Kitchen Design Secrets

Kitchen Design Secrets

Are you dreaming of a new kitchen but don’t know where to start?
Do you comb through images in glossy interior magazines and wonder how everything looks so perfectly suited to that space and the owner?
Follow my designer tips to create your ideal kitchen, with your unique ‘personal style DNA’

Designing with Hazel Boyd Interiors.
I produce all my kitchen designs in CAD software, where you can see your home come to life with 3d colour rendered visuals. I begin with several layout options, to really drill down the best solutions. I adapt this into one final layout to deliver a design that is perfectly customised for you. Then I synchronise everything back to your
‘Personal Style DNA’
Giving you a clear vision of your new kitchen and how this works with the adjacent space.

Tip 1. It’s Never Too Early to Start Your Design
Firstly, if you are designing ‘off plan’ for a new build or extension get an idea of the basic kitchen layout – this can be finalised later and is an ideal time to get your designer involved.  Why?  There is possibly a need to move walls on the plan to achieve the best solution. Identifying this at the early stages, before construction drawings are produced, can save time and extra costs involved in producing a new set of plans. I work with your architect and adapt their plans to include our kitchen concept.

Tip 2. Choosing Your Cabinets
Look inside for quality hardware, such as Blum, for cabinet fittings and storage. It’s worth spending a bit more for the latest storage solutions to make sure your kitchen cabinets provide versatility and will stand the test of time. Check out the Space Tower {example}, a must in every new kitchen and looks amazing too! Many good quality British kitchens supply German hardware and storage (such as Blum) as standard, with the carcasses and doors being made in the UK.  Another nice touch, which can really make a design statement is to choose a contrasting colour for the inside of the cabinets.  Whether you’re looking for a contemporary or classic design, it’s a great time to be supporting our British manufacturers.  Check out Crown Imperial for a great choice of designs.

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Tip 3. Develop Your Layout
So now you have a style in mind, let’s talk about layout.  It’s great if you have a good idea of the layout that will work for you, but don’t be tempted to accept one layout as the only solution, even if you feel like you need a lay down and a G&T after 3 hours in a kitchen showroom.  This is THE one room where only after considering several different layouts, you will know when it is right. If it feels like you’re compromising, then you probably are!   Sketch out a few different layouts yourself, you may be pleasantly surprised at your own creativity.

Tip 4. Selecting Your Ideal Appliances
It’s important that you remember what type of cook you are (or aspire to be), so your appliances work best for you.  Consider what your cooking habits are now and how they might change when you have your dream kitchen. If cleaning an oven evokes a feeling of despair, then a pyrolytic oven could be your saviour. Combi ovens now give you a choice of steamer or microwave options. Induction is the ‘go to’ hob technology which I’m a huge advocate of, but as an aspiring chef, you may want to include additional flexibility, such as a gas wok plate or a Teppanyaki grill. The best news here is you can have it all! Brands such as Neff offer free demo days at showrooms or cookery schools, so if you’re really serious about finding out what is available, book yourself onto a free demo day to learn about the latest appliance technologies to inform and refine your selection.

Tip 5. Your Personal Style DNA
Your own ‘personal style DNA’ will now start to come into play, an exciting stage of any project! Mix your surfaces finishes to create interest. Material colours and textures for worktops, walls, tiles and flooring need to complement your cabinet finishes.  With open plan designs you will also want to have a clear synergy within the entire space. Don’t be afraid to look at how you can incorporate those quirky tiles you fell in love with into your design, let your personality shine through.

Tip 6. Layered Lighting
Lighting should be considered at the early stage so electrical cabling can be planned in. You will need ambient lighting to light up the whole space and task lighting in your food prep and cooking areas. Get creative with Decorative lighting over an island, peninsular or a feature pendant in the dining area, use LED stripe lighting to add interest. Layer your lighting, it’s all about flexibility here and further develops your own ‘personal style DNA’.

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Tip 7. Housekeeping
Now let’s talk about a bit of ‘housekeeping’. Not always the most exciting subject, but a lot more rewarding than you may first believe. How many cupboards do you REALLY need? The key word here is ‘Purge’. In my CAD designer world this is where my model starts ‘sticking’, slowing down and I realise I have too much ‘stuff’ in my model for it to perform efficiently and give me the best results, so I purge all unused items.  And guess what? It’s completely relatable to your kitchen storage capacity.  All that equipment, rusty and dented cake tins, cracked serving dishes and the fondue set from the Eighties, that you’re sure will come in handy one day.  It won’t. Do you really want to put all that stuff back in your new kitchen cabinets? So just have a satisfying purge and make room for your new streamline, efficient kitchen that you just love spending time in. Look at creating a secondary storage space away from the main kitchen, where you can keep bulky items that only get used on the odd occasion.

Tip 8. The Final Personal Touch
My most cherished tip I’ve saved until last, so if you have got this far, then I will let you into a great designer secret! Handle-less kitchens are bang on trend but if this style isn’t for you (or even if it is), let’s look at how we can really personalise your kitchen here.  All kitchen ranges come with various choices of handles which are all very lovely. However, these is an alternative. You can really ‘upgrade’ your kitchen by splashing out on some designer handles, you know the type you see in top notch interior magazines that make everything look so expensive!  This may cost you a few quid more but is a clever way of transforming a standard kitchen into something incredibly unique and special.

So, there we are – I hope that you have enjoyed my insider designer secrets.
Contact me to find out more.

‘Hazel Boyd Interiors. Designing together to discover your inner unique style and aspirations. So much to love, you’ll want to stay in.’

Working From Home

Working From Home

The last two weeks have seen unprecedented changes to many peoples working environment, with a large section of the British workforce being required to work from home.   Any change in our normal routine can be a stressful time and currently the changes have been so considerable, it can become overwhelming.  Setting up a workspace at home would usually take some planning and this situation being thrown upon us at short notice may not be to everyone’s liking!  First of all, you no longer have your colleagues around you so you may feel isolated and unproductive.  You may struggle to adapt to working with the added noise and activity around you whilst all the family are confined to the home.  TV, children, partners and pets can all cause distractions making it difficult to concentrate on the work in hand.  On top of this, you may be worried about elderly parents or family members who can’t be with you and suddenly your whole life is disrupted.  You may be on furlough leave, in which case, it may be easier to cope with by introducing a new routine and enjoying doing all the jobs around the house you have been meaning to do for – forever!

However, for those of us that need to adjust to working from home, it’s worthwhile taking a bit of time to create your own space to continue doing your job.  And let’s face it, you are part of the bigger picture that will keep this country going and pull us out of this situation when the time comes to getting back to some sort of normality.

Some people may think that interior design is all about making your home pretty with wallpaper and cushions, but it is so much more than that!  The way we use and move around our space and the psychological impact of our surrounding is so important to our personal well-being.  As an interior designer I see myself as a problem solver, and I personally, much like many of our Great British public at the moment, want to utilise my skills and experience to help others when we all need to pull together to make everyone’s live more tolerable in these times of restrictions and life changing moments.  So let’s push the reset button and make some positive steps towards working from home.

Tip 1.  Allocate a day to get back on track and put your ‘working from home’ plan into action.   Find a place in the home where you can work uninterrupted for a set time each day.   This could be a spare room, a table within another room or the obligatory junk room.  Even a shed or garage!  The most important thing here is to make it you own space, whether that is for a set time each day or somewhere you can leave each night and shut the door.

Tip 2.  Get to work on surrounding yourself with all the items you need to perform your job without having to leave your desk, pretty much as it would be at work!  Clear the space of unuseful stuff if, even if this means putting things into storage boxes or having a good sort out to rid yourself of this junk FOREVER!  Don’t put it in to landfill, find a local charity and save it for them until a time when they are able to take donations or offer it as freebies as there are a lot of families who can do with help right now (being mindful of safe distancing and contamination).

Tip 3.  So hopefully now you will have a relatively clear space and you can concentrate on creating your home office.  If need be, find some paint to freshen up the space, white is great for this purpose.  This may seem a bit of a hard slog, but it will be well worth it, especially as we may be on lock-down for up to six months.  Create a desk using what you have whether this be a dining, garden table or dressing table.  Any books or ornaments should already be out of sight (tip 1) and use space on shelves or bookcases to house your files or filing boxes.  Have a group picture of work colleagues rather than family, that can keep you motivated through the day (this is the reverse of having family photos on your desk at work and will remind you of what you are working to achieve).  If you are working within a family space follow make sure you put all your work-related files, laptop, etc. out of sight when you’ve finished work.

Tip 4.  Use colour and image psychology.  This is less daunting than you may think.  Use colours and images of nature to make you feel connected to the world, even though your world feels a lot different right now.  Sky Blue, Sea Green and Sunshine Yellow will keep you uplifted and remind you of the things in life that we really appreciate. this will have an immediate effect on your mood as we all feel shut in at the moment.  Be creative.  Print a picture you like from the internet, or your company mission statement and put it in a frame.  Move pictures and plants from other rooms.  Buy growing herbs on your supermarket visit and sit them on your windowsill. There are so many ways to improvise with a bit of imagination (and who couldn’t do with that right now!)

Tip 5.  It’s likely that you can reduce your working hours to a few hours a day as less demands are put upon us.  Cram this in, whatever is the best time of the day FOR YOU, we all work better at our peak time, so restriction is the key to remaining productive.  This will free up your time to get on with the important things in life, like taking time to exercise once a day, spend time with your family, read a book, learn a language, catch up on boxsets.  All those things we long to do… If only we had the time?!!