Monochromatic Kitchens: 3 Design Strategies with a  Single Colour

Monochromatic Kitchens: 3 Design Strategies with a Single Colour

A monochromatic room design may sound like it will be a breeze to execute, but to do it well while limiting your scope, can be all the more challenging. When done well, a monochromatic room should take full advantage of tonal takes on a hue with a variety of related tints and shades for a rich and brilliant effect, while adding textures for visual interest. When done wrong, a monochrome room design will come off as tired, uninspiring and stuck with a lack of interest and stimulation.

A monochrome environment is a space in which most architectural elements are of a single colour. Although it is common for architects to design black or white monochromatic spaces due to its neutrality, it is possible to use almost any colour to design a space, taking advantage of their infinite tones, undertones, and shades. When planning your custom designed kitchen, choosing the right colour composition for an environment can aid in executing the design strategy.

  1. Highlighting

Designing with a single colour in the kitchen is a useful strategy when looking to highlight the entire space or any of its elements in particular. Through this means, it is possible to contrast the colour with household appliances, accentuate special coatings, or emphasise objects, utensils, and accessories. Be it art, statement furniture or just the room itself, a monochromatic colour scheme is certain to draw attention to the parts of a room you want to be noticed. Monochrome colour schemes are harmonious and relaxing too, and they’ll work perfectly in any part of your home where relaxation is key. And they can still have a dramatic effect without having to contrast colours and are an excellent way of repeating colours without having to think about it too much.

  1. Unifying

Opting for a monochrome palette can be an effective strategy for unifying the elements that make up an environment, making it a widely used option when looking to design a bolder kitchen atmosphere. In these cases, it is common for designers to take advantage of the infinite shades, undertones, and variations of each chosen colour. When considering monochromatic colour schemes we suggest that you use three colours. Select your colour and choose a range of three shades – one dark, one in the middle, and one light. This will help you create a cohesive look. A smart practice of choosing hues is to select your base shade from a paint chart, and then use that paint chart to choose different colours which have the same base, from light to dark.

  1. Zoning

Some schemes organise their spaces by separating them, using colour to achieve this goal, enhancing this zoning through mobile partitions that open or close depending on the use of the kitchen. When you are filling your room with similar colours you can run the risk of the room merging into one, without much definition. Use colour to create focal points around a room and highlight focal points as well. They don’t have to be exuberant bright colours, but choosing something with a slightly different tone, which stands out against your monochrome pallet will make a huge difference. Go for calmer and softer colours for larger spaces, such as walls and furniture, and use bolder colours for smaller accents such as accessories, art, and rugs. Placing bold accents in front of soft zones of colour draws attention to accents in a monochromatic room. Placing lighter tones on walls will also make your room feel larger and more spacious while keeping it cozy and comfortable with accessories.

If you need advice designing your kitchen, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’d love to help.

Have a great weekend

Clinton and Fiona

 

 

 

Kitchen Lighting Trends

Kitchen Lighting Trends

There are many vital design elements of a new kitchen. When planning your custom designed kitchen it’s common to put a great deal of thought into flooring, cabinetry, worktops, fixtures, hardware and more. The often unsung hero of a beautiful kitchen is the lighting. Choosing the right lighting for your kitchen not only provides a right space where you can carry out your tasks easily, but lighting can also showcase the other design elements of the kitchen, such as reflective surfaces. If you’re struggling to decide on the right kitchen lighting options, we’ve put together a guide to Kitchen Lighting Trends to help you choose.

Recessed Lighting

This discrete lighting trend has been popular for many years and remains one of the most common choices for people renovating their kitchen. Recessed lighting, also known as canned lighting are metal light housings installed in the ceiling for a sleek look that is minimal enough to give you back your ceiling. Their diameter generally varies from 3” to 6.” They can offer a spotlight effect or when arranged correctly, can illuminate the entire room and not just the middle of the room. It works with many different kitchen styles, whether you lean more towards the modern or traditional side. This makes recessed lighting one of the top kitchen lighting choices. Recessed lighting is great for kitchens, hallways, bathrooms and anywhere there are low ceilings.

Pendant Lighting

For many, the ultimate kitchen dream is a large island illuminated beneath a few statement pendant lights. The beauty of pendant lighting is that there are so many styles and options available they will work with just about any style kitchen. Glass, copper, rattan, are just a few current styles on trend. They cast their light over a wider area as there is an entire half-sphere visible to both the room and you. Depending on the size of ceiling light you go with and the room you’re illuminating, you’ll only need one or two to light up the room. In terms of fixings, you’ll only need to cut a hole in your ceiling big enough to fit wires through. Pendant lighting can be chosen to blend in seamlessly with your design scheme, or you can opt for statement pieces that really draw in the eye and make your custom designed kitchen stand out. Pendants are not just a striking design choice, but they are also practical – placing them over an island provides extra light when preparing food. You can make as big or small of a statement as you want when you go with traditional ceiling lights. They work best in dining rooms, over kitchen islands, bedrooms, foyers, and patios.

Create Drama

Choosing a real statement piece to create drama in your kitchen creates a focal point and is always a great conversation starter. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your kitchen lighting scheme. Take advantage of the design features of your custom kitchen to introduce something a bit different. If you have high, vaulted ceilings, track spotlights are a fantastic way to highlight vaults and beams. Or if you have low ceilings, a formal chandelier can add a great deal of theatricality. Introducing textural elements like metals or woods in your lighting fixtures adds depth to your kitchen design and adds unique flair to the room. Play around with colour, lighting is a great way to add some bold colour or accent into your scheme, whether that be the fixture itself or coloured bulbs that change to suit your mood. Fixtures that work brilliantly for introducing colour and texture to your kitchen include spotlights, sconces flush mounts or chandeliers.

There are many fantastic kitchen lighting trends to choose from or combine. If you need advice designing your kitchen, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’d love to help.

Have a great weekend

Clinton and Fiona

 

Kitchen Window Treatment Ideas

Kitchen Window Treatment Ideas

A bright, well lit kitchen is a pleasure to work in and an attractive place for friends and family to gather. If you are fortunate enough to have many windows in the kitchen, you may wonder what kitchen window treatments provide both privacy and shade from mid-day heat without blocking light. There are many types of ready-made and custom-made window dressings that work well in kitchens.

There are a few points to consider as you make your selection. If you have several windows, you may want coverings that let you modulate light throughout the day. If you have only one window or a small window, try a style that maximises natural light.

The location of the window may also affect your selection. Avoid materials that can catch on fire or show grease and food stains. If windows are over the sink, a treatment that covers the top half of the window will avoid splatters. Also consider how easy the window coverings will be to clean, washable fabric, vinyl blinds and shutters are easy to clean whereas formal curtains with linings or styles with trim may need to be dry cleaned.

To make things a little easier, here at The Kitchen Partners, Bristol, we’ve put together a few ideas for you to consider when planning your custom designed kitchen

Shutters

Shutters add architectural interest to a room. They can cover the entire length of the window or just the bottom half. The louvers modulate incoming light and heat as well as provide privacy. Wooden shutters can be varnished or oiled to bring out the beauty of the wood. However, often they are painted to complement the colours of cabinets or other elements of the room. Painted shutters are easy to clean. Simply wipe them with a damp cloth.

Blinds

Blinds come in a wide range of fabrics, colours and patterns that can blend into your new Kitchen scheme os stand out. They work well over messy work areas because they can be rolled up out of the way when needed. During the heat of the day, pull them down to block sunlight. At night, they protect privacy. The clean lines complement modern design styles but work well with any décor. They modulate light and are available in easy-to-clean materials. Styles such as Roman blinds and curtains are appealing because they’ll introduce softness to a space that’s filled with hard materials. 

Café Kitchen Curtains

Café curtains are a classic style for kitchens. Café curtains work with many decorative schemes, including country, casual and industrial. They are often hung in the lower half of a window providing privacy without blocking light. Traditionally they are checked suiting a more traditional style or rustic country kitchen look but they can be made of any pattern and material. For a formal look, try a neutral, solid colour that complements the colours of the room. Dress them up with metal hooks and a matching rod, such as stainless steel, nickel or brass. For a romantic look, try lace or sheers.

Undressed

If your windows are double-glazed, if the view of your garden, both in daytime and lit at night, is fantastic, and if you’re not overlooked, why not leave your kitchen windows undressed? In a period room with lots of decorative detail you can easily get away with this. In a contemporary room with lots of hard surfaces, beware of the echo and consider adding a rug and some soft furnishings to absorb sound.

Whatever your preference, we’re sure we will be able to help you find the right solution for you!

Have a great weekend

Clinton and Fiona

Not Sure What To Do With Ripe Bananas?

Not Sure What To Do With Ripe Bananas?

I don’t know about you but every week we buy a bunch of green bananas with the intention of eating them as they ripen yet every week we blink twice, and they’re all verging on black. As much as we love classic banana bread, its good to have a few more recipes up your sleeve to transform black bananas into something tasty. Here at the Kitchen Partners we’ve put together three recipes to inspire your taste buds

1. Nigel Slater’s Black Banana Cake

Ingredients

  • 175g/6oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 175g/6oz sugar (half light muscovado, half golden caster)
  • 75g/2½oz hazelnuts
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 175g/6oz self-raising flour
  • 2 very ripe bananas (about 250g/9oz total weight)
  • drop vanilla extract
  • 175g/6oz good-quality dark or milk chocolate chips
  • a little demerara sugar

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C/150C Fan/Gas 3. Line the base and sides of a 20x12cm/8x5in loaf tin with baking paper.
  2. Beat the butter and sugars until light and coffee coloured. This is best achieved in a food mixer.
  3. Toast the hazelnuts, rub them in a tea towel to remove their skins, then grind quite finely. Slowly add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture, then mix in the toasted ground hazelnuts and self-raising flour.
  4. Peel the bananas and chop them into small pieces. Gently fold the vanilla extract, bananas and chocolate chips into the cake mixture, turning gently and taking care not to overmix.
  5. Scoop the cake batter into the prepared loaf tin. Dust with a little demerara sugar. Bake for between 1 hour and 1 hour 10 minutes, covering the cake with foil if the top starts to darken too quickly

2. James Martin Caramel banana shortbread

Ingredients

For the caramel

  • 200g/7oz unsalted butter
  • 100g/7oz caster sugar
  • 2 x 400g/14oz cans condensed milk

For the shortbread

  • 250g/8¾oz unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus an extra spoonful
  • 150g/5¼oz caster sugar
  • 150g/5¼oz cornflour
  • 300g/10½oz plain flour
  • 4 large bananas, peeled and sliced

To serve

  • caramel sauce
  • banana ice cream
  • fresh mint

Method

  1. For the caramel, place the butter and sugar into a non-stick pan over a low heat, stirring until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Add the condensed milk and slowly bring to the boil, stirring continuously, to make the caramel. As soon as the mixture thickens and begins to smell of caramel, remove from the heat.
  2. For the shortbread, preheat the oven to 170C/340F/Gas 3.
  3. Cream the butter with the sugar in a large bowl until it is light and fluffy. Sift the cornflour and plain flour into the bowl. Mix and gently knead the dough until it comes together in a ball.
  4. Line a 20cm/8in x 30cm/12in baking tin with non-stick baking parchment. Roll out two-thirds of the dough to fit the tin and lay it inside, pressing it neatly into the edges.
  5. Spread three quarters of the condensed-milk caramel evenly over the base (the rest will keep in a covered bowl in the fridge for up to two weeks). Lay the banana slices over the caramel and then crumble the remaining third of the dough over the top.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes. The caramel should have bubbled up a little among the dough and the top of the shortbread should be golden-brown. Leave it to cool in the tin for five minutes before cutting it into squares. Allow to cool completely before removing from the tin.
  7. To serve, reheat the shortbread squares. Serve with banana ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce. Decorate with a sprig of fresh mint.

3. Paul A Young’s Banana and chocolate brownie pudding

Ingredients

For the rum and raisin sauce

  • 100g/3½oz raisins (or sultanas)
  • 50ml/2fl oz rum (or brandy or whisky)
  • 100g/3½oz salted butter
  • 100g/3½oz unrefined light muscovado sugar (or soft brown sugar)
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 100g/3½oz double cream

For the banana chocolate brownie pudding

  • 100g/3½oz unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 250g/9oz unrefined caster sugar (or any sugar you have)
  • 75g/2¾oz golden syrup (or honey or maple syrup)
  • 275g/9¾oz dark chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids, (or any chocolate you have) broken into small pieces
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 2 or 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 70g/2½oz plain flour

Method

  1. To make the sauce, soak the raisins in the rum in a small bowl for 2–3 hours.
  2. To make the pudding, preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5. Grease a 15x10cm/6x4in baking dish or four individual pudding basins.
  3. Melt the butter, sugar and syrup in saucepan until bubbling. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate and mix well until melted. Add the eggs, beat well until smooth and then add the bananas. Add the flour and mix well. Pour the mixture into the baking dish and bake for 25–30 minutes. It should still have some wobble when it comes out of the oven.
  4. To continue making the sauce, bring the butter, sugar and salt to a simmer in a small saucepan and cook for 2 minutes. Take off the heat, add the cream and mix well. Stir in the rum and raisins. While the sauce is warm, pour over the pudding and leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Have a great weekend

Clinton and Fiona

Kitchen Trends 2020

Kitchen Trends 2020

Bolder Colours

While the all-white kitchen will probably never go out of style, there are lots of new design trends for 2020 that will make you equally happy.  Think darker colours, whether it’s a darker shade of grey or a dark blue, bold colours are taking centre stage in 2020. Maybe you’ve already carefully chosen every appliance, picked out each piece of hardware, and planned your custom designed kitchen to a T, but there are ways to dip your toes into the world of colour without messing up your rustic farmhouse kitchen aesthetic. On the colour front, whether it’s a full kitchen, an island accent, some colourful appliances or painted walls, darker bolder colours are the way forward.

Less is More

Concealed gadgets  – While there will be an abundance of tech and new gadgets in our kitchens in 2020, we don’t want to necessarily see them. The appetite for discreet storage is expected to grow, streamlined finishes and integrated appliances are the trend. From simple cabinetry to hide a fridge or dishwasher, a storage design that minimises counter top small appliances to a hidden station which keeps the kettle and toaster from cluttering the worktop. By taking out unnecessary and fussy elements such as handles or even wall units to make the space look cleaner and less cluttered, an overall sense of less is more is key.

Smart Technology

It’s important to think about technology and how much or how little you want at the very start of your new custom designed kitchen project. 2020 is revolutionising the way you communicate wirelessly with your modern kitchen appliances. Many are being manufactured with an included feature, allowing you to control everything from the comfort of your smartphone. New technology, not only enables you to remotely access your appliances or link your extractor to your hood, they also enable you get remote diagnostics and even repairs. Taps are now available with sensors to eliminate the need to touch the lever, volume control taps that dispense accurate amounts of water to avoid wastage and integrated hot, cold, boiled, chilled and even sparkling water!

Have a great weekend

Clinton and Fiona

Foods that you may be storing Incorrectly

Foods that you may be storing Incorrectly

How did you find food storage in the midst of lockdown, and did you find yourself emptying your fridge and cupboards of rotten food all too often?

Well you might be making some common food storage mistakes, and here at the Kitchen Partners we’ve put together a list of some common foods that you might not realise don’t all belong in the fridge. Correct storage will help to prolong the life of your food, keep it fresh and, as a result, save a bunch of money at the supermarket!

Potatoes

While many people have always stored potatoes in the refrigerator, this can actually cause them to become mushy and bruised quicker than if they were kept at room temperature. The pantry or any kitchen cupboard is the best place to store unpeeled potatoes. Keeping them away from excessive heat, cold and sunlight will prolong the freshness of your potatoes and prevent bruising.

Bread

Many people believe that putting bread loaves in the fridge can prolong freshness, however this can actually cause bread to get stale faster because it crystallises the starch molecules. Keeping it in a covered place at room temperature will keep your bread softer longer.

Avocados

The misconception is that avocados, like other produce, should be stored in a refrigerator to prevent over-ripening. The truth is this can actually prevent avocados from getting fully ripened, keeping them too firm. To make sure you get a perfectly creamy avocado, it is best to keep avocados out on a counter or shelf until the outside feels slightly tender.

Cucumbers

It seems that cucumbers are susceptible to cold injury if held more than 3 days at temperatures lower than 50F/10C. Signs of cold injury are wateriness, pitting on the outside and accelerated decay Cucumbers are also sensitive to ethylene gas, which is put off by some ripening fruits and vegetables. So for longest storage, don’t keep your cumbers near melons, tomatoes or bananas.

Onions

Rather than keeping whole, unpeeled onions on the counter or in the refrigerator, which many homeowners do, you should instead store them in a mesh bag in a cool and dry place, such as a pantry or even in an unfinished basement. Too much moisture will cause onions to sprout and rot quickly.

Herbs

If you store your fresh herbs in the fridge in a twisted-shut plastic produce bag from the grocery store, you’re doing it all wrong! For that sharp herb flavour, keep your herbs dry and at room temperature. Wrapping them in a paper towel and keeping them in a plastic bag on the counter is the best way to store your fresh herbs

Have a great weekend

Clinton and Fiona