Be the first to see the latest in kitchen design and technology from last week's Kitchens, Bathrooms and Bedrooms 2020. As we saw in bathrooms (see our last post) the emerging trends are more colour, matte finishes and moves to become more eco friendly with gadgets and renewable and natural materials.
We excitedly noted an increase in appliances with can be operated from your phone, extractors taken further with air purification, recycled materials in splash backs and tiles and real wood making a kitchen comeback.
Click on our highlights and we'll show you new tech, new colours and new thinking about arguably the busiest room in the house, then Get In Touch to discuss your next kitchen.
Do you like the idea of having help from an interior designer to transform your property but your not sure how the process works or even if your budget will allow it? Then read on to find out how we and other designers, work and how we can help you.
- You only need help with one room -
This is fine, some larger companies may only take on whole house projects, but small to medium companies are happy to take on single room projects as they can be slotted in-between larger projects and have a faster turnaround.
- Services and costs -
Interior designers can help with every element of a re-furb but here are the main services you'll come across and likely need:
The smallest service is a Colour Consultation which can cost between £110-£190 per room. It's a great starter to re-inventing a room and will give you the confidence to use amazingly effective colours which you wouldn't have dared use on your own.
The next service is Design which normally consists of a visit from a designer to take your brief and measure the space(s). From there the designer can produce a plan and a design which should include a colour scheme and indicative furniture ideas and instruction for the design. We even give you guidance on more complicated kitchen and bathroom design. From here you can more confidently choose, to purchase and implement some or all of the recommendations. Prices start from £750 a room.
Should you be short on time or have no clue where to start when ordering sofas or calculating how many M2 of tiles you need, this service can be a god-send especially when it costs you no more that the retail price (RP) of an item. Let me explain: most interior designers (including us) obtain Trade discounts from thousands of gorgeous shops. For our services we may only charge the RP to you but buy at the the Trade price and then retain the difference as our fee. Effectively you pay no more than if you'd walked into the shop and purchased the item yourself, but without any of the hassle and often costly guesswork.
If you're really short of time and don't know what to do, to co-ordinate a refurbishment, then Project Management is for you. Project Management (PM) can be one just one meeting with the builder or decorator to relay the design and make sure that it's carried out properly, to being on site at regular intervals to oversee that everything is happening as per the brief and budget. Most interior designers will charge you an hourly rate between £70-£190 per hour dependant on the size of the firm, the complexity of the project and the experience of the designer (we charge around £90).
- How to start -
You may have thought long and hard about what you'd like or have no idea at all - this does not matter. I recommend calling first to discuss your project/utter terror at prospect of re-furbishing. Just a phonecall will undoubtedly reinvigorate your desire to get started and give you a clear idea of your next step. At The Open Plan we offer a free* 30 minute face-to-face meeting at the property to discuss your needs and to answer any questions you may have about our services. So do get in touch by phone or email
*dependant on distance from our offices
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