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Ten Ways to Make your Kitchen Look Bigger

Want to make your kitchen look bigger? Size isn’t everything, but it certainly helps. While we can’t bend space and time to make our kitchens bigger, we can make the most out of the space we have.

We’d all like a nice spacious kitchen. Unfortunately, the physics of space can be limiting. The good news is that there are plenty of simple tricks which could give your room the Tardis treatment and make it look bigger on the inside than the out.

How to use colour to make your kitchen look bigger

white kitchen look bigger

Colour has a tremendous power to shape our mood, but it can also affect our sense of space. That’s one reason why white kitchens are a favourite. It reflects light, making the walls appear to recede and enhancing the sense of space. When you extend the white from the walls and down onto the surfaces, you create a seamless space in which edges are blurred and borders fade into the background.

To avoid white coloured kitchens look sterile, it’s easy to introduce pops of colour to draw the eye and provide more warmth.

Widen your tiles

You know how horizontal stripes can make you appear a little wider than you are? The same applies to your kitchen tiles. They can have a subtle, but profound affect on how we perceive a room. Using wide tiles stacked in a horizontal arrangement, can make even the smallest kitchen appear much wider than it actually is.

It’s also wise to consider the pattern of your tiles. Striped tiles can make a space look smaller, whereas choosing a plain tile, or one with a groove effect can help with the illusion of space. Additionally using reflective splashbacks can also help to make your kitchen look a little more roomy than it really is.

How reflection makes space look bigger

high gloss

People often use mirrors around the house to give the appearance of more room. However, most people only use them in bathrooms, bedrooms or perhaps the living room. If you bring mirrors into your kitchen behind counter tops, you’ll be amazed by the impact you can have. For example, a supersize mirror stretching across one entire wall can look fantastic, especially if you have a table or another piece of furniture in front of it.

You can achieve the same affect, albeit on a slightly smaller scale, by using mirrored splashbacks and reflective surfaces elsewhere.

Another way to use reflection to make the space appear larger is to choose gloss kitchen units. They will reflect light back into the room, tricking the eye into believing the area is bigger than it really is.

Bring the outside into your kitchen

This may depend on your personal situation, but a good way to expand your kitchen is to make use of outside space. Throwing open doors and connecting the kitchen to the garden will transform a tight, cramped kitchen. Adding windows which connect you to the green space outside, will help even the tiniest little area feel much lighter and airier than might otherwise be the case.

A popular option is to add skylights to a single-storey kitchen extension to allow light to flood into the kitchen, providing light and a less cramped feel, even in the smallest of spaces.

Avoid clutter in the kitchen

A cluttered kitchen is a claustrophobic kitchen. If you have a lot of stuff clogging up the place you can feel as if the walls are closing in. Try to ensure that the surfaces are clear at all times. Have a designated storage space for everything – if possible one which is out of sight.

Clutter plays a trick on the mind. It subconsciously makes you feel as if you don’t have enough room for everything. Your stuff literally looks like it is bursting out of the cupboards and onto the surfaces.

The same applies to your decoration. Overly ornate or complicated designs can make your design feel busy and give the impression of the walls closing in. Cleaner, minimalist designs not only look tidier, but they give the room a lighter and more open feeling.

Choose clever kitchen storage options to help to keep your kitchen space clutter free.

Use open shelving

If you have lots of cabinets in your kitchen, you’re effectively closing off space. Keeping things more open plan, on the other hand, has the impact of opening things up and making you feel that there is more space than there is. As an experiment, try opening up your kitchen cabinets.

If you have plenty of open shelves, it gives the appearance of a larger room with space to store stuff. One word of warning though. As we saw in the last point, it only works if you aren’t struggling for space as things stand. If your shelves are heaving and your cupboards bursting at the seams, it will only make things look worse.

Integrate appliances

Contemporary kitchen interior with with built-in appliances

A great big hulking fridge or freezer can take up a huge amount of room. That’s why, when possible, it’s great if you can integrate your appliances into the rest of the countertop. It might cause problems for guests who’ll have to open several doors before they get the one they are looking for, but it can do wonders for your design.

It effectively blends your appliances into the existing design creating a much cleaner and less busy feel. It avoids the need to have a large fridge or freezer taking up space in one corner and generally makes it feel as if there is less ‘stuff’ in the room.

Using lighting to make your kitchen appear more spacious

light in the kitchen

Light has a profound effect on how we feel. A dark room will feel small and claustrophobic. A lighter space will feel much more open. Ideally, you’ll opt for natural lighting, so if you can add a window or skylight to your design, so much the better.

If a kitchen redesign is a little out of your budget, you can use cabinet lighting to increase the amount of light in the room. If possible, keep this lighting white to make it feel as natural as possible. Little touches such as downlighters over workspaces, or under unit spotlights can also transform your kitchen aesthetic.

Use tall cabinets

If you’re thinking of installing new kitchen units for more space opt for taller than usual upper cabinets. These draw the eyeline up above the horizontal creating the illusion of a higher ceiling and, as a result, a bit more space.

Try to keep the colour scheme light and bright in keeping with the rest of the room and avoid intricate door designs which can create a busy and cluttered feel to the room. Avoid large, bulky doorknobs and instead go for lower profile bar pull door handles to keep everything as minimalist and simplistic as possible.

Open up floor space to make your kitchen look bigger

Table and chairs can quickly make a small kitchen feel even more cramped than it is. Try to cut down on the size of your kitchen table or choose one which can fold down when not in use. This will maximise the amount of floor space you have to play with and make it easier to move around.

If you have other floor devouring items, such as an island, get rid of them. You’ll be amazed at how much more comfortable you feel.

Even in the smallest of kitchens, it can be surprising how moving a single item can make the space feel easier to navigate. Even doing something like moving your kitchen bin from being freestanding, to tucked away in a kitchen unit can help to give you more floor space.

 

Doing more with less

We can’t all afford the perfect kitchen we want. However, with a little design know-how we can do the best with what we have. By using light, colour and being picky in our choice of furnishing it is perfectly possible to make even a tiny kitchen feel much bigger than it really is.

The post Ten Ways to Make your Kitchen Look Bigger appeared first on Kitchen Blog | Kitchen Design, Style Tips & Ideas | Kitchen Warehouse UK.

Picture Your Kitchen with the New Virtual Walkthrough

Do you remember when your kitchen was a far-off dream? As your designer brings it to life, it’s time to do a virtual walkthrough to understand their design choices. A virtual design walkthrough is a great tool to help you understand each other’s ideas and goals for the project, and they also prevent misunderstandings that can happen more easily through email or text. Here’s what you will experience:

Your Virtual Design Walkthrough Helps Your Designer Work in Your Space

After you give a virtual tour of your space to your kitchen designer, they will coordinate a time with you to screen-share. The design will be completed based on your budget, desires, and needs, and you will even get a ‘sneak peek’ of your kitchen prior to the appointment.

Once your screen-share starts, your designer will take some time to walk you through the perspectives and describe their decision-making process. Maybe the drawer base is in the island, or the cutlery divider is not in the cabinet you thought it would be. There’s a reason for everything, so once your kitchen designer has given you a thorough explanation, don’t be afraid to ask questions or make suggestions.

The first design packet includes perspectives and an architectural floor plan. The floor plan only shows wall measurements, windows, and openings to make it easier to verify this information with your contractor. Double-checking measurements will help prevent any issues moving forward.

A major benefit of this screen-share is that you and your designer can talk over issues that might come up during the design process like discrepancies in measurements, and overall aesthetics. Since this meeting starts with bigger decisions, it’s easier to ‘stay out of the weeds’ and work your way into the details as you get closer to ordering.

Final Design Screen-share

Now that you’ve confirmed measurements with your contractor and nailed down the design details, it’s time to do a final walkthrough. This packet will be much more in-depth because you will need to approve everything prior to placing your order.

During this screen-share your designer will intricately walk you through the floor plan and accessories, elevations, crown molding details, and any installation pages if included. To streamline the process, have anyone on the call who plays a major role in decision-making, so everyone is on the same page and there are no unnecessary revisions.

It’s probably clear now that a virtual design walkthrough is invaluable and will save everyone time and provide clarity. With that said, don’t be shy with your designer. Make sure you ask any questions that come to mind.  After all, this is a big purchase, and your kitchen will be a fresh start to create new memories, recipes, and family time.

Get started on your project and a virtual design walkthrough today by scheduling a Complimentary Design Consultation!

The post Picture Your Kitchen with the New Virtual Walkthrough appeared first on CliqStudios.

Give Your Kitchen a Facelift with the Best Epoxy Countertop Kit

Epoxy was first introduced to the public during the 1900s by a group of Russian chemists. In 1927, the first attempts to synthesize epoxy were made in the US.

 Best Epoxy Countertop Kit

Its various uses were mainly in the marine industry and, today, it has become a very common material for home renovations. Epoxy is often used for countertop refurbishing in kitchens and bathrooms across the US, which is why we’ve dedicated today’s article to help you find the best epoxy countertop kit.

Top 3 Picks

Best for Kitchen: Giani Carrara White Marble Countertop Paint Kit

The Giani Countertop Paint is one of the best products that you buy if you want to transform your kitchen countertops into a beautiful and long-lasting surface.

Best for Bathroom: Rust-Oleum Countertop Transformations Kit

Countertop Transformations is an easy-to-install product that gives your old bathroom countertops a new look. This kit comes with various tools and materials to complete the job.

Best Budget Option: Clear Table Top Epoxy Resin

This product is ideal for staining and protecting wood, bar, and tabletops. It creates a glossy surface that is durable and looks great when fully cured.

What Are Epoxy Countertops?

Known for its high-quality adhesive properties, epoxy resin has been used in various industries for a long time. Epoxy resin is a versatile material that can be used for various applications. It features a high-quality structure and strong adhesion.

When you want to choose the “easy way out”, you can opt for quartz, granite, or laminate countertops because you can purchase premade slabs that are relatively easy to install. You don’t get that benefit with epoxy. It is, rather, a sort of refinishing substance that you purchase in the form of a kit and then use to repair an existing material.

It’s true that there are premade epoxy countertops that you can purchase but the price is considerably higher and not suitable for people who are on a budget. Customers frequently install an epoxy countertop over another one with a worn-out material, which is commonly wood, ceramic, or concrete. This results in a bright, glossy coating that protects the surface beneath.

Pros & Cons to Epoxy Countertops

When you want to give your kitchen a new vibe, epoxy is a material that can go a long way in making you feel like you’ve bought new furniture. Naturally, there are ups and down to epoxy countertops, so let’s talk about them:

Pro: Works with a variety of countertop materials. Because of the resin’s longevity, epoxy countertops are often the go-to choice for many people for refurbishing projects. It can withstand scratches and stains just as well as other surface materials used in the kitchen. This material can even withstand the majority of typical home chemicals found in cleaners without losing its shine.

Con: Epoxy doesn’t pair well with marble or granite. Although the epoxy restoration technique may potentially be used on granite and marble, there are superior ways of refinishing that can restore the shine of these materials. The purpose of applying epoxy in the first place is to restore the original appearance of your countertops after installation. Because of the unique nature of marble and granite, they do not require repair, but you may consider utilizing them if you have a resin-based counter.

Pro: It provides a heat-resistant surface. One of the biggest benefits of having an epoxy countertop in the kitchen is its excellent heat resistance. Naturally, you can’t just place a hot pan on your epoxy countertop and leave it there forever because the heat will still destroy the initial layer, but the multiple layers of epoxy do a great job in protecting your counter.

Con: There is VOC released during the curing process. When epoxy cures, it creates a non-toxic surface that you can use to prepare your food. However, the chemicals that come together to form the hard, durable end result do include some volatile organic compounds (known as VOCs). When you’re pouring and waiting for epoxy to cure,  make sure there is enough ventilation in the kitchen to allow the VOCs to dissipate. You should avoid utilizing that area for approximately a week following to verify that it is free of this possible contaminant.

Pro: Epoxy surfaces are very easy to clean. If you’ve decided to install an epoxy countertop in your kitchen, you may use nearly any cleaning agent on it without fear of harming it (with the exception of abrasive products which can produce minor scratches). That means you’ll always have a safe location to prepare food or go about your regular activities. Because it provides a nonporous surface with a range of fundamental materials, mold and bacteria development is minimized with this choice.

Con: Preparing the surface is time-consuming. If you’re determined to refurbish your countertops using epoxy, you must first prepare the surface accordingly and this process takes up quite a lot of time. To guarantee that no stains remain, your countertops may need to be carefully sanded. The majority of your room will next need to be covered with plastic to protect it from leaking and probable VOCs released during the application procedure. It also takes around 24 hours for the surface to cure before you can use it, and this could be a problem when you have to prepare food and you can’t use any of your countertops.

What to Consider Before Buying an Epoxy Countertop Kit

Epoxy seems like a great way to protect your countertops but there are a few things that you should know before buying a countertop resurfacing kit:

  • Even if it has many different applications, epoxy can be used to repair or protect already existing surfaces. It is suitable for use with all types of laminate and composite countertops, as well as stone, concrete, or wood. You also have the possibility to pour a completely new countertop made with epoxy if you feel that works best for you.
  • A few things spring to mind while contemplating application ease. Some of the best products that fall under this category have a relatively low viscosity level, which means they flow easily and level themselves. They’re considerably easier to utilize as a do-it-yourself project, especially if you’re trying epoxy for the first time.
  • Since you will most likely need to apply a second coat of epoxy to your countertop, cure time is a key issue. Rapid-drying epoxy resins may require 4 to 6 hours before applying a second coat, but most experts suggest allowing the surface to dry for a full day. DIYers will most likely have to wait about 3 or 4 days before they can utilize the countertop. Even so, experts recommend using it sparingly because a full cure might take anywhere from 7 to 30 days, depending on the substance.
  • When fully cured, epoxy resin has a high-gloss sheen that is resistant to water, ordinary wear, cracking, and scratches. While a pan fresh from the oven might burn it, it usually withstands heat well enough to allow cups carrying hot liquids to sit on it. Resistance to UV radiation in sunshine varies, however, this may not be an issue depending on location. If the countertop will be exposed to the elements, you can either purchase resin with UV protection or a coating of UV-resistant urethane varnish. Note that not all epoxy countertop kits are designed for outdoor use, so if you’re looking to renovate your outdoor kitchen, pay close attention to this specification before buying a certain product.
  • When set, epoxy resins are nontoxic (because they’re theoretically an inert plastic) but they’re not always FDA recognized as food safe. Many goods do comply with the appropriate certification, so keep this in mind if the planned usage is for a kitchen countertop.
  • Epoxy countertops are very resistant to moisture and stains, making cleaning a breeze. When possible, clean up spills immediately away. If a towel and warm water aren’t enough to erase the stains, try a little dish soap. You want to use a white cloth when cleaning these surfaces to prevent the color of the fabric from transferring to the surface. Acetone and glass cleaner can be used to remove more persistent stains. Another option is to dilute baking soda with water. Bleach should be avoided since it can discolor epoxy. Never use abrasive cleaners since they can leave microscopic scratches on the surface, causing it to dull over time.

How to Use an Epoxy Countertop Kit

You should know that an epoxy countertops kit generally comes in the form of a bottle or box with a product that you apply to your kitchen countertops per the manufacturer’s directions.

There are many different varieties of epoxies, but they all mix hardener and resin to create a transparent, long-lasting solid. As a first seal, typical instructions call for saturating the countertop material with a thin coating of epoxy. With this process, you can avoid bubble formation as you apply more coats of epoxy on top. However, this isn’t as easy as it may sound.

Installing an epoxy countertop using a kit is a meticulous process and every step needs to be carefully followed if you want to be satisfied with the result. An epoxy countertop kit can be installed in different ways and the manufacturer’s instructions should always be the first thing you consult. Today, we’re going to give you a general tutorial on how to use one of these kits.

The list of materials and tools needed for the project includes:

  • 80- and 220-grit sanding sponge
  • Drill
  • 4 x 1-qt. Cups
  • 2 x paddle mixers
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • 2 x 2-gallon buckets
  • Trim router
  • Plastic sheet
  • Spray bottle
  • Orbital sander
  • Oscillating tool
  • 2 x 6-in. 3/8-in.-nap roller sleeves
  • Painters tape
  • Wiping cloths
  • 6-in. paint roller
  • Brushes

Once you have all these materials next to you, here are the steps to follow:

  • Epoxy bonds well with rounded edges, which means that you can use a router with a round-over bit in a horizontal position to create a front rounded-over edge.
  • Use all-purpose body filler to cover seams and gaps. If you have a particle board left exposed when cutting or routing, make sure to fill it out and smooth it as well.
  • When all these gaps have been filled, proceed to sand the surface to make sure everything is smooth. Use 60-grit sandpaper for this process.
  • Tape plastic to the floor underneath the counters. Roll the plastic over the bottom edge of the cabinet, and then tuck it in the toe-kick.
  • Have all your materials prepared because timing is everything when pouring epoxy. As you apply the primer, the race begins.
  • This primer is a must-have for any epoxy project. Mix a couple of parts into a small bucket and roll it on the counters. Once the old color is gone, apply more primer.
  • The primer should cure for about an hour. To avoid staining, mix the metallic powder into the highlight epoxy.
  • After about an hour, the primer is tacky and won’t leave residue on the surface. Mix the base coat with a clean, non-slip cloth or a glove. Pour the resin over the top of the counter, and then spread it around with a rolling pin. The goal is to create a layer that’s as thick as possible.
  • Use a thin line of leftover epoxy to push the front edge of the counter. Once the base coat is even, move the base coat around or add more epoxy.
  • Drizzling the highlights is a great way to add a little bit of color, but make sure to keep them balanced.
  • By using a brush and dragging it across the top, you can feather the highlights for a beautiful end effect.
  • The metallic powder and isopropyl alcohol solution give a more natural look to the epoxy. You can use the isopropyl alcohol and spray it across the surfaces to give the countertop a more natural stone-like appearance.
  • Pay close attention to the counters in the upcoming hours and remove any epoxy drips as they occur. You’ll also need to remove the masking tape that’s holding the epoxy in place. Once the counters are ready, start filling them with the remaining epoxy.
  • The next day, prepare the counters for the protective topcoat. This is usually done around 20 hours after the pour so that the bond will form and the epoxy has time to cure. Sand out any dust nibs you find on the counters using 220-grit sandpaper.
  • Mix the two-part coat and apply it to the surface. Roll the coat over the top of the surface. Use the backsplash as your guide. Once the counters are completely cured, pull the roller to the front edge.

Best Epoxy Countertop Kits

Giani Carrara White Marble Epoxy Countertop Kit

Giani Carrara White Marble Epoxy Countertop Kit

Giani Countertop Paint is a three-step process that will transform countertops made with cultured marble, ceramic tile, Corian, Formica, laminate, and others, into a beautiful and durable surface. The Giani Countertop Paint Kit comes with all the necessary tools and supplies to properly coat and protect your kitchen countertops. This product is safe for interior use and doesn’t emit a strong odor since there are no VOC emissions. The kit also contains an Epoxy Resin Topcoat product to create a beautiful finish that’s resistant to everyday use.

Giani Countertop Paint Kit

Giani Countertop Paint Kit

Another product by Giani is this countertop paint kit that comes with a paint sponge, a foam brush, a roller arm with pads included, 16 oz. of glitter topcoat, 4 oz. of bronze mineral, 6 oz. of Black Onyx Mineral, 6 oz. of Pearl Mica Mineral, and 12 oz. of IronCore Primer-Base Coat. This stunning black granite accent features a starry finish and pearl flecks. There are other color options to choose from, including white diamond, slate, Sicilian sand, and chocolate brown.

Rust-Oleum Countertop Transformations Kit

Rust-Oleum Countertop Transformations Kit

Countertop Transformations is a simple and affordable way to transform a worn and outdated kitchen or bathroom countertop. It’s an easy and cost-effective way to give your countertops a natural look. This durable finish will not fade or stain. The kit is pretty generous too, as it comes with decorative color chips, wetting agent, adhesive base coat, protective topcoat, stir sticks, a diamond-embedded sanding tool, and a sanding block. The additional material’s list includes smooth painter’s tape, two synthetic brushes, two paint trays, a foam roller, a microfiber roller, protective sheets, and personal wear, and lint-free rags.

Clear Table Top Epoxy Resin That Self Levels

Clear Table Top Epoxy Resin That Self Levels

This particular epoxy-based product is formulated to give a smooth finish and minimize bubbles. It is ideal for use on wood, bar, and tabletop surfaces. When fully cured, it creates a glossy surface that excels in durability and makes your kitchen appear brand new. If there’s any leftover material, you can always use it in your art projects. It is a food-safe product and delivers a self-leveling formula that makes it very easy to apply.

DIY Project Ideas for Countertops

Easy DIY Countertop Refinishing

Easy DIY Countertop Refinishing

Refinishing your countertops is another brilliant idea for those of you interested in DIY projects to improve your home. For this project, you will be required to invest in Daich Coatings Mineral Select SpreadStone Countertop Finishing Kit, but also a bunch of other tools and products, such as a degreaser, a sanding block, an orbital sander, and a power drill. Some other tools that you’ll need and most likely have around the house include a broom/vacuum cleaner, a power drill with a paint stirring attachment, and a dust mask.

How to Refinish the Bathroom Vanity Top with Epoxy Resin

What if we told you it is possible to remake your bathroom vanity tops for just $140 and it doesn’t take more than 12 hours. The project uses epoxy resin to refinish the vanity tops, as epoxy resin works with materials such as ceramic, concrete, laminate, or wood. Unlike the two former projects, this one is going to take more materials and tools, such as a propane torch, a drill, a sander, utility knife, chop brush, silicone caulk, painter’s tape, primer, and others.

Countertop Resurfacing with Metallic Epoxy

Countertop Resurfacing with Metallic Epoxy

When it comes to DIY projects, some people feel that no written instructions or images could ever replace video instruction, so here is a YouTube video that teaches you how to resurface countertops using metallic epoxy. While some would argue that this is a more meticulous project, it’s definitely one that makes a mess.

FAQ

How much does it cost to epoxy a countertop?

Kits designed to cover your countertops in epoxy can cost between $50 to $250, which means you can get really good products for around $150 to $180.

Do epoxy countertops scratch easily?

Epoxy is one of the most durable materials that you can use for a countertop and it will not scratch easily unless you plan on cutting bread directly on the counter instead of using a cutting board underneath.

Is epoxy good for countertops?

Yes, epoxy provides a lot of benefits when used as a countertop material, from its heat and scratch resistance to the fact that it can easily be cleaned.

Are epoxy countertops cheaper than granite?

Epoxy countertops usually cost around $45 per square foot. Granite prices also start at $45, but they can go as high as $225. Overall, that makes epoxy cheaper than granite.

Conclusion

With epoxy resin, you can transform an old countertop into a modern masterpiece. This material is durable enough to last for many years, and it can be used to make a new countertop that’s as beautiful as real stone. Since epoxy has become more prevalent, there are a number of different resins to choose from. This article will help you narrow down the options and find the right one for your project.

The post Give Your Kitchen a Facelift with the Best Epoxy Countertop Kit appeared first on Home Decorating Trends – Homedit.

How to plan a kitchen extension

Are you thinking about how to plan a kitchen extension? You’re certainly not alone. Study after study have  shown that we are actually thinking more about home improvements now than we ever were before lockdown. There are various reasons for this, of course. Firstly, there was much discussion on social media about people almost being shamed into home improvement action through embarrassment on Zoom calls; the background of the Zoom call exposing the state of their home. This may have been a factor for some people. However, more likely is the fact that with so much time on our hands – and so much time now being spent at home – our thoughts naturally turned to improving our homes. Add to this, the fact that many households – conversely – found themselves with extra disposable income as family holidays were impossible last year. It meant that the home improvement sector remained buoyant throughout the pandemic.

So, you may have realised that your kitchen is too small for your needs. Or you may simply just feel like a change. The question of how to plan a kitchen extension might spring to mind for several reasons. A kitchen extension could be the solution for maximising the space you have. Plus, it’s an opportunity to rework the interior layout of your home too.

Plan a kitchen extension – Create a wishlist

plan a kitchen extension 3

As with anything to do with home improvement, the devil is in the detail.The secret to success of any project lies in the planning. As one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin, famously said, ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail.’

The first thing you need to do to plan a kitchen extension is to think carefully how you intend to spend your time in it. Think also about what the possibilities are for the space. Consider how to make best use of the space and how to use it most efficiently. Don’t just get caught up with how it is going to look. Of course, this is important. But any kitchen space is lived in ultimately, not just looked at.

Look at your existing kitchen space. Note down any elements you would like to keep as well as the things that get on your nerves. Then start producing a wishlist. This could include anything from an island to more countertop space to a better link to the garden. Consider the style of the interior too. Is it going to be a streamlined, ultra-modern and contemporary look? Or, are you looking to create a more traditional vibe?

Your red lines – the absolute essentials – that you simply can’t do without need to be nailed down. These are the things that you are not prepared to compromise on. It’s a good idea to prioritise these and list them in order of preference.

Of course, you should be realistic and practical too. Try to avoid any features or gadgets that you’ll probably never use. If you want your kitchen extension to be a truly efficient space, you need to consider every aspect and every angle carefully.

Set your budget

Obviously, setting your budget is very important. More important, however, is sticking to your budget once you have set it. As a rule of thumb, a single-storey extension will typically cost between £1200 to £3000 per sq. metre – depending on the finish. If you want to plan a kitchen extension, you should always set aside around 10% of your total budget as contingency.

However, even when you set a budget carefully, it’s remarkably easy to go over budget. This is why you need to consider elements such as addition roof lights, changing the entrances or additional work – such as rewiring – that is needed very cautiously. This is the type of work that seriously adds to the budget. If you need to relocate the kitchen and plumbing, the cost will rose substantially. Therefore, think about whether you can work with the existing layout you have.

Do you need planning permission?

Better to be safe than sorry. When you plan a kitchen extension, you should always check whether you need planning permission. If the project impacts on your home’s outside space, you require planning permission. This depends on how far you are extending out from the original walls of the property.

A good barometer as to whether you are likely to succeed in obtaining planning permission from the local council is to look at what work has been done in your street. However, even if there are kitchen extensions all around, it is still sensible to check with your local council. Planning permission rules are complicated. They can depend on a property’s type, location and distance from other properties.

Fortunately, many kitchen extensions fall within what is known as ‘permitted development’. This means that there is no need to gain formal planning permission. Check out all the guidelines at planningportal.co.uk.

Choose the type of kitchen extension you want

The type of extension you choose is dictated to a large extent by the amount of space you have available outside, its shape, and the rules laid out by your local council. A single-storey extension is the most popular. Side-return extensions – popular for Victorian terraced houses – use the narrow space projecting from the back of a property. A wrap-around extension essentially combines the two and forms an L-shape.

All, obviously, create more space for your home. It’s all about matching the type of kitchen extension to the priorities on your wishlist.

Plan the kitchen layout

When you plan a kitchen extension, you need to consider how much space you need to set aside for the actual kitchen itself. A key consideration has to be your storage needs. You will need to think about what type of units would work best, as well as size and shape.

It’s also important to consider the flow of the layout. For a decent and comfortable flow, you should leave around 1 metre to 1.2 metres of clearance between units.

And don’t forget one of the key principles of kitchen design – the working triangle. In a nutshell, this means the path between the sink, fridge and cooker needs to be clear. These are the key working points of the kitchen.

One of the biggest mistakes of kitchen design planning is to try and squeeze more units or countertop space into a design where the space isn’t really there. This will only make the space look cramped and smaller than it really is.

Blend the old with the new

Flow of people around a kitchen extension is important, but flow is also important from a design point of view too.

A kitchen extension needs to flow with the rest of the house. To integrate the new space, it is usually advisable to keep structural details – such as the floor and ceiling height –  the same. It’s also advisable that the likes of window frames and skirting boards are the same too. This enhances the flow and keeps a sense of continuity.

For more advice about how to plan a kitchen extension, get in touch with the. Kitchen Warehouse team.

 

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Gray: the New Neutral

Who would have guessed that gray would take over the spot of most popular neutral? It doesn’t look like the popularity of this color hue is fading at all. Gray, the new neutral, has the unique quality of being a close cousin to White. In many color palettes white just moves smoothly into gray. Gray does what white can’t, it warms up a room and creates cohesion. The warm grays are a terrific option for transitional design and remodel of older homes. It works  particularly well with the earthy homes of the 60’s and 70’s. Gray helps a design stay in the architecture and style of a home, so it doesn’t look dated or trendy.

kitchen peninsula surrounded by storage cabinets
A useful peninsula add the perfect prep space in this timeless kitchen.

CliqStudios has new neutral painted gray cabinets in each of our lines

The RTA Line

  • Dove is a solid neutral gray
RTA Northfield Dove
RTA Northfield Dove

Signature Line

  • Urban Stone  is the essence of gray. A very soft subtle color that runs in the warm gray and is beautiful with red wood tones
  • Classic Gray is a vey neutral gray in intensity and depth and though it tends toward a warm gray it is neutral on this scale also
  • Studio Gray is a deeper gray color with a very slight charcoal undertone
  • Harbor is a cool blue gray with a green undertones
Signature Austin Shaker cabinets in Cloud White and Studio Gray
Signature Austin Shaker cabinets in Cloud White and Studio Gray

Signature Plus

  • Mist is exactly what the name indicates, a gray as soft as a morning mist. It has a cool under tone that makes it crisp.
  • Fog is a warm deeper gray though not actually a dark gray. It has significance to its character that is very neutral.
  • Slate is a deep gray with a very cool undertone.
Signature Plus Fairfield cabinet style in Timber and Mist
Craftsman Adrian Maple Frappe Classic Paint
Craftsman Adrian Maple Frappe Classic Paint

Craftsman Line

  • Irish Cream is in fact a creamy gray with warm tones
  • Chai Latte is a warm creamy gray with  slight brown and yellow undertones.
  • Macchiato is stronger gray color. It stays in the warm gray with a red undertone with depth and strength.
  • Frappe is a very deep gray with the undertones of red but still a smooth softness
  • Earl Gray is a gray that moves more into the darker brown undertones.

How To Find the Perfect Neutral Gray Paint

New neutral gray painted cabinets usually have an undertone of either warm or cool. Keep this in mind when you are picking your color pallet.  The best way to find that perfect gray for the kitchen of your dreams is to  order some samples and consult our designers. Let us know what other colors you want to coordinate with your gray cabinets. To get started with a designer 

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How to make healthy snacks with the kids

One of the best ways to get your kids eating healthily is to get them cooking in the kitchen themselves. It gives them a better idea of what’s nutritious and what isn’t. Not only that, if you get them into the habit of cooking fresh and from scratch at an early age, it’s a great habit to have. Habits can be hard to break and they are likely to carry this habit on into adult life. Furthermore, you are encouraging them to try different things and to be creative with healthy snacks.

As well as all the health and lifestyle benefits, don’t underestimate the fun factor you can have cooking with the kids in the kitchen. There’s plenty of choice too. There are recipes that don’t require you to use the stove top or oven at all. And there are recipes that will need a bit of supervised work with the stove top and/or the oven.

Healthy Snacks: The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Don’t panic – we’re not cooking caterpillars here! Generations of children have loved the story of ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ by Eric Carle over the years. In fact, it’s a book that has sold over 50 million copies since first being published back in 1969. Most of us are able to picture the front cover of the book instantly. And, if you think of that image, you will have an idea of what this snack is all about – a caterpillar of mini sandwiches!

Simply lay out two slices of bread on a chopping board and butter both pieces. Put ham on one of the slices of bread and cover with the other buttered piece to form a sandwich. Repeat the above process with fillings of your choice. From salad to cheese, chicken, peanut butter or another spread; the choice is yours.

Next, use a cookie cutter to cut out five circles from each sandwich. Place them on a plate in the wiggly shape of a caterpillar, alternating the filling of the sandwiches if you like. Put a tomato at the start of the caterpillar’s body for its head. Cut two very small ovals from a slice of cheese. These will become the caterpillar’s eyes. Dab a little butter between the tomato and cheese to glue the eyes on. Cut the green stalks from two spring onions and cut two tiny pieces from the ends for the pupils. Use butter, again, as a glue. Finally, use a toothpick, to stick the two onion stalks to the tomato. These will look great as the caterpillar’s feelers.

There you have it! Fun Very Hungry Caterpillars sandwiches – the perfect snack for a summer party kitchen table.

Two ingredient muesli bars: Great healthy snacks

You won’t find an easier recipe for muesli bars than these incredibly tasty treats. There are only two ingredients for a start: muesli and condensed milk. Simply put 375 grams of muesli and a can of condensed milk into a Lamington-style tin lined with baking paper and mix together well.

Press the mixture down into the tin and place in an oven pre-heated to 180°C. Bake for 25 minutes until the top has started to turn golden.

Remove from the oven and leave to stand for about ten minutes. Once the mixture has cooled slightly, cut up into bars. These tasty bars are fantastic healthy snacks. They can be kept in an airtight container for at least a week.

Be aware that if you use high quality muesli, it will really make a difference. You should look out for muesli with high seeds, fruit and nuts content. This gives you the best taste but it will also give your kids the best energy boost too.

Bananas make the perfect summer smoothie

A delicious and healthy start to the day, these easy-to-make banana smoothies are just as good as a cool, refreshing drink for a hot summer afternoon too. Simply put 300ml of skimmed milk, 2 bananas, 200ml of plain yoghurt, half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, a tablespoon of honey and a handful of ice cubes into a blender.

With all the ingredients in a blender, ensure that the honey is the last to be added. Blend thoroughly and pour into two tall glasses. These smoothies are perfect with an extra sprinkle of cinnamon. Of course, you can easily substitute the bananas for other soft fruits. The smoothie will be even healthier if you opt for low fat yoghurt.

Juicy jelly – An easy treat that’s made from scratch

A good way of teaching kids how to eat healthily is to show them that dishes can be made easily in the kitchen from scratch as well as from a packet. This is a recipe with just three ingredients. It’s totally additive-free so fits nicely into the great healthy snacks category.

All you need is 750ml of apple juice, 500g of frozen raspberries and 1 tablespoon of gelatine powder. Place 500ml of the apple juice and raspberries into a medium-sized saucepan and bring to the boil. Next, remove from the heat and whisk the gelatine until it has dissolved. Then stir-through the rest of the apple juice.

Finally, put the juice in the saucepan through a strainer and pour into jelly moulds or a bowl and refrigerate for around four hours to allow to set.

The perfect pasta and pepper summer salad

At sone point, if you are trying to encourage children to eat healthily, it is good to try and move them away from the habit of eating snacks. Healthy snacks or not, it can be the consistent eating between meal times that can cause problems. If somebody gets used to always snacking between meal times, that too becomes a habit.

There will always come a time when you haven’t got healthy ingredients in the house to create a healthy snack right there and then. If the body is craving a snack, this can be where the chocolate, cake and biscuits can fill the gap. This can be where the pounds pile on.

So, it’s always a good idea to show how a light meal can be created – in a short space of time – often with a lot of typical ‘store cupboard’ ingredients. This pasta salad is perfect for the summer. It utilises staples such as pasta and vegetables, such as peppers and onions that you are likely to have to hand in the fridge,.

First, mix together a tablespoon each of olive oil, white wine vinegar and tomato puree, and dried oregano or parsley to make a dressing. Cook 175g of pasta shapes according to the packet instructions. Chop a red and yellow pepper and a red onion and place in a large serving bowl. Halve 12 cherry tomatoes and add to the bowl. Now add the pasta and the dressing and mix well. If you have any to hand, a few olives and some chopped fresh parsley can work brilliantly with this dish.

If you’d like to give your kitchen a bit of a refresh so you can truly enjoy summer cooking adventures with the kids, get in touch with the Kitchen Warehouse team.

 

 

 

 

The post How to make healthy snacks with the kids appeared first on Kitchen Blog | Kitchen Design, Style Tips & Ideas | Kitchen Warehouse UK.

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