Your kitchen is at its busiest over the festive period. With all the Christmas parties, entertaining and cooking the hub of the home certainly gets hectic at this time of the year. So why not treat your hard working kitchen by investing in a new cooker or appliance – it will certainly make cooking the Christmas lunch easier. Magnet the kitchen expert talks through three of the latest and greatest types of appliance…
It’s about to get steamy in the kitchen. Emerging built-in steam ovens are either dedicated steam ovens or the more practical, combination ovens – which allow you to either use as a normal oven or steam only. The beauty of this type of steam oven is that you can still get the crisp finish when needed as you can combine steam and heat – as well as using steam only! Another really big benefit is, thanks to the steam, the oven is significantly easier to clean – perfect for the turkey!
Making appliances easy to use is ideal for the annual Christmas dinner clean up. Pyrolitic cleaning is a must have for ovens – the self-cleaning system restores the oven back to its showroom sparkle, even when the oven is twenty years old.
There is increasing demand for ‘luxury’ compact appliances, particularly for city apartments and penthouse flats. Innovative space-saving appliances like the Candy Trio combine the hob, oven & dishwasher in such a stylish and functional manner that it will be the most talked about present this Christmas.
Island units are a fantastic feature for any kitchen and can be a practical and stylish addition. Whether used to split a large room, create extra preparation and storage space, or provide a stylish cooking zone, it is important to get it right.
Here are Magnet’s top 5 tips to the perfect island unit…
1) Create a focal point – Locate a central workstation on the unit, such as a sink or a hob. This will not only open up more storage in the surrounding units and create valuable workspace, but will position the unit as a key focal point of the kitchen.
2) Consider the use – If you are using the island unit to split a large space or room, try and incorporate a small dining area. Position stools along one edge for a relaxed breakfast bar, or lower one side for a more traditional dining set up. This will also enable you to socialise and cook when entertaining.
3) Choose a different design – Island units are typically rectangular. For a more unusual feature try an L-shaped design. Integrate different height units into an L-shaped island to create different working and eating zones. A curved unit gives a stylish hub within the kitchen, again great for socialising whilst cooking. An island unit is also the perfect place to mix and match. Try to combine different accent ranges and/or worktops. This is extremely on-trend and will give your kitchen a touch of personalisation.
4) Careful kitchen spacing – The key is to maintain practicality. Ideally, each main working station should be within a couple of metres of each other. Your fridge, sink and cooker make up a working triangle. These areas are vital in the cooking process and so need to be within easy reach of each other. It is important to remember when adding an island unit to an existing kitchen, ensure you have a minimum of one metre clearance surrounding it for opening cupboard and appliance doors.
5) Lighting – A striking light fitting above the unit provides a great focal point and is key for appliances such as the hob. Spotlights and track lights on the island unit itself will help set a certain tone or ambiance to the room. Pendant lights can create a perfect lighting scheme for an island unit dining area.
The most important thing to take into consideration is the size and shape of your kitchen. Magnet offer a number of slimline units and built in space saving solutions to help maximize the space in kitchens of all shapes and sizes. Smaller kitchens benefit from plainer frontals or those with a lighter finish. Simple slab doors like the Urban Calico range help create a minimalist feel, while gloss finishes help increase the feeling of space by reflecting light.
An example of a specially designed compact kitchen range
Don’t feel you need to choose between wall and floor units if your kitchen is compact. A bank of tall larder units can be a great solution and look striking in one area of the kitchen.
Lighting is an important feature within any home and non-more so than in the kitchen when preparing food. Light can enhance the perception of dimensions whilst clever use of reflective services can maximise the look without the discomfort of installing numerous high intensity lighting features. To maximise room height, avoid suspended ceiling lights and the use of lamp shades.
Bring colour into dark shadowy rooms that often create an inhospitable and depressive atmosphere. Avoid beige at all costs and do not plump for dark shades or metallics, be adventurous – choose a colour that will bring a smile to your face.