Kitchen Ideas: Planning Ahead And Practical Solutions

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BY LINDA PARKER

We’re all just back from a very informative trip to see some of the Blum facilities in Austria, and wow, talk about inspiration for small space living! There are many ideas yet to be revealed, but the ones we did see were so clever and so detailed that any tiny kitchen or compact apartment would be improved by the inclusion of just a handful of these concepts. The team has designed a 22sq m apartment with masses of storage space that doesn’t feel cramped or compromised. We particularly loved the Space Step which allows easy access to high shelves and cupboards and is installed in the plinth area (and of course when pulled out its top surface also opens up to reveal another storage space!). The design team has also introduced a new waste system, which is raised up to sink level, making it easier to pop prep waste straight into the container from the chopping board. All these ideas and more coming soon, we’ll keep you updated!

Mixed Materials … This new project from Blakes London and features an eclectic combination of materials and styles – washed timber, painted timber and natural finishes. The Blakes team have pinpointed some trends which we’ll be looking at more closely over the coming months; Jamie Blake says that there’s a trend for homes to have two kitchens; one for show which is always kept clean and sparkling, and another hidden kitchen which is more utilitarian and which is where all the cooking is actually done! We’ll wait until our lottery tickets come up before thinking about two kitchens! 

Simply Stunning … One of the latest designs from Trend Interiors is Gloss Slab in Light Grey and Anthracite  with a handleless Aluminium profile. Trend Interiors reports that grey is absolutely still on-trend and creates a sophisticated, contemporary look. Mix with clean, crisp white walls and accessories for a simply stunning scheme. 

Perfect Floors … Looking for a sleek and stylish floor for your new kitchen and living space? The trend for open and broken plan spaces is to have the same flooring throughout; this idea will ensure that there’s a coherent theme throughout the whole area. It works beautifully where a kitchen-dining-living space stretches from front to back of a home. These glossy black tiles are Doblo Black Polished Porcelain large format tiles with rectified edges from Tile Mountain. Keep the shine by using Fila MP90 Polished Porcelain & Stone sealer, also available from Tile Mountain. 

From left: I’m not sure whether it’s because it’s raining and I’m thinking of the seaside, summer holidays and coastal walks or whether I just love blue and white crockery, but this Seahorse jug from Cream Cornwall is heading straight for my ‘must have’ list! There are all sorts of other crockery items, table mats and linens in the collection too – all very tempting.  Also with a natural/nature theme, these beautiful Green Agate Coasters are from Amara, and also come in White, Blue and Brown. Just the thing to add a touch of colour to a stretch of new work surface or island unit!  Franke’s new Pescara Swivel Up & Down tap allows the user to switch between a targeted pressure spray and normal, fast flow operation. The nozzle just needs to be pushed up or down to change the flow, and the spout can rotate a full 360 degrees. Perfect for that new kitchen …

What a Waste … in general, I’m always in favour of waste bins situated within a pull-out unit, but that’s not always possible, and it’s often the case that a family simply produces too much recycling, cardboard and general ‘rubbish’ that an external bin parked in the corner of the kitchen is the solution. Which is why I love the new Totem Waste & Recycling Bin designed by PearsonLloyd and available from Joseph Joseph. It’s the latest configuration, there are other sizes and colours available too. Here, the bottom drawer is fully removable and separate, there’s a removable food waste caddy, and it can accommodate recycling as well. And it looks rather fabulous too!

Looking Down … these Med-Grey Tumbled Limestone flags from Indigenous have soft tones of blue and grey, a soft tumbled finish, and clearly visible fossil markings. We often feature porcelain and ceramic tiles here on The Kitchen Think, so we though it was high time that real limestone gets a look-in! Available in various sizes, these tiles would be a wonderful addition to a ground floor project and could run all through, from front porch to living and dining space, kitchen, utility and boot room. 

Wet Wet Wet … so a few days ago in the first heatwave whilst my garden was looking parched, there was Sahara dust everywhere and I had no way of clearing everything up, and my cheap eBay hose purchase had broken at it’s second use,  I was asked if I wanted to try out the new Tuffhoze by Hozelock. A huge box arrived two days later, containing not just the Tuffhoze but also a Superhoze! Well, what can I say! A decent, proper, top quality hose transforms everything. Literally. I have been watering the garden, hosing down paths, window-sills, gutters, and all the grotty bits between the fence and the bins. At the moment I’m undecided which I like best. The grey Tuffhoze uses PVC and textile so is lighter than a ‘normal’ green hosepipe, and the whole idea is that it’s designed to be exceptionally hardwearing and durable. It’s 25 m long. So far it’s magnificent. The cheerful yellow super-expanding yellow Superhoze is extremely easy to handle, and once the water flow is turned off and it’s drained, shrinks back into it’s bucket/carry box. This one comes in various sizes, up to 40m. I’m super-impressed with both of them, and will continue to use both and report back in a few weeks as to which is the winner!

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About Linda Parker

Linda Parker
Interiors & Lifestyle Writer, who’s spare time is currently spent planning storage strategies for the new house

  Email:  Linda Parker

  Website:  https://www.thekitchenthink.co.uk

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