Outdoor fireplaces are great gathering places for friends and family, and they can be a valuable addition to any backyard, deck or outdoor living space. Ultimately, the outdoor fireplace that`s right for your home`s exterior space will be one that reflects your personality and your goals for fireside fun. The first consideration when deciding on an outdoor fireplace design is whether your outdoor fireplace will be portable or permanent. Portable outdoor fireplaces obviously provide for virtually unlimited choice in terms of placement in your backyard or on your deck, and they now come in a number of different designs and finishes to suit just about any style of outdoor living space.
These are a great idea for both base and wall units as they do help to maximise space – but traditional corner units can also be a nightmare as you can easily forget what’s hiding away at the back of them and you constantly have to pull everything out just to get what you want. So, wherever possible use a carousel fitting inside or one of my favourite magic corners!
While you might not be putting out fifty roast chickens a night, you stand to benefit from emulating aspects of restaurant kitchens, like easy-to-clean finishes and open shelving. A home kitchen shouldn`t feel clinically sterile, but it also should feel like a place where you can get things done. Peek inside your favorite restaurant`s kitchen, and borrow the ideas you like best. Working with a smaller budget but want that chef-like vibe? Restaurant supply stores have some pretty great deals, like metal bains marie that are inexpensive ways to store your utensils, or infinitely versatile aluminum mixing bowls.
Always discuss socket positions with your electrician before they start work! Too many is better than too few. Always consider what splashback material you are using as sockets will increase the cost of some, such as glass, which is cut off-site by specialists – it’s easier to cut-around sockets if you’re using more traditional materials like wall tiles. Sockets should sit a minimum 150mm above worktops and always be installed by a qualified electrician.
Kitchen designers are a lot more affordable than you might think. If you want to get it right and get the best kitchen for your needs (and budget), hire a professional who can work all that out for you. You can create an almost bespoke kitchen by taking a kitchen off the rack and changing small elements such as handles and cupboard door fronts.
Huge American fridge freezers are one of the most common design mistakes made. They take up a lot of room and as much of the freezer storage space is taken up by an ice making machine, they are not that practical either. One of the contributors on the show even had the fridge freezer in their living room because it wouldn’t fit it in the kitchen! Choose a fridge that is the right size for your kitchen and provides you with the storage you need.
Moving a boiler is normally a pretty expensive job and whenever a boiler is in the kitchen it’s certainly a design hurdle. Concealing the boiler within a wall unit is a neat solution but you should always discuss the ventilation issue with the manufacturer of the boiler if you intend to box it inside a cupboard - as it needs airflow to run safely. Also, bear in mind that standard wall units are not normally big enough to house it so you’ll either need an oversized unit or your kitchen fitter would need to create one for you on site.
Because more and more of us are staying in our homes and making improvements rather than moving, you can afford to put your personal stamp on your home. For that reason, be brave and embrace colour. Everything from bright pink to cool blues will work in a kitchen, you can even go for an all-white, glossy kitchen if you want that modern, minimal look. Be bold and you’ll be thrilled by the results.
When it comes to outdoor dining, anything goes. But to capture an easygoing escape-to-the-weekend-home feeling, make an attempt to separate yourself from your daily routine. Start by setting the table and chairs on the lawn and away from your home, which will create a dining experience that is unique and unexpected.
Cooker hoods have become one item in the kitchen that you can really make a statement with. Top-of-the range statement hoods can cost well over £1000 so be careful when buying something that looks similar but costs a lot less – they’re usually badly made. As a rule try to stick to one of the better known brands – if there is one item in the kitchen that is prone to breaking down it’s the hood. As a designer I’m not particularly excited about having an “out-there’’ cooker hood as they tend to date pretty quickly and it’s an expensive item to change once the trends move on. So, often I think it’s best to go for a concealed/integrated or canopy hood – telescopic hoods are really smart as they only project into the room when in use and are otherwise inconspicuous.
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