Wine Storage

Wine Storage

It’s 2018 and we can all be the sommeliers that we try to be in restaurants. Gone are the days when if you didn’t have a cellar, you couldn’t house wine at the right temperature. With temperature and humidity fluctuations being wines worst enemy. Controlling these are the only way to really look after your wine well.  Improvements in technology now allow for the average person to actually store wine in better conditions than the cellar.

 

For the recommended optimum temperatures:

  • 5° – 18.5° for red
  • 10° – 15° for white
  • 7° – 9.5° for champagne and sparkling wine

 

The options available for the home cater for everyone. From those who have the odd glass on special occasions to those who wine tour in Argentina annually. The possibilities also allow for all size restraints. For the really aspirational, there are options for completely controlled wine rooms. Partitions for each kind of wine, space for tasting, storing the correct glasses, and of course, presenting your most prized bottles of legendary vintages front and centre.

For those without that amount of space, there are full height larder style wine units. Similar to what you might have as your fridge at home. These can hold around 90-140 bottles and regulate the sections for independent temperature and humidity for each type of wine.

And of course, a lot of us may only have a very slender space, but luckily, wine coolers are available all the way to down to 150mm wide, not dissimilar to the gap used by an integrated spice rack.

So, perhaps all it comes down to is: spices or wine? You decide!

 

Check some of our appliance suppliers here.

wine storage     wine storage     wine storage

Small Kitchen Design Ideas

Small Kitchen Design Ideas

The glossy magazines make it very easy for us to pine for a huge, sweeping, kitchen and living space. They’re full of them aren’t they? Ginormous rooms in gargantuan homes. But there aren’t as many small kitchen design ideas that still look luxurious and practical, with everything you could want from a kitchen. Here are some tips to remember if you don’t have the kitchen the size of a small country:

Storage

Well, it’s the obvious one, but important. With small kitchen design ideas, storage is always at the forefront of the mind.

Le Mans

Since most small kitchens have at least 1 corner, and quite often more, you really don’t want to lose that space. We’ve all had a corner cupboard; stuff gets lost in the dark corner, never to be seen again. The best way to make use of corner space is with Le Mans units (named for their resemblance of the French race track). The soft close shelves swing completely outside of the cupboard, allowing access to the (not so) mysterious depths of the corner cupboard.

Drawers and inserts

Drawers, of course, reduce the space within cabinets as a whole, but very minimally, and make the space a lot more usable. The same applies for cutlery inserts and drawer organisers. They make it easier to have a specific place for everything, and allow you to enjoy having an organised kitchen where everything is accessible.

Tall units

Those with more traditional style kitchens should forego the wide, 2-door open out pantry units you may be tempted by as, although attractive, particularly in Shaker style kitchens, they leave lots of wasted space. Instead, opt for tall units with drawers inside to make the space as accessible as possible. Pocket doors are also an option here. Even though they shave off a few centimetres of space, they allow you to use the contents continuously while cooking without having awkward larder doors getting in your way in a small space. If you immerse yourself in hours of cooking, this is a really practical way to design your kitchen, and may be worth sacrificing that small amount of space for.

Tall units and wall units right up to the ceiling are some of the best ways to make use of vertical space. Depending on your height, some of this space may be tricky to get to and you therefore wouldn’t want daily use object stored there, but for kitchens with very limited space, this is sometimes the only option. It is important to know if it is needed though, because designing with taller units can make a small kitchen seem closed in and heavy, but they do streamline and reduce clutter.

 

Appliances

Combination Ovens

Advances in technology arguably help those with a compact home more than anyone. Rather than having 1 oven and 1 microwave, a lot of small kitchens designs would be better off with 1 oven and 1 microwave combination. A microwave combi has full use as a microwave, a grill and as an oven, a 3-in-1 appliance, which is excellent for space saving.

Taps

When thinking of small kitchen design ideas you may not initially think of taps, but choosing the right tap can create a focal point, and can clear the work surface of a clunky electrical item you might be please to get rid of. Rather than cluttering up your work surface with a kettle, by getting a boiling water tap (all in one mixer), you can have a single tap with hot and cold, chilled, instant boiling water, and even sparkling if you want. Perfect for those of us who drink tea until the cows come home.

Lighting

In small kitchens, any single centimetre of your kitchen must be usable or have a good reason to not be, poor lighting is NOT a good reason, so making sure the right lighting option is in place for each area is important. Task lighting, placed under wall units or open shelving should be a priority and is the responsibility of your kitchen designer. At The Kitchen Partners, we include under cabinet lighting as standard because we know how important this is. No one wants to be casting a shadow with their head while chopping their tomatoes.

Of course, every kitchen is different, and every customer has different needs, so talk through these options with your kitchen designer to get the most out of your small kitchen design. What’s the point of having a new kitchen if you don’t enjoy using it? Even if it isn’t a ginormous size!

Is the kitchen work triangle outdated?

Is the kitchen work triangle outdated?

THE KITCHEN WORK TRIANGLE

When the kitchen work triangle was first developed in the 1940’s, it was with a single cook in mind. A stay at home wife who wanted the kitchen to be as ergonomic as possible. For someone who spent the majority of the day cooking and cleaning, a smaller, compact space was the most practical. Being able to access the sink, oven and food storage (refrigerator) without having to walk to the other side of the room was essential. Therefore, the 3 corners of the kitchen work triangle were born.

With today’s modern life, the kitchen is much more than a kitchen. It’s a social space, a lounge, a dining room, a quick-breakfast-running-out-the-door space. A seat to do homework or have a coffee, and a place to cook, of course.

THE MODERN KITCHEN

Now that the kitchen has transformed into the core of the home, it consequently means more people using the space at one time. If there are 4 people trying to clear up after last night’s party. Or, 2 people making brunch for the rest of the family, things begin to get cramped with a work triangle. For those frequent entertainers, having 2 dishwashers has become an increasingly practical option. 1 near a drinks cupboard, and 1 near the sink for plates. More room to move around, and more space for friends to help out.

The kitchen has adapted to more movement and to the way modern life has changed what we do in our homes. This is evident in the fact that islands have been more than simply de rigueur in most kitchens for quite some time now, but are really the ideal in practicality. If you’ve got the space, an island facilitates the social aspect of a kitchen.

HOW DO YOU USE YOUR SPACE?

More flexibility is certainly apparent, and categorising a kitchen by use of space is now common. For instance, having a separate drinks area, or food preparation area. At the Kitchen Partners, we regularly recommend keeping the island clear of a sink. It tends to end up with dishes or glasses in (even with a dishwasher – or 2!). This leaves the island exclusively for food prep and socialising. And if for the sake of space the hob is on the island, then it’s always a nice way to show off your cooking skills.

While the work triangle seems outdated, designers discuss with people how they use their space every day and which layouts suit each individual person or family. This is why we always aim to come to see a customer’s existing kitchen (if potential construction work permits) to really get a feel for the habits and lifestyle of each customer.

Over time these conversations have led to a much more personalised result for customers, and questions about use of space ultimately inform design.

To see some of the customer kitchens we’ve done, click here.