Posts tagged with "Designs"
Turn your kitchen back into the heart of the home
In the world we live in, we often find ourselves too busy to appreciate the little things, especially those in our own home. After a long day at work, it’s easy to fall into the habit of viewing the kitchen as simply a functional space, used only for preparing meals.
But, as the focal point in many homes, the kitchen is the perfect space to bring family and friends together and make lasting memories.
For many, our earliest memories probably come from the kitchen. Whether it was in your own, your friends or your grandparents’ home, the kitchen probably played a huge part. Just the thought of baking, licking the spoon or eating that all-important Sunday roast is likely to bring back fond memories.
As the space where many families tend to congregate, the kitchen is the perfect place to bond and connect with both your partner and children. Cooking a meal together, or helping out with some chopping as your partner cooks is a great way to spend time together during the otherwise hectic work week. Baking with the children not only helps create memories, but delicious treats as well.
Even if the children have gotten a little too old to bake with you, a kitchen table makes a great work station to do homework. Something, such as the Magnet Table Plus, is the perfect fold away addition to any kitchen. You could let the children play at their work station, before folding it up and joining the adults at the dinner table. It could even work as a fold away office for yourself.
But of course, the best way of turning your kitchen into a social hub is by getting together for a family meal. After doing the homework, clear the table and eat together. Too often we spend the evening in front of the TV or a computer screen, so eating together at the table is the perfect way to get offline and talk with your loved ones as you reconnect over food.
Leading psychologist Kate Nightingale discusses the sense of touch
After a long day at work, imagine coming back to your cosy home, taking off your stiff, uncomfy shoes and putting your hands around a large mug of hot chocolate as you snuggle down on the sofa. All of these actions, in as little as 15 minutes, can affect us in thousands of different ways. We often think of the sense of touch as being pleasant and functional, but not especially important. Or perhaps, we’ve just never thought of it that way.
As part of our sensory blog series we have asked consumer psychologist Kate Nightingale to discuss the role of touch and the role sensory aspects of a design can have in making people more sociable, evoke excitement or relaxation and even improving people’s brain power.
“The sense of touch is particularly important for humans. There is ample scientific evidence for the importance of human-to-human touch for physical health and it is well documented that petting a dog or cat can uplift mood. Yet in the current technology-run world, we increasingly spend less face to face time with people which is replaced with more time spent online. This negatively impacts not only our mental, but physical well-being.
“The kitchen has always been a social place. You eat breakfast in there with your family, drink an afternoon coffee with your partner or have a drink with a friend while cooking dinner. However, the trick is to design your kitchen in a way that it fosters close and satisfactory social interactions with your friends and family, yet at the same time makes you feel comfortable and relaxed.
“Textures and temperature are especially useful for doing just that and any textures resembling wood, wool or simply looking warm (e.g. warm colours) can have a positive effect on how relaxed you feel in a space. Wooden worktops are a good way to achieve this in your kitchen.
“What you might not know is that what you touch can impact on your interactions with other people. Studies show us that if we hold a warm drink in our hand, we perceive people as more friendly and approachable and behave in such a way, which leads to more intimate conversations.
Any smooth textures suggest that the interpersonal interaction should be quite easy, so we subconsciously oblige and guide the conversation accordingly. Anything that feels or even looks soft can further enhance your interpersonal relationships by bringing you closer to people, as it makes everyone feel cosy and emotionally safe.”
If you therefore want your kitchen to be social, focus on warm colours and soft and smooth surfaces. Great examples are woods or wood-like surfaces and smooth matt finishes for cabinets, such as the Fusion Champagne.
How to make a feature wall work for your home
Pattern in the home can be a great expression of personal style, but it can seem a little daunting in comparison to solid colours.
There are a number of key points to take into consideration when planning with patterns and we will help you to avoid any print-based faux pas.
In terms of wall pattern, start by doing your research. Whilst we might love to follow fashions, choose a pattern that you won’t tire of and see how it works in your space with swatches and samples. If you’ve kept it around for a while and still love it, you’re ready to make the commitment. Always bear in mind the rules of pattern and how they affect your space, for example smaller prints create a more relaxing feel in the home, whilst larger patterns will demand more attention.
The timeless combination of black and white makes for dramatic patterns that will be on-trend for years to come. The simplicity of monochrome will allow you to co-ordinate any patterned pieces seamlessly into the home.
Be prepared that a pattern will often become the focal point of the room, so consider how your furniture and décor will work around this. For example, the bold citrus colours within this Magnet Gloss Integra White splashback are perfectly complemented by the sleek white units.
If you’re not prepared to commit a wall, floor or furniture to pattern, accessories such as ceramics, artwork and lights are a simple yet effective way to experiment with pattern.
The kitchen is a great place to bring in a statement wall or introduce a splash of colour – it is the perfect location to impress your guests and bring some ‘wow’ factor to your home.
For example, the bold citrus colours of the splashback within this Magnet Integra Fusion White kitchen are perfectly complemented by the sleek gloss units.
Tips for choosing the right lighting for your kitchen
Having strong enough light in the kitchen is fundamental, but there is so much more to it than overhead bulbs. Light can also be used to create a mood and atmosphere, and the right kind of lighting can completely transform a space and highlight key areas. We’ve put together some key tips to help you find the right kind of lighting for your kitchen.
1. Light up the right space
When you are planning your kitchen, the first thing to consider is where you need light. You can illuminate the whole room with rows of pendant lighting, but if you don’t highlight your task areas, you’ll be preparing dinner in the dark. Magnet have a fantastic range of under cabinet lighting which are great for areas where you cook and clean as they cast minimal shadow and light up the surfaces you use every day.
2. Different lights, different purposes
There are a myriad of different solutions to consider when you are illuminating your kitchen. Directional spotlights are great to highlight task areas, whereas a dimmer light with a warm glow is best for the dining area, where you can adjust the mood depending on the time of day. You can also use lighting to pick out a key design feature. For example, Magnet’s illuminated shelf light creates a dramatic feature for your units and lights up any cutlery or accessories on your shelves.
3. Match your lighting to your mood
Forget the colour of the walls; lighting can be the fastest way to achieve the right kind of ambiance in your room. Are you looking for something low, relaxed and calm, or something fresh, awakening and inspiring? Think about what you want from your lights and then dive straight in.
4. If in doubt, just ask
With the vast array of lighting solutions on offer, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. Magnet have a range of experts on-hand to help and advise. They know that dark materials can reduce brightness, that lighter colours and materials do the opposite, and that glossy surfaces can lead to unwanted reflections from spotlights, so no matter what kitchen you’ve chosen, they’ll have the perfect solution for you and will help tailor your lighting to your kitchen.
Why the kitchen is so important
You’ve probably heard the kitchen referred to as ‘the heart of the home’, and you may have wondered why. Have you ever noticed that family and friends tend to congregate in the kitchen?
Think throughout time, from eating cereal in the kitchen during childhood, to friends sharing stories over a meal in student accommodation and then back to feeding the children in the mornings. The kitchen is often a hub of activity and there are a number of reasons why it is such a vital part of the home.
Perhaps the most obvious reason is that this is where we prepare the meals we need for nourishment, but this relates back to memories being made, chatting whilst cooking and enjoying food together, all of which naturally encourages conversation.
Food brings people together and therefore so does the kitchen. Not just for family meals, the kitchen plays a key part in social occasions like parties, Christmas feasts or dinner parties.
Even if you live alone, the kitchen can be a place for adventure, cooking up meals from scratch and experimenting with food to create new dishes or just comforting, old favourites.
Finally, some would say that the kitchen is a room that sets the tone for the whole home. Not many rooms have such a distinct functionality as the kitchen, and we’re generally prepared to invest a lot on such a vital space. Not only do kitchens bring value to the home, but we want them to reflect our personality and taste. Be sure to create the perfect heart for your home and try out a range of designs with Magnet’s QDP tool.
Can you mix modern and traditional?
Mixing classic and contemporary can be a little chaotic, but if it’s done correctly, the two styles can live in perfect harmony. Opposites do attract, after all.
We can call the overall effect of marrying the two styles, ‘transitional’, and the kitchen is the perfect room to implement this style.
Some might feel that modern style is too sleek and impersonal, whilst traditional trends can feel dated to others. Within both there are clearly some opposing elements but also some very complementary opportunities.
Shaker style is a timeless kitchen design, with a rich history. Essentially, this includes cabinet doors with panels set back, and minimal adornment. Magnet’s Shaker Cream owes its effortless style to the 18th Century Shaker community, but the unit’s soft, sleek curves give the room a modern update.
Using a matte finish throughout the kitchen is a fairly modern trend, combine the matte grey finish of Leighton Grey with the traditional shaker style for a kitchen that is both unique and up to date. Infusing the textures, finishes and common characteristics of the two styles will give you the best of both worlds to combine classic and contemporary.
Another modern look is crisp, white units. The clean, industrial colour can give a sleek feel. The lustrous finish of Magnet’s Leighton Gloss White mixes well with the classic Shaker simplicity of the units and is contrasted with a stunning Corian sage worktop.
It can be surprisingly easy to twin classic and contemporary styles in your home, so if you’re unsure which look you prefer, or if you’re looking for a timeless kitchen that will always be in style, consider a transitional design.
This season’s biggest trend
As the days have grown colder, it’s been increasingly impossible to ignore the trend that has taken over the autumn/winter seasons, velvet.
Originally known for its high production costs, velvet has often been associated with nobility and still has connotations as a luxurious fabric. With these prestigious credentials and distinct, soft feel it is no surprise that velvet has ruled the catwalks this year.
As we often see, the trend has made its way into our homes, through opulent upholstery and ornate accessories. This unique textile lends itself particularly well to upholstered dining chairs. It might be easiest to imagine vintage or antique styles, but velvet is truly brought into the modern day when featured on contemporary, unusual shapes. For example, when the soft velvet cushion of a dining chair sits on metallic steel legs, the ancient textile is given an instant update for the modern home.
If you’re looking to incorporate the trend into your kitchen and dining room, why not make it a focal point by toning down on other colours and textures. The rich nature of the fabric often means that colours are bold and eye-catching, so let the velvet do the talking when it comes to interiors. Pair the textile with stunningly simple units and worktops such as those featured in the Luna Cream kitchen. The different finishes of the high gloss units and the silken fabric create a lovely contrast that gives a feel of up to date style in your kitchen.
There are a number of ways to build this season’s biggest trend into both your wardrobe and your home, take a look at our new Pinterest board for some style inspiration.
How to measure your kitchen
At Magnet we appreciate the time it takes to plan your dream kitchen, and the detail that goes into. From the planning to the final product, you want your kitchen to be perfect.
We aim to make the process as seamless as possible and thanks to Magnet, the process has never been easier.
To get it right from the very beginning, you’ll need your kitchen measurements to hand, and it’s easier than you might think. We have outlined the steps for you in a short masterclass from Magnet.
To begin with, simply sketch out the shape of your kitchen. The more true to life the sketch is, the easier it is to envisage your new design, try to include all of the structural features and projections. To give you a helping hand, you can download and print grid paper from the Magnet website, perfect for the planning process.
Next, on your sketch you will make a note of where the room features are located, including doors, windows, soil pipes and electrics. Be sure to clearly mark out the various zones within the kitchen, including cooking, dining and any additional storage.
3. Get measuring
Once you’re happy with your sketches, it’s time to add the all-important measurements on there. An expert tip is to break each wall up into clearly labelled sections to measure separately. For a more accurate measurement, make sure that your tape measure is parallel to the floor when taking your measurements.
4. Visit the experts
Once you have your measurements and kitchen plan, book yourself a design appointment at your local Magnet showroom where the designers can bring your sketch to life and make your dream kitchen a reality. Become even more involved in the design process with our online planning tools, where you can create detailed 3D visuals and receive a guide price for your kitchen creation.
What to look out for this season
We’ve posted recently discussing this season’s key trend, velvet, but there is more on the horizon for autumn/winter.
With the transition of the seasons, comes new colours, textures and styles.
A colour to keep an eye out for this autumn is green, set to be sweeping through interiors this season. This primary colour comes in a wide range of shades and is perfect for creating scenes of serenity in the home. For the most on-trend shade, look to emerald tones. This deep, vibrant shade of green is perfect for statement accessories to create an opulent focal point in any home.
Magnet’s Hudson Cream kitchen is on trend when paired with a large green splashback and feature wall, giving the kitchen an overall feel of traditional charm.
Another trend that is truly reflective of the season is a homely, woodland feel. This includes a natural colour palette, made up of oranges, berries, browns and again, greens. With the weather getting colder, this is the perfect trend for bringing a feeling of comfort to your home. This trend is more about accessories, and there are some great products to give your kitchen and dining room the woodland feel this autumn, such as playful woodland animal motifs.
Heritage feel interiors are also a key autumn winter trend, brought on by the soft fabrics and check patterns that are so popular throughout the colder seasons. Heritage designs are inspired by tradition and British craftsmanship and feature rich, warm colours. The kitchen is a great place to incorporate a traditional interiors trend, with rich, dark woods and shaker style units. Magnet’s Leighton Grey features classic shaker style units, giving an overall traditional British heritage feel.
You can see how the trends might cross paths this season, for example the colour green will feature in the pallets of both woodland and heritage trees, so don’t be afraid to dabble in all three.
How to use darker colours in the home
The darker shades of the colour wheel make for a stylishly daring colour pallet. Deep greens, blues, greys and blacks in particular can be as classy as they are dramatic.
Colours form the basis of your design and when you choose the right combination, they can bring everything into focus and create an entire mood throughout the room.
Darker colours and moody hues lend themselves particularly well to kitchen designs. Don’t be afraid of these shades, they may traditionally be colours you shy away from, but when used correctly they have great impact. Magnet’s City Cashmere uses a dark wall colour to highlight the design of the glossy units, with added luxury from a Ceramic Anthracite worktop. The overall feel is gorgeously simple and doesn’t feel too dark with the lifting colour of the units.
On the other hand, the Newbury Grey kitchen features unique moody, matt grey units, set amongst pale flooring and light coloured quartz worktops. The lighter grey marble effect splashback is the perfect complement to the mid-grey cabinets. The overall effect creates a sophisticated feel that will be a talking point within your home. The use of the darker colours in rooms can often be a way to define the function of the space, for example the functional worktop surface of the Newbury Grey kitchen stands out brilliantly against the dark units.
Using darker hues can feel quite daring, but just one wall of colour can sometimes be all you need. Magnet’s Era kitchen demonstrates this, creating a clean, simple yet still effective look. The crisp white slab looks strikingly modern against the feature grey wall.
If your style is modern and dramatic, this trend could work well for you. Don’t be afraid to embrace the moody hues and remember to balance the colours with some tactile lighter elements.