Five Tips to Create a Stunning Kitchen

Are you bored with your kitchen? Fear not! I have some tips for you that you can action immediately, as well as future renovation ideas, for a better kitchen experience that makes you fall in love with cooking all over again.

Optimise Your Kitchen’s Flow

I used to find myself running rampant around my kitchen when cooking anything from a simple snack to a family meal. My pots, pans, cutlery and various food products were all over the place, hastily shoved in a cupboard because I lazily put stuff away, so I could do something I enjoyed. However, I realised one day that this was creating much more work than it was saving. The precious minutes I saved by rushing were lost during the week when it came to using things.

This is when I decided to devise an organisational routine that took a little longer to pack away but saved me a lot of time while preparing meals. By placing items that are used at the same time in adjacent cupboards, like bowls and cereal, I managed to optimise the flow of my kitchen. This led to less mess and frustration while making food and increased my enjoyment of cooking tenfold.

Light Effectively

When renovating their kitchen, people often forget about lighting and I for one am guilty of that too. It’s one of the small details that goes unnoticed most of the time and it’s something we take for granted. However, lighting influences your kitchen overall look and feel with striking designs, dimmer switches that set the mood for your evening and even help with cooking.

My wife is in love with Rose Gold, from her iPhone to her jewellery, so the perfect thing to accent our kitchen was lights with a Rose Gold enclosure. It looks like copper to me, but her face lights up (sorry for the pun) every time she sees them. I also added spotlights along the underneath of the cabinets to provide the perfect lighting for food preparation, as well as providing mood lighting for romantic evenings.

Mix Materials

We’ve all seen the kitchen ads where they try to sell you an oak kitchen, cladded with wood from top to bottom like it would be unthinkable to add a touch of anything else. This is, of course, not true at all and you shouldn’t be discouraged from combining and contrasting materials. They can help create an interesting and rich layered feel where everything has its place, and nothing feels out of the ordinary. A feeling that can only be found in a bespoke kitchen.

From rustic woods to metals, leather and even ropes, you can add just about any material to your kitchen, although some require you being subtler. Rope and leather should be restrained to smaller details like baskets and hanging straps, while metal and wood can be used for cabinets and seating and fabric can be used for details like rugs and curtains.

Outside the Box Accessories

People love to categorise everything, but this becomes limiting rather than being helpful. We get trapped with the mentality that you can only decorate your rooms with items from their section of the store. Once we venture outside of this bubble, we can find inspiration in the form of beautiful lamps, statues vases and even foliage.

Simple additions can add interest through varying heights rather than flat counter-tops, often providing function as well as being unexpected. This element of surprise can also help you make your kitchen much more personal and transform the whole feeling of the room. Potted plants can soften the hard textures of your counter-top, as well as providing you with herbs for your cooking. The presence of herbs adds a welcoming scent to the room, while adding natural beauty.

Take Inspiration from the Unexpected

We tend to theme our rooms based on colour palettes rather than an abstract idea. I guess it’s more tangible to fit colours together than create something inspired by things we’ve seen or experienced. This could anything from something from a home on holiday, films, tv shows or time periods. Believe it or not, I once visited someone who had a yacht themed kitchen and while it was a shock, the idea was executed perfectly.

Personally, I adore the style of French homes and this love affair started a when I was a child visiting Normandy with my family. The French people are more relaxed and have a keen appetite for exquisite cooking and fine wine, a quality I like to think I share. To achieve this, I went with Belgian cupboards and a grisaille palette with Pike’s Peak Grey walls that offer subtle contract to the bright colours elsewhere in my house.

Hopefully you’ve found some inspiration in this article and you’re on your way to creating your very own stunning kitchen. Please feel free to send me pictures of your creations, I love to see all the amazing things people come up with in their home.

Three Tips to Get into Interior Design

A lot of people ask me how to get into the interior design industry and I usually ramble on about such and such but the landscape has changed in the last decade. I need to adapt how I approach this question to how the modern world works, although, there are certain things that remain the same. I want to share with you two new ways to approach it and one old fashioned but still reliable way.

Behance

If you’re an aspiring interior designer, you probably have experience in 3d design software like Blender, C4D and Maya. Therefore, there is no doubt that you will have modelling projects laying around. You can put them to use and upload them to Behance, a website where digital artists can show off their work to peers and admirers alike. Try to post as often as you can but limit yourself to one project daily. You can then share your work on social media and even include links to it in your CV. This is the absolute best way to showcase your work in the digital age and is quite good to get into the routine of updating. If, however, you don’t use 3d design software and don’t want to pay a fortune for it, you can get Blender for free and there is an endless number of tutorials on YouTube to get you started.

Speak to People

Speaking to people can get you anywhere you want in life, as long as you are efficient, confident and charming. Of course, in the old days, this would mean doing it in person, but nowadays everything is done on social media. However, you have to know what you’re doing. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are no good if you want to connect with professionals who are looking to take people on. LinkedIn should be your main goal, adding people you look up to in the design world and joining industry specific groups. From there, simply commenting on people’s post and posting your own regular content is enough to grab someone’s attention. Eventually, you will find yourself with many connections and place yourself at an advantage over the competition when new roles come up, as you will be the first person they think of.

Volunteering

Finally, we come to the old-fashioned way to get into interior design, volunteering! There is no easier way to demonstrate your skills to a potential employer than being sat in front of them. Many students do work placements as part of their university degrees and they potentially get offered a graduate place if they impress the business. For those that don’t get this opportunity, reaching out to businesses for work experience can be rewarding and get your foot in the door with a potential future employer. Research the company and its previous projects before you contact them, it gives you something lead your conversation with and shows you are interested in the company itself and not just the opportunity you want to be given.

Hopefully, these tips help you find your way into interior design and please feel free to contact me if you need assistance.

10 Clever Home Hacks

I’m a huge fan of YouTube and the power of visual learning, so I often find myself watching videos like this where someone shows you interior design tips in their very own home. Of course, not all of them are as professional as this one, which is why I thought it would be worth sharing.

Interior designer, Rebecca Robeson, walks us through her California home and shares 10 clever changes she has made over the last 15 years. She has turned an unassuming house into a luxury home with some interesting techniques that add elegance to your home on a budget.

I have summarised each hack below and be sure to watch the video below that.

  1. Improved lowered ceiling by adding mouldings to create an eye-grabbing feature.
  2. Added a 10-foot mirror to her focal wall so it’s what guests saw as soon as they walk in, also creating the illusion of more space.
  3. Utilise interesting architectural features like a hanging vintage window in the hallway.
  4. Replaced her old staircase with dark wood, a beautiful custom iron railing and swooping stairs which flow into the room.
  5. Fitted light wood flooring downstairs and dark wood flooring upstairs.
  6. Reduced the number of cabinets in the kitchen and painted them in a darker colour to match the rest of the room.
  7. Removed some doors to create walk-in spaces and hid some within the walls to create the illusion of fewer doors.
  8. Took an intrusive hearth piece and placed a vintage chest of drawers with their back legs cut off to utilise unusable space.
  9. Replaced linen cabinets doors with ones with a glass pane to display clean linen
  10. Installed wall length and height wardrobes with mirrored fronts and added custom mirror fronts to the drawers below.