Kitchen Fun family recipes
Bring the whole together in the kitchen to cook up some tasty treatsRead more about Fun family recipes
Which brand new kitchen design suits your home?
Not every family is the same, so why should our kitchens be?
This summer we’re introducing two fresh new kitchen designs to our collection, both offering a sense of timeless elegance with a chic, contemporary twist. Read on to discover which best suits your personal style, from the dark intensity of the Winchester Midnight to the fresh feel of the Tatton White kitchen.
Bold, deep kitchen shades are here to stay. This 2018 trend makes a strong style statement yet provides a versatile backdrop to match a variety of accent colours and materials, ready to adapt to your own personal sense of style. The new Winchester Midnight is no exception, matching an intense midnight blue shade with a classic shaker style cabinet and antique grey handles to create a look that would be equally at home in a compact urban apartment or spacious country house.
This design pairs perfectly with solid oak worktops, ceramic sink fixtures and fresh white brickwork, creating a stunning contrast with the dark midnight hue. Decorate with industrial-inspired bar stools, deep black kitchen accessories and vibrant green pot plants or herbs to complete the look.
The lighter side of life
Prefer the lighter side of life? Then you’ll love the open, airy feel of the new Tatton White kitchen. Featuring a pure matt white finish and traditional shaker style cabinets, this kitchen offers a blank canvas to reflect your design tastes and will create the illusion of extra space in smaller rooms.
We love this look paired with classic laminate worktops and monochrome floor tiles set off against copper-tone handles and sink fittings, but it would work equally well with antique brass accents or a bold pop of colour through a feature wall or patterned tiles.
Which brand new kitchen style would you love to make a part of your family this summer? Tell us which look is your favourite via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or get in touch to book a consultation with one of our kitchen design experts.
The benefits of including an island in your new kitchen design
It’s no surprise that kitchen islands are one of the most coveted features for homeowners dreaming of renovating their kitchen.
Stand-alone cabinets are packed with practical benefits and create an airy, open-plan layout, making them the perfect combination of style and substance.
So if you’re thinking of including a kitchen island in your new kitchen design, here’s what you need to know.
Storage made simple
You can never have enough storage space in the kitchen, and an island unit is a great way to add a few extra places to hide away all your cooking gadgets and kitchen accessories when not in use. Beyond typical cupboard and drawers, you can also experiment with bespoke storage options like a built-in spice rack at the end of your kitchen island, or open-front shelving for easy access to items you use often.
Love cooking? Then you’re bound to appreciate the extra worktop space a kitchen island brings, and you can even opt to incorporate a sink or hob into your island unit to create extra space for preparing meals. Within an open-plan kitchen and living room, this layout also means you’ll be looking out onto the rest of your living space, so you can easily catch up with the family or your favourite TV programme while rustling up dinner or doing the dishes.
Let’s do brunch
Beyond extra storage and workspace, kitchen islands can also be designed to double up as a breakfast bar or eating area, with stylish stools to complete the look. This option is ideal for bringing families together, since parents can keep a close eye on young children in high-chairs while making lunch, or help older children out with homework while doing the washing up.
If you share your home with a furry friend or two, then a kitchen island can be a brilliant way to give them a space of their own while reducing clutter in the kitchen. Instead of leaving cat bedding or dog toys strewn around the kitchen floor where you might trip over them, consider using end panels to create a cosy cubby hole within your kitchen island where pets can snuggle up, or concealing food bowls on a low shelf in the island.
Bake up a treat for all the family this Easter
Easter nest cakes
Nest cakes like these from Kirsty on Twitter are the ultimate Easter classic, since they’re so simple that children of all ages can get involved, yet still deliciously chocolatey! Simply melt 200g of chocolate, 75g of butter and 4 tablespoons of golden syrup then mix in 200g of your favourite cereal, from Cornflakes and Rice Crispies to extra-crunchy Shredded Wheat. Decorate with colourful mini eggs to complete the birds’ nest effect.
Spring has sprung biscuits
Jules on Twitter shared these gloriously colourful spring biscuits, complete with adorable sunflower smiles and Easter bunnies. Mix up a simple biscuit dough using 200g flour, 100g caster sugar, 90g butter an egg and half a teaspoon of ground ginger, then roll out and cut to shape using Easter themed cookie cutters. Set the oven to 170°C and bake your biscuits for 10-12 minutes.
Use your biscuit cutters to cut shaped sections of ready-roll icing to perfectly fit your biscuits, stuck in place with a little jam. For the finishing touches, mix 150g of icing sugar with 1-2 tablespoons of water and a few drops of your chosen food colouring, then use a piping bag to add delicate details to your cookies.
Decorated egg cake
This egg-cellent idea comes from Hannah on Facebook, who baked up boldly-coloured Easter lemon cakes that are bound to impress. Create a zingy lemon cake batter using 225g each of self-raising flour, butter and caster sugar, mixed with four eggs, a teaspoon of baking powder, a few tablespoons of lemon juice and the grated rind of half a lemon.
To achieve the patterned effect, transfer a few spoonful’s of batter into a small bowl and add a few drops of food colouring. Once mixed, pipe your design into the bottom of an egg-shaped cake tin and place in the freezer for an hour, then cover with the remaining cake batter and bake for 20-25 minutes at 180°C.
Chocoholic’s dream cake
There’s a reason why Easter is a chocolate lover’s favourite time of year! Recreate this decadent chocolate cake from Charlotte on Twitter by mixing up a batter using 200g each of caster sugar, butter and self-raising flour, plus four eggs, 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, two tablespoons of milk and a teaspoon of baking powder.
Bake in two 20cm cake tins for 20-25 minutes at 190°C then sandwich together with chocolate buttercream made by combining 100g melted milk chocolate, 200g butter, 400g icing sugar and 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Top with tempting Easter treats like caramel-filled eggs and chocolate rabbits for a truly indulgent family feast.
Give your kitchen a new lease of life with these brand new Magnet Kitchen designs
We know we’re not the only ones who can’t wait for winter to end.
After too many weeks of having to wrap up against the snow, we’re ready to welcome spring’s first burst of sunshine, and we’re celebrating the new season by announcing three brand new additions to our kitchen collection. After all, what better time of year to swap a kitchen that’s seen better days for a gleaming new design?
These three new styles offer a range of colour tones to suit every taste, from the intense blue hues of the Dunham Midnight, to the soothing subtlety of the Dunham Dove Grey and the classic wood panelling of the Winchester Acacia. Which would you choose?
Looking for a kitchen with true wow factor? Then look no further. Kitchens in darker shades are one of 2018’s top décor trends since they lend a sense of drama to any home, and the Dunham Midnight’s intense shade of deep navy blue is no exception. Matching this stunning shade with a classic shaker style cabinet gives this design a sense of elegance that will stand the test of time. Pair this style with marble-effect worktops, Scandi-inspired geometric tiles and Herringbone flooring to convey a chic sense of understated luxury.
A touch of tranquillity
Grey is fast becoming the nation’s favourite neutral shade, since it offers a contemporary twist on more traditional neutral hues. The Dunham Dove Grey’s tranquil pale grey hues complement a broad range of colours and textures, making it the perfect blank canvas to reflect your own personal style. Why not mix with natural woodgrain flooring, open shelving and French doors for a peaceful feel, and add industrial black bar stools and statement lighting to complete the look.
Back to nature
Keep it classic with the Winchester Acacia’s shaker cabinets and pale wood grain effect finish, bringing a light and airy feel to your kitchen and an effortless sense of relaxation. Enhance this natural wood look with the rich green hues of potted herbs, grey marble worktops and crisp white tiling.
Everything you need to know about the correct way to store wine
There’s nothing better than a crisp glass of white wine at the end of the workday or a bold red to accompany a delicious dinner, but how much do you really know about the correct way to store wine?
The conditions wine is kept in can have a major impact on the delicate flavour combinations within each bottle, making all the difference between a subtly balanced vintage and a vinegary glass of undrinkable wine.
So to bring the best out in your bottle collection, we’ve put together the ultimate list of wine storage tips.
In the dark
Exposure to UV rays can cause wine to become ‘light struck’, particularly for white or rosé wines in clear glass bottles. This process ages wines prematurely and leaves them with an unpleasant aroma, so it’s always best to store bottles in a dark area of the kitchen away from direct sunlight, such as a built in wine storage rack.
If wines are stored standing up vertically for an extended period, this can cause the corks to dry out, allowing air into the bottle and spoiling the taste. To preserve delicate vintages for longer, make sure to place bottles on their sides for long-term storage.
Keep your cool
The perfect storage temperature varies for each type of wine so if you’re a real connoisseur, it might be a good idea to install a wine cooler with dual temperature control zones to store several wines at different temperatures. If that’s not an option, as a general rule the ideal temperature is usually around 12 degrees for a fridge containing several different varieties of wine. Never let temperatures rise above 24 degrees and always aim to keep heat levels as constant as possible, as fluctuations affect air-flow through the cork.
Even in ideal conditions, there is a limit to how long you should store wine before the flavour will start to deteriorate, rather than improve. While most unopened red wines can happily be aged between 2-10 years, many white wines should be consumed within 2-3 years for their best flavour. Of course we don’t blame you if you can’t wait quite that long to taste them!
The 70% rule
You can also stop corks drying out by ensuring humidity levels stay at around the 70% mark. The simplest way to maintain steady moisture levels is to store bottles in a cooled environment such as a fridge, as these will automatically control for humidity.
Say no to garlic
The corks in wine bottles allow the wine to ‘breathe’, but this also means that storing a subtle Sancerre or fruity Sauvignon Blanc alongside strong-scented ingredients like garlic can affect the flavour of the wine itself. To avoid these unwanted flavours, store wine in a built in wine cooler, separate from potent ingredients in the fridge. As an added bonus, the extra space will also mean you always have room for a full wine collection – perfect for when unexpected guests turn up.
Bring the whole together in the kitchen to cook up some tasty treats
The kitchen is the heart of the home, so what better way to spend family fun month than getting the whole family to together to make tasty treats?
Getting the little ones involved with cooking with can be no easy feat but our fun family recipes are a sure way to get them to enjoy food whilst working on their culinary expertise.
Pizza is the ultimate go-to meal for kids, and an all-round family favourite. This is also great for the family to make together and fussy eaters can add any toppings they like.
Ingredients: 200g wholemeal flour, 1tsp instant yeast, 2tsp rapeseed oil, tomato puree and toppings of your choice
Heat your oven to 220°C/200°C fan gas 7. Simply create a dough by mixing flour, yeast, salt, oil and a little warm water and get the little ones involved by helping with kneading it for 5-10 minutes. Using an oiled knife, cut the dough into halves (or quarters) then sprinkle flour on the counter and help the kids to roll the dough out into any shape they want. Spread out tomato puree then add any toppings you like. Cook for 15-20 minutes.
Make it more fun by letting the kids create faces and characters with the toppings. A sprinkle of rocket helps to up the healthy factor too.
Squashed Avocado Fajitas
Fajitas are another family favourite and a great sharing food. This recipe is ideal for making with the little ones as they can really get involved in making every part.
Ingredients: 2 garlic gloves, 150g plain yogurt, a pinch of paprika, ground cumin, ground coriander and oregano, 200g chicken mini breast fillets, 2 tomatoes, 1 red onion, 1 avocado and wholemeal tortillas
Create a marinade for the chicken by stirring the garlic into yoghurt and adding the herbs and spices then place the coated chicken on your hob in a griddle pan, turning until cooked. Get the kids involved by making their own salsa, mixing chopped tomatoes, onion, coriander and lime. Work together as a family to create your own wraps with the chicken, salsa and of course, smashed avocado.
You can’t cook with the little ones without making dessert, and lemon cupcakes are a quick and easy way to make an after-dinner treat.
Ingredients: 140g unsalted softened butter, 100g caster sugar, ½ lemon zest, 2 large eggs and 140g self-raising flour. For the icing sugar: 85g softened butter, 175g icing sugar, ½ lemon zest and juice and sprinkles or other decorations
Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan gas 4. For these you will need to beat the softened butter and sugar in a bowl with a wooden spoon until soft, then add the zest of half a lemon. Slowly stir in beaten eggs and fold in self raising flour. Once the mixture is smooth, divide it into 12 cupcake cases and bake for 20 mins.
Whilst the cupcakes are baking, you can make the butter cream icing. Beat the butter until it’s soft then gradually beat in icing sugar, juice of half a lemon. Place in the fridge until the cupcakes are baked and have cooled down, then decorate with the icing, sprinkles and sweets.
Chocolate brownies are a classic family treat. Serve these up with fresh fruit and ice cream for extra tastiness.
100g butter, 175g caster sugar, 75g light brown sugar, 125g chocolate, 1tbsp golden syrup, 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 100g plain flour, ½ tsp baking powder and 2tbsp cocoa powder
Pre-heat your oven to 180°C/160°C fan gas 4. Gently melt butter, caster sugar, brown sugar, chocolate and golden syrup in a pan on a low heat until smooth. Then, break the eggs into a bowl and whisk with a fork until light and frothy, then slowly add vanilla extract, flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and the chocolate mixture, mixing until smooth. Place in the oven for 20 mins and enjoy.
Complete your kitchen makeover with the perfect cabinet handles
Great style is all in the details.
When you’ve spent many evenings browsing Pinterest and Instagram for new kitchen inspiration, then carefully chosen your new kitchen cabinets, worktops and appliances, the last thing you want to do is overlook the finishing touches that can transform a room.
That’s why it pays to look at the little things, like your choice of kitchen cabinet handles.
It may seem like a minor point, but matching your cabinet handles to the style and colour scheme for your new kitchen can make all the difference between a sleek, cohesive overall look and a jarring contrast between mismatched styles.
So to help you out, we’ve taken a look at six of our most popular handle styles and the kitchens they’re best suited to.
A stand-out kitchen like the glossy Fusion Blue deserves a cabinet handle that really makes a statement, like the sleek torpedo shape of the Chrome Arrow Handle.
Embrace one of 2018’s most coveted kitchen trends by swapping silvery steel for gleaming copper cabinet handles, which pair perfectly with the subtle gravitas of the Newbury Grey kitchen.
Bevelled, rectangular handles create a subtle yet unique sense of character, meaning they’re the ideal option for darker kitchen styles like the Winchester Grey, particularly when combined with solid wood worktops or lightly speckled granite.
Classic options like the gently rounded steel bar handle emphasise the peaceful calm of lighter kitchen cabinets and pale wood worktops.
Streamlined & sleek
Concealed handles make for a sense of uninterrupted flow within your kitchen, making them the perfect option for contemporary cabinet styles like the Luna Cashmere, particularly if you opt for smooth curved corner cabinets.
Ready to start planning your dream kitchen, from the major style choices right through to the little details? Then book a design appointment with one of our kitchen experts or find your nearest showroom to pay us a visit.
Highlights from the family kitchen stories you’ve shared with us
We know the kitchen is the heart of every family home, so since December we’ve been celebrating the treasured family moments that take place in kitchens across the country, from little everyday happenings to life-changing events.
Before Christmas we caught up with TV presenters Cherry Healey and Julia Bradbury and blogger mums Alison, Katie and Holly to hear about their favourite family kitchen memories, but now it’s your turn to share.
We’re offering one lucky winner a brand new Magnet Kitchen worth up to £15,000, and all you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is to share your own family kitchen memory here before the 3rd February.
So with just a few short weeks left to enter, we thought we’d share a few highlights from the stories you’ve shared with us so far.
A place for laughter
Sometimes it’s the silly little moments that stick in our minds the most, particularly when they involve the kind of hilarious accidents that get the whole family giggling together. We have to admit, Lynn’s dad’s trouser-splitting antics and Martine’s microwave misunderstanding made us smile!
A place for furry friends
Dads and daughters aren’t the only ones creating comedic moments in the kitchen – we’ve also enjoyed hearing all about your furry friends and the mayhem and memories they’ve helped to create.
A place for new beginnings
It’s no surprise to hear that lots of you have fond memories of your little ones in the kitchen, from Laura’s five-month-old waiting for his dinner in his high chair to Josh’s new daughter trying to escape bathtime in the kitchen sink. What’s more surprising is to hear from fans like Libby who not only got engaged in her kitchen, but even gave birth to her daughter there! The kitchen truly is a place for new beginnings.
A place for cherished childhood memories
Of course it’s not all about starting a new chapter of your life – we were also truly touched by the stories you told us about cherished childhood memories in the kitchen with loved ones. They may not all be with us anymore but they will certainly never be forgotten.
So whether the kitchen makes you think of nostalgic childhood memories, heart-warming family firsts or funny stories that still make you chuckle, we want to hear from you. Share your favourite family kitchen moment here for the chance to win a brand new Magnet Kitchen worth up to £15,000.
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.