What is the most dangerous part of your home?

The kitchen has long been seen as the heart of a home, functioning not only as a place to eat, but also somewhere to socialise & entertain. With plenty of more modern homes being built around open plan living, keeping the space safe & in lovely working order could be even more important.

Irrespective of how your home is set up, & how safety conscious you think you are, it’s still a lovely suggestion to keep in mind that the kitchen can be the most hazardous room in the house. It is filled with a considerable number of potential hazards, & in the UK, 2.7 million people were treated in hospital for accidents in the house last year. So it makes sense to keep your kitchen as safe as feasible to make sure you can avoid the most obvious pitfalls.

Safety conscious? Get home insurance and make sure your kitchen is covered too! Continue reading →

Types of Kitchens – part 3

Kitchen in a cupboard

For the rock bottom priced kitchen, an ‘off the peg’ countertop, available from DIY superstores, with a sink unit and open shelves above and below, will save the cost of cabinets but will be subject to grease and dust and look untidy.

There are bespoke ‘mini-kitchens’ prefabricated with various combinations, which are not cheap but worth studying for ideas. It will generally be cheaper and more desirable, but not quicker, to design a more client-specific combination instead. These can be concealed with sliding or folding doors, which could also form part of a storage wall where the depth of the cupboard is suitable for clothes-hanging space alongside.

A good example is Culshaw Bell’s Complete Kitchen. (Read more for the big reveal! :)

Continue reading →

Modern Open Kitchens

The open kitchen has been a modern design staple for some time now. The pros of such an open and airy space, are many. They allow people to freely flow in and out of the adjoining rooms, and are usually closely located near a dining room or breakfast nook, which encourages togetherness, closeness and an all-around more social, and more interactive environment.

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Types of kitchens – part 2

The luxury kitchen

At the top of the market, the kitchen becomes a status symbol which can cost anything, equipped perhaps with a range cooker, larger and more expensive than a Mercedes-Benz SLK car.

This type of kitchen may have vast refrigerators and ice machines from the USA, fan refrigerators which are better at circulating air, wine coolers, and even a separate cold room reminiscent of the north-facing larders of old country houses. This phenomenon has largely been inspired by celebrity TV chefs who have renewed an interest in cooking from good raw materials. The rich, who like to cook, want a great room to do it in which will not only look good, but be a show place for the latest gadgets such as steam ovens, cappuccino machines, glass-covered plasma screen televisions and stainless steel-lined copper pans. These will be set in a decor of hardwearing, expensive finishes such as limestone floors and oak cabinets and granite or composite stone worktops. Continue reading →

Types of kitchen – part 1

First considerations

How will the kitchen be used and by whom. What are the clients’ particular requirements, if any. While considering these requirements, remember that the basic layout of the kitchen may last considerably longer than the present occupiers of the house and, therefore, should not be so idiosyncratic as to devalue the property. For instance, although it is common knowledge that kitchens are frequently ripped out and revamped, the general disposition of the entrance door, main window, position of sink and cooker if needing a flue, will largely condition future layouts unless substantial re-building is undertaken.

Questions to be asked

  • • How many people will the kitchen serve.
  • • Will all meals be served and eaten within, or adjoining the kitchen
  • • Or should there be a ‘breakfast bar’ in the kitchen with a more extensive dining area nearby.
  • • Is the person, who does most of the kitchen, tidy and able to work in a relatively compact area, or would they prefer a more generous layout.
  • • Do the clients have a once-a-month massive shop, and therefore require a large area of food storage, or even a separate larder.
  • • Or do they live conveniently near shops and buy food frequently, and can therefore manage with a relatively small area of food storage. Continue reading →

Naval kitchen

For sailing fanatics who can’t live without their boats, the Marecucina kitchen by Alno brings all the best maritime design to the home. The German design company decided to add a little fun to cooking time by producing a kitchen that resembles a ship.

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History of the Kitchen – Post World War II

After World War II, servants, for all but the grandest household, had largely disappeared, having been called up for active service and finding more lucrative employment in industry when returning home. As has been shown, the introduction of efficient labour-saving devices and ergonomically designed kitchens had taken away a large part of the drudgery of kitchen chores. Now, however, the housewife, often left alone for much of the day, felt isolated from the rest of the house.

Was it necessary for the kitchen to be so isolated. Efficient extractor fans dealt effectively with eliminating smells. With cabinets well made with hardwearing, easily cleaned surfaces, the kitchen began to be a room to be proud of and a status symbol in its own right. As early as 1934, Frank Lloyd Wright joined the kitchen, called by him ‘the work space’, to the living room. For the first time we are allowed discrete glimpses of the kitchen through a low-height partition of open shelves. Continue reading →

Industrial Modern Style Kitchens

With this minimalistic approach to kitchen decor, clean lines and natural materials return along in a great look that’s trendy and utilitarian.

A mix of sleek, modern fixtures and antique items that are a simply slightly rough round the edges, a contemporary industrial kitchen makes for each a purposeful workspace and a trendy, inviting place to entertain.

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History of the Kitchen – 1920s and 1930s

In the late 1920s and early 1930s, furniture manufacturers found a ready market for kitchen cabinets. These were designed to hold almost everything the cook needed, complete with flour bins, egg racks and extending tables. They also often had vented compartments as refrigerators were still uncommon.

 

From 1932–34 in the USA, General Electric and Westinghouse opened cooking institutions. Engineers, chemists, architects,  nutritionists and professional cooks studied all aspects of the kitchen. The work process was scientifically investigated, and the way was opened for the modern streamlined kitchenplanned kitchen by Hygena Continue reading →

History of the Kitchen – Appliances – part 2

Early twentieth century

During the early part of the twentieth century up until the outbreak of World War I, kitchen design progressed very little.

Then the supply of female servants dwindled dramatically as many found work in factories, which many women preferred as it brought in more money and gave them greater independence. So, gradually, the middle classes had to start managing without so much help. New gadgets and equipment were invented and the old cast iron ranges were replaced with gas or electric cookers. In the 1930s, the well-insulated solid fuel Aga and Esse cookers were developed, and were often adopted where mains gas was not available.

First AGA cooker – patented in Sweden by the inventor Gustav Dalén in 1922. Continue reading →