Kitchens sinks; a wooden basin is best

One of the most essential additions to a new kitchen is the sink, or what some call the basin. The sink needs to be the right size, style and shape for the kitchen, so that it not only looks good, but also functions well.

Many standard sinks are made from stainless steel, cast iron with an enamel coat or even granite. However, the wooden basin is becoming an increasingly popular choice with those who are renovating their kitchens, as this type of sink offers style as well as practicality.

Stainless steel sinks are often chosen because they are more readily available than other basins and are considered to be easy to clean and maintain. The reality is that there are plenty of other options that are just as simple to care for and are affordable too. Stainless steel is not the most stylish choice either, as it can look quite plain. For those who want a sink that can work as a style feature of the kitchen as well as perform well, then a wooden basin or an iron cast basin may be a better option. If you are considering an enamel coated, cast iron basin, do bear in mind that the enamel has a tendency to wear and scratch over time, so it may not be a great purchase for those who need a very durable basin.

Wooden basins are straightforward to use, look great and require very little maintenance, making them an excellent choice for many people. They are a great option for anyone who wants a rustic or shabby chic style in their kitchen. Whilst years ago it was common to have a single sink, nowadays, many basins are double bowled, as this allows one to clean dishes and wash vegetables separately. The oversized basin is ideal for washing larger baking trays, pots and pans, whilst the smaller one can be used for rinsing glasses.

The Art of Kitchen Design

The Art of Kitchen Design

The faucet of the sink is just as important as the basin itself. There is a huge range of faucets available today, so there is a design to suit everyone’s tastes. The finish and functionality of the faucet are the most important things to keep in mind when shopping around. The majority of faucets have ceramic, disc, ball or cartridge valves. The ceramic discs tend to be most durable. In terms of materials, solid brass is a great choice, as this will last for years and looks very elegant and stylish. Other options include pewter, brushed nickel, polished nickel or chrome, all of which are good choices; it just depends on what finish will work best with the decor of the rest of the kitchen.

Many faucet designs today feature a double handle, however a single lever tends to look simpler and more chic. A spray arm is a practical choice for those who need to wash larger pots and it’s also great for rinsing out the sink and filling up pots. A separate hot water dispenser can also be a useful addition to the basin.

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Posted by Love My Kitchen - August 27, 2014 at 6:33 pm

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Advice on Buying a Range Cooker

When it comes to buying the ultimate cooking appliance that will add a touch of class and quality to your kitchen there is no better oven than a range cooker. For amateur and professional cooks alike, range cookers provide all the necessary features to ensure food is cooked to its absolute best. There are a number of manufacturers of range cookers such as Aga, Rangemaster, Brittania and Falcon, but before you go investing in a new range cooker there are a few things to take into consideration.

Range cookers

Modern range cookers are built with the latest intelligent technology to make sure your cooking experience is as easy and functional as possible. Advances in the systems used to operate range cookers means your oven will be convenient, versatile and economic.

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is the amount of flexibility you’ll require from your oven and hob. Consider what your cooking habits are likely to be and then choose a range cooker that will provide enough burner types, sizes and numbers as well as enough ovens to cope with the demands placed on it. Make sure that the size of range cooker you buy can fit in the space allocated in your kitchen.

Once you know how big your range cooker needs to be, you’ll have to make a decision on fuel type. In many respects this will be dictated by the supply to your home but you should also consider what best suits your cooking needs. Gas and electric cookers – known as dual fuel range cookers – are the most common type with gas burners on the hob and electric ovens. Gas offers the best controlled heat when cooking on the hob and electric ovens are best for speed and multi-functionality. If you go for a four oven range cooker you’ll have the option of using a conventional oven, fan oven, simmering oven and ceramic grill.

Very easy slow cooker recipes for those who hate cooking

Very easy slow cooker recipes for those who hate cooking

Your range cooker should have a variety of systems to aid your cooking experience. One of the most practical pieces of technology fitted into modern ovens is the electronic programmer. This is of great benefit to people with busy lifestyles or families as you have the option to program when the oven is to start and finish cooking. Features such as fast pre-heat can bring the oven up to cooking temperature quicker than conventional ovens saving you both time and money.

Aga – king of the range cookers

There’s one name that is synonymous with quality kitchen appliances and that is Aga. Aga range cookers are the modern extension of the iconic heat storing Aga offering the same classic looks and build quality but with all the options you’d find on a range cooker.

Aga have refined the control systems for their range cookers to give you total confidence that you’re cooking food at its best. The easy to clean surfaces, dye-cast solid doors and multiple ovens provide the ultimate cooking appliance for any kitchen.

The timeless design of an Aga range cooker will become the focal point of your kitchen. The models available have been designed to match the size of standard kitchen units and there is a range of colours to suit most tastes. Investing in an Aga will provide you with a cooker that has longevity and one that offers perfect cooking results.

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Posted by Love My Kitchen - August 23, 2014 at 7:35 am

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Rayburn Ranges a Big Hit This Autumn

The nights are drawing in. It’s getting colder. Mornings are getting to be crisper. And our Rayburn cookers are making a larger splash than ever. Why are so many of us planning to use a state-of-the-art Rayburn range this winter?

Rayburn is AGA’s sister brand, providing classic cast iron cookers to energy mindful families all over the UK. The Rayburn is well known and beloved as the workhorse of the AGA family. It’s wonderfully sturdy. Some models deal with cooking. Some manage cooking and heating water. Others function as cookers, heat your water and also heat your house. So they’re versatile. Much more than just a range cooker, it’s more like an all-in-one home energy centre!

Like the AGA, the Rayburn cooks with indirect heat, well known for delivering moist, flavour-packed food with minimal effort. And it’s easy on the eye. The Rayburn Heat Ranger, for example, is available in a wide choice of stunning colours including an attractive ruby-red claret, a cool deep blue and a traditional dark green… plus enduringly popular cream, pewter and black.

According to the model, it’s ideal for heating a home with between two and twenty bedrooms economically and efficiently. It’s very flexible as regards fuel. There’s a Rayburn for oil, gas, propane, wood and solid fuel. With a new Rayburn at the heart of your home you’ll be using energy efficiently and responsibly.

The cutting edge automatic green energy system – known as the Smart System – even helps you take full advantage of renewable energy by permitting your Rayburn to be connected to a heat pump, wood burning stove or solar heating panels.

No wonder it’s such a popular choice. It’s energy-efficient and environmentally responsible. It cooks like a dream. It heats your home to cosy perfection even on the coldest days. And it’s genuine kitchen eye candy!

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Posted by Love My Kitchen - August 20, 2014 at 8:56 am

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Sub-Zero, the kitchen appliance brand that’s cooler than cool!

A fridge is just a fridge – right? Not when you’re talking about Sub Zero, the coolest of the cool when it comes to refrigeration, whether you’re a professional chef or just someone who adores good looking, top-performing kitchen appliances. The Sub-Zero collection is as versatile as it is stylish, and fits beautifully within any kitchen interior décor scheme: traditional, contemporary or something in between.

Sub-Zero fridges, freezers and wine storage units are made by hand in the USA by consummate craftsmen. Every single appliance is tested thoroughly before being released onto the market. And they’re the only refrigeration brand offering dual refrigeration, which means temperature and humidity are controlled intelligently and individually.

Why? Because to work their very best and store food in its optimum condition for longest, the refrigerator and freezer elements of an appliance need to run at different humidity levels. Most appliances use a single system to control the humidity and temperature, so when you open the doors you lose a significant amount of cool. A dual system returns your appliance to within one degree of the original temperature immediately.

What about energy efficiency? Dual refrigeration means you spend less on energy, which might seem counter-intuitive but because the refrigerator only needs to restore the temperature in one part of the unit, after you’ve removed food from it, it takes less work to bring it back to the correct temperature and humidity than a regular fridge, freezer or wine preserving system.

Sub-Zero’s built-in line features super-sleek classic good looks and truly iconic design detail. Their PRO line makes a strong and bold style statement that’s unique to them, designed to merge seamlessly into your kitchen and complement – rather than ruin – your interior design scheme. And their wine preservation collection is versatile and high tech, beautiful to look at with equally remarkable performance levels and the same Sub-Zero attention to detail and quality.

What’s the history behind Sub-Zero appliances? Seventy years ago the old-style Wisconsin entrepreneur Westye F. Bakke decided to create the ultimate in refrigeration appliances. He worked hard to perfect the storage of frozen food at ultra-low temperatures, and was recognised by internationally acclaimed designers like Frank Lloyd Wright, a design perfectionist who insisted on practicality as well as beauty. Since then millions of famous chefs, keen cooks and ordinary folk have fallen head over heels with the Sub-Zero range because of its beauty, efficiency and economical running costs. Why not join them and invest in one of the finest refrigeration solutions on the planet?

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Posted by Love My Kitchen - August 18, 2014 at 11:06 am

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Cast iron range cookers make a powerful interior design statement

Once upon a time a cooker was just that. A mere cooker. Today we care more than ever about the look and feel of our homes and what was once a simple, practical appliance has become a powerful design statement right at the heart of the contemporary kitchen.

Some might say interior decoration is a shallow thing, meaningless and vain. Others would disagree, maintaining that a good looking, comfy, stylish room makes you feel good, raises your spirits, delivers a significant and important feel good factor and ultimately makes your whole life better. If you’re the type of person who believes great design has an important part to play in the human condition, you’ll appreciate the beauty of cast iron range cookers as well as the numerous practical aspects.

Whatever your taste there’s oil fired cookers to suit your design style. Take the Rayburn Heatranger for a start. It’s a great-looking piece of kitchen kit with its smoothly rounded doors, shiny frontage and neat profile. Displaying a distinct 1950s feel, the design and styling brings James Dean and classic 50′s British sports cars to mind. But it’s far from old fashioned. The very latest in heating and cooking technologies have been brought to play to create a machine that works as beautifully as it looks.

Cooking with Country Ranges Including Aga and Rayburn

Cooking with Country Ranges

Choose cream or beige for a subtle, traditional kitchen. Go for smart, shiny black if you want to make a big visual impact without venturing into bright colours; black goes with everything. Or take the plunge and choose a stunning pillar box red. The Heatranger saves space too because it combines cooking and heating in one gloriously attractive appliance. Aubergine, racing green, aqua, pewter grey and a gorgeously rich, deep navy blue deliver even more cool design choices.

From a practical perspective you can choose a combined cooking, hot water and central heating model or a Rayburn that just cooks. Then there’s the choice oil, solid fuel and gas. Heating fuels of all kinds are going up in price this autumn so it’s more of a personal than an economic choice. Either way you’ll find ranges surprisingly economical to run.

Like Agas, Rayburns are designed with longevity in mind as well as style and practicality. They last for decades so you won’t need to fork out for a new appliance every five years like you usually do with ordinary cookers. Reliability and efficiency lie at the heart of the range cooker. They’re designed by engineers, built by craftsmen and best of all they’re neat and unobtrusive, fitting ordinary, everyday kitchen dimensions with ease. You don’t need a huge home to enjoy a Rayburn. Just great taste!

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Posted by Love My Kitchen - August 17, 2014 at 7:56 am

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Bespoke kitchen designers can help bring your kitchen space to life

Creating a beautiful and highly functional kitchen requires plenty of time and consideration. Space should be one of the main aspects when designing this room, as leaving too little space for activities such as food preparation and dining will make the room far less practical, whilst leaving too much unused space can mean that the kitchen feels less cosy and welcoming.

Storage is one of the most essential ‘space’ concerns when it comes to designing a kitchen. Any storage features that are to be incorporated into the room should be easily accessible, stylish and versatile in terms of what kind of items they can hold. Many home owners like to hire bespoke kitchen designers at this stage of the kitchen renovation, as these professionals can create clever storage solutions that are not only very practical, but also stylishly designed.

When planning out the work areas, such as food preparation and washing up, remember to incorporate storage pieces that can hold utensils which will be frequently used at that particular spot in the kitchen. This could mean keeping utensils such as knives for chopping on a magnetic strip close to the chopping board.

Because a kitchen is one of the most used rooms in a house, it almost always produces a lot of refuse and general rubbish. So make sure to create a recycling, compost and rubbish area that is hygienic and easy to use. Again, bespoke kitchen designers can easily come up with a solution that is functional but doesn’t take away from the overall style of the room.

Essential Equipment for the Kitchen: A Sourcebook of the World's Best Designs

Essential Equipment for the Kitchen: A Sourcebook of the World’s Best Designs

The basic working areas of the kitchen include meal staging, cooking, water use (this includes activities such as washing vegetables and dishes, as well as cleaning up after meals) and storage. Each of these areas should complement one another in terms of their spatial proximity. The location of each working area should create a logical flow from the storage to the preparation of food, to the serving of the meal and finally to the washing up. This will make meal times so much calmer and more enjoyable, as there will be enough space for each stage of the meal preparation .

Additionally, the sink and the area around it must be designed in a way that allows for completing multiple tasks at once; whether that’s cleaning dishes, getting water, preparing vegetables or cleaning other foods.

For many people today, an open plan kitchen/dining area suits their lifestyle much better than a more formal separation of the two spaces. Breaking through a wall and joining a lounge or dining room to the kitchen can really open up the space and make a previously cramped room feel far lighter and airier. This type of room design is a great option for those who dislike the formality that a separate dining or lounge space can create when entertaining. With an open plan kitchen/lounge, guests can relax on comfy sofas and chat to the host whilst they prepare the meal, creating a more relaxed atmosphere.

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Posted by Love My Kitchen - August 13, 2014 at 8:26 am

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Cast iron range cookers are only half the battle when creating a posh kitchen

Cast iron range cookers are beautiful to look at, very efficient and highly effective. As well as creating delicious, moist, perfectly cooked food they can heat your home radiators and domestic water to a tee. These days many are so controllable to you can switch them on and off as needed instead of leaving them on all the time. But they’re just the tip of the perfect kitchen iceberg. Once you’ve used a range you realise just how much of a pleasure top quality appliances are.

If you’re hooked on quality and style, have you tried Amana? They manufacture a really attractive, high-performance dual fuel range cooker, designed to complement their stunning fridge-freezers and wine coolers, all in a choice of mouth-wateringly attractive finishes and styles. Much more than an ordinary appliance, an Amana is a real lifestyle choice. While it’s an American brand, many of their products are specially re-designed for the UK market. And they’re extra good if you’ve got a big family, providing much more refrigeration space than your average British manufacturer.

The Classic Rayburn Book of Slow Cooking (Aga and Range Cookbooks)

The Classic Rayburn Book of Slow Cooking

Or what about Bosch, the ultimate in posh household appliance names with an amazing reputation for quality and style, safety and fuel efficiency? Bosch are well known for innovating and the ecological principles they work to are 100% sound. So you don’t just get kitchen products with genuine green credentials. You also benefit from a huge range of handsome-looking appliances and associated products with high efficiency ratings. Everything from washers, dryers, tumble driers, dishwashers, fridges, freezers, ovens, hobs & hoods. Bosch stuff is so good they’re meant for life and complement your Aga or Rayburn marvellously well.

There’s a higher initial outlay. But after that you can rest assured your quality appliance, whatever it happens to be, will last and last. No more changing your fridge or washing machine every five years or so. No more tatty, cheap-looking appliances to spoil the look of your luxury kitchen. Just a good looking space full of great looking gadgets that make your home life comfortable as well as adding considerable value and kudos to your home if you decide to sell up and move.

There’s a lot to be said for going the whole hog and spending a little more, winning on quality, longevity, style and fuel efficiency. Cheap appliances are so often a false economy, borne out by heavier energy bills and a look that doesn’t come anywhere near premium brands. So go posh in your kitchen and reap the benefits for decades to come!

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Posted by Love My Kitchen - August 12, 2014 at 7:36 am

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The Beauty of Solid Wood Kitchens

Bespoke is back with a vengeance and home owners want a kitchen that’s going to last. As a result solid wood kitchens are huge at the moment.

Natural materials are the new rock ‘n’ roll. And the return of colour, after a long absence, is giving people’s interior design confidence a big positive boost. Solid wood kitchen furniture is a winner. It’s stylish, affordable, beautiful and it’ll last you for years. In fact some of the best wooden kitchen suppliers even provide a ten year guarantee.

This season’s beautiful wooden kitchens come in a selection of sumptuous woods that provide warmth, colour and vibrancy as well as delivering highly practical storage and cooking solutions to any size of kitchen. There’s a huge range of styles from pretty, intricate traditional designs with carved panels, elegant columns and arched cupboard tops to sleek, cool sweeps of plain, simple wood. There’s pale, clean-looking wood for an English country kitchen look, beautifully stained wood for shabby chic or French country styling. Mellow, golden woods and rich, deep, dark woods for powerful style statements.

Bespoke fitted kitchens are a luxury that’s worth every penny. But it’s important to find the right supplier. Get the experts on board. Make sure they have the experience needed to do a superb job, to your exact specifications. Make sure they understand the importance of detailed planning so everything goes smoothly. And find a firm whose creativity equals their expertise and project management skills, who can act as a genuine partner in the whole process.

People are starting to team their fitted wooden kitchens with bright, fresh colour. Lime green, orange, chocolate brown, royal purple or tomato red walls make a stunning backdrop for new kitchens as well as a gorgeous blank canvas against which to accessorise. Whether it’s expensive Kath Kidston or charity shop gems, adding quirky ornaments, original art and strong colour to a kitchen takes the room it to a whole new level… the cosy, attractive, practical heart of a happy home.

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Posted by Love My Kitchen - August 10, 2014 at 10:30 am

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Top trends for designer kitchens this year

Each year, interior designers are tasked with the challenge of finding the latest trends in designer kitchens. The kitchen trends that are dominating the design world this year include features that combine multi-functionality with convenience, as well as bright colours, an eco-friendly approach and streamlined spaces.

Colour has made a bold return in designer kitchens, with many people updating the space through the use of paint, rather than going through entire renovations. Paint is a great way to give a kitchen a makeover and create a more modern, fresh appearance. Those with designer kitchens know how quickly decor styles can go out of date and for this reason, paint works brilliantly as a way of lending your kitchen a few more years before a full renovation is necessary. Painting also doesn’t need to be restricted to the walls of the room; more and more people are now using wooden cabinets and kitchen tables, which can easily be sanded and painted in order to give the space a whole new style.

When it comes to colour choices, it’s important to strike a balance between what is on trend and what works for your personal taste. Colours that are becoming wildly popular in kitchens this year include juicy, fresh citrus shades of lemon yellow, bright orange and bold lime green. If painting the walls or cabinets these shades seems too daunting, you can always bring some colour into the space through the use of colourful new electrical appliances, which now come in a whole host of bright colours. These kinds of colours are great for those whose designer kitchens are somewhat cold and unwelcoming in appearance, as bright shades will instantly create a more fun and friendly ambience.

Streamlining is another key trend for kitchens this year. This trend reflects the more collaborative and relaxed method of entertaining, preparing food, cooking and dining that most people use their kitchen for nowadays. Appliances are integrated into the space so that there is more room for the people who spend time there. Drawer like fridges, dishwashers and ovens that match the kitchen cabinets help to create a much cleaner, simpler look in the space.

Another trend that has been popping up in the latest kitchens is the concept of mixing and matching painted wood and stained wood kitchen cabinets. Stained wood has in the past been deemed the more traditional choice, whilst painted wood was considered more quirky and relaxed. Now people are using a combination of both in order to create a contemporary, tasteful, yet fun kitchen look. In terms of the stains used for the wood, high gloss has made a big comeback. Although if used in large quantities, high gloss stains can be a bit too much, they look great when used sparingly, around the frames of cabinets and drawers. Likewise, painted cabinets can overwhelm the space if bright colours are used all over, however a splash of colour on the centre of the cabinet doors, or around the frames, can do wonders for a dull looking kitchen.

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Posted by Love My Kitchen - April 7, 2014 at 11:36 am

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Creating a Country Style Kitchen

Evoking images of large farmhouses in beautiful, isolated rural areas, a country style kitchen will add the ultimate homely feel to any home. Whether you live in the countryside or not, a country style kitchen will add a wonderful look for your home. A look that is warm, family-orientated and rustic. Achieving a country-style kitchen needn’t be hard, with just a few well-though out features you can benefit from the look. To help you out with this, below we have detailed the key features we believe will help you to easily achieve this look.

Shaker style cabinetry

Shaker style furniture is a type of furniture that has been in existence since the late 1700’s, with its large and solid design, shaker style cabinets are a must for your country kitchen. Consider painting these white or utilising a light wood wash which allows you to show off the natural grain of their oak or walnut solid wood design.

Stone flooring 

For an authentic country kitchen look, you cannot beat stone flooring. Giving the kitchen rustic appeal, natural stone flooring is what would have been used traditionally and it today continues to evoke images of farmhouse style. For that touch of extra luxury, if you are worried about the flooring getting too cold in winter, consider installing underfloor heating.

Wooden beam detail

Making use of bare timber beams and timber detail will give you a look that is reminiscent of a barn-conversion.

Stable doors

Extremely popular in older farmhouses, stable doors are doors that are split horizontally down the middle. In the past, these would have been used to keep any animals on your land out of the house, while letting light and air in. For the ultimate country look, these are a must. While vintage door knobs compliment the doors superbly.

Large, chunky pine furniture

The centre-piece of your country style kitchen should be large and chunky pine furniture. Whether this is in the form of a dining table or an island in the middle of the room, this furniture should ideally be reclaimed or vintage, as with pine furniture, the more dents, scrapes and scratches, the better for your country kitchen look.

A range cooker

If pine furniture is the centre-piece of your kitchen, then a range cooker will definitely be at the heart of it. Designed for cooking hearty meals for large families in a traditional farmhouse, a range cooker will really set-off your country kitchen. If your budget allows for it, consider an Aga range, which traditionally would have been used not only for cooking but also for heating the kitchen too.

An abundance of vintage looking knick knacks

An abundance of vintage-looking knick knacks will really set your country-style kitchen off. If there is one thing a country kitchen can be recognised for, it is its clutter. The clutter of country kitchens is all part of the appeal. Clutter makes a kitchen feel more homely; consider having all of your plates, cutlery and pan sets on display whilst also adding vintage food tins, recipe books, cake stands and ornaments to any spare space you have.

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Posted by Love My Kitchen - March 14, 2014 at 5:57 pm

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