A touch of sunshine & double dishes
By Linda Parker
Thank goodness for the wonderful sunny weather we’re enjoying at the moment, although the excess of sunshine does mean that the kitchen is once again looking rather grubby in certain areas, so we have embarked on a super-clean up… lots of cooking does mean that surfaces can quickly end up looking a bit grimy.
Thanks to my near-continuous viewing of TV cookery shows, all of which seem to feature gloriously pristine kitchens, I now realise that my kitchen may well look busy, yet neat, but it won’t always approach that ‘professional’ glow that film and photography studios manage with ease. And of course, I don’t have a team of work experience assistants/runners/gofers to help clean up! However, using two ultra-fierce products from Neff www.neff-eshop.com has sorted things out superbly. Try the K2r oven cleaning gel, at £5.99, and the Ceramic Glass Hob Cleaner maintenance pack, £8.24, which includes a scraper and cloth, and of course will also work for Induction hobs.
And just a thought whilst cleaning is uppermost in my mind… would it be excessive to try and include space for two dishwashers when I’m planning my new kitchen … to use in a ‘one to wash, one to wear’ kind of way. Surely that would avoid a backlog of messy crockery and save cupboard space as well. It will be the running costs that tip the balance, but my plan is to scour the manufacturer’s brochures to find the most economical model and to work out precisely how much it costs to run per cycle. Until the kitchen plan is finalised and space for either one or two dishwashers is allocated though, the Fisher & Paykel DD60DDFHX7 built-in double dish drawer is a contender. It has two separate dishwashing drawers, each of which can be loaded and operated independently, it’s AAA rated, can use as little as 8 litres of water per cycle, and has a EZKleen stainless steel finish. It’s priced at £1199 from John Lewis, www.johnlewis.com
Two new gadgets that landed on the doorstep recently were both from Kuhn Rikon, and are wonderfully helpful for all seasons. The Smart Lid is a glass lid with silicone rim and automatic pressure release valve, it works with 24cm to 28cm saucepans, frying or sauté pans, is best suited to ceramic or induction hobs, and means that it’s possible to leave things gently simmering or steaming without fear of burnt offerings, the auto steam release makes crispy results easily attainable. The Box Mandoline Grater has three blades; a V blade for slicing, a grater for Parmesan, nuts and so on, and a Julienne blade for micro-thin strips. The blades are razor sharp, thank goodness for a hand-guard, and it’s helped me create some very healthy meals, featuring colourful veggies that have just needed a few seconds steaming. Of course, any leftovers are stored in the box, which stacks neatly in the fridge. See it below… either or both would be a great present for foodie friends.
As mentioned in previous blog posts, I’m currently very enthusiastic about colourful appliances, and the latest pictures from Britannia of their Colourange appliances (just the fridge-freezers, cookers and hoods) has set my kitchen planning ideas into overdrive! Visit the website here, www.britannialiving.co.uk/colourange Shown here…
…the perfectly pink Montana fridge-freezer, Arioso hood and Delphi range cooker in cerise.
As any interior designer will confirm, getting the lighting right, whether it’s just for the kitchen, or for the bathroom or living spaces. Lighting can literally ‘lift’ a dull and boring scheme, and make it eye-catching, unique and beautiful. Always plan for good background lighting, then focus on the details such as lighting strips, shelf uplighters and downlighters, and feature pendants and chandeliers. We are quite taken with the ideas from John Cullen Lighting, in particular the Contour HD Strip, at £118 per m, which can add a sassy, contemporary look to all rooms visit www.johncullenlighting.co.uk for further inspiration. I’m also enthralled by the Rhombus ceiling tile feature … what an exciting way to update a plain ceiling, and a perfect, modern alternative to all those traditional plaster ceiling roses. The pack contains 72 geometric tiles which can be painted and applied to walls or ceiling to create a unique three-dimensional effect. By Fundamental Berlin, from Lime Lace, £240 per pack, visit www.limelace.co.uk
Next time: Perfect Planning and fabulous recipes for summer entertaining