Give your outdoor space a fresh face by sticking to a monochromatic palette. You can pull off a polished look without overdoing it. Choose the essential pieces (wirework round table, umbrella, stools) in a contemporary gray and white color scheme.
To protect your outdoor room from the elements, consider adding an awning in an eye-popping design. This way, your outdoor living space will be open for enjoyment even during inclement weather. Don`t be afraid to add stylish accents and traditional indoor furnishings to your outdoor room. Carpets, throw pillows for furniture, and other design touches will create a welcoming feel. Just make sure they`re rated for outdoor use if they`ll be exposed to the elements.
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.
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.
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!
Be very careful of the quality when it comes to magic corners as some can be a bit flimsy and whatever you do don’t overload them with heavy items like mixers or blenders. An easy mistake to make with corner units is to forget the corner post that comes with them – this is very important as it prevents the door handles from bashing into each other – so when ordering your base units make sure whoever you are purchasing it from knows that you need a corner unit as opposed to a standard base unit and ask for a corner post! You also need to allow for the width of this corner post when working out the best combination of base units.
You should consider the various materials available for patio furniture. Traditional wicker or bamboo patio furniture now comes in a variety of weights, colors and pricing tiers. For a more substantial feel, you might try redwood or cedar furniture, which will be naturally resistant to warping, decay and insects. If you`re worried about weather wear, you might want to consider wrought iron or stone for tables and chairs. Even cushions for couches and chairs are now made of acrylic fabrics that can withstand all types of weather and sun exposure.
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.
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