Whatever happened to MasterChef, Martha Collinson bakes, and some glamorous kitchen ideas…
By Linda Parker
I think I’ve got Celebrity MasterChef fatigue. Watching the first couple of episodes of the new celebrity series was quite disheartening. Frankly, most of the contestants turned out various variations of stir-fry-splodge, with a sprig of something green on top and a smear of something unidentifiable on the side. Disappointing, to say the least. I’m quite happy to rustle up one-bowl / one-pot dishes for weekday suppers, and a lot of the time it’s a case of ‘what’s in the fridge and what needs using up’, but that isn’t terribly exciting to watch on TV, especially when quite a few of the contestants were rather vague about what their supplied ingredients were. I’m not sure some deserved the term ‘chef’, let alone ‘celebrity’! On the other hand, I picked up a copy of the Mail on Sunday’s You magazine last weekend, and was very happy to see a selection of recipes from Bake Off’s Martha Collinson. Her new book, Twist: Creative Ideas to Reinvent your Baking showcases some mouth-watering ideas, I’m aiming to try the Lime-iced courgette cake when I next have the urge to bake.
The Vao and Linee kitchen by Team 7, available from Wharfside
I’ve been looking at the new Team 7 solid wood Austrian kitchen ranges from Wharfside , who until recently I’ve always associated with very timeless and elegant dining room and occasional furniture. The Team 7 designs are definitely worth a look if you want a custom-built, made-to-order kitchen that is made from solid timber, including walnut, oak, cherry, beech and alder. The design team has taken storage solutions to the ultimate level and provides masses of options so that all items can be stored in an orderly manner, found easily, and of course, make the kitchen a delight to work in. Looking through the images and designs available, I’m almost sad that my own kitchen project is practically finished!
Open shelving – sheer practicality for organised souls who love to see what’s where – at a glance. By Team 7, as before.
Lift up doors are just one of the options – making it easier to move around in a busy kitchen without open cupboard doors getting in the way. By Team 7, as before.
Oh, the pleasure of a kitchen with more than enough drawer space! Look at ideas and layouts by Team 7, as before.
Good Ideas …
Classic Toaster and Kettle by Dualit, now also available in a brass finish, see the range here.
With the trend for super-stylish kitchens with a luxury look becoming more widespread and accessible, we love the thought of being able to give a kitchen a glamorous makeover on a small or large budget. If you’re on a tight budget, think about a bit of a re-vamp with some metallic bronze, gold, rose-gold or gilt paints … re-vamp picture frames, stools, shelves and accessories. If you’re prepared to splash the cash, go for mirrored splashbacks, perhaps with a distressed gold finish, metallic tiles, and copper, brass or bronze small appliances. It doesn’t take much to ‘warm’ up a kitchen scheme, and it generally works better for an open plan space too, making the division between kitchen-dining-living-family spaces less obvious. And of course, a decorative ‘must-have’ is a very dark feature wall … go for indigo, charcoal, black, aubergine or a deep olive-green for a statement look.
I’m currently trying to get my new utility room organised (well, it’s more of a utility cupboard than a utility room, to be honest …) so I’m measuring shelves and boxes and trying to allocate space and design cubby holes to accommodate rarely-used small appliances. I’m so thankful that there is space for the washing machine away from the kitchen; the new washing machine is a pleasure to use, is relatively quiet and has a super-effective spin (fleeces and sportswear items are practically dry on a 1200 spin, I haven’t used the 1400 spin net!) If you’re looking for a new washing machine and want to keep an eye on the price, have a look at this John Lewis own-brand model. It comes with a three-year guarantee too. Happy days. For anyone who needs a bit of inspiration for their utility or laundry room, take a look at these …
A simple, spacious and practical utility room from Rencraft ticks all boxes as far as storage, cupboards and even a window-seat are concerned. See further ideas from Rencraft here.
Pretty pink utility room by deVOL kitchens; for more ideas, visit their website here, and have a good old look at their beautiful Shaker-inspired designs.
In my head, my utility/cloak/boot room will look like this. In reality it will soon become a depository for bits and pieces that need taking to the recycling centre, parcels to be sent and various random boxes, shopping bags and stray wellies. I will do my best to avoid chaos and keep this image in mind … Accessories are by Sainsbury’s.
Going Shopping …
Birds, animals and wildlife motifs are still hugely popular, we simply adore these items of crockery, all from Marks & Spencer. The Bird and Feather cake plates and Bird mug are all £6 each – we rather like the idea of a set of these plates on the kitchen wall, against a dark paint colour.
And finally, I’ve just been loaned a Peli Voyager cover for my iPad, which has already suffered a couple of broken screens, and I refuse to contemplate repairing another! The Peli Voyager (also available for smart phones) is industrial/military strength, so really and truly I shouldn’t be able to break anything else. See more details here, as someone who takes my iPad everywhere, rather than a camera, I feel more secure already!