Exhibition and Event

Which Kitchen Island?

The kitchen island is a vital component of an open plan kitchen and the decision as to which design to opt for is a very important one that you will live with on a daily basis, so it is vital to think it through first. The folk involved in home refurbishment Leicestershire are there to help you decide on your plan of action.

Larger kitchens

The chances are that should you be fortunate enough to have a large open plan kitchen it is likely to be the hub of your home, where dinners, entertaining, food preparation and breakfast all take place. In this case, large, built in islands deserve their place, with the added bonus of drawers either side to tidy away all those pots, pans, scales, juicers and blenders that will not only be out of sight but also perfectly placed to be extricated and placed on the food preparation area of your kitchen oasis!

Options for smaller spaces

For the smaller kitchen there are some space savvy kitchen islands that do not compromise on storage, using vertical space, with the elevation allowing for storage underneath. A nifty tip is also mounting a long towel bar on the side of your island for those tea towels, aprons and oven gloves. However, some small kitchens will need a compromise and that can be made in the way of a mobile ‘cart style’ island. Options range from cheap and easily mobile trolley style pieces to more elaborate islands on wheels that can look as good as their fixed cousins.

The upcycled option

Do you have an old dresser that you no longer use or want out of the bedroom? It could, with a little bit of imagination and elbow grease, be turned into a stylish and economical kitchen island. Add some dividers and give the dresser a shabby chic makeover with some vibrant colour – blue or green perhaps – and you could have a storage-friendly talking point in your kitchen! The upcycled option could even involve taking a butcher’s block (auctions often feature them) and adding legs from an old piece of furniture. This will not provide storage, but it will look incredibly satisfying.

The upgrade

Perhaps your kitchen island ticks all the boxes in terms of size, storage space and style but is rather tired and in need of a revamp. A new countertop or some sleek wooden panels can transform an existing island and cost much less than unnecessarily scrapping your island and replacing it with a more expensive model.

Let there be Light in my Kitchen!

Whether yours is an open plan kitchen or a smaller room, we all have areas in our kitchen from islands to units to corner cupboards that suffer from poor lighting. Fortunately with the enormous range of solutions on the market there is an answer for every lighting issue.

A very clever and reasonably priced solution, especially for those kitchens whose dark spots change with the weather and time of day, is to introduce flexible spotlights. From spot lights with shades that rotate 90 degrees each side to clamp-on, moveable spotlights with long, flexible, scissor arms that can follow the darkness around, perhaps on a seasonal basis, such lighting options represent a great, flexible and inexpensive option.

As open plan kitchens have prevailed as our kitchen of choice, so the question has arisen as to what constitutes the best lighting for such a room. It may be that generalised ceiling spotlighting provides the main light to the room and other options fill in the gaps. Recessed halogen spotlights are unobtrusive and efficient and can be spread evenly across the ceiling giving good universal coverage. However there will likely still be areas that need augmenting.

In larger kitchens a centrepiece hanging light feature like a chandelier or pendant light for a more modern touch, above the island, breakfast bar or dining table can look great and provide character as well as a welcome mood-lighting option. In larger kitchens benefiting from a nice dresser against a wall, perhaps a gorgeous free standing period table lamp could be the answer – with a wall-mounted mirror above the dresser this can be a real coup.

For the more modern kitchen, LED is an option that cannot be ignored for its potential to add real panache. When incorporated below the kickboards of your kitchen units, waterproof, self-adhesive LED tape or strips can be a wonderful addition to a 21st century kitchen. Whether they are applied below the kickboards, in the recesses of handle-less kitchen drawer fascia or above large cabinets, these fun, low energy lights are a superb option. LED tape is also available with colour changing for the more adventurous among us.

What often infuriates me is searching around in the back of those hard to reach corner cupboards for the one thing that I need that has happened to fall down the back and it is impossible to see where. To avoid this frustration, for the gadget lovers amongst us, motion sensitive surface mounted lights can be placed inside the cupboard and only activate as we open it. What makes these nifty gadgets even cooler is that as they run out of battery you simply remove them and charge them via a USB cable with your laptop or PC!

Never has there been a better time to shed some light on the darker recesses of your kitchen spaces and the kitchen refurbishment Leicestershire team are more than happy to show you the way.

Innovative Bathroom Lighting Solutions

For those looking to add a certain je ne sais quoi to their bathrooms or shower rooms, you could do a lot worse and spend a lot more than looking at your lighting. There are so many innovative and creative lighting solutions specifically designed for our watery havens that you will be spoiled for choice. Those working on bathroom refurbishment Leicestershire are well aware of the revitalising qualities imbued in some of these lighting ideas and this article highlights some particularly exciting options.

Today’s bathrooms are multi-purpose and have multiple personalities in keeping with the vibrant idea of modern living space. From functional and practical rooms to calming, tranquil oases in a sea of modern stress, our bathrooms must be able to morph with our requirements of them and one fabulously simple way of achieving this goal is via lighting. Of course, simple dimmer switches have, in the past been one of the main ways in which the bathroom can shift from well lit practical morning ‘getting ready’ rooms to chilled out evening ‘winding down’ spaces. Dimmer options on vanity lights are also effective mechanisms to assist this transition.

One fun and modern lighting solution is provided by colour-changing LED shower head lighting, whereby the flow of water from the shower head takes on a specific colour in response to the temperature of the water – blue is cold, green lukewarm and red is nice and hot! Why this may seem a little gimmicky it is certainly not without an element of fun and would be received as such by the littler members of the family.

LED lighting is not restricted to the shower head, of course, representing an efficient and wonderfully flexible way of lighting a bathroom. Colours can be introduced according to taste, yielding sensational results in the ambience department. Stainless steel LED floor lights can look sensational when they break up a sleek, grey slate tiled floor or wooden slatted floor and the array of surface mounting ceiling downlights on the market is staggering. Adjustable and dimmable LED wall-mounted lights can provide flexible lighting that can adapt to the different ways in which you use your bathroom and whether you choose chrome, brushed steel, elegant black or fresh white you can add your own sense of style to boot.

In addition to the modern lighting options, given enough ceiling height a more elaborate low hanging light fitting like a chandelier, equipped with dimming options can be unparalleled in the drive for evening mood lighting.