Little things you can do to refresh your kitchen

Little things you can do to refresh your kitchen

If you’ve had a lengthy relationship with your kitchen, chances are you’ve lived through a number of things together – and things may begin to seem a little stale. So perhaps it’s time to give your kitchen a breath of fresh air. No, it doesn’t mean you have to redo everything from scratch, and no, you don’t have to break your bank for it. If you’ve been wanting to refresh your kitchen, all you have to do is think strategically and creatively about making it both functional and inspiring.

Open shelving in a kitchen diner

Open up more space

Reducing a portion of your upper cabinetry may make a huge difference in the look of your kitchen. It will appear lighter, more contemporary and perhaps more practical. Open shelves are an excellent way to show off stacks of your favourite crockery, as well as cookbooks, serving plates and pots of fresh herbs. This arrangement may be more convenient for you to grab and replace dishes where they belong.

Large wall art beside an upstairs kitchen

Get pretty artworks to hang on the wall

Though a kitchen may be a place where you cook on a daily basis, it could also be a place where you display art that lifts your cooking spirits. It may not seem like the most obvious place to exhibit art, but you should take full advantage of all that good wall space. Create a feature wall with a collection of artworks on a culinary theme, or you could instead hang some family portraits to give it an extra personal touch.

Black kitchen sink & tap with solid wood worktops and splashbacks

Replace the sink and tap

A new sink and tap may give a weary kitchen a new lease on life. Although traditional stainless-steel sinks are popular in contemporary houses, sinks come in various designs, colours and materials which give you even more tap choices. Unless you’re also changing your counter-tops, you’ll be limited by the size of your current sink; so identify something that fits the available space and décor. A new sink and tap may be surprisingly economical compared to other changes, especially if you’re able to install them yourself.

cooktop integrated into white stone worktop

Install a new cooktop

A stylish and efficient cooktop may completely transform the look of your kitchen. Remodelling your cooktop is also a simple and efficient method to breathe new life into this area. The most cost-effective option is to get an electrical cooktop induction installed. Consider including accessories such as heat rods that can be installed into the surface of the worktop for a permanent pan stand. If you have extra cash to spend, you could also consider getting a new microwave to complete the look.

Shiny brass knobs on grey kitchen drawers

Upgrade your hardware

Add a new look to your kitchen by upgrading your old knobs and drawer handles with modern or antique hardware. You can swiftly turn old doors into new-looking cabinets in just a few minutes. Another thing to note, the finish of your sink and appliances doesn’t have to match the hardware. This is because mixing materials in your kitchen décor, such as brass handles with black equipment, gives visual intrigue.

You use the drawer pulls and cabinet handles multiple times per day. So, for a speedy set-up, choose a design that’s simple to clean and fits the drilling length (the space between drill holes) of the previous hardware. To update the appearance, fill in the holes and drill new ones if necessary. Look for hardware with a design that’s both robust and attractive. Ornate designs may snag on loose clothing, whereas ones that are too small may be difficult to grasp and manoeuvre.

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Price Points: Copper baths

Copper baths

Even though we did a bit of a quick bathroom refurb when we first moved into our cottage, we always knew it was never going to be the finished article. I really wanted to install a power shower; at the time, we didn’t know whether we had the proper plumbing in place that would allow it. Luckily, a heating engineer has since told us that we do. Also, I’d like an update on the plain white acrylic bath that we inherited. That’s why I’ve been looking around at smallish copper baths.

After much online research, there didn’t seem to be a huge discrepancy in price; they’re all between £2,000 and £3,000.

The ‘Japanese’ tub (example #1) is based on the country’s furo. You sit in it rather than recline and it’s traditionally straight-sided and made from wood. This, of the three choices we’ve short-listed above, is probably the best option for us. Our bathroom is compact, to say the least; so the smaller the bath, the better. It may even give us the option of installing a separate shower cubicle.

Copper is a wonderful material to use for a bath tub. Firstly, it’s a great conductor of heat; meaning bath water stays hot for longer. I enjoy a really long soak with a book and/or glass of wine – so I won’t need to top up when the temperature gets too low.

Secondly, it’s an antimicrobal material. Apparently, it ‘contact kills’ 99% of harmful bacteria, which means you don’t need to use harmful chemicals to keep it clean.

Lastly, it’s a beautiful looking metal. It looks warm and inviting and, as patina develops with use, it gets even more attractive.

  1. Japanese copper soaking tub (121 x 81 x 92cm): £2,220.74, Etsy
  2. Single slipper hammered clawfoot copper tub / popup bath, waste included (172.72 x 81.28 x 71.12 [one end] 48.26cm [other end]): £2,299.00, eBay
  3. BC Designs boat free-standing bath, copper (150 x 72.5cm): £2,656.25, Plumbworld

shop copper baths

BC Designs boat free-standing bath, copper
BC Designs boat free-standing bath, copper
£2,656.25
Single slipper hammered clawfoot copper tub / popup bath
Single slipper hammered clawfoot copper tub / popup bath
£2,299.00
Japanese copper soaking tub
Japanese copper soaking tub
£2,220.74
BC Designs boat free-standing bath, copper
BC Designs boat free-standing bath, copper
£2,656.25
Single slipper hammered clawfoot copper tub / popup bath
Single slipper hammered clawfoot copper tub / popup bath
£2,299.00
Japanese copper soaking tub
Japanese copper soaking tub
£2,220.74
BC Designs boat free-standing bath, copper
BC Designs boat free-standing bath, copper
£2,656.25
Single slipper hammered clawfoot copper tub / popup bath
Single slipper hammered clawfoot copper tub / popup bath
£2,299.00
Japanese copper soaking tub
Japanese copper soaking tub
£2,220.74
BC Designs boat free-standing bath, copper
BC Designs boat free-standing bath, copper
£2,656.25
Single slipper hammered clawfoot copper tub / popup bath
Single slipper hammered clawfoot copper tub / popup bath
£2,299.00
Japanese copper soaking tub
Japanese copper soaking tub
£2,220.74
BC Designs boat free-standing bath, copper
BC Designs boat free-standing bath, copper
£2,656.25
Single slipper hammered clawfoot copper tub / popup bath
Single slipper hammered clawfoot copper tub / popup bath
£2,299.00
Japanese copper soaking tub
Japanese copper soaking tub
£2,220.74

7 items that should be added to your Christmas wishlist

7 items that should be added to your Christmas wishlist

Gadgets can make life more enjoyable. They not only give people new fun things to play with, but they also improve their daily lives in ways people could not imagine before.

Here are 7 items that you should be adding to your Christmas wishlist this year…

Diffuser iconcredit

1. Mist maker diffuser

Essential oils have numerous health benefits, but not everyone enjoys diffusing them using candles or electric heaters. The mist maker is a safe alternative for homes with pets and kids since it uses water instead of fire to distribute essential oils throughout your room. It also has an ultrasonic ionizing filter that breaks down molecules into micro-sized particles, which means more medicinal properties end up in the air for inhalation!

Hot milk frother iconcredit

2. Automatic milk frother

Ever wake up with an intense craving for a creamy latte or cappuccino? With the automatic milk frother, you can buy whole beans and grind them right before making each cup of coffee, so it’s as fresh as possible. Then, simply place the beans in the hopper, choose between single or double shots of espresso, pour in whole or skimmed milk (or soy/almond/coconut milk if you’re vegan or lactose intolerant), press start and watch it go.

Washer-dryer iconcredit

3. Steam washer & dryer

Two appliances, the steam washer and dryer, are making their way into homes across the globe. These high-efficiency washing machines take much less time than traditional washers to wash clothes. In addition, they use about 45% less water than conventional top-loaders in addition to electricity for heat.

Just remember, as with every dryer, the machine must be maintained and cleaned with dryer vent cleaning. The results are comparable to a front loader, but without having to deal with an agitator in the centre of your clothes. Also, this machine is great if you have sensitive skin because it uses no harsh chemicals or perfumes that can irritate sensitive skin areas like the underarms or neckline, unlike many other detergents.

Gas cooker iconcredit

4. Gas cooker

A gas stove will allow your cooking to be much speedier as opposed to using an electric stove which takes longer because of the resistance in electricity and also, if you’ve ever used a gas cooker, there’s something extremely satisfying about cooking with a naked flame. But, of course, the price for this will vary because, again, it depends on the brand and model.

Coffee machine iconcredit

5. Coffee machine

A coffee machine is always a great idea for Christmas, and if you think about it, it’s something that everyone needs, especially in the morning when they’re half asleep and struggling to function.

Coffee grinder iconcredit

6. Coffee grinder

This product isn’t necessary as an everyday thing, but it is a great idea for special occasions such as Christmas. The price varies, but they can get pretty pricey if you’re looking for an electric one that grinds your coffee beans automatically.

Blender iconcredit

7. Blender

Blenders are one of those things that you really need if you like smoothies or milkshakes, or baby food! They’re a great investment because they usually last a very long time, and they should be one of the items that last for many years in your kitchen as they should be something that is used daily without fail.

[disclosure*]

Auction alert: René Lalique and his Contemporaries

René Lalique Escargot electric blue glass vase

The René Lalique and his Contemporaries sale is being held by Kingham Auctioneers in the market town of Moreton-in-Marsh in the Cotswolds. The auction takes place on Thursday 9th December, starting at 1pm.

On our web shop, we tend to concentrate on art glass from the mid-20th century period. However, sometimes work from other, usually earlier, periods is so wonderful, we just can’t resist. In fact, we featured Lalique previously in one of our Designer Desire posts.

The sale may be René Lalique and his Contemporaries, however, we’ve chosen to concentrate only on some of the pieces by the great man himself. The items on offer at this auction are of the highest quality. The forms, the craftsmanship, the colours, the patterns and the textures are simply scrumptious!

You can bid in the room on the day of the sale, leave commission bids on the books or reserve a telephone line. The buyer’s premium rates at this auction house are as follows:

  • 23% + VAT on the first £200,000 of the hammer price
  • 18% + VAT on the excess of £200,001 and up to £1,000,000
  • 15% + VAT on the excess of £1,000,001

You may also bid, either beforehand or live, via the following online bidding platforms:

Bison glass paperweight

Lot 10: Bison glass paperweight
Model 1196, designed circa 1931, polished and frosted, etched mark R Lalique, France, 13cm long
Estimate: £200 – £300

Escargot electric blue glass vase

Lot 11: Escargot electric blue glass vase
Model 931, designed circa 1920, frosted, moulded mark R Lalique, incised Lalique, 21.3cm high
Estimate: £6,000 – £8,000

Violettes opalescent glass vase

Lot 25: Violettes opalescent glass vase
Model 930, designed circa 1921, polished and frosted with blue staining, wheel engraved mark R Lalique, France, incised No 930, 15.8cm high
Estimate: £2,800 – £3,500

Tete D'Aigle black glass seal

Lot 36: Tete D’Aigle black glass seal
Model 175, designed circa 1911, frosted and polished, with white staining, incised mark R Lalique, 7.7cm long
Estimate: £800 – £1,200

Marisa opalescent glass vase

Lot 38: Marisa opalescent glass vase
Model 1002, designed circa 1927, frosted, polished and blue stained, incised marks R Lalique France No1002, 23.7cm high
Estimate: £5,000 – £6,000

Lys opalescent glass bowl

Lot 45: Lys opalescent glass bowl
Model 382, designed circa 1924, polished and frosted, wheel engraved mark R Lalique France, 24cm diameter
Estimate: £1,000 – £1,500

René Lalique Bahia amber glass lemonade jug or pitcher

Lot 56: Bahia amber glass lemonade jug or pitcher
Model 3179, designed circa 1931, polished and frosted, etched mark R Lalique, 23cm high
Estimate: £1,000 – £1,500

Moissac yellow amber glass vase

Lot 67: Moissac yellow amber glass vase
Model 992, designed circa 1927, frosted and polished, wheel engraved mark R Lalique France, 13cm high
Estimate: £400 – £600

Graines opalescent glass vase

Lot 74: Graines opalescent glass vase
Model 1042, designed circa 1930, polished and blue stained, etched mark R Lalique France, 19.5cm high
Estimate: £1,600 – £2,000

Camille electric blue glass perfume bottle

Lot 78: Camille electric blue glass perfume bottle
Model 516, designed circa 1927, frosted, moulded mark R Lalique, France and incised R Lalique France No516, 6cm high
Estimate: £500 – £700

The complete guide to window coverings and what you need to know when designing an interior space

The complete guide to window coverings and what you need to know when designing an interior space

Window treatments are more than just curtains and blinds. They’re a major design element of your home, providing privacy and insulation.

Window treatments are one of the most important aspects of design in your home. It’s likely that if you don’t have window coverings, you don’t have beautiful rooms. There are many types of window coverings, including Luxaflex Window Covering Products, to consider when shopping for new ones – depending on what you need them for and if they need to be decorative, functional or both.

Luxurious caramel coloured drapes

Window treatment ideas for different interior styles

Each interior style has a different window treatment style. A modern interior design style usually features clean lines and a minimalistic approach to window treatments. You can keep it simple with a light or dark colour, vertical or horizontal stripes on blinds or minimal patterns. A farmhouse interior design style is more traditional and often features rustic wood furniture, crafty wall art and patchwork throws. The options for window treatments are endless but with this style, many home-owners tend to go for heavy, upholstery fabrics in dark and rich colours.

The coastal home design style mixes a variety of different elements from the past and the present into one coastal décor that is fresh and inviting. Coastal décor can be created using textures such as linen or sheer gauze, striped fabric blind, and metallic accents like driftwood or shells on mirrors and drawer handles.

White venetian blinds in a home office

Window treatments for different spaces

Keep in mind that window coverings are not created equally. Depending on the space you have, you may want to have a different style of window treatment. For example, if your bedroom is on the east side of your house with morning sun coming in, you’d want blackout blinds for more privacy and light control. If it’s on the west side with late afternoon sun coming through, you may prefer sheer curtains and blinds that open wide to let in more light and keep it cooler indoors during the evening hours.

There is an array of factors that go into choosing the right window coverings for your home. The two most important factors that should be considered are style and functionality.

In order to create a cohesive style throughout your home, it may be best to choose the same type of window coverings for each room in your home. On the other hand, you might want to mix up styles in order to add a little more variety and personality to a space.

If you have pets or kids, you should also consider how easy it is to clean different types of window covering material.

As you’ve walked through each step of the process, you’ve learned more about your options and how they might be used in your home.

One of the most important things to consider is how light will enter your home. The more light, the happier you’ll be during the day and, when it’s time to sleep at night, the less light, the better you’ll generally sleep.

[disclosure*]

Win a £50 voucher to spend at The Clean Market

Win a £50 voucher to spend at The Clean Market

November was my birthday month; another year older. Where is the time going? Soon, it will be Christmas – and just a week after that, we’re into 2022!

A new month also means that we have a brand new competition for you to enter. This December, we’ve linked up with The Clean Market to offer one UK-based reader a £50 voucher to spend in their web shop.

Selection of sandwich boxes made from recycled plastic

The Clean Market is an eco-friendly online store that offers sustainable product to your daily life. It’s their mission to:

…find alternative sustainable products and reduce daily waste to zero…

Aluminium food and drink vacuum flasks

They have a terrific array of goods that are attractive, practical and gentle on the planet; from natural toiletries and cosmetics to pet paraphernalia, baby supplies to gift ideas.

For instance, we’re really taken with their aluminium food and drink vacuum flasks (shown above). We do a lot of walking in the great outdoors, and these filled with ice water or hot coffee and perhaps some hearty soup are ideal for a pit stop.

Speaking of walking and hiking, The Clean Market also stock a range of backpacks for men & women in all sorts of colours, suitable for city or countryside pursuits. The best bit is that they’re made from recycled materials – up to 36 PET plastic bottles in each of the large-sized ones!

Variety of handmade soaps in an aluminium tin

To be in with the chance of winning the £50 voucher, simply comment saying what you’re looking forward to in 2022. Good luck folks… and Merry Christmas! xx

£50 voucher to spend at The Clean Market

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Get their look: Take a look in the mirror

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Hayley Lees | Interiors (@houseofhaylees)

Look into the mirror! That’s about as much as I’m currently prepared to acknowledge the imminent arrival of Christmas. The tiniest glimpse of the apex of a Christmas tree is reflected and an almost imperceptible ‘Merry Christmas’ plaque and garland draped over the top of the mirror.

I don’t know why, I’m just not ready for Christmas yet, although it’s less than a month away. Perhaps it’s COVID fatigue or maybe it’s because last Christmas feels like it was only 6 months ago.

Anyway enough of my Scrooge-like musings.  Isn’t this room set up lovely? I envy the huge wall space to hang such a magnificent mirror! And the mirror is doing what mirrors do best – bouncing jillions of lumens of light from the big bay window on to that dark, dramatic wall.

I’m also jealous of that pristine, white carpet; if that was laid in our house, it would be ruined by muddy paws and boots in an instant! It does a great job, along with the lofty, white-painted ceiling, of lightening and expanding the room.

Get their look

Tall dried pampas grass
Tall dried pampas grass
Lamp table
Lamp table
Velvet fox cushion cover
Velvet fox cushion cover
Large 2-seater Salisbury sofa
Large 2-seater Salisbury sofa
NYMÖ lamp shade
NYMÖ lamp shade
Large gilt mirror
Large gilt mirror
Tall dried pampas grass
Tall dried pampas grass
Lamp table
Lamp table
Velvet fox cushion cover
Velvet fox cushion cover
Large 2-seater Salisbury sofa
Large 2-seater Salisbury sofa
NYMÖ lamp shade
NYMÖ lamp shade
Large gilt mirror
Large gilt mirror
Tall dried pampas grass
Tall dried pampas grass
Lamp table
Lamp table
Velvet fox cushion cover
Velvet fox cushion cover
Large 2-seater Salisbury sofa
Large 2-seater Salisbury sofa
NYMÖ lamp shade
NYMÖ lamp shade
Large gilt mirror
Large gilt mirror