If there is one thing you must do when you are re-designing your kitchen it is to measure up properly and produce a scaled plan of the room – quite often simply by doing the maths and working out the optimum combination of base units you can gain extra storage space. Allow for opening space on your plan, make sure cabinets will fit beneath windows and always position tall cabinets at the end of your worktop. Start with the basics of kitchen design. Work to the traditional triangular layout of a food prep area, fridge and sink, all within easy reach of one another. It still applies to modern kitchen layouts.Be very careful where you position tall units as they can cast unwanted shadows – in corners or at the end of a worktop run is best, but even better is between two walls, in a “niche”. When in a niche a neat trick is to use panelling or studwork around the tall units to give the impression of recessed units.
One of the most popular outdoor room touches you can explore is enclosing a gazebo or pergola in colorful outdoor curtains. These will have the effect of framing the outdoor room and creating a gentle perimeter, and they can also offer precious shade on sunny days.
One technique for enlivening an outdoor space is to create a focal point in the form of a fire pit, dining area or gazebo. Focus on complementing this focal point with your furniture. For example, if your fire pit is oval-shaped with smooth curves, a set of sling-backed or egg chairs and simple end tables might be a good fit. On the other hand, if your chairs will be set around a rustic, campfire-like fire ring constructed of heavy fire-resistant bricks, you may want a more substantial set of heavy wooden or wrought iron chairs.
A contemporary look has clean, understated lines and a limited color palate with bold graphics. This style can liven up a generic ranch house, complement a modern home design or provide an interesting contrast to a historical house style that also boasts clean lines, such as craftsman. When choosing contemporary furniture, look for metal designs or all-weather wicker with a sleek, sculptural design, says Voyles. If you prefer wood, go for teak, which tends to come in contemporary designs.
Arrange your spread on an ocean-vista picnic table and play up the nautical theme (fish motif on linens, blue hydrangeas) with the tabletop decor. Why do benches work so well outside? No backs, which will help keep the captivating view unobstructed for everyone.
What makes a kitchen memorable is what happens in it, and we should be doing everything possible to not only sit down and eat together, but to also cook together. Start with something really simple like having an extra chef`s knife around for eager sous chefs. For full-on remodeling projects, think about how you want the space to flow and accommodate a gaggle of helpers: maybe a custom center island on wheels? My budget version of that is felt pads under the legs of my small butcher block that allow me to slide it out toward the living room and get people chopping onions or greasing ramekins. This gives me room in the kitchen proper to accomplish the more involved acrobatics of throwing a serious dinner party.
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!
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.
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