As we move into a new decade, it’s natural to think about fresh starts and positive action. Many people have the urge to declutter – particularly after the excesses of the festive season – and this often leads to thoughts of freshening up our homes. Whereas Christmas is all about warmth, cosiness and indulgence, the New Year feels like a time for ridding ourselves of unused belongings and bringing light and airiness into our interiors instead. Creating clear, calm and open surroundings will, we hope, ultimately help to provide the mental space we need to take exciting plans forward and move closer to our goals. The kitchen is one area of the home that can often do with an overhaul. We spend much of our time there and it’s a room that becomes messy and cluttered very easily. Redesigning or upgrading the space to make it feel larger and lighter is a great way to begin improving our homes in a way that will also, hopefully, make our lives run more smoothly and calmly. Here are our tips for creating a bright and airy kitchen…
It’s usually the most expensive room to renovate in a home, and tackling a complete kitchen makeover is a daunting task. However, if the fundamental elements are in place and in a decent condition, are you sure you need to start from scratch? Not only is a full renovation very costly but it’s also hugely disruptive, and it won’t always increase the value of your property by the amount you’ve spent. If you’re not one hundred per cent sure whether to go ahead or not, or you need time to save up, there are plenty of easy ways to refresh your kitchen to make it more stylish and bring it into line with your personal tastes. Here are a few ideas…
There are so many important things to consider with kitchen design, but one that often gets overlooked is whether or not the final combination of finishes work together. Beyond the kitchen materials themselves – wood, stone, glass, metal, etc – it’s important to consider whether you want matt, polished, reflective or special-effect finishes, or a combination of several different types. For instance, while you might decide on painted wooden cupboard doors, the paint itself could have a matt, eggshell or gloss finish. And a stone worktop could be highly polished, honed to a more subtle shine, or diamond brushed for an uneven leathery texture.
The most important consideration is the way in which these finishes will look within the room as a whole. It’s safest to mix them to create depth and interest and a variety of textures, but bear in mind that they need to complement rather than fight against each other. The style of kitchen design you’re aiming for is also significant – traditional kitchens often have matt units with polished worktops and hardware, whereas contemporary kitchens sometimes swap those finishes around. Minimalist kitchens, meanwhile, might eschew glossy surfaces completely and have natural wooden cabinets with honed stone worktops and stainless steel handles, while a futuristic kitchen might go full-on shiny.
Our hand-painted Cobweb glass is one of our most exclusive lines, and is often chosen for house decoration in luxury kitchens, bathrooms or living spaces. If you love the patterning of natural stone such as marble, onyx or granite, but are hesitant about the high levels of maintenance required to look after it, our Cobweb panels offer an ideal solution. With metallic or monochrome veining on a background of rich colour, they echo the beauty of nature while also providing an elegant glossy finish that’s surprisingly easy to clean and maintain.
Choosing the right materials for your kitchen or bathroom is often a balancing act between beauty and practicality. It’s so often the case that the most attractive finishes are also the most problematic – marble can stain, exposed brick is dusty and porous, metal rusts and wallpaper is hard to clean and non-waterproof. Even tiling, that most traditional of kitchen wall finishes, requires grout that gets dirty, discoloured or mouldy. Sometimes, what initially seemed like a good home decor idea can turn into an expensive headache further down the line. Read more
Opticolour has been working with awarding organisation GQA Qualifications to develop and validate an NVQ2 (National Vocational Qualification Level 2) in Glass Related Occupations (Construction). The NVQ has now been approved and Opticolour is busy training its managers to become NVQ assessors.