As one of the most frequently used and functional rooms in the home, our kitchens are important to us. Over the years, kitchens have become a living space, rather than just a food preparation area. Every part needs to be working towards creating the perfect environment.
If you’re looking at our website, you no doubt have an interest in choosing the best kitchen cabinets and worktop for your home, but it is also important to choose the right lighting for your kitchen.
There are plenty of options when it comes to kitchen lighting with variations in colour temperature, shape and style. Before choosing your perfect bulbs though, don’t make one of these common mistakes.
Many people try to light the room using a single fixture of a fixed grid of lamps. This can create uneven light distribution and cast shadows on the work surface. By having multiple lights across the room you can bring brightness to every part of the worktop space.
Consider having task lighting, which would include under-cupboard lighting above work surfaces. This can helps reduce the amount of shadows in important places and enables clear vision of what you are doing.
A great way of lighting the work surface below cabinets is to use a linear light source such as the LED Contour strip. This provides a continuous lighting effect which is ideal for today’s contemporary kitchens.
Unusual solutions can involve back-lighting a glass splash back which could change colour.
Kitchen lighting needs to have the most flexible lighting scheme in the home to reflect the wide range of functions which kitchens are now used for.
Your kitchen lighting will need to adapt from a bright, general light for the day, especially in dark kitchens as a supplement to daylight, to children’s tea and home work at dusk, to an intimate light for dining in the evening. Dimmer switches add much needed flexibility, with the ability to use brighter lighting at night and moodier, more intimate lighting for your evening meal.
In a kitchen with high ceilings, look at visually lowering the sense of scale by adding low hanging pendants over the island. Kitchen cabinets can also be used for uplighters for general light and this will also reduce the number of downlights required.
As kitchen lights tend to be on for much longer than other lights in the house, you should seriously consider upgrading to LED as they are more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs.
When choosing the colour temperature of your bulbs, think about the uses of that area. For a communal seating area, a warmer, golden light can help create a welcoming atmosphere, but for increased visibility of your food, consider a horizon daylight bulb.
Think about using daylight bulbs around the areas where you will be working- specifically the worktops. Here you will want to clearly see what you are doing, and you will want to see the true colour of the food you are preparing.
For the communal areas, like dining tables, you may prefer a softer, more orangey light. This could be a 3000k horizon daylight bulb or even a 1800K sunset white. For a full guide, read this article on colour temperature and light bulbs by Elesi.
If you choose a light fitting or a floor lamp on which the bulb is the central feature, you may prefer an Edison style LED bulb. Vintage Edison style bulbs provide ambience and a more orangey glow, but are unsuitable for task areas such as worktops and sinks.
Design is right at the heart of Kettle Co Kitchens. Our MD, Dale Williams, studied design before founding the business, and our team all have expertise in not just planning and fitting kitchens but also in ensuring every kitchen matches the individual needs of our customers.
During our time as kitchen designers and fitters we’ve been asked to work with our customers on all sorts of kitchen design ideas but here are a few tips to consider.
It’s not just about ensuring that your dream kitchen looks gorgeous; there are some important factors to consider in terms of layout too. After all you want to make sure that your new kitchen fits your lifestyle, reflects who you are – and that there’s easy (and safe) access to all the bits and pieces you need when you’re preparing meals for family and friends.
Is everything where you need it? We’re all so busy these days that the last thing we want is to waste time searching for equipment or where we put our favourite paring knife, serving dish or food product. So, in an ideal kitchen, for example, breakfast bowls and cereals ideally should be near your table, breakfast bar or kitchen island.
Crockery storage and your bin should be near the dishwasher, which in turn, should be near the sink. You might also want your mugs, cups and saucers, teas and coffees close to where you plan to plug in your kettle or have a boiling water tap.
If you are planning on incorporating your hob on a kitchen island, then you might want to include a small prep sink, so that you don’t have to walk across your kitchen with pans of boiling water to reach your main sink. This is also very useful if there’s more than one of you working in the kitchen at the same time.
From a safety aspect, it’s important to ensure that your cooking area isn’t the main thoroughfare in your kitchen, especially if it leads out to the garden. Obviously, you don’t want anyone, especially children, catching pan handles as they pass by. Neither do you want to have to keep moving out of the way to allow people to get past you.
We all have our favourite colours and ideas for colour schemes but when choosing these for your new kitchen, you’ll want to ensure the end result gives the right ‘feel’. This is sometimes difficult to quantify but natural light plays an important part in this – and looking at how this works with your kitchen is a good guide.
For example, if you have a kitchen diner that opens onto the garden, with your dining area near the door and your kitchen further into the room, light coloured kitchen cabinets will reflect the light, making the space feel larger. If you have a large bright kitchen, then darker colours can make the room feel cosier.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that if your kitchen has similar colour themes to the rest of your home, it will make the flow of your home more cohesive. This can be done very simply, with lighting, areas of colour and cabinetry that reflect colours in other rooms, matching tone flooring, tiles or splashbacks -and soft furnishings such as chairs, sofas thrown and cushions, if you have a chill out area in your kitchen.
High gloss kitchens have been popular in recent years but new finishes, such as Matte or Super Matte are hotly tipped by designers for combining sheer good looks with practicability. Super Matte is anti-fingerprint, so is perfect for a busy, family kitchen, and both look fabulous with metallic, concrete/stone or wood effect finishes.
If you are still yearning for that sleek, glossy look, then natural wood can be used very effectively within the design to create texture and warmth, such as flooring, worktops or other elements. This can be highlighted with chunky wooden chopping boards or fruit bowls, driftwood artwork, wooden picture frames or wooden pot plants.
We’ll take care of all the details when planning your kitchen but sometimes there are some minor, but nonetheless important, details to take into consideration. You might have a small gap to fill, which could be turned into a useful and handy place to store trays.
Also, think about the height of your upper cabinets, if there is to be a gap between the top of these and your ceiling then it needs to be large enough for you to be able to get to in order to clean them. Alternatively, you might opt for cabinets that fit from floor to ceiling to avoid this chore and also to make the most of storage space.
Another point to consider is to ensure everything is at the right height. If you are opting for stacking fitting ovens, then they’ll obviously need to be at the correct height for safely removing hot dishes. If you have children, then you might want to incorporate a low cupboard for their cups and bowls so that they can easily reach them if they want to. This avoids the risk of them climbing onto worktops to reach what they need.
Also make sure to discuss how many electrical points you might need and where you’d like them to go. If you’re planning on having a kitchen island, don’t forget that you might need some there too, especially if you are incorporating a hob or fridge. If you want to keep your phone or tablet nearby when you’re in your kitchen then you’ll find it useful to have at least one electrical point that includes a USB port for your charger.
Planning your kitchen lighting needs to be done early on. Lighting under or in cabinets are important for when you are cooking but don’t forget about ambient lighting. You might want to include dimmer switches and there are hundreds of styles of light fittings, from pendants to wall lights and recessed spotlights.
Yes, even a kitchen has a personality and you can decide what you want that to be! Whether that’s choosing kitchen wall paint colours, creating a gallery wall or placing small decorative items, pots of herbs or holiday memorabilia on your window ledges.
Gorgeous scented candles, glass bowls of pebbles or glass buttons, family photos or maybe a shelf of colourful (or vintage) cookery books – whatever you choose, your personal touches will turn your kitchen from a purely functioning room to a place where you, your family and friends will love to gather.
Because our roots are in design as well as kitchen planning, we’re always keen to keep up with the latest kitchen design trends for our customers. Kitchen styles, like clothing, are integral to an individual’s own style and sense of self.
It’s not just about units and worktops but creating a space that’s great for relaxing, entertaining and cooking up a storm. We’ve been checking out the latest kitchen trends for 2021 to show you a few of the ones we liked best!
Over recent years, the kitchen has become increasingly the heart of the family living/working space, with boundaries blurring between the kitchen, the dining area and a snug corner with a sofa and chairs.
As a result, the traditional kitchen space is getting larger, and especially as part of refurbishments and extensions. The kitchen island for some is the ‘must have’ as part of open plan living and, now, installing a pair of kitchen islands has become the most recent trend for those where space is no object.
You could go bold with units, worktops and the whole shebang or opt for combining classic white kitchen units with splashes of bright colour. This can be achieved with a feature wall, striking splashback, zingy flooring, breakfast bar stools, racks of mugs or kitchen utensils and with small kitchen appliances, such as kettles and toasters.
Last year Pantone announced its ‘Colour of the Year’, which was Classic Blue. Blue tones have long been popular in kitchens, from cool aqua to rich navy. Pantone had this to say: “Classic Blue (Pantone 19-4052) is elegant in its simplicity. Suggestive of the sky at dusk…it is a restful colour, bringing a sense of peace and tranquillity.”
Oh, the joy of having everything to hand! Larder cupboards are specially designed to easily display and store all your essentials. Ask your kitchen fitter which style will work best for your kitchen – a traditional flat fronted unit with double (or more!) doors or a space saving, slim, pull-out unit that will slot in next to your worktops.
The great advantage of these is that it can free up whole walls to create space or use for artwork, furniture or any other feature.
Handleless kitchen doors are one of the hottest kitchen trends right now. Perfect for that sleek, minimalist look. Just press and the door or drawer will open.
This look works best with high-gloss, contemporary fitted kitchens, giving a smooth sweep and long lines, drawing the eye along the units. However, if you still want handles, you can go for a recessed option and these can be lined with contrasting colours and materials to add interest.
Less popular in recent years, wood is making a big comeback with its warming tones, natural look and tactile surfaces. Check out subtle-grained ash for a paler, more minimalist Scandinavian look and feel or opt for luxurious, rich tones by choosing walnut with its fine grain. Wooden units look wonderful when paired with stone worktops.
A worktop is more than just a surface for food preparation, it’s the icing on the cake in terms of completing the look and feel of your new kitchen. Increasingly popular – and very hot right now – is Neolith.
Made from entirely natural, recyclable products such as crushed stone, Neolith is created during a process of heat and pressure, bonding the elements to create a strong but lightweight worktop. A similar process is used to create Dekton, a blend of natural quartz, porcelain and glass that’s highly resistant to stains.
Both options come in a range of textures and colours. Of course, if your heart is set on granite, then this comes in a variety of finishes and includes composite options. It polishes up beautifully and can be kept looking mirror-like through the application of any number of readily available household stone polishes – including several eco-friendly brands. For sheer luxury and style there’s veined marble, appreciated for its natural beauty over millennia.
Taps are already available in a wide choice of finishes and now sinks are getting in on the act. From vitreous china to stainless steel, sinks are also available in coloured brushed stainless steel in a variety of finishes, such as gold or bronze.
So, if you’re feeling inspired by these kitchen trends and are planning a new kitchen in 2021, then come and chat to our team of experienced kitchen designers.
Found a kitchen you like somewhere else? We’ll match it and what’s more, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’ll be dealing with local planners and fitters, who’ll be on hand every step of the way to help create your dream kitchen.
Imagine looking at a home you are interested in buying. The front garden looks great, the front door is clean and sturdy, the hallway and living room are newly decorated, clean and tidy, the dining room is a great size and in great condition, but as soon as you step foot into the kitchen, you can see that it is old, unclean and hasn't been updated in a long time.
A bad kitchen can easily put prospective buyers off making an offer on a property.
Now, imagine you step into the kitchen and you see a high quality, sturdy and beautiful kitchen that makes great use of the space and fits in well with the design of the rest of the house. A new, high quality kitchen can make a house so much more desirable than an old, outdated kitchen.
Many expert articles talk about how updating your kitchen can add value to your home, especially as open plan kitchen and dining areas have risen in popularity in recent years, making the kitchen much more of a focal point in the house than it was before. No longer is the kitchen just a place to cook food and clean dishes, it is a place to socialise, watch TV, eat, drink, so for families or anyone who ever entertains guests, a good kitchen is hugely important.
According to figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) a new kitchen can add as much as 4% to the value of your house. Which? research found that a new kitchen could and could add 6% (average £18,000) in value to the home.
Many experts do, however mention that you should consider the overall value of your home. For example, if you live in a home worth £80,000 and you spend £100,000 on the kitchen, that alone is unlikely to push the value up to £180,000. And similarly, if you live in a property worth £800,000, a £8,000 kitchen is unlikely to add significant value.
A new kitchen, however also enhances your experience of living in your home, before selling, so the added value shouldn't be the only consideration when deciding whether to purchase. You can tie the home together well by choosing a style that fits perfectly with the rest of the house, be it contemporary, modern or traditional.
By choosing the right kitchen for your house and making sure you go for one that is well made and well fitted, you reduce the chances of potential buyers leaving with a bad impression. In fact, you may just convince them to put in an offer.
We love to exceed customer expectations and are thrilled to share what one of our latest customers had to say about their new kitchen and working with Kettle Co.
This beautiful new shaker style kitchen was painted in Farrow & Ball Strong White and offers a timeless classic look that opens up the kitchen and creates a sense of space. The kitchen island offers a practical worktop and dining space and is painted in Lava to match the cooker and tie in beautifully with the home’s window frames.
We pride ourselves on attention to detail and this can be seen throughout with intricate beading on the door frames, a custom made open plate rack with painted veneered panels and solid wood feet on the island rather than standard legs & plinths.
Practicality and functionality is always at the front of our thinking and this can be seen with the double door walk-in pantry in the corner of the kitchen which provides massive storage space for the family.
It’s no surprise that our customer was absolutely thrilled with the new kitchen and rated us as excellent on Trustpilot. They had this to say.
“What is it about buying a kitchen in the UK, I have NEVER heard from anyone who did not have never-ending stressful issues from start to finish. Well, Kettle sure know how to do it and we are over the moon with the service and fit from start to finish.”
They were also impressed with how smoothly the whole process went, from initial design consultation through to the final installation.
“From first contact in store with Simon and then all the final touches with Alex and Luke made the whole process a pleasure and fun. We have recommended them to many others who in turn have found them as good as it gets. No hard sell, they keep their word and follow through…Can't praise them enough, Thank you.”
Every kitchen island is different but needs to be more than just about good looks; it needs to be functional too. With our background in design and years of experience, we have developed some fantastic kitchen design ideas that are sure to inspire your new kitchen.
The most vital aspect of designing your own kitchen island is to first understand what works best for your kitchen. It needs to be the right size for the space in your kitchen and you’ll need to decide what you really want to use it for.
Does your island need to double as a breakfast (or cocktail) bar, or do you want additional storage space that helps keep things nice and tidy? Your island must complement and complete your kitchen. Not only will this give you the best result possible, it will streamline the choices you need to make.
You’ll need to have space between your island and the rest of your kitchen, because you’ll need aisles that let you move comfortably around but not so much that you can’t easily reach for essential items from other parts of your kitchen.
Remember that your island must be a working part of your kitchen, it isn’t just there for effect. If you have a small kitchen, then an aisle minimum of 36 inches is best, whereas 42 inches between the counters would be ideal.
It’s important that you work within the existing space constraints of your kitchen. We’ve often heard customers say they wished they had larger kitchens because of the available space that they offer, however, huge kitchens can create some unique design challenges of their own.
Any island that you choose must always be proportional to the size of your kitchen. If it is too big, then it will overpower the room and possibly make you feel ‘hemmed in’.
Conversely, a small but ultimately impractical island, just for the sake of having one, is both ungainly and a waste of precious space. This is where our experts come in – we’ll get to work on designing an island that works perfectly within the proportions of your kitchen.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ island – every kitchen is different, and we often have to think outside the box to find a solution to a potential design problem. The image of a square kitchen island is so popular that it’s easy to automatically gravitate towards this textbook shape.
Yet there are lots of options. It might well be that an L-shaped or T-shaped island will work best in your kitchen, or a lovely circular or cool elliptical installation, to match curves in your kitchen. We’ll find the right solution, letting your kitchen dictate the shape and size of the island.
Storage units and clever cabinets are an essential part of the modern kitchen island. They allow you to tuck away the mess, organise your kitchen more efficiently, yet still make sure that everything you need is handy.
We’ll make suggestions on what you need in terms of shelving units and cabinets to ensure it all works well with the rest of your kitchen. Small kitchens with limited shelving will benefit from extra-deep drawers and large fold-away inserts that will provide you with ample storage.
Islands in larger kitchens could incorporate the latest trend – a double island! They can also feature display cabinets and stylish shelves with glass doors. In this case, creating essential storage space is not necessarily a priority, so can showcase some of your china or a couple of pieces of striking artwork, holiday memorabilia or your cookery books.
As the kitchen is now considered to be the heart of the home, it’s a gathering place for family and friends. An island provides the perfect spot for a quick breakfast, mid-morning snack or a family ‘kitchen supper’ in the evening, so make sure to incorporate some seating space.
Many modern islands come with a design that places the countertop for food and drinks a bit higher than the one used for preparing and serving meals. This also allows you to choose a wider range of kitchen bar stools or chairs. Also make sure you take into account the required knee clearance space for sitting comfortably at the island.
Whether you intend to cook at your kitchen island or not is a decision that you’ll need to make pretty early in the planning stage. If you plan on adding equipment for cooking, then make sure you allow for some extra costs and design constraints that come into play because of the additional electricity and/or gas line and possibly also plumbing.
A kitchen island that doubles as your cooking space will also need a few smart appliances incorporated into its design. You might have to forgo a bit of storage space for that oven, dishwasher and maybe even a small fridge, but it will be well worth it, if as a result, your kitchen works well for your lifestyle and needs.
The Kettle Co team is ready at our showrooms in St Austell and Plymouth to start planning your new kitchen, with its unique island. With our Price Promise* and special discounts, we’ll match any kitchen you might find elsewhere and because we’re local, we’re right on hand to ensure the planning and installation of your new kitchen runs smoothly.
This also means that we’re readily available to deal with any unforeseen issues that might crop up during the fitting process. Last but not least, because we’re based at the HBH Woolacotts showrooms, you can get their help in choosing a new kettle, toaster or coffee machine for your kitchen or very own ‘love island’!
At Kettle Co. Kitchens, we’re experts in kitchen design so if you’re planning a new kitchen, come and talk to our friendly team about how we can help you create your dream kitchen. All you need do is book a free virtual design appointment.