Monday, 14 May 2012

Kitchen - the Heart of the Home

You've bought a house, or you've lived in it a while and now you want to do up the kitchen.  Make it into the uber space that you have had in your minds eye for the last five years.  If you are organised you have even got a file of pictures from magazines with lovely lustful kitchens.  Well done!

But, the look of a kitchen is only half of the battle.  What should you consider when planing and designing this important and vital space?  A kitchen is not just a space to cook, it is often the heart of the home where so much else goes on.  Obviously, where you are in your lives will affect what your require:

  • Single:  microwave, dishwasher, beer fridge!
  • Recently married: cooking space, more storage and entertaining space.
  • Young family: ahh now this is really where the kitchen comes into it's own and becomes the multi functional area of multifarious uses. Cooking, child playing, TV watching (surrogate baby sitter - don't knock it), entertaining, coffee mornings, computer area/office.  The kitchen becomes the hub - the place of primary plastic toys, the essential room.  At this stage you should get the best kitchen you can afford.
  • Teenage/young adult family: The primary plastic toys have left the room, you may have allowed (the always used and difficult to part from the opposable thumbs of your teenagers) the XBox, Wii etc into the room.  Or you may have banned this box of engrossing interest to another room.  But the kitchen now has become family eating space, grown up entertaining, some light leisure activities, homework and office space.
  • Empty Nesters:  The kitchen is now your space to do with what you wish - oh bliss oh joy.

So how does one room encompass all these functions and different needs?  Planning, thought and talking to an expert.  As I said before, what a kitchen looks like is only half of the job now you need to consider:
  1. Storage - you can never, never have too much
  2. Electrical requirements - think of future needs, not just what you require now.
  3. Fridges - size (often limited by space), material and requirements of the family
  4. Sinks - what kind, style, material
  5. Worktops - constrained by cost, there are many different options
  6. Flooring - what works best for you, what is warm, comfortable for children, easy to clean and looks good.
  7. Units - there are some fantastic gadgets and gizmos around, some are useful, some are a waste of space.  I personally subscribe to the notion simple is best.
  8. Planning - Always think of the ergonomics of the room - how best you can use the space with the least amount of walking.
Good advice can save you money. 
Good advice will get you the kitchen you want and one that will grow with you over time.  

Where should you go for good advice - an Interior Designer for unbiased advice or a good kitchen company with well trained staff.

Knife, Fork and Spoon by Tracey Kendall

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Pinterest - another social media site that I have just been introduced to!
So there I am, a Newbie on Twitter quite happily finding my way around hashtags, dm's and other such lingo that is used on Twitter when someone asks if I am on Pinterest.  

Well I wasn't but now I am!  What an excellent visual referencing resource this is. 

This site allows you to 'pin' images from websites that you find interesting or upload your own images into separate boards that you create.  If you click on the image you are then taken to the original website, which is fantastic if you are window shopping, brilliant if you need to remember to credit someone in a post, fabulous if you want to promote an item and well just generally all round marvellous!  Not only that but you can connect your 'pins' to Facebook and Twitter so your 'Followers' can constantly be updated, if they wish, with your wonderful images.   As you can read I am a convert.

I have started to use it as a way of displaying work/projects that have been completed.  These aren't the full on, set up, glossy shots by a professional,  those will come - but snaps of work in progress or just finished. As a way of easily displaying current work, this site could obviate the necessity of having a website that you need to constantly update.  Maybe, just maybe I am ahead of the curve here and everyone will soon be on Pinterest for their portfolio! 

I will shortly update my Pinterest site and upload photographs of artwork that I have painted and want to sell.  The potential market is huge just within Pinterest its self - if you label the items correctly.   How very democratic!

Southwold, watercolour
Link to Pinterest - Art by Rowena Vaughan