Back in August 2016 I let you in on my favourite kitchen companies so a year later I thought I'd update the list and show you the new editions that are making me happy in the kitchen right now.
Gone are the gloss cupboards and black granite and in comes natural wood, subtle colour palettes and simplicity. Along with this come more affordable upstarts such as Naked Doors who will upgrade your IKEA kitchen cupboards with expensive looking doors and The Used Kitchen Company who are doing good for the environment and your pocket by selling on pre-loved kitchens.
For contemporary kitchens it has to be Pluck with their adventurous colour palettes and cork fronted cupboards and Day True who've taken the tired "Industrial" and given it a sophisticated spin.
For a fuller update on what's hot in kitchens now make sure you read our earlier post on kitchen trends
Thank God for the electrical department at John Lewis. When I need a new iron, dishwasher, juicer, etc, I go onto their website, where their team have done all the hard work for me, curating the best products and then adding a lovely warranty. I buy the best appliance in my budget, job done...
But not when it comes to kettles. Why are they all so ugly? Do they work well? Are they eco? Why do the half-decent looking ones cost £130!?! So, I have spent ages hunting one down and so that you don't have to, here are my tips on how to find your perfect pot.
Here are some of the better kettle designs I poured over*
1. Subscribe to Which - You can sign up for as little as £1 and for that the Which team will test all the kettles you need so that you know how fast your cuppa will be amongst other criteria.
2. Warning, there are over 250 kettles on here so, if you're like me you'll then procrastinate over the site for days as this appliance will be sitting in your brilliantly designed kitchen either cocking it up or blending seemlessly into the design so, colour, shape and material are annoyingly important.
3. Truth is, your choices are black, white or silver. DON'T LET ME CATCH YOU LOOKING AT COLOURED ONES - they're all foul and forget a glass kettle in London unless you have kettle cleaning time on your hands.
4. When you've chosen your kettle, check it's rating.
5. Go onto a shoping comparison site, find the best price - and buy.
6. Or do what I did and go onto Ebay and buy the stupidly priced one you wanted at the start at a fraction of the price because it has a damaged box - another interior design win!
So the wining kettle was the £80 (£39.99 on Ebay) Graef kettle - I'm not even hapy with this as it looks like a blowtorch possibly from the film 2001: A Space Oddysey - oh well.
*all but the Emma kettle can be found on Which
Does your kitchen seem plain, your bathroom feel sad and your hallway look cold? Yes, well let's talk about tiles. At The Open Plan we get very excited about tiles (yes, we're a little sad) so we'd like to share our best home interiors finds and advice with you. So here's a list of our favourite tile shops for when you're looking for the Wow! factor.
You can put tiles pretty much anywhere to add colour, pattern, texture or a gloss finish. I recently spotted and adore this remarkable and original tiled ceiling in new London restaurant Babaji - stunning!
I would however take advice from a professional tiler before attempting a tiled ceiling *thinks of health and safety issues.
For the aesthetics, versatility and practicality of tiling I cannot hype tiles enough. They can range from 3p to £300 a tile and you can cover as much or as little of any surface you desire from walls and floors to chimney breasts and kitchen worktops (I do love a tiled contertop and predict their return as well as the use of coloured grout).
Should you need anymore convincing or advice on tiles then please do Contact Us
In the meantime here's a list of the tile materials above and where you can use them - Don't mention it.....
1. Cement - Walls, Worktops and Floors
2. Ceramic - Wall, Worktops and Shelves
3. Porcelain - Walls and Floors
4. Cement - Walls, Worktops and Floors
5. Ceramic - Wall, Worktops and Shelves
6. Ceramic -Wall, Worktops and Shelves
7. Encaustic - Walls, Worktops and Floors
8. Glass - Walls
9. Limestone - Walls, Worktops and Floors
10. Metal - Walls
11. Ceramic - Wall, Worktops and Shelves
12. Cement - Walls, Worktops and Floors
13. Ceramic - Wall, Worktops and Shelves
14. Metal - Walls
15. Cement - Walls, Worktops and Floors
One of London's Best Interiors Bloggers (Ideal Home magazine), The Open Plan Interior Design, London produces contemporary interiors for homes and business' and this very useful home interiors blog