Install a multi function kitchen for a truly Modern Makeover

In previous decades, the living room was the focal point of the family home. Adults and children would congregate there in the evening, watching television and socialising with friends. But times have changed and kitchens have replaced living rooms as the focal point of the modern home.

Perhaps influenced by American TV programmes, where the average room is a vast open space, a lot of families are opting for larger multi-functional kitchens where the family can gather in the evening and share food and conversation. Instead of a small, cramped kitchen and separate dining room, the two rooms are opened up to create a light, airy space. So if this type of kitchen appeals to you, how can you create your own multi-functional kitchen?

Bigger is Better
The key to a multi-functional American-style kitchen is space. There is nothing wrong with a small kitchen, but in order to turn the room into a family room, it needs to be large enough to cope with the addition of extra items of furniture. If possible, create an open plan kitchen-dining room, or, if your kitchen looks out on to the garden, replace a back door with French windows. You could even build a conservatory extension to create extra space if there is sufficient room.

Light and Bright
A modern kitchen should be light, bright and airy. There are lots of lighting options to choose from when redesigning an old kitchen. Ceiling spotlights can be fitted at the time of installation. These will give you plenty of light for preparing food. Under cupboard lights are a nice feature, particularly at night. You could even opt for low level lighting along the bottom of base units if you need a landing strip to guide you to the fridge at 4AM.

Pick the Right Units
There are dozens of modern kitchen units on offer these days. Solid wood units (oak and pine) are still popular, but if you want to create a modern look, check out the latest gloss styles in pale colours. Dark wood or wood effect is also back in vogue. Accessorise with black granite worktops, stainless steel appliances and a few splashes of colour, and you will end up with a modern, sexy kitchen.

Colour is the Key
For a light, bright modern look, go for light or dark units and add an injection of accent colour in your accessories. Glass splashbacks are a fantastic way of stamping your personality in a kitchen. Glass splashbacks are available in any colour under the sun, so if you have a passion for hot pink or startling magenta, pick a glass splashback to suit. Once you have established your main accent colour, co-ordinate blinds and other decorative features accordingly.

Extra Furniture
No American-style kitchen would be complete without a large wall mounted TV, a dining room table and a cosy couch where the family can chill out while you prepare the evening meal.
If you are stuck for inspiration, check out photos on Pinterest to give you a few ideas. Then you can start making plans to turn your boring old kitchen into a multi-functional dream space.

About the author:
This article was written by Ian Shaw from Morley Glass. Ian writes for a number of websites on the subjects of home improvement and glazing solutions. As you might expect, he has a special interest in glass, particularly coloured glass, which he has recently installed in his own kitchen

Quality vs Cost for your Kitchen?

I had always dreamed of having the perfect kitchen and imagined how exciting it would be to select the type of kitchen I would have such as gloss or shaker, colour of walls, worktops and floor tiles! How wrong was I, yes it was exciting to begin with but by the time I the received the 3rd quote I was no clearer as to what I wanted…

My initial thought was to go for a gloss white kitchen as I liked the sleek and contemporary feel of it but I was concerned about keeping the white doors clean and wondered if it would date too quickly. I then quickly set my mind on a shaker kitchen and proceeded to get some quotes from some well known companies and got as far as almost putting a deposit down had it not been for my work colleagues. They convinced me I was paying far too much and should look around. Frankly, I was fed up of getting quotes etc… as it was quite time consuming (especially as my husband had left it all to me and said he would be happy with whichever company I chose to go with!).

So I started my search again and a friend recommended Allesley Kitchens in Coventry. I visited the showroom and was very impressed with the displays (note – I had come back to a gloss white kitchen by this time). They supply German Kitchens of a very high quality and by the end of the demonstration I knew this was the company I had to go with. Even though their quote was much higher than the other companies and more than I had expected my mind was made up – I had to have this kitchen!White Gloss Kitchen

To cut a long story short, going for the cheaper option is not always the best choice – yes the kitchen was expensive but I have never regretted it. The whole project was managed by the owner from start to finish – this was a godsend as he dealt with any issues that came up and I really did not have to get involved. He designed the kitchen and his two installers worked endlessly to make sure everything was perfect and if it wasn’t quite right they worked on it until it was.

Happily the end result is that we now have a fantastic kitchen which is perfect in every sense. I am so glad I decided on gloss white as this is definitely the right choice for us. The white doors are easy to keep clean as there are no grooves for dust to get trapped. The spotlights in the kitchen reflect in the doors and on the polished floor so the overall look is very modern.

I would recommend looking at the range of different options for a kitchen and believe that finding the right company, as I did, is more important than saving on costs. For those who don’t mind paying a bit more, there is also the reassurance of a company where the people are passionate about what they do and the quality of the service they provide.

Which Kitchen Underfloor Heating?

Electric Underfloor Heating MatWhen it comes to your kitchen floor there is really only one option to go for and that is to install tiles. As an area which receives a lot of footfall, spillages and use, it is essential to have flooring which is hardwearing, easy to clean and stylish.

The variety and type of tiles which you can choose are now far reaching with options for ceramic, natural stone and man-made materials. Not only that but you will need to consider whether you want to invest in underfloor heating. Certainly from my own experience I now wish I had installed heating under my tiles, simply to offer a little warmth to the tiles underfoot. Kitchens tend to be warm places regardless of the heating supplied to the room and although I have a radiator, it is rarely switched on.

What I do miss is a little warmth under my feet and so I have considered pulling up my tiles to add in the underfloor heating. Depending on your surface area will also depend on whether wet or dry underfloor heating is appropriate. The latter is much easier to install but the former much more cost effective but with additional time needed for its installation.

Any ceramic tile will conduct heat from underfloor heating very well. From a cost perspective, if you are using the heating to actually provide warmth to the room, then it is best to opt for wet underfloor heating as it is more economical. However if you simply want a little heat underfoot then electric underfloor heating will definitely suffice.