At this time of year you may be considering updating your kitchen to make it look more contemporary or to better suite your idea of how a kitchen should look. Planning your kitchen design may involve a lot of compromise if you have a small kitchen and for larger kitchens, then you may have the opposite problem of having a lot of space to fill.
With this in mind here are our top tips to plan your kitchen design for 2016…
Set a realistic budget
No matter how big or small your kitchen is, unless money is no object it is a good idea to set a budget. It is so easy to go over budget and then face having to cut corners but the best kitchens will see money spent on the things that matter, such as good quality worktops and appliances. Granite worktops for example will offer durability and style to any kitchen.
Think carefully about the kind of kitchen you want
If you’re a young trendy type of person, then the traditional farmhouse style kitchen may be as wrong for you as a cutting edge contemporary kitchen may be for a person with traditional tastes. It is possible to mix the two styles but also easier from a design point of view to pick a theme and style that fits with the style of your home as well as being practical.
Invest in the best materials
The best advice when upgrading or building a new kitchen is to aim for quality. From the worktops to cupboards and appliances, a kitchen will look better for longer if investments are made in materials and appliances that will stand the test of time.
Not everyone has a house or apartment with a large kitchen, which can be frustrating not only in terms of the space available to do anything different but also when you are trying to maximise what bit of space is available.
So if you don’t have the funds or space to build an extension to your kitchen, the following tips will reveal that there are plenty of ways to make a kitchen more spacious without breaking the bank.
One of the first ways to add a sense of space is to use mirrors. Mirrors are one of the most effective ways to bring the illusion of space into any room in the house. Add a mirror to the room and you are doubling what the eye sees as well as the perceived depth of the space.
Next up is to use glass. Glass tables are great for small apartment kitchens because they are transparent and don’t interrupt your line of sight as you gaze around the room. While not the best choice if you have children, glass tables are often less expensive than heavy wooden tables and will probably look good for longer.
When it comes to kitchen worktops, opt for lighter coloured granite or quartz worktops. The former will help reflect light and will also be a good long term investment due to its inherent durability.
Can you believe it’s 2016 already? It doesn’t seem that long ago since people were popping the champagne corks and welcoming in the new millennium. If that was the last time your kitchen had a makeover then now could be the time to look at bringing some new life into your kitchen.
More and more these days the kitchen is where people spend a lot of time. The kitchen is the place where we entertain guests and the first place people look for when they are viewing a house. Many people even use it as an office space to cut down on the costs of renting an office!
So modernising a kitchen is certainly worth the investment particularly if the fittings and fixtures are starting to look a little bit dated and space could be better organised. Despite the obvious attractions of a new kitchen many people put it off due to the expense.
Yet updating your kitchen needn’t cost the earth – even in 2016. If beneath all the clutter there are some high quality cupboards and other kitchen fittings already in place. Revitalising your kitchen may only require an update to worn out worktops.
Granite worktops work particularly well because they not only look good, they are also durable and add a touch of class to any kitchen.
If you’re planning to make a fresh start and sell your house in 2016, then the first advice is to set your asking price as high as possible as the property market is set to grow. The second piece of advice is to take a hard look at your kitchen to see if it could do with an upgrade or remodel.
At least this is what the estate agents have said when they have looked through the what home improvements can make all the difference when you’re trying to get that important sale. Tired old kitchens are unlikely to impress prospective purchasers as they try to imagine themselves spengin a lot of their time in this popular area of the home.
Worktops in particular can become shabby over time and not in a chic way. A good quality granite worktop on the other hand will not only provide a facelift but buyers will be impressed that you went to the trouble of adding what most people see as an expensive material to your kitchen.
The survey of over 100 estate agents found that more than half of them 57% saw kitchens as offering the best return on investment followed by the bathroom.
Quartz worktops can be found enhancing kitchens all over the world, but have you ever wondered how they are made?
Quartz is actually the second most abundant mineral in the earth’s crust and there are several different types ranging from more common varieties to precious gem stones such as amethysts.
Its attractiveness lends itself to a variety of uses including in recent years kitchen worktops. Quartz was first used for this purpose back in the 1980s and its popularity has grown to rival granite and wood based alternatives.
Quartz worktops are made from what is initially a destructive process. The stone is ground up into a fine material that is then bonded together with an acrylic resin and a small quantity of glass.
The material is then moulded and placed under approximately 100 tons of pressure before being put into a kiln. Once the material has solidified, then the material is polished and made ready for use.
What you end up with is a versatile material which can be manufactured to achieve various combinations of colours and finishes. From sparkly worktops to matt and gloss finishes, quartz worktops can enhance the design and appeal of any kitchen.
If you have just moved into a new property, the chances are you will be considering updating your kitchen or fitting a new one. The cost of this can often be a barrier as the kitchen is put to one side in favour of other areas of the home that don’t cost as much to improve.
This is all very well if you are looking to replace your existing kitchen with an expensive new one, but you will find it is perfectly possible to improve the look of your kitchen on a budget if you follow these simple tips:
1. Choosing you kitchen is one thing, getting someone to fit it can be another. Like other DIY tasks, doing it yourself is an option as long as you feel confident of doing a good job. This can save several hundred pounds. If on the other hand you’re not confident with DIY, trying to save money doing it yourself can end up costing more in the long run. The best advice for people with limited joinery skills is to get a few quotes from kitchen fitters until you find one you are happy with.
2. Appliances for kitchens can be expensive and there is no shortage of expensive brands to choose from. If you’re on a budget, lots of money can be saved by opting for brands that are more basic and still have all the functions you are likely to need. Also make sure they have a good energy efficiency rating so you also save in the long term.
3. Updating your kitchen may not involve ripping out the old one. Some kitchens can get a new lease of life simply by fitting modern worktops. Granite worktops as well as quartz worktops are durable and will be highly cost effective in the long term.
If someone asks you about your new kitchen and you say you are going for quartz countertops, then they may look at you with some confusion. When most people think kitchen work surfaces, they think either wood or granite countertops. So which should you go for? Which one looks more appealing?
Let’s go through the pros and cons of each to help you decide…
Granite is still the biggest selling material when it comes to countertops but quartz catching up due to its versatility and its resistance to most of the little accidents you may have in the kitchen. Granite meanwhile offers durability and strength, two things that are attractive when it comes to the kitchen where we will be spending a lot of time preparing meals and increasingly entertaining guests.
Quartz edges it when it comes to stain resistance because it is nonporous and will remain so for as long as you have it. Granite is a natural stone, so it needs to be sealed to prevent any liquid leaking through and spoiling the look of the stone. If the seal wears or is damaged in anyway then it will need to be replaced.
Another reason why quartz is becoming popular is down to its hygienic properties. Because it is non-porous, germs are unlikely to get into the material and hide there after you have cleaned the surface.
So this, then, leaves us with which one is the most attractive. This really depends on the kind of finish you prefer. If you like your countertops natural looking then granite may be the choice. If youprefer not to see the joins and prefer something more slick then quartz may be the way to go. It really comes down to your personal taste. Quartz can also come in a variety of patterns and colours to suit any style of kitchen as can granite.
So, having read our Lessons in Stone series, we hope you are ‘something of the wiser’
The selection process is entirely personal of course but fear not as we at Grantech will be very happy to advise and assist you in your selection process.
There is no right and wrong answer. Call in at our showroom at any time – we’ll be only too pleased to help you in the process.
Does Granite scratch?
Whatever anyone tells you; it is possible to scratch granite, BUT you have to try hard to do so. Just like a diamond, granite can scratch itself. A good tip therefore is that when storing granite you should always take the time to rest the polished side against another polished side. Additionally, great care should be taken to rest any granite pieces on protective feet.
Thankfully, scratch ‘mis-haps’ have a chance of being polished out in the unthinkable happens.
Does Marble scratch?
Marble, a softer material than granite, is more likely to get scratched than granite. ‘Etching’ is equally a problem with Marble but don’t allow this to sway your decision as Marble can ‘carry’ scratches well particularly if a lighter colour is chosen.
Will my Marble or Granite age well?
Overall granite should stand the test of time better than marble as its properties provide a better chance of sustaining the bumps of everyday use. It also has a better resistance to stains.
Why choose Marble as your worktop of choice?
Marble is something of a connoisseur’s choice and is therefore generally chosen as a worktop for its impact – its amazing appearance.
Marble’s key characteristics are the veins that are found throughout. Up to 50 or so variations can be found and are typically sourced from Spain and Italy.
Marble is perhaps not as serviceable as Granite. It’s easier to scratch and chip but in the right location can be very impactful. Farmhouse style rather than ultra-modern is the application of choice.