Getting into the groove…
By Linda Parker
New Year celebrations are but a dim and distant memory now, but with a new Bake Off for Comic Relief on TV, it seems as if nothing’s changed. The Great Comic Relief Bake Off starred some unlikely bakers, including Alexa Chung, Abby Clancy and Johnathan Ross… needless to say will undoubtedly be a riot, and naturally, all in a very good cause.
If you missed it, watch on BBC iplayer if you can, and of course, a donation to Comic Relief is a must!
In the interest of sprucing up the kitchen, I have been looking at new cookers, coffee machines, chairs and flooring. Of course, at the moment it counts as ‘just researching’ and I haven’t actually chosen any new furnishings yet… the swatch books and colour cards are out though! I’m torn between vibrant colours and subtle shades… maybe the best idea is to go for eye-dazzling appliances and gadgets and keep walls and floors to quieter, more discreet colours.
There’s plenty of cooking space, it has two ovens, a separate grill and a warming drawer, and six gas burners. In plenty of other of fabulous colours too …
Coffee machines are getting more complex by the day; I am sometimes rather unimpressed by gadgets that need a degree in engineering and mathematics to provide competent operation. The Smarter Coffee Machine is due for release in March, and has the honour of being the world’s first wi-fi coffee machine with bean to cup production. Check out the Smarter kettle here and await the launch of the coffee machine with bated breath…
It’s also the only brand that will be sold in Apple stores … I wonder if it will cause the same queues as the iPhone 6 did!!
I’m an avid fan of Salvage Hunters, the series shown on Quest TV, available on-demand here and I’m always keeping an eye out for scruffy yet salvageable kitchen chairs, stools and tables. I’ve had some lucky finds, but they’ve paled into insignificance when I saw the bright new Cath Kidston range of chairs. The Cloud bentwood chair with chrome legs is £175, there are two other patterns available.
I love the idea of a random set of colourful painted chairs, contrasting with a fabulous vintage pine or oak table. So the Salvage Hunting will continue …
If you prefer to drink filtered water, but don’t want to go to the expense of installing a water filter tap (they’re often combined with a boiling water tap and can cost in excess of £1,200), or you’re happy with your non-plumbed in and non-filtered water refrigerator or freezer, then the new Kinetico Kube non-electrical system at £249 may be the answer. Find out more here.
Visitors to the Kinetico stand at the Ideal Home Show (20th March to 6th April 2015, stand H728) can take the Kube challenge to taste the difference between ‘London’ water and pure, filtered, Kinetico water.
My furnishing suggestion of the month is the new Night Sky carpet from Natural Elements. It’s a luxury pile carpet with a fabulous scattering of silver twinkles … I’ve fallen for this, and think it will look completely gorgeous as the focal-point section of flooring in an open-plan kitchen-dining area. Image it teamed with grey or black porcelain floor tiles. And of course, the bonus is that it won’t show any grubby bits like all those pale limestone floors.
Visit the website at www.naturalemelementsflooring.com ; it’s 95% wool / 5% Lurex, and comes in Dawn, Dusk and Midnight. Start saving, it’s £96.50 per sq m.
If you’re not planning to do any serious kitchen refurbishment, satisfy your shopping genes with some of these great buys.
The Robert Welch tablet/cookbook stand won an ‘Excellence in Homewares’ Good Design award last year from the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture & Design.
It’s a beautiful piece of kitchen kit that allows hands and mess-free consultation of your favourite recipes, whether from a magazine, book or iPad/tablet. Find it here, £38.
If you’re thinking of buying some quirky Easter gifts, go for the Siliconezone Egg Chairs, £5.99 each in five colours – coconut, apple, Aubergine, orange and strawberry.
Somewhat less pricey than a full size egg chair! See them here
I miss seeing a record player in the house, and don’t even own a turntable at the moment, which begs the question why am I still holding on to hundreds of old vinyl albums… this fun little kitchen timer brings back memories… treat yourself for just £9.99 at Prezzybox.
It times up to 55 minutes, measures H3.5 x W12 x D15cm, and doesn’t need a battery. Perfect.
Another stylish way of updating your kitchen… take a look at the Appolia Harmonie ceramic oven-to-tableware.
In soothing shades names Pearl Grey, Fox Grey and Slate Grey, the oval dishes are from £24.95 and have a very chic, laid-back look. Visit www.ictc.co.uk for stockists
Next month… we’ll be looking forward to Easter cakes and celebratory ideas…