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Splash-back can boost your kitchen’s style — if it’s the right backsplash.

3 months ago

A Splash-back can boost your kitchen’s style — if it’s the right one

Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing your kitchen splash-backs (not leaving-out the information given in our last blog article).

The Finish

The splash-back materials you choose should combine functionality and esthetics. Choose a finish that is suitable for the style of your kitchen – don’t use a classical tile with an ultra-modern high gloss kitchen, rather go for glass splash-backs. Some of the most popular splash-back materials include granite; marble; quartz; stainless steel or copper; wood or veneer; cork; glass and the traditionally ceramic tiles.

The Focal Points

The eye is naturally drawn to the stove / cooking area and the sink, thus traditionally these are the areas to concentrate elaborate splash-back designs or finishes. However, if you have another section in your kitchen that you would like to “show-off” such as a coffee or wine station, nothing is preventing you to make use of decorative splash-backs in those sections too.

Function

With the vast amount of different splash-back finishes to choose from in the market, you can’t forget the main purpose: to protect kitchen walls.

Different materials have different sealing needs. Natural stones such as granite, marble and slate needs to be resealed once a year, while travertine needs resealing every two years. Handcrafted art tiles such as mosaics may look stunning, but how effortlessly can they be cleaned? If your splash-back is stainless or copper, will abrasives scratch it? Is the material so sleek, that fingerprints and marks will show? Will you need to seal your splash-backs if it is made from veneer, bamboo or cork? Ask the right questions when you purchase your splash-backs.

At the end of the day, choose the right finish for you and your kitchen; with a bit of pizazz at the areas that matters; and make sure that you know how to take care of your splash-backs.

Modern and Contemporary kitchen designs

3 months ago

Are you confused between Modern and Contemporary kitchen designs? Is there a difference between the two? These questions have come up time and time again in many of our client consultations. Although both styles have overlapping characteristics and distinguishing between the two can be difficult, it is not one in the same.

To cut a long story short, Modern design (mid-century modern) refers to a period of time; it is a design style that was created in the 1920′s-1950′s. It doesn’t change, it is a defined style, and will remain such for ever.

During this period emphasis was placed on clean, unfussy lines; functionality; minimal embellishments; extensive use of natural materials and a natural flow from indoors to outdoors. Other characteristics were sharp corners; straight, horizontal lines; classically designed lighting; little or no use of decorative accessories; an eye-catching contrast between light, calming neutrals on the walls with dark hardware and countertops (or vice-versa). Modern kitchens were sleek, streamlined spaces with simple designs, shiny appliances and a distinct lack of clutter.

Well, contemporary by definition means “existing, occurring, or living at the same time; belonging to the same time.” Contemporary design is ever changing. It is of the moment. Therefore, what is popular or used right now.

Contemporary design is very much about clean lines which overlap with mid-century Modern design, but there’s an emphasis on comfort– a rejection of the stark look that sometimes characterises Modern design. Simplistic, monochromatic finishes; less wood but other materials such as concrete or stone; brightly coloured glass or metallic backsplashes; focus points; art pieces; and open-plan living between the kitchen, dining and living areas are also key components of Contemporary design.

As you can see, the lines between what constitutes Modern and Contemporary are often blurred. Even though a kitchen that incorporates traditional elements from various eras can be Contemporary, it cannot be Modern as that refers to a specific period in time. What was previously considered mid-century Modern is now being reproduced and recreated in Contemporary kitchens.

I always welcome your comments, questions or feedback.

 

 

BACK TO THE BASICS… THE TRIANGLE

9 months ago

The lifestyle of a family should determine the functionality of the kitchen, not the other way around. Typically, the kitchen is the most frequently used room in any house. But how does one layout an efficient kitchen? Where to start?

Back to basics… you start with the Kitchen Work Triangle. This triangle is undoubtedly one of the most researched and applied ergonomic principle around when it comes down to kitchen design, functionality and layouts. At university, this principle was reiterated to us numerous times and can be very intricate and daunting. Technical jargon aside, the basics are quite easy to grasp. The three points of the kitchen work triangle is represented by:

The sink; the place where you clean and prepare

The refrigerator; the place where you are most likely to store food

The stove; the place where you do the most cooking

The Kitchen Work Triangle An imaginary line between the sink, refrigerator and stove.

In essence, draw an imaginary line from the sink, to the refrigerator, to the stove, and then back to the sink. If the three areas are too close to each other, multiple people working together can get in each other’s way. Too far away and your work becomes strenuous and inefficient. An effective triangle will keep all the major work stations near the cook area and minimize the traffic within the kitchen; which will ultimately prevent interruptions and interference with the tasks at hand. Consider the space you have to work with to create clean paths. According to this principle, three sides of the triangle should be between 1,2m and 2,7m and add up to a total of between 4m and 7,9m.

In larger more elaborate kitchens with more than three work sections, don’t throw the idea of the standard work triangle out the window nor create only a single triangle just for the sake of having one. With many of the kitchens designs, there are more than one working triangle. Thus, make use of the standard triangle guidelines in combining different work areas that subsequently contributes to one another i.e. the cooking station and the seating area. Once the three working stations/areas have been established, equip each with the necessary tools. You need to take much more into consideration when planning your kitchen. But more on this in a future post.

Remember, your lifestyle should determine the functionality of your kitchen, not the other way around. Everyone needs a functional kitchen!