Monthly Archives: June 2018

  • 0

Kitchen worktops – Things to consider when choosing yours

Once you start researching kitchen worktops,  you will find several things you’ll need to consider. However, we believe the two main areas to focus on should be how it will look and how it will perform.

How will it look?

What look are you trying to achieve? Modern, sleek lines? Traditional farmhouse style? What thickness will you go for? Do you want the same work surface throughout or two contrasting/complimenting surfaces?           

How will it perform?

How will you use your kitchen? Do you want a surface that can withstand hot pans or are you happy using trivets? How much maintenance are you prepared to do to keep it looking good?

Let’s take a closer look at some options for you to consider.

Glass

With so many colours to choose from, a glass worktop is the perfect way to add WOW factor to your kitchen and the reflective surface will create an illusion of more space. Being easy to maintain and looking fabulous, it is easy to see why glass worktops are becoming ever more popular. The glass can span in excess of 3½ metres with no joints giving a seamless, hygienic finish and overcoming the need for grout or silicone that some work surfaces require. It is one of the strongest materials available for work surfaces meaning you can allow for a breakfast bar overhang and it will stand up to the daily wear and tear of life in the busiest of kitchens.

Radius corners can be provided to remove pointed corners. Glass worktops are easily cleaned and very hard to stain with a matt finish being slightly more forgiving with fingerprints and marks but even a gloss finish will quickly return to its former glory with a wipe over using an ecloth. If you opt for glass, it is important to look for a fabricator that uses low iron glass. This has minimal green tint which keeps the colours bold and consistent.

Top Tip – There will always be some colour tone difference between different thicknesses of glass so make sure you view a sample in the same thickness as your chosen kitchen worktop.

Quartz, Granite and Ceasarstone

Quartz worktops are fabricated from natural quartz, one of the hardest minerals found in the Earth, to which resin and colour pigment are added. Being a non-porous material, Quartz does not allow bacteria to grow and is stain resistant, making it super hygienic and easy to clean. This means, unlike Granite, Quartz worktops never need to be sealed or treated. Aside from the durability that quartz provides, this material is beautiful and its wide variety of colour options are sure to catch your eye.

Your options are nearly endless as quartz ranges from natural colours such as whites, blacks and browns to other colours such as golds or blues. The design of a quartz worktop not only brings character to your kitchen but offers performance advantages that exceed other traditional materials. A good fabricator will offer you a number of different styles of edging depending on the look you wish to achieve.

Top Tip – Some manufacturers offer jumbo size slabs which are ideal if you’re choosing Quartz for a central island. Check with your kitchen designer if this is what you’re considering as a joint down the middle of your island can spoil the overall effect.

Solid surface

Solid Surface, as a material for kitchen worktops, has many advantages. Being non-porous, it will not stain as it will not allow any substance to penetrate the surface. This property also makes it hygienic, perfect for a kitchen worktop. It can be made and installed with seamless joins, making it ideal for large kitchen islands and long runs of worktop. It can be molded to any shape and sinks can be integrated into the worktop seamlessly, which not only looks beautiful but is also very hygienic. Whilst these worktops are fairly durable, they are renewable and repairable, so any accidental damage can be repaired bringing the worktop back to looking as it did the day it was installed.

Top Tip – When cleaning, use an anti-lime scale product. Whilst dirt and bacteria can’t stain the worktop surface, they can stain any build-up of lime scale thus giving the appearance of a dirty worktop.

Steel

Stainless steel worktops are the choice of professional chefs for a reason – they are extremely hygienic and very easy to maintain whilst also being extremely hard wearing. The thing that puts most people off choosing steel for their home kitchen is the aesthetics of shiny steel because we want our home to look attractive and inviting to our family and visitors, and we don’t want the visible scratches that will inevitably appear on a stainless steel worktop. None of which are considerations of the professionals.

However, some manufacturers now produce a stainless steel worktop with a tactile, velvety matt finish which is acquired by pummelling the steel with thousands of ball bearings during the manufacturing process. The end result is a beautiful steel worktop with all the aforementioned benefits of steel but with an elegant and calm appearance. This manufacturing process also makes the steel twice as strong as the conventional steel worktops and less susceptible to fingerprint marks.

Top Tip – Whilst using knives on your steel worktop won’t damage the surface, it will damage your knives so always use a chopping board for food preparation.

And Finally…

When choosing your worktop, talk to an experienced kitchen designer. They will have seen hundreds of different worktops in all the various materials and colours and in hundreds of different settings. This experience means they will be able to guide you as to what will look best and work well for you in your kitchen. They can talk you through the pros and cons of each material and offer valuable advice. You should visit a showroom where you can view and feel different worktop surfaces to see which you really like and to shake off any preconceived ideas you may have collected during your research.

Whichever worktop you choose, make sure you entrust the fabrication and installation to the experts. The effect a professionally templated and installed worktop will have on your whole kitchen will be well worth any money you might save by attempting a DIY job.

And our final Top Tip would be to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on maintenance and cleaning products. That way your worktop will continue looking its best for many years to come.


  • 0
Kitchen Storage - By Alex

9 ways to get the most out of your kitchen storage

Tags : 

If there’s one room that absolutely needs to be organised, it’s the kitchen. And yet, so often, kitchen storage solutions elude us. But getting your kitchen back on track is actually pretty simple. Here are some handy hints that’ll transform your kitchen.

1. First, think about how you use your space

Whether you’re planning a kitchen from scratch, or overhauling an existing space, think about how you use your kitchen. Chances are, it’s a room you use at least twice a day, and possibly more. So above all, your kitchen needs to be functional, and storage is a key part of that. Think about your kitchen in terms of zones – a cooking zone (where your stove and oven are), a prep zone (usually your largest open bench space) and a food storage zone (your fridge and pantry).

Think about the way your kitchen is now, and how you could move items around to make it work better for you. Do you store your utensils near your stove, so it’s easy to reach for a whisk when you’re making a sauce? Where are your chopping boards? Ideally, they’ll be right under your largest bench space, so you can grab them easily as you prep food. For many of us, it helps to do a ‘full Kondo‘ and take everything out of our cupboards, and reorganise from here (you may also find items you no longer need – chuck them out for bonus storage space!).

2. Drawers before doors

Ask pretty much any kitchen expert and they’ll tell you: drawers are king when it comes to storage. With drawers, you can easily see what’s in each space, and you can use the entire space (with cupboards, we tend to only use about half to three-quarters of the space – such a waste!). You can re-fit existing cupboards with drawers fairly simply.

3. Make your pantry work

For many of us, the pantry is like the Bermuda Triangle of kitchen storage: if we ignore it, it doesn’t really exist. But organising your pantry and adding a few nifty features to help it work harder for you will make prepping and cooking so much easier – we promise.

There are plenty of products on the market now to help you get your pantry in better working order. Contact us if you’d like some advice in this department. Think about rolling or sliding shelves that draw dry goods right out to you, two- and three-tier shelving units that can double your usable pantry space, over-the-doors hooks and rails, and baskets that clip onto the bottom of shelves to add extra storage and make reaching for that can of chickpeas a little easier.

4. Use every bit of space

Chances are, your kitchen has at least a little space that’s currently going unused (or at least underused). Have you got those odd tilt-down drawers just under your benches? Use them for sponges, spices, and cling wrap and foil. Got space above your cabinets? Place less frequently used items up there, like cookbooks, cake stands and large pots. How about the inside of your cabinet doors – reckon you could find space to hang a magazine file, to ‘file’ away your cling wrap, baking paper and foil there? Or maybe you could mount a magnetic strip for spices, or hang a chopping board.

And if you’ve been ‘blessed’ with awkward corner cupboards, think about using them in different ways. You could install a pull-out cupboard system which brings the entire contents of the unit into view when you open the door. Have a look around and see how much space you’re not using – and then think about ways you can put that space to work.

And don’t forget to make the most of vertical space!  You could hang chopping boards on walls, pot rails (which work for utensils and also small baskets which can hold fruit and veg), shelves for cookbooks, and even a peg board for miscellaneous items.

5. Install lighting inside your cabinets and drawers

Kitchen lighting isn’t just about those downlights you installed. Installing proper lighting in your pantry and other cupboards (or under cupboards) will allow you to see the entire contents of your cabinets at a glance. You can buy inexpensive battery-operated LED sensors lights that emit very little heat and are therefore safe around food.

6. Not everything has to go in the kitchen

If you’re short on space, think about items that don’t necessarily have to live in the kitchen. Barware, for instance, might make more sense living in your bar are. Cookbooks can go on a bookshelf in your living room. Cleaning items, like mops, might be better stored in the laundry. Again, it pays to be thoughtful about how you’re currently using your space, and whether you could put it to better use.

7. Hide clutter (aka the junk drawer…)

There are some things you simply can’t get rid of – your toaster, your kettle, your utensils – but you can hide them away. Banish clutter from the counter top by tucking everyday appliances such as the kettle and toaster behind sliding doors or inside discreet breakfast nooks (providing have enough properly located electrical sockets; if you don’t, these can be added by a qualified electrician). You could also cut down on bench space used by using a folding dish rack, a magnetic knife strip (eliminating the need for a block), or magnetic spice racks on the side of your fridge. And of course, every kitchen has a junk drawer…

8. Use organisers and dividers in your drawers

Save time scrambling through drawers for that elusive utensil by adding drawer organisers and dividers to all your kitchen drawers, not just your cutlery and junk drawers. Look for inserts that are modular and expandable to fit your drawer size and requirements exactly – and don’t forget non-slip drawer inserts that keep the contents of your drawers secure.

9. Get stackable containers and dispensers

Don’t forget to find a home for all the little things that can quickly clutter up your counter top. Clear glass containers allow you to organise and label your dry food and leftovers with ease, as well as keep tabs on how much you’ve got left. Square, stackable containers make the best use of space, and are available practically everywhere.

 

These are all important points that By Alex bears in mind when designing kitchens. Give us a call on 081 457 6698 You can count on us to innovate the kitchen of your dreams that’s not only beautiful, but functional too.


Search for a Topic

Follow us on Facebook

3 months ago

By Alex

May the road rise up to meet you in 2019 ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

4 months ago

By Alex

And another one done... Stunning work by our teams!! ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

4 months ago

By Alex

Another one done today ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

8 months ago

By Alex

Sleek and modern, this custom built TV/audio unit doesn't just look great, it houses all techno gadgets so that the livingroom looks neat and tidy.

Let us design and build one for you too. Give us a call on 081 457 6698.
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

9 months ago

By Alex

We are premium innovators and manufacturers of inspiring kitchens, cabinetry and bespoke carpentry along the Garden Route between Cape Town and PE.

Traditional values combined with a fresh approach is what inspires us, not just to create, but innovate products and solutions that inspire you.

#innovativethinking #signatureliving #byalex
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Connect with us on facebook