19 July 2016

2016 Design Trends

So you’ve been thinking of renovating your kitchen and you’ve decided that 2016 is the year you’re going to do it… but have you thought about making sure your kitchen style will be up-to-date? If you’re going to spend all that money on a kitchen you need to make sure that you’re happy with your choice in style and features. We’ve put together 5 key kitchen design trends so that you can be certain that your kitchen is not instantly behind the times.

Open Shelving

For several years now we’ve seen the kitchen design industry leaning towards minimalist design with barely a thought of practicality. Designers have hidden away every personality trait of your kitchen behind imposing glossy cabinets. However, there is now an emerging trend of using open shelving to show off all of your kitchen accessories. This gives you an opportunity to give your kitchen some personality, but also it makes your kitchen more practical; you can now find what you’re looking for much easier. Of course you won’t want everything on display so it’s best to combine shelving and cabinets.

Impactful Wallpaper

Walls are often forgotten and neglected as part of the kitchen design; they are predominately just left as a single color. Incorporating wallpaper into your design is proving to be a big trend this year, but not just any style – we’re talking about the big pattern and multi-color wallpaper. Adding this patterned wallpaper is nothing new; it has been used for feature walls in bedrooms and lounges for years, but it is rarely used in the kitchen. Wallpaper can give you the opportunity to complement the architectural elements throughout your kitchen and add stunning contrast to what would otherwise be a simplistic color palette.

A Mix Of Old And New

In recent years there has been a definite pursuit of the minimalist and modern design with the traditional styles being left behind. Homeowners are now shunning these ultra-sleek designs in favor for the best of both worlds: a combination of the traditional and modern design. These designs bring the clean lines and simplicity you see in a modern kitchen with the character of the traditional design. Plain door fronts are out, and instead people are going for classics such as the Shaker doors; gone are the stainless steel worktops in exchange for marble or wood.

It is a very delicate balancing act between the two designs, but when done right can result in a warm, homely and yet practical kitchen. Those looking to give their traditional style kitchen an update could certainly benefit from this approach.  By simply adding a few modern design elements it is possible to achieve the latest look whilst avoiding the cost of a whole new kitchen.

Furniture-Style Cabinets

Furniture-style cabinets look set to become big in 2016; there have been a few brilliant examples of these cropping up for a few years now, but this year they are really taking off. These are non-imposing cabinets for your kitchen which give your kitchen the same feel as a living room or dining room. They celebrate the different elements that can make up a kitchen, rather than thinking of your kitchen as just a work station. You can also mix and match items; giving your kitchen that personal design touch.

Sleek And Warm Black

Black never really went out of style and probably never will; it has always been used to make a bold statement in design. However, kitchen designers have always been too afraid to use it in any big way. Until now. There is an emerging trend of using black as the main color in the kitchen by making all of the cabinets black or painting some walls black. If done right it can make the kitchen look sleek and modern, yet still warm and homely. It can provide a stunning contrast to colorful walls or patterned wallpaper, really highlighting the wall and making it even more of a feature. If you’re not set on a color or want something a little bit different then black could be the ideal solution.

Injections Of Color

If you love the white kitchen, but are not a fan of how plain and boring it can sometimes look, you need to inject some color. More kitchen designs are taking the minimalist kitchen and throwing some color in the right places. This can be: using a colorful splash back, colorful lights or even just by displaying colorful items around the kitchen. Adding splashes of color allows you to inject some of your personality into your kitchen. Plus, because you’re using the plain white kitchen as your canvas it means you can add the color once the rest of the kitchen has been installed.  Moreover, you can easily update your plain white kitchen without much hassle.

2016 is set to be another exciting year in kitchen design with some incredibly innovative designs being shown off. As always, we’ll see some surprises and some designs that simply don’t take off. In time we will be able to see which have evolved into trends and which become a distant memory.  But in the meantime if you incorporate whichever of the above styles or features that take your fancy, you can rest assured that you will be the proud owner of a trendy kitchen that will look good for years.


This guest blog was written by Designer Kitchens for Less, the UK based supply of cheap designer kitchens. Get in touch for a quote on your dream designer kitchen. Visit us at: www.designerkitchensforless.co.uk.

08 July 2016

How To Choose The Right Bar Stools For Your Kitchen Counter or Island

A bar stool to a kitchen area is like a fine glass of wine to a Friday night - an addition that can only make things better and inject a vibrant feel to your home. As wonderful and versatile as they are, choosing the right set is only a matter of taste and the style that already prevails your space. The most important factors to consider are material and style.


Nowadays, most wooden bar stools are made of hard rubber-wood due to its durability, but there are other wood materials that are also appealing. There’s also rattan, wicker and teak wood, although they might not be as sturdy. Fortunately, wooden bar stools are generally quite easy to maintain and clean.

Stainless steel is by far one of most strong and resistant materials for kitchen bar stools. If you are one of those people that want to buy a  kitchen bar stools set once and have a piece of mind for a long time, this is the material you are looking for. Make sure that the stools you get feature at least 80% of steel as a part of their construction. If you want something lighter than steel, aluminium could seal the deal by offering similar quality, low maintenance and contemporary design. Metal kitchen bar stools easy to disinfect with a quick wipe down.

These bar stools are the mightiest tool if you want to match your interior just right because they come in an endless array of covers, be it leather, linen, faux suede or vinyl. They can easily become a part of the seamless blend you are aiming to achieve. People also love these due to the comfort they provide with the convenient padding for the back and as an addition, many of these kitchen bar stools feature a footrest as well. One minor disadvantage is the fact that they are not as easy to clean and you will have to be very careful not to spill something on the upholstered surface.

If you’re all about easy maintenance, this material can surely offer that, but with so many amazing choices of material that come with more sturdiness and class, plastic is regarded as probably the last one you should opt for, if you want your interior to speak volumes about your taste, that is.

Recycled materials
If the process of choosing the perfect type of material is to receive an extra pair of wings, that can undoubtedly be achieved with a sustainability factor. If you want to excel at both - helping our planet and decorating your home, this is a great way to do it and you can find all of the aforementioned types in the form of their recycled counterparts, except for upholstered.


Simple, straight, strong, new age – these are the qualities you should look for if you’re after a futuristic feel. The best material choice for this style is by all means steel. Make sure that the chairs you choose are easy to assemble and feature PVC seats. This style simply pours that modern vibe into the area and with minimal effort you'll be able to pull off a very cool futuristic style.

If you can imagine yourself sitting on one of your bar stools, hands wrapped around a warm mug, a quiet jazz song playing in the background, then wooden bar stools from top to bottom might be right up your alley. Just make sure that the rest of your d├ęcor can respond to this vintage challenge because you wouldn't want it to look as if you've kidnapped the stools from a retro times and now you are desperately trying to adapt them to your modern design.

Middle Earth
Being unable to choose between traditional and modern is actually a pleasant design symptom. It can allow you to have the best of both worlds in a very unique way. Talk about a style that defies classification. This style can be best achieved by opting for a set of bar stools that feature black metal frame and wood. The wooden part will add to the traditional appeal, whilst the black metal frame will speak of futuristic simplicity, easy maintenance and a keen eye for elegance.

29 May 2016

Hand held versus fixed shower heads – which is best?

If you are thinking of having a new shower fitted in your home you may be wondering whether it makes more sense to have hand held shower or a fixed head shower. There are people who swear by both. The question is; which is the best option for you? Everyone is different so you have to make your own decision.

To help you make your decision you can check out reviews of the best fixed shower head and the best hand held shower head. In the meantime, we are going to take you through some of the things you should consider before you make your choice.

Why it makes sense to have a hand held shower
There are several reasons why having a handheld shower head in your bathroom makes sense.

  • Easier washing enabled. If you are able to hold the shower head in your hand it makes it a lot easier to wash exactly where you want to wash. You do not have the same ability to direct the water if you have a fixed shower head.
  • Ability to wash around the shower or tub. One of the great things about a hand held shower head is that you can use it to rinse around your shower or tub. This means that soap scum is less likely to build up making it easier for you to keep the shower or tub clean.
  • Conservation of water. If you have a fixed shower head in your shower then a large amount of water just goes straight down the drain and is not actually put to any real use. If you use a hand held shower head then the water is directed where it is needed so there is a lot less wastage. You can see how a hand held shower head helps to conserve water.

How to get the best of both worlds
There are some people who prefer showering under a fixed shower head; they believe it has more power and enjoy standing under a steady stream of water. If you cannot decide which type of shower head you prefer then it is possible to have both. Having dual heads in your shower means that you have the option of using either; this is especially useful if different people living in your household have different preferences as to which is best. It also means that you have a complete showering experience.

If you are having a new shower fitted in your home then you want to make sure it gives you the experience you want. We have shown you that a hand held shower head makes sense if you want to conserve energy and have a more directed showering experience. However, some people just prefer to stand under a fixed shower head. Having both types of shower head may be the best way to keep everyone happy; the decision is yours.

12 May 2016

Top 5 Kitchen Design Tips to Revamp a Small Kitchen

If you’re not blessed with the virtues of a roomy kitchen, the notion of a renovation or redesign might seem a little redundant to you. You might find it hard to see how spending money on such a limited space could be worthwhile. Yet, the truth is that there are plenty of clever ways to give small kitchens some serious personality and life.

There are some dreams that you may have to give up. If there’s barely enough room to make toast, never mind swing a cat, that sprawling American style Smeg fridge is just not viable. However, most redesign ideas can be easily adapted to fit kitchens with a limited amount of space. It’s all about being smart, flexible, and inventive with design.

1. Start Doubling Up

A favourite trick, used by skilled kitchen designers like Brentwood Kitchens, is to double up on space. So, a stylish breakfast bar can also be used to incorporate storage for pots, pans, and other kitchen accessories. Things like stove tops can be adapted to pull down over hobs and turn into extra preparation space. Integrated appliances are great for this, because they take up less space than standalone devices; they also fit more seamlessly with the kitchen.

2. Stick with Light Colours

If it’s been said before, it’ll be said a hundred times more; light colours give the illusion of space. The minute that you cover the kitchen walls with heavy greys, greens, or blues, it’ll start to feel cramped and restricted. Open up the room that you have with whites, creams, light greys, and pastel tones. Also, mirrors are great for tricking the eye into seeing more space, so think about investing in a mirrored splashback.

3. Take Cabinets Higher

In most kitchens, there’s a really useful band of space that is left wasted, because cupboards stop short below the ceiling. While super tall cupboards might have you standing on a chair to access the cookie cutters, it’s not too much of an inconvenience if you store only items that you use irregularly up high. Cake tins and ‘once every so often’ items like food colouring are ideal for storage in this type of space.

4. Choose Sensible Appliances

If you have a small kitchen, you’re going to need appliances that are on the smaller side too. For families with young children, this can be tricky, because it means extra loads in the washing machine and dishwasher. What you can do to make this easier is invest in eco-friendly, economical appliances. They’ll help you to save on your energy bills, even if you have to keep refilling. When it comes to the fridge, pick an appliance that is thinner, but deeper. Never pay retail prices either. There are always Lowe's Coupons to be had on the web, keep an eye out for them and shop accordingly.

5. Call in the Experts

For homeowners who have a fairly robust budget, hiring an expert design team is an alternative option. They will take over all of the practical considerations, so that you don’t have to worry about finding the right sized fridge or picking the perfect colour palette. Plus, you can have as much or as little direct input as you please; you can either let your designers surprise you with something wonderful or point them in a specific style direction.

How to Create a Kitchen That Makes You Happy

The bottom line is that every kitchen, no matter how small it is, can be helped to shine with the right tweaks and improvements. If you do need some inspiration, head down to a showroom and check out some of the designs on offer. The added benefit of browsing in person is that you can get one on one advice from the experts.

20 April 2016

What Materials are Available when it Comes to Shower Trays? Your Important Guide

So you’ve decided to get a shower tray for your bathroom – we congratulate you on your wise decision. After all, there are many advantages to having a shower tray in your bathroom. Firstly, they ensure that there is no unwanted water in the rest of the bathroom, and this ensures that there are no problems with electricity as well – or mould which can form from water seeping through some unseen cracks. Secondly, you’ll have a much easier time to maintain and clean your bathroom, which is always a great plus. And let’s not forget the time and money you save. However, how do you choose the right shower tray for your needs? What materials are available? Here is a quick guide on which materials are available when it comes to shower trays.


There are many advantages to steel – advantages which many of us may have forgotten. Steel shower trays are hygienic, resistant to acid, and are very durable. In fact, they can take a punch; they tend not to deform and don’t deteriorate due to scratching or impact. Furthermore, they now come with anti-slip coating and can be fitted with an insulation system as well.


The great thing about acrylic is its insulating property; this means that, together with a hard foam laid out around and underneath, no heat will be lost. It also means that the heat is contained and not transferred to physical energy (such as expansion that may happen with steel), and so it prevents cracks and irregular fitting in the long term.

Solid surface

The solid surface is made of mineral particles – it contains a very high percentage of them – and so the surface feels very smooth indeed. This innovative design also allows it to come in various styles and finishes, which makes it easier for buyers to make a choice which is especially designed for their bathroom. It’s non-porous, which means it’s very hygienic, durable, and easy to clean.


If you want a long-term investment, then ceramic is probably your best choice, as it is the most durable of all. They’re also great to look at and fit perfectly into any bathroom. As with all the other choices, they can also be provided with anti-slip coating should that be required.

As you can see, there are many kinds of shower trays out there – from an offset quadrant shower tray to a rectangular one, a square one, and more - and whilst we’re sure there’s the perfect one for you, you’ll need to check carefully and consider the choice an investment. There are, after all, advantages and disadvantages to each one of them. Perhaps the best way to begin is to list down your own priorities and then see which material fits best with your needs. 

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