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Archive for the ‘Kitchen Design Tips’ Category

So, you want a range cooker?

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Those luckily enough to own a range cooker will know how much of a difference they make to cooking.

A range cooker is the king of cookers and once you’ve got the hang of how to use them they will be the best thing you ever bought for your kitchen.

But why are they so great? Why do people love them so much?

Below are some things you should think about before you buy a range cooker, they come in different sizes and with different features and all you have to do is find the one that is best suited to you.

1. They’re freestanding

They are free standing and they usually start from 90cm which is a third bigger than

a standard cooker – so be sure that your kitchen is big enough and that it’s able

to reach its fuel source. Because they’re free standing you can also take them with you if you

move. You should bear in mind that even if it’s not an electric range cooker, all cookers need

to be within reach of a plug socket.

2. The size and capacity of the ovens

If you’ve got a big family or you enjoy cooking and entertaining guests often then you will love the fact that range cookers can multi-task. Some range cookers have two ovens along with other compartments and some just have one.

Which one you choose will depend on what you like to cook most often. In a range cooker you could be cooking a roast leg of lamb in one oven, baking a cake in another, warming food in the warming compartment and all while grilling cheese on toast for your lunch. Range cookers allow you cook everything at once while getting on with other tasks, at least that’s what I heard from a twin peaks restaurant davie florida chef.

3. There are lots of colours to choose from

Whether you’ve got a green kitchen or a white kitchen – there is a range cooker in a colour to complement your home. Range cookers are the heart of your home so why not have one in your favourite colour – green, yellow, blue, red, black – take your pick.

4 They have plenty of features

Range cookers have more features than you can ever imagine (ok that might be a bit extreme, but they do have a lot). They have the ability to heat up the oven quickly so there’s no need for preheating. They also have the very handy programme timer that allows you to set a start and stop time for your food – you can load your food before you go to work and have the timer set so that it starts cooking an hour before you get home. Perfect if, like me, you hate cooking when you get home from work. In addition to these features there is also the minute minder which lets you know when your food is ready – it means you don’t have to check if it’s ready every two minutes in fear of burning it.

Range cookers have more burners, zones and oven cavities than a standard cooker does so if you like (or have to) cook different meals at different times then it could be the cooker for you. They are able to roast, bake, griddle, boil, stir fry and slow cook – so really it’s the only cooking appliance that you’ll need in your kitchen, if you need any other kitchen  appliance to an specific use, I always read about it at Zozanga and other similar sites.

5. They can be used as extra storage space

If you love to cook then no doubt you’ll have pots and pans galore – if you’re running out of space for all your cookware then don’t worry because you can store them in the oven when it’s not in use.

Now that you know all there is to know about range cookers, which one will you choose?

This post has been supplied to Kitchenindex.ie by www.rangemaster.co.uk

Tips For Lighting A Compact Kitchen

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Sensio, the kitchen lighting specialists, have released tips for lighting a compact kitchen.  Many homeowners fall into the category of having a small compact kitchen and often times find that the lighting, whether natural or artificial, leaves the kitchen feeling gloomy.  Well here are some tips to rectify this problem:

• No matter how big or small the space is in which you are working with, lighting should always be considered during the planning stages of a kitchen, same thing with countertop, I recommend to pre-plan and visit FLOFORM Countertops website, rather than being an afterthought, your Kitchen designer should help you choose the best materials for your kitchen. Think about how the kitchen is going to be used, whether it will be an entertaining space, as well as a functional area and choose lighting accordingly.

• Even in a compact kitchen you can save money and help the environment. The low wattage of LED products means that energy consumption is reduced by an average of 91% resulting in far less electricity costs, compared to halogen bulbs. Furthermore, the lifespan of an LED light is twenty times greater and UV or IR rays are not produced.

• Lighting can help to improve a kitchen’s functionality, especially when you only have a small amount of space available to you. Make your compact kitchen as practical as possible by including plenty of task lighting. This can be in the form of under-cabinet lighting, which will illuminate work-surfaces during food preparation.

• Often the best things come in small packages, so why not use lighting to further enhance the overall appearance of your compact kitchen design. Ambient lighting is key, especially for smaller kitchens that are often part of an open plan living space. Include subtle in-cabinet, shelf and over-cabinet lighting with the help of best brad nailer to create an atmosphere suited to dinner parties or romantic evenings in.

• Make sure that the kitchen lighting you use complements the cabinets in place. Select the correct lighting temperature in accordance to your kitchen design. If you have adopted a more traditional style, then a warm light will work perfectly, or if you have chosen a contemporary, high gloss finish, a cool white will be far better suited.

As Sensio state above, always plan your lighting during the kitchen planning stage. Even if you are retro fitting lighting into an existing kitchen, plan it out and choose the right lighting for the space and kitchen style. There is no reason to have to live with a gloomy dull kitchen. Are you tired of cleaning your house? I am, that’s why I hire Maid Complete to clean my house.

For more information on Sensio and their lighting options, you can visit their website at www.sensio.co.uk. You can also ask your kitchen designer to recommend and plan your kitchen lighting for you. After all, it is a key part of the kitchen planning process.

Kitchen Planning: When do you start?

Monday, July 4th, 2011

In a special guest post, independent kitchen designer Pat O’Connell of Kitchenplans.ie talks about kitchen planning and the ideal time to start.  Pat talks about the importance of early planning and how you can avoid costly and time consuming mistakes quite easily.  This article is a must read for anyone about to make a start on a new build or extension.

Does it make sense to plan the kitchen before starting work on a building project?

In my experience, many people having a house or extension constructed give little or no thought to a kitchen layout until the structure is in place, thinking that there is plenty of time to figure it out. This is the first big mistake you will make & can also be a very expensive one.

When plans are drafted by an architect they are drafted with the purpose of getting planning permission. Some thought will be given to the kitchen but usually only to its location in the house & not in any great detail of what can be achieved with the space.  Many people give no thought whatsoever until the electrician is looking for positions for service points, then the rush is suddenly on to come up with a kitchen layout.  Many have found to their cost at this stage that they cannot fit in items like the American fridge or range cooker with overmantle because space does not allow. In most of these cases, maybe moving a doorway a few inches or resizing a window could have made all the difference & that will now either be impossible or very expensive to alter.

I have come across cases where walls had to be knocked down & in some cases rebuilt. Also where doorways or window ope’s had to be blocked up & relocated or resized.  Add up the cost of that, blocks, mortar, labour to build it, labour to knock it down again, disposal of rubble, more blocks & mortar & more labour to build it again. Sounds dramatic? It is & makes a dramatic dent in the budget.  And that’s if it is possible to make the changes. Many new builds are leaning towards concrete upper floors which make most if not all of the ground floor walls load bearing, meaning that moving them is not an option or very expensive. Planning the layout of your kitchen with an experienced kitchen designer before a sod is turned will help you to avoid any of these nightmare scenarios & other cost overruns. Paying an architect to alter plans will be a lot more cost effective than paying a builder to make changes to the structure. Measure twice, cut once as the tradesman’s saying goes!

Other things that can have a dramatic effect on your layout are services & the positioning of them. Many people don’t realise that one of the first trades on site in a new build project is the plumber. Once the base of the house is in position the plumber is deciding where all service should be positioned. In the absence of a proper plan they will usually work from the architects plan & more often than not the position of the pipes may not suit the actual kitchen layout when it is planned. In some cases they can be moved but again its extra cost. If underfloor heating is being used it will be in position before the floor is poured making opening the floor impossible again.  This is where I have seen a lot of frustration & disappointment with kitchen layouts. Many people now want to put sinks or hobs into the island, but again I have come across cases where no thought was given to services for these. Bringing services out to an island is usually not possible if underfloor heating is in place. Again it is unnecessary extra work if it can.

On the subject of underfloor heating, I have come across so many times anger & frustration of those who left it to late to plan. In the absence of a definite kitchen plan, underfloor heating elements have often been put down under the entire floor. So now all your cabinets with foodstuffs & your floor based appliances are now sitting on top of a heater. Not a good idea for the appliance, especially the fridge. Then you wonder why the fridge burns out after a few months & is not covered under guarantee. That’s a problem that’s difficult to solve.

Where hobs are being put into an island, an extractor is also needed so consideration needs to be give to that. How are you going to secure a heavy steel & glass hood with a heavy motor from the ceiling? What extra support will be needed & how will it be vented out? What size ducting will be needed & where will it be positioned as the position of the hood will be dictated by the position of the hob? What hood options are there if the ceiling is extra high or vaulted as is often the case? This is where guesswork will let you down. Remember an experienced kitchen designer will have come across all these problems before & will best know how to get around them.

Electrical points also need to be given careful consideration. Having sockets & switches positioned correctly for appliances is important. They should to be accessible as they may need to be found easily in an emergency. They also need to be planned with safety in mind, like not having a socket or switch over a sink or hob. An electrician will need to certify his work so good planning will avoid this. Lighting is also very important in a kitchen. Lighting in cabinets, under cabinets, in plinths & even in drawers or glass wall shelves are all possible design options but need planning with regard to positioning of wiring & also for switching options. Once a structure is in place the electrician will want to prepare for first fix by chasing walls. Having extra chases added later or one done unnecessarily in the first place will cost you more & can be avoided by good planning. Positioning of the fuse board also needs careful consideration as often it can have an impact on the cabinet layout if it is badly positioned, even in a utility room.

Finally the other big design issue is the overmantle (if applicable) & believe me I have seen some horror stories in kitchens here. Like for instance, timber cabinetry sitting down onto a worktop right up against a gas top range cooker. Apart from being a fire hazard, it does not allow you any room to turn the handle of a pot away from the flame. There are many ways to create an overmantle or feature look over a cooker without compromising on safety. An overmantle can take over a wall & the wider the cooker the wider the mantle.  Remember that safety is the most important factor to be considered when planning a kitchen. There may only be adults using the kitchen today but life changes & at some point children or grandchildren arrive on the scene.

So there really is a lot to think about when planning your kitchen. Engaging the services of an independent kitchen designer will be money well spent & they will save you more than their cost. They are only interested in creating the best possible layout to suit your needs, while being eye catching, functional & safe to work in. They will work with any budget & will have an extensive knowledge of all the products available to get you the best value for your money. They can also make the most of any space no matter how awkward it is. Having a definite plan in your hand when you approach a kitchen manufacturer will save you money on the price of the kitchen. Having a definite plan in your hand before building starts, will save you money & avoid any unexpected extra charges.

Either way you save!

To talk to Pat O’Connell about planning and designing your kitchen, or to arrange a free consultation, you can contact him in any of the following ways!

  • Visit his profile page on Kitchenindex.ie at Kitchen Plans
  • Visit his website at www.kitchenplans.ie
  • Email Pat at info@kitchenplans.ie
  • Call Pat direct on 087 2653896 or 021 4888813

A Touch Of Glass With These Trendy Kitchen Splashbacks

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Sometimes the smallest detail can turn your average kitchen into the WOW factor that everybody wants.  One increasingly popular way of adding an interesting twist to your kitchen is by adding a glass splashback ranging from a plain single colour to an elaborate and funky design.

Choosing a splashback that really livens up the room and creates a focal point will mean your kitchen will be the subject of envious comments from your friends and family.

Floral Glass SplashbackFlower Glass Splashback

Flower Glass SplashbackFlower Glass Splashback

 

The glass splashbacks above show how creative you can get.  All four of these floral themes are from Splashbacks.ie and can be made in a huge range of designs and colours.  If you are a little bit daring, a floral pattern might just be what your kitchen has been crying out for.

 

Zebra Print Splashback by CP GroupPink Glass Splashback by CP Group

 

Or maybe you want to release the animal in you.  If so, how about this zebra print glass splashback from CP Group in the UK.  They also have this really trendy pink design on black glass for a little bit more of a feminine touch.

 

blue glass backsplashgreen glass backsplash

 

You could however play it a little safer if you prefer and choose a plain coloured splashback.  Most splashback manufacturers work off RAL colour charts so the choice of colour is endless.  The two glass splashbacks above are in blue and green shades and are from Mirror and Glassworx in Limerick.  You can see from the photographs that the plain colours are much more subtle, especially if you plan on using glass on a full wall as opposed to just behind your hob or cooker.

The beauty of using glass for your splashback is the endless designs and colours available.  If you are looking to give your existing or new kitchen a real lift and add a splash of colour, the you should seriously consider using glass.

Kitchen Door Style Guide

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Kitchen Door Styles

Trying to decide on a door style for your kitchen can be confusing.  Your kitchen designer or supplier can mention styles that you may not be familiar with, and the names of these styles might mean nothing to you.

For that reason, we have put together an article explaining the most popular door styles to choose from.  There are of course variations to these styles, but these ones definitely are the most popular.

The doors styles we mention are Shaker Style, Raised Panel Doors, Decorative Inside Profile, Cathedral Arch Doors and Slab Doors.

You will find a photograph and brief description of each of the door styles so you can familiarise yourself with them and be sure that you understand what your designer is talking about when he or she mentions them in the future.

You can read the full article here: http://www.kitchenindex.ie/retail/tips-and-advice/kitchens/kitchen-door-styles.aspx

The Benefits of Induction!

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

STOVES LOGO-MAKE A STATEMENT (JPEG)

Stoves, the UK manufactured kitchen appliance brand, has a fantastic glossary that explains the benefits of induction.

If you are confused as to the benefits of an induction hob, then this glossary will help clear things up.  It really does highlight why induction hobs should be seriously considered when you are replacing your appliances or preparing for a new kitchen.

Follow the link and have a read!

http://www.stoves.co.uk/glossary/

Funky Hoods – Kitchen Cooker Hoods With Flair

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Falmec Pharoe Cooker Hood

Your choice of cooker hood can sometimes make a big difference when it comes to adding that “WOW Factor” to your kitchen.

Gone are the days when your only choice is a basic stainless steel hood that offers little in the way of design or style.

Once purely a functional necessity in the kitchen, cooker hoods have now become much more about style and flair.

The choice you now have is much broader, with appliance manufacturers and kitchen designers realising that a cooker hood can now be the focal point in kitchen design.

We’ve put together this showcase of funky cooker hoods that we love at Kitchenindex.ie and think you might like for your new kitchen. They would certainly add some style and could be that “something different” that you’ve been looking for.

You will also find links at the bottom of the page that will take you to the websites of the brands that we have featured.

For more information on these cooker hoods and for information on where to buy you can visit the following websites:

Best – www.besthoods.co.uk

Elica – www.elica.ie

Faber – www.fff.ie/home/products/cooker-hoods

Falmec – www.drumms.ie/products/products-by-brand/falmec/hoods

Franke – www.franke.ie

Gorenje – www.gorenje.co.uk

Miele – www.miele.ie

Neff – www.neff.ie

Whirlpool – www.whirlpool.ie

Eye-Level Oven Height – Ideal Heights Off Floor

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

We have had a few queries lately from people asking what height an eye-level oven should be off the ground, so I decided I should do a quick blog post on the subject.

There isn’t exactly a strict rule when it comes to the height of eye level ovens in a kitchen, but there are some general rules of thumb.  I’m going to break this down in to three possible scenarios.  Double eye level oven, single eye level oven and two appliances stacked at eye level.

Double Eye Level Oven Height

Generally, a double oven should be built in at about 720mm off the floor.  This allows for a 150mm plinth and a 570mm high door under the double oven.  This could also be two pan drawers underneath.  At this height, both the main oven and the top oven are at good height for the average person.

Single Eye Level Oven Height

Again as with the double oven, the single oven can be 720mm off the floor.  However you have more scope with the height of a single oven.  For instance, you can build it in at 870mm off the floor to keep the oven at an ideal height.  This is my personal recommendation.  In the picture to the right, you can see single ovens built in at this height.

Two Appliances Stacked at Eye Level

If you have chosen a single oven and microwave/combi microwave oven for your kitchen, then you generally use the same height as with the double oven.  To keep the top oven, in this instance the microwave/combi microwave oven, at a safe and convenient height, 720mm off the floor is a good height for the single oven underneath it.

Remember this is only a guide.  Your kitchen supplier may have slight variations of these measurements.  However it is a good guide to work from and will ensure your eye level ovens are at the ideal height.

Kitchen Lighting – Tips on Lighting Your Kitchen

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

We have just put up a great article to help you plan the lighting in your new kitchen.

This great article covers the areas of your kitchen that you need to pay close attention to so that you don’t end up with?shadows and dark areas where you need lots of light.? We also cover some of the lights that are available to you when planning your kitchen lighting.? Here’s a small teaser:

“Kitchen lighting is an extremely important part of kitchen design and planning.? Having a well lit kitchen makes working or socialising in the kitchen much more?pleasurable.? While there is no substitute for natural light flowing in to your kitchen, adding lights will add greatly?to?the overall design. ?No dark corners, no shadows on the worktops!? That’s what you want in your kitchen.? So how do you achieve this?”

To read the full article on kitchen lighting go to Kitchen Lighting – Tips on Lighting Your Kitchen

Kitchen Design Trends For 2010

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Kitchens - Hot Trends for 2010 - Kitchen TrendsAt kitchenindex.ie, we like to keep you up-to-date on all the latest trends in kitchen design.

So to help you plan your dream kitchen, we have?written an article called?“Kitchens – Hot Trends for 2010″.? We hope to give you a taste of what hot when it comes to kitchens this year so we have looked at kitchen trends across the main kitchen styles: Contemporary, Modern, Classic and Bespoke.

As we say in the article, kitchens in 2010 are all about warmth.? Even in contemporary kitchens, adding a warm colour within the design will cosy it up.? And that is precisely why two tone kitchens are so popular.? Before you buy a kitchen, read this article, and our other articles in our tips and advice section.? Once you have done that, you can browse through our supplier directory where you will find kitchen suppliers in your county and beyond.

What more could you ask for!

Read the article on kitchen design trends for 2010 at http://www.kitchenindex.ie/retail/kitchen-trends-2010.aspx