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Handles are the perfect finishing touch to your cabinetry, really helping to establish a particular style for your space. They can be traditional or contemporary and are available in a range of materials & finishes.
You will need to select handles for your cupboards and drawers, and these will normally be matching. Handles are available in several forms, from pull handles, to cup handles, to knobs.
Consider the following to aid your decision:
Comfort & functionality – You will use these handles ALOT over the lifespan of your kitchen. Consider which styles you will find comfortable and easy to use, plus think about how hard-wearing you will need them to be. Drawers tend to have handles, doors tend to have knobs.
Cabinetry Style – Some handles will be better suited to particular cabinetry than others. Slimline rectangular handles are well matched with sleek, glossy units, whereas ornate decorative handles are better suited to profiled cupboards.
Other features – Consider the other features within the kitchen which you could match your handles to. If you have a black oven and hob then black handles could be a great choice, or a stainless steel sink and tap could lend itself to silver handles.
No handles – A popular choice currently is to opt for no handles at all and instead use a recessed lip or a ‘push-to-open’ mechanism. See the Schuller Range.
Choosing a sink which suits your lifestyle, but also complements the rest of your kitchen design is key to picking a product you’ll still be happy with many years down the line.
Consider the following when assessing the options:
Size & configuration – Consider how much worktop space you want your sink to take up. A single bowl may be best if your dishwasher is going to do most of the heavy lifting and your kitchen is relatively small. If you have more space to play with then you may consider a ‘1.5’ or double bowl. Depth is also an important consideration, you might need space to wash deep pans, but at the same time you don’t want to be leaning over elbow deep in water. If you opt for a double bowl then varying the depth each side could be a possibility.
Drainage – Do you want your sink to incorporate drainage space? If you plan to do a lot of pot washing at the sink then this could be a priority. If you’ll predominantly be washing food then it might not be as necessary.
Material – The most common types of sink are stainless steel or ceramic, with composite materials recently growing in popularity. Your choice will ultimately come down to budget and the desired look you’re striving for.
Mounting – There are a surprisingly large number of ways to mount a sink. ‘Drop in‘ refers to effectively dropping the sink into a hole and the rim sits on the worktop. ‘Under-mounted‘ is when the sink is fastened to the underneath of worktop rather than to the top, meaning there is no rim to gather dirt. An ‘integrated‘ sink is one which is built into the worktop and made from the same material – a seamless but expensive choice. ‘Apron‘ sinks are when the front of the sink also forms the front of the counter.
Your tap is likely to be the hardest working appliance in your kitchen, so it’s an important decision to get right. Some taps will come in a ‘sink-tap’ package, but if you have opted to buy the two separately then make sure you check your desired tap will fit within your sink’s pre-drilled tap-hole (if it has one).
Consider the following when making your choice:
Holes – Do you want just one tap hole or two. One hole will result in a tap with a single spout and your choice of one or two handles. Two holes means you can have two spouts, one for hot water and one for cold. Alternatively you could have two holes but one spout, using a ‘bridge/deck’ tap (see image below).
Spout Design – Spouts come in a variety of shapes and styles to suit your kitchen. Think about it’s shape, size, position and movement in order to decide which is best for you. Some will be static, some will allow swivel movements and some have pull out features such as spray heads.
Handles – Consider the number of handles you’d like. You can opt for one handle to control both hot and cold or choose two separate handles. You’ll then need to think about the design, i.e. lever, knob, cross-shaped etc and whereabouts you want them positioned on the tap.
Finish/style – Try to ensure your tap is both in-keeping with the sink and the rest of the kitchen. There are a variety of finishes and colours you can opt for, ranging from simple black and white, to chrome effects and brushed metallic.
Boiling – Boiling water taps, also known as a ‘steaming hot water’ taps are great if you live in a busy household and frequently require boiling water alongside your normal hot and cold water options. Not always ideal if you have small children!
These are brilliant because as well as serving the practical purpose of protecting your kitchen walls, they also provide an opportunity to make a design statement..
Consider the following to aid your decision:
Material – Splashbacks can vary from sheets of stainless steel, to tiles, to glass, to stone and more. Consider what material will be easiest to clean, be a good fit for your budget and ultimately suit the style of your kitchen…. or perhaps intentionally stand out?
Size – The splashback needs to cover the area behind your hob but there is nothing to say it can’t be bigger than that, particularly if you’re making it a statement piece. Do consider if you will be covering any sockets though as cutting a hole into the material could incur additional cost.
Colour – Splashbacks are now available in a wide array of colours, especially if you opt for something bespoke. From monochrome whites and blacks, to multi-coloured tiles, the world is your oyster. Bold can be beautiful or subtle shades which match your walls or worktop are growing in popularity.
Something unique? – A growing trend is to feature a bespoke design in your splashback, whether it be a piece of art or a special photograph encased in glass, or a particular pattern in tiles. If you want to you can make your splashback a statement feature within the room.
These transform your kitchen from a nice-looking space into a practical, usable room. From fridges-freezers, to ovens, to washing machines and dish washers, they are vital ingredients of kitchen design. As well as serving practical needs, there’s no reason they can’t be stylish too…
Consider the following when assessing your options:
Integrated or free-standing? – Your appliances can be ‘invisible’ if you desire, hidden behind cabinetry which will blend in with the other units in the room – this is what we mean by integrated. Alternatively you can show off your appliances and have them as separate pieces which slot in between cupboards – free standing. If you opt for free-standing then there are plenty of aesthetically pleasing options available.
AEG – As a premier partner of AEG you can buy AEG appliances through us and receive a special 5 year warranty – find out more here.
Accessories will have a big impact on the final appearance and functionality of your kitchen so it’s important you give them due consideration. The same space could look very different depending on your choice of handles, sink, tap, splashbacks and appliances so don’t be afraid to use them to make your mark!
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