Good ideas for clever kitchens
By Linda Parker
… and a blast of sunshine yellow too.
Some of the latest kitchen ideas that have landed on my desk (or email folder) have been great, with a couple of real ‘why has no-one thought of that before’ moments. My first such moment was news of Neil Lerner’s Moveable Kitchen Work Surface. The 12mm composite worktop glides back (silently and smoothly), revealing the hob, and of course, creating a huge amount of extra prep and serving space. Perfect for the party kitchen. Visit the Neil Lerner website for more details.
As I may have mentioned once or twice, I’m dead keen on drawers rather than cupboards in the kitchen, and this latest kitchen by Schuller, the new Elba range, part of the 2016 Schuller.C collection, demonstrates the theory perfectly. Drawers glide out smoothly and silently, using Blum’s TIP-ON drawer technology. Drawer fronts are shown here in replica grey concrete, a ceramic terracotta option is also available. We’re also rather enthusiastic about the use of louvred glass shutter fronts for wall cupboards too. Glass and concrete are the new neutrals …. See the Elba range, available from In House Design, here.
Although I’m a massive fan of a good, old-fashioned gas hob with six burners and indestructible cast iron pan supports, I very much admire the latest C970i Induction hob from Caple. When my kitchen squad are discussing kitchens we’ve had, gadgets we’ve hated, and appliances we would like to have, there’s always a firm line drawn between gas and induction. Once you’ve cooked with induction, there’s no going back, is the general attitude. So on that basis, if you fancy the speed and cleanliness (yes they are super-easy to keep clean, with no nooks and crannies anywhere, unlike gas hobs, which can be a bit of chore to keep clean) do consider an induction hob, and get a look at Caple’s versions if you can, especially this version with black bevelled glass, eight heat zones, each of which have 14 power levels, and an auto-bridging system that links adjacent zones for larger pans.
Another jolly good idea. Franke’s Mythos BTK 651 black ceramic sink looks super-stylish, and is available with a Rollamat accessory. The stainless-steel and rubber mat can be used as a trivet for the work surface – withstanding any heavy pan or casserole dish that needs to be plonked down somewhere straight out of the oven. It’s also useful for draining delicate glassses that have been washed up by hand (and stops them aquaplaning off the worktop if you don’t have a separate drainer!). It’s available from Franke, and will also fit on top of certain sinks to create an extra surface. Genius. See the range and options here.
A side-by-side fridge-freezer is highly desirable, and can be, needless to say, a huge investment. That’s why I’ve been looking carefully at some of the more reasonably priced options recently. I ended up buying a silver stainless steel finish Kenwood model for just over £400 from Curry’s – at a special ‘Black Friday’ price. See their current range here. It’s been brilliant so far, and the potential £1000+ I saved by foregoing a water/ice dispenser went a long way towards paying for the range cooker I really, really wanted! So, if you want to get a lot for a little, take a look at both Kenwood and LEC designs. This the LEC AFF90185 side-by-side fridge-freezer with a silver finish, it has twist-action ice-cube trays, as much storage space for fresh and frozen as you could need, and costs around £599.
Ground Control … we all love a bit of over-the-top technology, it’s the principal that it ‘can be done’, rather than the fact that it needs to be done, or will ever be used more than a few times! However, we’ve been hooked by the idea from coffee experts De’Longhi… The PrimaDonna Elite is a smart connected bean to cup machine that’s operated by a Smart Coffee app downloaded to your smartphone. It sets up personal profiles and details for your favourite coffee combinations. Have a look at the whole collection here.
SUNSHINE LOOKS … A splash of yellow and a hint of navy, cobalt or sapphire blue is a great colour combination that instantly perks up a colour scheme. We’ve fallen for the vibrant mustard yellow table lamp, £69.99, from Dowsing & Reynolds; it also comes in orange too, which would look fabulous on my island work surface …. See the range here. The trend for three-dimensional wall treatments continues onwards, these are Honey 3D ceramic plaster wall panels, supplied by the 3D Art Factory; they’re made to order, supplied in natural white, and can be painted or sprayed in whatever colour is desired. If you want a real attention-making statement wall, look no further! See the options here. Classic lighting from Hector Finch can be considered an investment buy for your home, this wall light would be a good accompaniement to a row of three matching pendants over a breakfast bar or dining table. See the whole range, plus colour options, which include a perfect orange shade too, here.
BLUE MOODS … use a bit of bright blue for a snazzy contrast to shades of yellow. This lovely mug is the Cali mug £13 from Melo Designs, see their beautiful patterns here, the Alliums are rather special … The Sea Crane lamp base and blue shade from Debenhams is £85, and would work beautifully in a dining room … perhaps as a pair, one at each end of a side board or serving bench.
GETTING FRUITY … Pineapples seem to be everywhere at the moment, we’re rather fond of this ceramic version in Canary Yellow, by Rice DK, £24 from Sisters Guild. And if you still fancy a bit of retail therapy, what about the Citrus Slice placemats, £12 each, matching coasters also available, from Beyond The Fridge. Frankly it’s worth visiting their online shop for the name alone.