By Linda Parker
By Linda Parker
Having just had a bit of a Spring clean, I’ve become focussed on storage issues … and realised that although I have loads of storage space, not all of it as logical as it should be! So I’ve moved the used-once-a-year stuff to a high shelf in the utility cupboard (having cleared that of empty small appliance boxes!) and as a result, feel rather smug about my streamlined storage. So here’s a few great examples if you want to follow suit …
High-level cupboards can sometimes feel a bit daunting – if you’re at planning stage, it’s vital to pin down the height you want these cupboards to be, and of course, to know that all the space can be accessed easily. In a busy-busy kitchen, it’s good advice to avoid standard open-outwards cupboard doors as they can get in the way if everyone is constantly searching for ingredients and crockery. Best choice is a lift-up system, where the ‘door’ is lifted up and out of the way – and can be safely left open too. This is Blum’s Servo-Drive Aventos system, where fronts just glide open upwards at a touch and can then be soft-closed with Servo Drive at the touch of a switch.
Deep drawers are a practical and totally sensible choice for any kitchen. See everything at a glance, whether it’s stacks of plates and bowls or packets of pasta and biscuits! Blum’s Legrabox drawers glide open and close without fuss, and have super-load-bearing capacities – up to 40kg or 70kg per drawer, depending on the width of the drawer. High fronts add an extra design element too, so your kitchen designer can offer endless colour and material options. See above for two of our LEGRABOX drawers which go up to 1200mm wide.
The ‘under the sink’ cupboard can become a bit of a horror story if it’s not designed properly in the first place. Don’t end up spending your hard-earned cash on a space that becomes a graveyard for old carrier bags and a bottle of bleach. Start as a new kitchen should mean to go on, and choose a U-Shaped drawer system to wrap around the sink itself, and a lower drawer which will accommodate cleaning products, dishwasher tablets, even recycling or compost tubs. Shown here, more Legrabox solutions.
Our SPACE TOWER larder unit is fast becoming a fixture on the best kitchen wish lists. It comes in lots of widths, providing logical and efficient storage that is accessible from the front and either side. There’s no wasted space above each drawer either, as each drawer extends fully outwards, meaning that there’s no need to leave an area of dead ‘access’ space above each drawer. Put it on your wish list if you want to make the most of all of the space in your new kitchen (and remember, it’s been proved through meticulous research that a logically planned kitchen using drawers and pull-outs can provide up to 55% more storage space than standard, old-fashioned cupboards and shelves).
If you’re happy with your existing kitchen-living-dining space but could perhaps do with an extra few storage pieces here and there, take a look at the latest collection of modular box-designs from BISLEY. This is the BOB small kit one in white. It’s very sleek and simple, each piece sits together magnetically – and I can think of thousands of uses for these! Perhaps as hallway shoe storage or seating, for the utility room, home office, under a window as a storage/window seat… the list is potentially endless. And of course, can be easily moved around and re-purposed if and when your storage requirements change.
I couldn’t resist investigating this wood-look kettle and microwave when I first heard about them! Ok so it’s not quite as timber-ish as I had imagined, but nonetheless the decorative wooden-look details look stunning and definitely enhance a new kitchen, especially with existing timber details. These are from Swan’s Nordic collection. The microwave has a 30 minute timer, six power levels including defrost and a glass turntable. Perfectly serviceable if, like most of us, basically use a microwave for reheating coffee and defrosting prepped meals. There’s also a matching kettle, both look very stylish and add a certain something if you’re re-styling your kitchen.
If there had been taps in Game of Thrones, they would look like this. This stunning design is the Maris Free Swivel, especially designed for Franke by Dror Benshetrit (not a GOT name, honestly). The design is inspired by flowing water, and has a twisted-effect, sculptural spout which is available in Matt Black or SilkSteel. (I am totally refusing to reference Valyrian steel here, please note …) Anyway, back in the real world this beautiful tap is available from Franke stockists here.
Crown Imperial can always be relied upon to have a finely tuned balance of colours, designs and finishes in their kitchen collections. This latest addition, the Meteor collection, is a complete show-stopping natural stone effect for cabinet fronts. The Bianca finish is shown here, others include Caffee, Galaxy, Granite, Grigio and Nero. These finishes, plus the new Crown Frameworks open shelving system and Crown TIP-ON BLUMOTION drawer technology provides a realistically affordable, practical and stunning kitchen.
Had a lovely parcel earlier this month … brand new coffee bags (as in tea bags, but coffee) to try out. I must admit I’m a lazy coffee-maker … I’ll drink one if someone else makes it for me, but otherwise I tend to drink tea. But … the new Dualit Compostable Bags are an excellent option. It really is as easy as chucking a bag into a mug, and from my point of view it saves both having to de-toxify the cafetière and cleaning up the all-singing-all dancing coffee maker (which I still love!). But these bags are soooo much easier and the brew tastes fabulous too. Available online at special offer prices at the moment too, hurry!
And finally … three shopping ideas for Bank Holiday activities; from hand creams to soothe garden-ravaged hands, to tile ideas and outdoor lighting if you’re thinking of getting the garden ready for outdoor entertaining. From left; RHS Tender Palm Hand Cream, which has scented elements of fig and cognac! Perfect for garden-weary hands. Centre; Planning a tile revamp for the kitchen (or bathroom or utility room?), go for bright shades, such as these Craquelure Living Coral Tiles from Walls & Floors. A visit to a garden centre is virtually obligatory on a Bank Holiday (unless of course you’re having a family BBQ which is the other option). Right; This Tarifa outdoor lantern from Wyevale Garden Centres is elegant and has a copper/steel finish. Happy Bank Holiday, fingers crossed for a very sunny weekend!