5 TOP TIPS FOR ADDING A TOUCH OF CHIC LUXURY TO YOUR KITCHEN

A kitchen makeover can be the perfect way to impress guests, add value to your property or simply make you feel cosier in your own home. Certain kitchen design trends have become tacky or outdated over the years. Getting rid of these and opting for a few modern and classic touches could help to make your humble abode feel like the home of a millionaire.   Getting inspired to redesign your kitchen is quite simple really, just have a look at kitchens through the years.  Below I’ve highlighted some of the periods…

 

50s and 60s

Though food rationing began in the 1940s, its effect continued well into the post-war era. Stripped back and functional was what comes to mind when thinking about the pre-war era of kitchen design and interiors. But as we entered the 1950s, and the age of consumerism, the fitted kitchen with household appliances became the housewife’s domain. Influenced by bold American designs, our kitchens evolved into bright semi-open plan spaces.

70s and 80s

Fridges and freezers crept into the mass market, and more families could afford to keep food cool within the comfort of their own home in the 1970s. The bulky white goods helped to evolve the kitchen – moving away from using seasonal vegetables to having the flexibility to experiment all year round. With the advent of ready meals in the late 70s, our culinary habits and home dining experiences changed drastically from the preceding decade.

90s and 00s

As we moved from the 1990s to the noughties, only 25% of UK households owned a dishwasher. The labour-saving device found its way onto the list of white goods that a fair selection of us installed. As the years went by, and the dishwasher made its way into the mass market, we exited 2015 with 45% of UK homeowners having a dishwasher. An integrated dishwasher and fridge freezer proved to be a stylish addition to our kitchens. However, as the trendy finishes became more popular, many of us now opt for bespoke fridge housings to show off our retro Smegs or stainless steel Samsungs.

2010s

Technology began to aid us further from 2010 onwards. Our kitchen appliances have come on leaps and bounds since the 50s and 60s. Hot water taps which were first seen in commercial and industrial kitchens have now entered our domestic kitchens and allowed us to whip up meals in a flash. Multi-zone induction hobs have allowed us to effectively cook larger dishes and the ever-growing smart homes has allowed us to order our shopping online with voice control.

This decade has also introduced us to such smart home stalwarts as Amazon’s Alexa and ingenious appliances – technology that allows us to enjoy our time in the kitchen more than ever before, providing recipes, music and more.

 

Our kitchens have evolved through time, shaping and shifting the way we buy and consume our food – and evolving our cooking habits from those seen back in the 50s and 60s. The advance of technology and quickening pace of life in modern times has led to a particular trend of open plan luxury kitchens that can act as a multifunctional space, equipped with high-spec appliances, where we can enjoy time with loved ones without having to be in the same small room.

 

Below I’ve shared with you 5 top tips to help you design your perfect kitchen.  Let me know what you think.

 

kitchen worktops

 

Top up your counter top

 

Replacing an old countertop could help to transform your home. Laminated wood and ceramic are good neutral choices for adding sophistication. However, if you really want to up the elegance, you should try a stone countertop – either marble or granite. These can be expensive materials. That said, you don’t always have to opt for the real thing. There are plenty of faux-granite plastics out there that can serve the same aesthetic purpose, as well as other stone materials such as concrete. 

 

Upgrade old appliances

 

Your old appliances could be taking away from the luxurious feel of your kitchen. Replacing the white goods isn’t cheap, but in some cases you could save money in the long run. Many newer models are more energy-efficient, particularly those with an Energy Star rating. Not only that, but you could get more functions out of newer appliances. For example, a new washing machine may be able to give you a greater variety of cycles to choose from for different types of laundry. There are also smart options such as smart kettles that you can turn on and off with your phone – useful if you want to turn the kettle on whilst still in bed so that you’re ready to pour your brew by the time you come down.

 

Most appliances will last for fifteen years. Generally you should try to get at least five years out of an appliance, providing it hasn’t broken within that time. Whilst having new appliances will make your home fresh, you don’t want to wasting unnecessary money constantly buying new machinery.

 

kitchen design

 

Freshen up your taps

 

Modern taps are very different to the taps of twenty years ago. Pull-down taps are a popular option that could allow you to better reach all the corners of your sink, as well as helping to thoroughly rinse out pots and pans. An even more ultramodern trend is boiling water taps. These can instantly fill up a mug or a pan with boiling hot water with the flick of a switch (these taps do come with a safety feature to stop kids getting their hands on them).

 

Fix up flawed flooring

 

Linoleum is no longer the rage in households. Old and tired lino can particularly bring down the appearance of a home. Instead consider options such as laminate wood or ceramic tiles. Both approaches needn’t involve pulling up floorboards.  Chessboard patterns and controversial colours could devalue your home if you ever plan to sell it.

 

Let there be light

 

A luxurious kitchen needs to feel bright. The solution to this could be to add in more artificial light. Spot lighting can help to brighten up dull corners of the room. A cheaper option meanwhile could be track lighting which involves fitting a track on the ceiling and positioning lights on it pointing in different directions to brighten up all the corners of the kitchen. Try to suit your lighting’s intensity to the tone of the kitchen. Ceramic whites and chrome steels may be better complemented with cool lighting, whilst warm lighting may help to brighten up wooden surfaces.

 

There are also ways to let in more natural light. Reflective surfaces such as chrome steel countertops or mirrored cabinets may help to reflect more sunlight into the room. If you’re using woods you could opt for lighter types such as beech and oak rather than the likes of mahogany and sapele (although these latter choices can help bring a sense of sophistication to an older property). Painting cabinets with a glossy white could also help to brighten the place up.

 

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These top 5 tips will help you add a touch of luxury to your kitchen from worktops, appliances and flooring. Head over to read more.

 

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5 LIGHTING TIPS TO CREATE THE PERFECT ATMOSPHERE

Now that winter is behind us my attention has turned to decorating our home for spring and summer.  I am in the process of changing our soft furnishings from dark shades to ones that are soft tones and will bring as much sunshine in to the house as possible.

 

I am also on the lookout to create ambience and atmosphere in our home and to do this my attention next is on lights.

 

When thinking of lighting I have been on the hunt for several things.  I want my home to feel bigger and warmer but I also want softer lights too.  I’ve trawled the internet and come up with some hints and tips to share with you on how to use lighting effectively.  This is what I have done and am so pleased with the results.  I have no way finished but I’m getting there.  These lighting tips will hopefully help you create a wonderful atmosphere in your home too.

 

1. Plan

The first tip I’m going to share is to make a lighting plan.  May seem silly but it works!  Think about the rooms you want to add lighting too and what type of lighting.  I mean you don’t want an overly bright light in your bedroom when you are trying to wind down and relax!  So write down your rooms, what you use them for and then consider the style you want to add and the temperature of the lights.

2. Don’t stick to one light source

Know when it’s cold and you’re told to layer up?  Well it’s the same for lighting – honestly!  Layer lighting sources, put them at different levels to create a wonderful ambience to your room.  For example, use spotlights to highlight your favourite picture, use uplighting for a soft lighting feel or use low hung pendant lighting over a table.

lighting

 

3. Choose the right bulb

I am so in love with the filament bulbs!  I love being able to see the workings of it and not worry about covering the bulb up.  I have opted for using filament bulbs in my side table lighting.  However, make sure you choose the correct watts for your atmosphere and  of course make sure you choose energy efficient bulbs too!  

 

lighting

 

4. Create a welcoming feel

Ok I have to admit to just taking down our Christmas string lights that I had in the hall!  I really loved the welcoming feel they gave to the hall as guests entered.  I have really fallen in love with these string lights that are fashioned in to tiny colourful cocktail umbrellas.  These I really need in my life right now!

 

 

5. Keep it Simple

Try and consider your theme, a colour scheme and materials before considering lighting.  Keep it simple and try and ensure all your lighting complements each other.  To open your space and make it appear bigger opt for neutral tones with the odd pop of colour.  If you want to add a touch of sheer luxury then go for darker tones.

 

Whatever lighting you choose I hope it creates rooms that make you feel wonderful.  Are there any other lighting tips you would like to share with me?  Let me know below.

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STUNNING RUSTIC FARMHOUSE FURNITURE & DECOR IDEAS FOR YOUR HOME

This post may contain affiliate links.

 

I have to admit to getting back in to the swing of decorating and spending a little more time making our house a home.  Have you noticed that farmhouse designs have made a huge comeback?  I love embracing this style as it is cosy but at the same time very chic.  I decided to check out some of the inspired furniture below.  Why not let me know what you think?

 

 

Rustic Wood Wall Decor

Want to get that rustic farmhouse style decor? These ideas will have you decorating now!

 

If you want to get that rustic farmhouse look, this beautiful rustic wood wall hanging is just perfect.  I love the fact it is framed and would be ideal in your kitchen or hall.  You can purchase a few of these with different messages to add an even greater impact.

 

Rustic Shelves

Want to get that rustic farmhouse style decor? These ideas will have you decorating now!

 

Need a super easy way to bring a bit of rustic charm to your home quickly?  This rustic wood wall mounted cabinet is just the thing for you.  While this is already distressed you could strip to down and give it another look depending on your decor for a different barn look.

 

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Rustic Mirror

Want to get that rustic farmhouse style decor? These ideas will have you decorating now!

 

This stunning wooden rustic mirror is the perfect accessory to any hallway to bring some rustic country decor to your home.  The ideal way to add some more reflective light in to your home too!

 

Rustic Farmhouse Light

Want to get that rustic farmhouse style decor? These ideas will have you decorating now!

I really adore this farmhouse country style rustic light fitting.  It’s a perfect addition to any room in the house.  Don’t just take my word for it though.  Head over now to see for yourself!

 

 

Rustic Farmhouse Country Kitchen Table

Want to get that rustic farmhouse style decor? These ideas will have you decorating now!

 

No home would be complete without a rustic country farmhouse kitchen table!  This is an amazing table and would look gorgeous in any home.

 

Rustic Wreath

Want to get that rustic farmhouse style decor? These ideas will have you decorating now!

It doesn’t have to be Christmas to put up a wreath!  This stunning rustic tulip wreath is ideal for spring time.  You can place on your door or you can hang in your hall.  Wherever it goes it will certainly turn heads.

 

I hope the ideas above will help you achieve your farmhouse inspired home.  Adding these elements to your home will certainly transform them in to your own little country retreat.

 

 

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Want to get that rustic farmhouse style decor? These ideas will have you decorating now!

 

 

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IS OPEN PLAN LIVING REALLY FAMILY FRIENDLY?

View a selection of new build family homes and you’d be hard pushed to find a design that doesn’t include at least one open planned room, unless you’re looking at really large properties. Walk around some small to medium-sized homes marketed at new or growing families and you’ll likely be presented with one or more open plan living spaces. In fact, you may even find that as many as three rooms have been rolled into one in the name of embracing ‘family friendly’ living space. A recent survey by one homebuilder Countryside claims that open plan living is very much in demand with 65% of buyers looking for an open plan living, kitchen and dining area because they are ‘family friendly’.

 

Let’s be honest, there’s a fairly obvious reason why developers have embraced open plan living. Missing out a wall here and there allows for a lot better flow of light and air and can make smaller spaces look larger. And of course, you save a few bricks and time on building too. But is it all about creating an illusion of space and saving a few quid or are there real advantages to opening up your home? Let’s look at the pros and the cons to see if open plan living could be a fit for your family…

The pros

You won’t miss a thing

An open plan space is perfect for sharing with the whole family and especially good for keeping a close eye on cruising toddlers! Whether they’re reaching for things they shouldn’t or taking a peaceful nap, it’s easier to watch over them to ensure nothing is amiss. Plus, with bigger areas to explore, there’s more room for toys and less likelihood of bumping into things. And, if you have guests over for entertaining, you’ll have a bigger space to dine or party in too.

There’s more space for furniture

When your rooms are on the compact side, squeezing in a sensible furniture layout can become problematic. This means family friendly furniture such as a proper dining table is often sacrificed in order to conserve floor space. With an open plan living-dining room or a kitchen-diner, much smaller homes can accommodate furniture favourites such as table to share family meals around or a larger sofa to snuggle up on to watch movies together.

It’s easier to decorate

If you’re an interiors enthusiast you’ll know the struggle of seamlessly linking your décor as you step from room to room. With open plan living it’s much easier to create a logical flow with colours, prints and textures that work together. There are larger walls and floors that allow you to experiment with different techniques more easily and can make things like wallpapering and laying flooring or carpets easier. Plus, with fewer rooms to decorate, you may even find you save a few pounds on the overall finish.

open plan ideas

The cons

Noise and smells travel

It’s not just special moments and a larger space you share with open plan living spaces. In fact, depending on the layout on the activities of different individuals, you can end up sharing some pretty annoying things too. The potent smell of the nappy bin might waft through you’re communal chill out area or if you’re ground floor is entirely open plan, the scent of last night’s tea might hang in the air while you’re watching TV. That could be enough to put fish permanently off the menu in some households! Then of course, there’s the noise. If cooking in the kitchen is usually your quiet haven, you can forget having a peaceful five minutes if the kids are playing in the same space. Likewise, if someone’s trying to do some homework in your dining area it will be hard to persuade the rest of the house that the TV should remain switched off for the duration.

Privacy is a precious commodity

As kids get older, open plan living starts to throw up more issues. Along with needing a quiet spot to work in, you or they might want to spend some time alone without heading up to your own bedroom. You might need to factor in younger children playing with toys whilst older children try and chat with friends. It’s also common to could contend with everyone playing on multiple devices like mobiles and tablets all in the same space, which can result in lots of annoying beeping. Having some separate spaces to retreat to can be beneficial for all the family and makes it easier to accommodate each other’s moods, hobbies and interests.

Temperature regulation is tricky

Hands up who turns the radiators off in some rooms but keeps other areas extra cosy because everybody in the family seems to have their own personal temperature preference? Not only do larger areas take more heating but it’s also harder to keep separate warm and cool spaces if you need to with open plan areas. For example, if you’re cooking up a storm in your kitchen diner on a hot day, you might find that the temperature in your dining room becomes too close for comfort. This can be especially the case in well-insulated modern homes.

Can you compromise?

If you’re on board with the benefits of open plan living but less enthused about the drawbacks, there are a few things you can do. Broken plan living – described here by Houzz – is a modern update on open plan living that factors in a family’s need to socialise or spend time separately. Cleverly placed furniture can provide quiet nooks and corners or if you’re planning a move or some renovations, inserting mezzanine floors is one way to instil privacy, though it won’t necessarily help contain unwanted spreading of sounds or containment of heat. An easier (and more cost effective) solution is to consider fitting doors that can be opened and closed as required. These indoor bi-folds by Vufold feature larger floor to ceiling glass panes so that you still have the advantage of free flow of light but can close the door on unwanted interruptions if you’re in need of a bit of peace and quiet.

 

What do you think of open plan living spaces? Do you find them useful for family life or do they throw up lots of problems with practicalities in your household? Do you have any other hacks to share that allow you the best of both worlds?

 

Related posts:

Ways to add a touch of character to your bathroom

5 Overlooked decor touches to add to your home

How to DIY your way to a vintage home

 

 

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Do you love open plan living? Are you thinking of open plan living? Do you ever wonder if open plan living is really family friendly? Head over to my blog to read more.

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HOW TO DESIGN A COZY THATCHED COTTAGE INTERIOR FOR YOUR HOME

While the modern and contemporary decors of home living design are starting to slow down, another Ye Olde English design is making waves. Periodic dramas that depict the wonderful British countryside and the humble surroundings of the fair and yearning Black Country as more popular than ever before. People have realised that certain styles are purely for pleasing the fashion masters down the road and perhaps getting a nod of approval from the in laws. The real design for a splendid, warm and hearty home, should be natural, stocky, thick and full of character. There’s nothing quite like a thatched cottage home, with exterior and interior design philosophies incorporating the wilderness together with a sense of humble living. But, where to start and what first to accomplish?

 

Entering the home

 

When you enter a home, it should feel like one. There should be as much usage of space as only needed. When you enter your home, the first thing that should strike you is the quality of the flooring. Be using aged and dried yew tree flooring; the floorboards can be interlocked together and still remain rigid. Cheaper but equally as attractive hardwoods are viable, although, their sheen isn’t as deep and dense as a good quality wood. You should also make use of candles, encased in a glass bulb, but able to be taken off. The handles that prop up the candle can be polished brass or perhaps a glimmering steel.

 

 

Stature and boldness

 

The bedrooms and the living room is where the family will spend most of their time. Redesign your ceiling and get rid of the plain post-modern plaster artwork which generically features in most homes built a decade ago. Why not go back even further by using oak in a living room, with dried oak timber for the beams. The wood is strong because all the moisture that causes bending under pressure has been evaporated naturally. The beams would lay over the top of the walls, supporting the ceiling structure. A great sight to behold, and sure to impress visitors and guests.

 

Natural warmth

 

Every thatched cottage in the countryside has a fireplace, and your home should be no exception. You could install a fireplace to give the room a natural way of warming, as well as provide heat for the entire home. This is a great addition to your living room if you have a chimney running through one of the walls. The design should be an authentic, charcoal black, pure cast iron frame, with a hardened clay brick interior to insulate and stoke the fire.

 

Basic is beautiful

 

The kitchen of the traditional thatched cottage is pure for working and cooking. So, do away with the lavish designs, and adapt a less is more approach to the decor. The cabinet can change to a pure white frame, with a large opaque sheet of glass covering the door. The cabinet is taller, with a vertical, inwardly carved design like stripes, and usually in a sky blue or a darker, natural wood brown.

 

The traditional English countryside cottage has a great persona attached to it that has traveled the world. Basic, warm, cosy and very minimalistic, it’s very easy to fall in love with this decor and design approach.

 

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