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The kitchen is the central point of any home, it has long been established as the place where most family interactions take place – whether it’s eating, chatting, arguing or planning, the kitchen is where it all happens. Despite a large amount of time spent in the living room, the majority of this time is spent watching TV or not interacting with your brothers, sisters or parents which is what makes the kitchen so special.
A Place To Meet
The kitchen is where most people are drawn to after they get home from work, school or a long day out. In many cases this is because there is a meal to be prepared which means hanging out in the kitchen, so when other family members come home they will come into the kitchen to see you.
This is also true of the mornings where all family members will pass through at some point in their morning ritual to get breakfast. Even though alarms may be set at different times and the bedrooms and bathrooms are featured, all family members will end up in the kitchen which gives the opportunity to talk about what’s planned for the day and discuss any plans.
Designer Kitchens Not Required
The kitchen doesn’t have to be a designer kitchen or super high-tech – it could be a basic cheap kitchen – but it’s the interactions that happen within it that really make the kitchen a special place. This is especially true if the kitchen is part of a kitchen/dining room layout as this means that meals can be eaten and even more conversation can be had by whoever is cooking with other family members at the table, whether they’re doing their homework, working or just talking about their day.
The frequency of visitors to the kitchen is almost certainly related to the fact that the food is stored there along with some primal instinct to be near the source of heat and warmth in winter that comes with ovens and hobs being used. Kitchens are often the warmest rooms in the house – especially around mealtimes – which helps to draw in family members even if they aren’t interacting with each other.
Not everyone can afford to have their dream kitchen made by a quality kitchen designers or to get the absolute best materials available for their new space, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t create a unique, beautiful space using cheaper materials.
In this post we have come up with our top 5 tips for transforming cheap kitchens into fascinating places where you will love to spend time, with just a little effort on your part.
1. Splash of Colour
Adding colour to any room is guaranteed to make it more unique – whether you’re adding a neutral colour to match your decor or if you want to make a feature. You can cover up cheap materials and surfaces in your kitchen with some quality paint to make it look more appealing.
See our post on painted kitchens for some tips on how to make a painted kitchen a success.
2. Unique Fittings
Adding your own unique fittings can be an excellent way of making your space unique. Replacing the handles or knobs that come with cheap kitchens can help you add your own personality to your kitchen and these can easily be replaced with little effort.
Use these to add some of your personality into your kitchen, whether it’s with colours or unique pieces that will make sure your kitchen is unique to you.
3. Incorporate Your Lifestyle
Your lifestyle and hobbies should be a part of your kitchen, and even with the cheapest kitchen it’s easy to bring your interests into your kitchen design. If you enjoy cooking then make sure you have plenty of space dedicated to preparation by adding clever storage solutions that won’t break the bank.
Or if you are sporty then add some feature areas that will make the kitchen unique, such as using bike components as wall decorations or using sporting equipment as features in the kitchen environment.
4. Upgrade The Important Bits
Cheap kitchens can cut the cost of everything, using the basic materials and models to help keep costs low and make them so cheap in the first place. A good way to increase the longevity of your kitchen and add your personal stamp to it would be to upgrade the parts you use the most.
If you cook a lot then upgrade the oven. Need more storage? Invest in some storage solutions. These don’t need to have a huge impact on the cost and will increase the effectiveness of your kitchen.
The kitchen design is one thing, but accessories are another beast entirely. Even the cheapest kitchen can be hidden behind accessories, whether it’s stunning wall art of the appliances you put in them.
Adding eye-catching yet functional accessories will help your kitchen feel like a great place to spend time regardless of how much it costs.
A traditional kitchen is a phrase that’s used often in kitchen design, both on the sales floor and in the design process, but what actually ARE traditional kitchens? And what do they include?
Traditional Kitchens: Synonymous with Nature
Traditional kitchens usually come in muted, soft colours which are designed to make the kitchen feel homely and welcoming, based on the traditional use of a kitchen as the focal point for the family home where meals were prepared and eaten.
These muted colours – like creams, taupes, light browns and even light greens are often present on all surfaces to create a warm atmosphere in the kitchen, using the colours that are commonly found in nature . This is in sharp contrast to the edgy, more aggressive design of the contemporary kitchen that uses glass, chrome and bold colours like red, blues or even black.
A traditional kitchen is designed to be complementary to the natural world which is why you will often find patterns such as flowers, plants or animals like birds, butterflies or farm animals in them. These can be as part of a centrepiece mural or tiling work or can be worked through the theme of the kitchen itself.
This affinity with nature means that you will usually find that the kitchen is designed with natural materials all the way throughout. There’s a wealth of opportunities when using natural products to create an amazing kitchen and keep it traditional; for example marble floors, marble worktops, exposed brick walls, a choice of real wood cabinets and so on.
The floors, fittings and even the walls of the room itself can be adorned with natural materials to create a stunning traditional kitchen which will fit right into a family home.
Traditional kitchens also usually include fittings that have intricate design features which are in contrast with modern sleek, clean designs. These could include cabinet doors with extra bevelled detail inlaid within them, elaborate metalwork fittings and handles or even floor designs which are a great way to bring a feature piece to any traditional kitchen.
Painting kitchens is often seen as a quick fix to give your kitchen a new look, perhaps you don’t have the time of money to invest in tiling or you want a change but don’t know what you want, so painting is an easy way to test the water with new colours.
However painting your kitchen doesn’t need to be a quick fix. With our top tips you can make a painted kitchen look amazing, just as good as a tiled kitchen or even better!
Murals are a great way of really making a painted kitchen a feature in your home. If you have a big enough space and the skill to pull it off, a mural is a great way to create a dream painted kitchen. Granted this takes some dedication and not a little amount of skill, but murals don’t have to be huge, wall-spanning works of art.
Try a smaller mural which fits in the wall space in your kitchen, maybe you could choose something kitchen themed like food or drink, or go completely off piste and add your personality to it to create a unique piece of art that will make your kitchen a talking point!
Don’t Let The Walls Have All The Fun
So many people are under the impression that painting a kitchen just involves changing the colour of the walls, but there is so much more potential that could be realised with some paint and an active imagination.
Painting cupboard doors, shelves and drawers can help really change the appearance of the room, so much more so than simply painting the wall and leaving the cupboards the same colour. This takes a little longer to achieve but it is a simple change that will make a drastic difference.
For a different approach, try mixing up the colours of the paint you use in the kitchen instead of using the same one on every surface. They don’t need to be wildly different or bright, but subtle changes in tone and colour can have a surprisingly strong effect.
Don’t be shy to use colour too, bright colours can be used to identify a feature in the kitchen and is an easy way to match the kitchen appliances to your kitchen units. Get creative! You can always paint over it after all!
When painting your kitchen ensure your surfaces are clean and that any wood you are painting is primed before adding the new paint, this will provide the best results and prevent you having to re-do the paint job. Happy painting!
In the modern age there are loads of gadgets and gizmos that you can add into your home to make life easier – some are gimmicks that last a few months and others are genuinely lifestyle altering.
Here are our top 5 kitchen gadgets to make life easier:
Samsung Family Hub Fridge
Less of a fridge, more of an over-sized tablet with food storage, the Family Hub does everything that your smart gadgets does and more to make life even easier.
It has a 21.5inch touchscreen on the front which is integrated with other Samsung devices so you can mirror and stream from one device to the other. It is synced with Amazon Alexa and will connect to your Echo if you have one.
Perfect most useful though is the fact that this fridge takes pictures of the contents when you close the door with its 2 internal cameras; it then emails you these pics so you can never be mystified about the contents again. Cool.
Bear with us on this one. One the face of it, handle-less units seems like a guaranteed way to make your life that little bit harder, but with technology this isn’t the case.
Handle-less units use pressure to open and close meaning that if you have your hands full or your hands are dirty from preparing food, the days of fumbling around trying to get the cupboard open are gone.
Pressure can be applied by any part of the body which will make life much easier when you have your hands full.
This also provides a design element, with many designer kitchens now having the option of a wide range of finishes and colours. See our range of designer kitchens online for our own styles.
As Bluetooth has become more advanced we have seen an increase in the potential for products to use Bluetooth for streaming throughout the house.
A common feature these days is integrated Bluetooth speakers which can be within cupboards, worktops or even light fittings.
Subtle speakers integrated into your designer kitchen means you can seamlessly stream your music, audiobooks or whatever you listen to into your kitchen from your device. This eliminates the need to have a radio cluttering the worktops or fumbling with your phone whilst cooking.
Plug sockets are a necessity in the kitchen, with every appliance needing somewhere to be plugged in. This can lead to a mess of extension cables and socket adapters all over the place, ruining the look of your kitchen.
Luckily integrated socket banks are now becoming more commonplace. These hidden units reside under the worktop and can be easily pulled up when you need to plug something in, with the cables also being kept neat and tidy.
Perhaps the most exciting piece of integrated technology to hit the market is the Grundig VUX (Virtual User Experience) System.
Straight out of a Sci-Fi film, the VUX projects a user interface onto a worktop of your choice and allows you to select all of the elements connected to it. You can control all of your appliances from a hob to a dishwasher, making your entire kitchen more futuristic and neat.
There are a number of extras available with the VUX too; such as integrating a baby monitor so you can watch your baby sleeping without carrying a monitor around the kitchen.
If you want to upgrade your kitchen the take a look at our gallery and get a quote for one of our top end designer kitchens. We specialise in designer fitted kitchens in Sheffield.
Designer Kitchen Direct supply solid british built cabinets, bespoke doors all at unbeatable prices.