23 September 2016

How to Pick Perfect Sinks and Taps

Sinks and Taps are two essential parts of any kitchen, but unfortunately they are most neglected pieces in the kit. It is almost impossible to imagine a kitchen without them. With the advancement in technology, they are now more advanced and good looking, but it does not mean you can pick any sink and tap for your kitchen. You have to think hard and select those pieces that match your kitchen type.

Your sink is the most usable part of the kitchen, especially if you entertain lots of guests regularly. For this purpose, a deep rectangular sink is the perfect choice, as it can manage roasting pans and casseroles. On the other hand, if you own a big kitchen, double bowl sinks would be an ideal option. You can use both side by side and save time. For hand-washing or vegetable preparation, we recommend one-and-a-half-bowl sink. Other options include small circular or square prep sinks and sinks that feature accessories.

Modern sinks are accessible in a variety of materials. The choice depends largely on the type of kitchen you have, your budget and preference. Stainless steel sinks are one of the best in the market owing to their germ-free properties. There is a variety of designs and price ranges, so you are sure to get the one under your budget. It is suggested to buy a sink with 18% chromium and 10% nickel mix to make certain it’s strong and rust-proof. If you own a classic or country-style kitchen, Belfast or butler sinks are ideal. They boast porcelain-coated fireclay polish, which makes them defiant to heat and stain. For a flawless look, you can go for Corian and quartz composite materials.

In the last decade, the tap designs advanced tremendously. Nobody ever wondered such an evolution. The new kids in the block are  filter water taps, boiling water taps, sparkling water taps, pull-out sprays and light emitting diodes displaying water temperature. The latest taps even show water saving and flow control measures.

The most important aspect in selecting a tap is making sure it is compatible with the water pressure in your kitchen. It does not matter if you pick a traditional bridge mixer or a modern monobloc with hi-tech features all of them work on the same principle. You must know that a low-pressure tap usually needs 0.3 bar, a high-pressure tap 1.0 bar and special-style taps 1.5 bar.

In the market, you would find chrome, stainless steel or nickel-plated brass taps. Polished chrome and stainless-steel taps are perfect for modern kitchens, but they reveal finger marks. Look for matt brushed or satin finishes to avoid this issue.

Never go for a cheap tap, it will rip you off in the long run. It is recommended to buy a tap boasting the new ceramic disc technology, a stable scheme that competently controls the surge of water, which is excellent for old rubber washers and do not require frequent fixing. Aerated flow is another excellent eco choice.

Taps featuring spouts that rotate will aid you in providing greatest reach near your sink for cleaning and filling pans. Before set out buying the tap, it is wise to examine the size of your biggest pan to make sure your tap spout rests high enough to put in the pan beneath to load it.

A partnership with Harvey Jones, scheming and creating kitchens from their Cambridgeshire workshop for over thirty-five years.

22 September 2016

What is the best compost for growing vegetables?

Whether you’re growing tomatoes or turnips, carrots or cucumbers, getting your soil right is vital for growing bumper batches of tasty veg. Because vegetables require a lot of nutrients to grow to their best, few gardeners will have the perfect soil already in their garden. However, with the right products and gardening know-how, they can boost their soil and enjoy tasty home grown goodness.

If you’re just starting your vegetable patch or want to improve your crops this year, Compost Direct is here to help. Read on to find out how to choose the best compost for growing vegetables.

What compost is best for growing vegetables?

As we’ve already mentioned, you’ll need compost that’s packed with vital nutrients for your plants. While standard multi-purpose compost does contain some plant food, for the best results, we recommend choosing a specialist compost for growing vegetables. For example, Veggie Gold Compost contains high levels of organic matter, so is suitable for vegetable patches.

However, the type of compost you require depends on the vegetables you plan on growing and the existing condition of the soil. For example, carrots and cucumbers grow well in alkaline soils, while potatoes and parsley are best grown in acidic soils. Before you get started, check what conditions you’ll need to create before you purchase your compost.

Can I use grow bags?

Grow bags are a great option for those looking to grow their own without the need for a vegetable patch. Perfect for smaller gardens, grow bags contain quality compost with lots of nutrients for less. If you do choose this method, look for a thick, large bag, as this will provide lots of room for your plants’ roots to develop.

Will manure help my crops?

Because it is a natural, nutrient-rich material, manure will act as a compost and benefit your crops — but only if it is well-rotted. If it isn’t well-rotted, it may be too rich for your plants, as the nutrients haven’t been broken down into manageable forms the plants can use. Likewise, it could spread disease to your plants and carry an unpleasant odour.

Well-rotted manure, on the other hand, contains plenty of useful nutrients and has a crumbly, soil-like texture. Often, it’s only necessary to use either manure or compost, so choose the one that’s right for your vegetable patch.

How do I apply the compost or manure to my vegetable patch?

To apply your chosen organic matter to your vegetable patch, you should dig over the soil to a depth of around 37.5cm to 45cm. As you dig, incorporate the manure or compost into the soil.

30 August 2016

Home remodeling don'ts

Whether you are working alone or with the help of a general contractor, getting a peek into the contractor’s mind might give you a new perspective about remodeling projects.  What you do is just as important as what you do not do. Sometimes, your instinct can affect your home renovation project negatively. How do you know whether you are hurting or helping the project? Here are some remodeling don’ts:

Do not delay decisions

If you want your remodeling project to go well, you should make your decisions before the work starts. A good contractor will be able to talk you through the number of situations that could come up during the project. Decisions about things like faucets, trims, and paint can cause a delay. As small as these things seem, when your contemporary kitchen faucets are two weeks late, the plumbers will have to reschedule the remodeling.

Do not purchase your own materials

Although this seems like the most cost effective option, you should not buy your own materials. A builder might get a better price than you might for all materials. This means that even if he marks up the price after buying, you might not notice the difference.

Do not work without contingency funds

If the work that you plan to do will cost more money than you can afford, you should reconsider the project. Most people do not usually set up realistic funds for their projects. For this reason, you need to set up a contingency fund in case the project runs out of budget. If you make every decision in advance, you might not even have to use the contingency fund.

Do not keep changing your mind

Even if changing your mind is inevitable, you should know that doing it too much results in a change of order. As minor as the change may seem, it will add to the overall cost of doing the project. The scheduling of your project will also be affected when you change your mind. Every person working on the project needs to be aware of the new schedule, resulting in delays and disruptions.

Do not waste money

Although the contractor might not tell you this, some houses need to be knocked down instead of being remodeled. You might be putting new cabinets in a house with a saggy foundation or wasting money on a high-efficiency furnace in a house that has no insulation. To avoid wasting your money, you should keep an open mind and listen to what the professionals tell you.

Do not ignore what your house wants

When making changes to your house, make sure that they go hand in hand with the type of house that you have. For instance, would an ultramodern kitchen fit into your Victorian brownstone? It can if you hire the right contractor. Of course, a house can evolve with the times, but you have to ensure that you can pull it off. Get to know your house and do some research before hiring a contractor.

Do not live in the home

Many people ignore this because renovation is costly and moving out only increases the cost. If you cannot afford to move during the whole project, make sure that you set up a clean area in the house to stay. This will not only keep you out of the way while the job is being done, but also keep you from coming to a dirty and messy construction site. If you can afford to stay away for the duration of the renovation, that would be great.


Author’s Bio
Wendy Dessler
Title: Super-Connector at OutreachMama

Wendy is a super-connector with OutreachMama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.

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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.

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