Storage thoughts and clear conclusions
By Linda Parker
Incredibly, as it seems we’ve all only just gone back to school, we are hurtling towards half-term already, and needless to say, work on the new house hasn’t gone quite as quickly as anticipated. Our totally optimistic and ever-cheerful builder says we’ll be in by November. But seeing as only three rooms have been plastered and although masses of deliveries of shower screens, wall panelling, doors, fitted wardrobes have arrived and hundreds of metres of new copper piping has been installed, November seems to be somewhat optimistic. I am now ploughing through hundreds of paint charts and swatches, and attempting to choose wallpaper.
Kitchen interior planning continues too. There three 900mm three-drawer units, one corner unit, and one 1200mm two drawer unit with interior cutlery drawers to be designated for various items. As there will also be a giant-sized surplus storage / washing machine cupboard just along the hall, I won’t be short of space, but I do want it to be super-efficient and ultra-organised, so drawer dividers, plate holders, knife holders, spice drawers and a foil/film dispenser are all coming under intense scrutiny. See more AMBIA-LINE ideas here http://www.blum.com/gb/en/01/50/50/. It’s difficult to know when to stop planning, and although my choices are currently pretty final, I’ve been sidetracked by the new Parisian kitchen by Krieder. Launched at 100% Design, this particular one is a mixture of bronze and gold metallic lacquered cabinetry, an island with a micro-concrete outer layer, and a porcelain worksurface, with a focal point bespoke extractor hood covered with antique American tin tiles. Visit www.krieder.com for further inspiration and details.
Clear inspiration by IQ Glass
I get to see lots of glorious extension and conservatory projects, and one that has a real ‘wow’ factor is this one by IQ Glass www.iqglassuk.com. It has a frame-less open corner with sliding windows and a floating roof. If you like the idea of a genuinely indoor-outdoor lifestyle, that’s the way to approach an extension. Architectural glass technology experts IQ Glass are leaders in the field, and their projects tick all the right boxes. However, if you’re on a less extravagant budget and simply want to improve your current windows, rooflights, conservatory and general glazing, a visit to the new Glass & Glazing Federation’s website will answer some questions. MyGlazing.com. There’s also info on saving energy, the consumer protection deposit scheme, a gallery of glazing styles and a search profile for GGF members to carry out installation and design work. Well worth a look, especially for smaller projects.
It’s always exciting when we receive new products to try out, and one that has just landed is the miGuard Wireless Smartphone Alarm from Response Electronics. It’s a remote monitoring system, operated by smartphone. My iPhone is currently being less than smart, but having shouted at it very loudly, turned it off and turned it on again and ruthlessly deleted things from the memory, it seems to be behaving again … so, my project for later this week will be to try and set up this system in my mother’s house … fingers crossed. For further details, visit www.responseelectronics.com
The trend for subtle, tasteful metallic details for kitchens and bathrooms is a welcome one … as much as I love sleek brushed stainless steel and shiny chrome finishes, it’s interesting to see a wider variety of options. ‘Cherished Gold’ is one of the latest colours everyone’s talking about (from Dulux, www.dulux.co.uk) and of course we’ve already had red gold and copper. New bathroom taps from MGS include this black steel finish, a single hole mixer tap, MB289 is a hefty £897, from Grange Design, www.mgsbathroomtaps.co.uk. For an excellent range of handles and fittings that will add an extremely stylish industrial flourish to a kitchen, visit www.busterandpunch.com
If you struggle with cling film and foil, and can never match up the lids for the old take-away containers, a small investment on some Charles Viancin lids will streamline the kitchen storage in a very satisfying manner. These silicone lids can be re-used endlessly, are air-tight, water-tight, keep food fresh, stove-top/saucepan safe and can be used as a splatter guard as well. From £7.50 for a set of two drink covers. www.charlesviancin.com
Weathered Oak composite outdoor decking, Millboard
And finally … as we all know, kitchen planning doesn’t quite stop at the kitchen. Having a shiny new kitchen means that I’ll be spending all my time in there… especially as I’m hoping to fit in a standing-up desk in there as well. Which means more time spent looking out into the garden. My fingers aren’t terribly green, but I’m on a learning curve at the moment, and realise that I need to get some outdoor ideas together pdq. With two large paved areas to think about, I’m very impressed with the Millboard range of composite wood-look decking. From experience I know that old sleepers can get very slippery, this range is non-slip, very straightforward to install, with no maintenance required, and comes in a very good choice of colours and finishes. The current favourite is Weathered Oak, find more at www.millboard.co.uk
Next Month: Good Ideas for Christmas Cooking