well for storing tinned goods and baking products, while corner pull-out shelves will work well for awkward spots underneath the sink so that you can get at everything without having to crawl into the cupboards.

Choose Clean, Uncluttered Cabinets

Anything too fussy will crowd the space far too much, so go for clean, uncluttered cabinet fronts, with invisible handles or that have a press-in mechanism. Conceal worktop clutter to make the space look bigger by adding shutters to the bottoms of wall units, or by having doors that open upwards from the worktops. Go for light, neutral colour tones too – anything too dark will result in the space looking too dark.

Source: 4Homes

 

 

DIY Tips: Planning a Down One Wall Kitchen

In an ideal world, all kitchens would be housed in a large, bright, spacious area with plenty of natural light and plenty of storage space. But unfortunately, this isn’t the case for many. Luckily, though, you can create a deceptively spacious kitchen with just a little bit of hard work and a lot of forward planning. Learn how to plan a down one wall kitchen with these tips and take a look at this link for building materials to get you started.

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The Configuration

Setting up a kitchen that runs down one wall can be difficult, but the best configuration is for a single line of units that runs along one wall, with a long worktop and open shelving above. It offers maximum space for minimum effort. Alternatively, have two double height units at either end of the kitchen – these could house a fridge/freezer and work as larders, too, without overwhelming the space too much.

Focus On the Worktops

The worktops will have a much bigger focal point in this type of kitchen as there is simply much more of an emphasis on them than usual. If you can afford to, splash out on luxury tops like granite or stone as they’ll really finish off your kitchen beautifully – and they’ll be incredibly strong and hardwearing. Save on the carcasses of the units, as these don’t have to be particularly expensive.

Open Shelving

Open shelving, in place of upper wall units, can look both chic and rustic. They’re handy, create a focal point and because you can build them as wide or as tall as you need to – instead of the standard kitchen cabinets – they’re really very versatile. Add doors in random spots to break up the expanse of shelves and to co-ordinate with the base units.

Co-ordinate Appliances

Co-ordinated appliances are particularly useful in a small kitchen, as they won’t look as though they’re taking up too much space. Stainless steel is always a good choice, as it’s classic and won’t go out of style – plus, it’s easy to buy appliances from different ranges without worrying about colour differences.  It’s also important to have a careful think about the colour of your units. The base units should sit flush against each other and you can afford to be a little bolder in your choice of colour, too. It is advisable, though, that you don’t choose a crazy colour combination – something classic but modern is much better as it’ll remain stylish for many years to come.

Getting the Right Lighting

Put spotlights underneath shelves, or into some of the open shelving units, and install them in the ceiling so that they run the length of the kitchen, highlighting the oven and the sink. Then, install pendant lights in the dining part of the kitchen, if you have one, so that the dining light is softer and less harsh.

Source: 4Homes

DIY Tips: How to Plan a Kitchen Island

A kitchen island is a brilliant way to divide cooking and preparing food from your dining area and a well-planned island can hide and house many appliances, whilst also providing seating and a breakfast bar. Learn how to plan a kitchen island with these tips and take a look at this link for building materials.

kitchenisland

Placing the Island

The easiest spot to place the island is right in the centre of the kitchen, obviously, so that the people using it can move around it easily. But before you plan it, make sure that the island wouldn’t interfere with the units surrounding it and ensure that appliances like sinks and oven doors don’t get in each other’s way. For example, there’s no use placing the sink on the island if the person using it would have to move every time someone wanted to use the hob or oven. A great tip for placement is to stick a large paper template of the proposed size of the island onto the floor of the kitchen. Don’t walk on it – move around it. If the island is too large, or if you need something a little smaller, you’ll soon know.

What Shall I Put in the Island?

Which appliances you choose to put in the island entirely depends on how you want to use it. If you’re a foodie and you want to be able to speak to your guests whilst you’re cooking, install a hob and oven, but make sure that there is plenty of worktop space at the back for safety reasons. In most cases, it’s a good idea to put the sink somewhere else – islands always end up being the focal point and if you have the sink on the island, a pile of dirty washing up will end up being the focal point of the kitchen, which isn’t ideal.

Making it Into a Breakfast Bar

If your kitchen is narrow or you’re short of space, your island might well be limited to a breakfast bar. Buy worktop with an overhang of at least 30cm so that your chairs can tuck in, and choose chairs that are tall and slim so that they don’t take up much space in the kitchen.

Extra Storage Space

Islands are also really, really handy in kitchens where there isn’t much storage space. Add drawers, doors and cupboards if you need the extra storage space, but if you don’t (and be truthful with yourself), why not include some luxury items? A wine or beer fridge is always a fun choice for a kitchen, or you might even want to install something a little frivolous like an ice cream machine!

Source: 4Homes

DIY Tips: Small Kitchen Planning Tips

Got a small kitchen that you wish could be just a little bit bigger? Learn how to maximize space and make the most of a small kitchen with these simple kitchen planning tips, and take a look at this link for building materials to help you get the job done.

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Consider Shutting it Away

If you live in a studio apartment or if your living quarters are all in the same space, consider designing a kitchen that can be shut away. Many department stores now offer specialised small kitchens that can be shut away with sliding doors – oven, microwave and hob. This means that when the kitchen is not in use, the space feels much bigger.

Choose Clear Doors

Wall-mounted cupboards are really important for storage in virtually every kitchen, but in a small space, they can feel far too big. Minimise the obstruction by choosing frosted glass doors – not only will they feel less oppressive, but they’ll also give the kitchen a modern feel.

More Light = More Space

The more light there is in the room, the bigger it will feel. Paint light colours onto the walls and ceiling and choose neutral or light kitchen cabinets. As for splashbacks, choosing splashbacks that are reflective will bounce the light around the room – opt for glass or high-gloss ceramic tiles. Spotlights are also a good idea, underneath cupboards and in the ceiling, as they’ll bounce light around the room when there is no natural light. Choose window coverings that still let lots of natural light in and if the room is very small, opt for window coverings that are pale in colour.

Accentuate Space

Accentuating the space that you do have is really important for small kitchens. Put doors onto runners, as they won’t open out into the room, preserving space. Frosted glass is a good idea as it hints at there being more space beyond the door, so choose doors with frosted panels. If you can afford it, choose wall-hung units for the units underneath the worktop, as they’ll create the illusion that the units are hanging in space – which makes the room look bigger. If this is too much for your budget, match the kickboard underneath the units to the flooring.

Lay Wooden Flooring

The panels in wooden flooring really help to accentuate the floor space, so if you’re trying to make your kitchen appear larger, lay wooden flooring with the panels facing in the same direction as the longest wall. Another great tip is to lay the same flooring in the kitchen and in the room or hallway bordering the kitchen, with no boundary or door bar between the two rooms. When the door between the two is opened, it will look like one continuous space – again, making the room appear larger.

Source: 4Homes