Modern Kitchen Design

Modern Kitchen Design

Introduction to Modern Kitchen Design

Many elements of kitchen design have changed over the years with different trends coming and going. Modern Kitchen Design sets a new standard for functional, tidy kitchens. Let’s take a closer look at some of the factors that contribute to a modern kitchen.

Drawers

A noticeable different in modern kitchens is the presence of more drawers as opposed to cupboards. It used to be common for a kitchen to only have one bank of drawers but modern kitchen design flips this on it’s head. Now we see kitchens full of drawers.

Drawers provide functional storage granting ease of access to the contents. They also allow for great internal organization.

Handles?

Whilst we do still see plenty of kitchens with handles, many are stepping away from them. Push-to-open and finger-pull options create a tidy modern look. This also removes the hazard of knocking body parts or catching clothing on handles.

Lighting

We’ve probably all worked in a kitchen with one central ceiling light, shadows cast on benchtops by overhead cupboards. Yeah, it’s not optimal. For this reason, modern kitchens are often equipped with under-cabinet LED lighting. This allows you to keep a workspace well-lit. It might seem trivial to some but makes a huge difference for anyone who cooks and to the overall aesthetic of the kitchen!

Benchtops

Modern Kitchen Designs often incorporate a few key elements when it comes to the benchtops specifically. Overhang at the front and ends of a benchtop is less common today. Instead, a shadow-line, which could be from a finger pull recess like in the picture above, creates a much sleeker look.

Matt benchtops are also far more common than gloss benchtops today. Reducing the reflection of surrounding light from the worktop surface gives a tidy aesthetic. The matt surface also looks cleaner, taking far less work to remove finger marks, streaks etc.

Modern kitchen benchtops are often earthly or industrial in appearance. Timber tops, concrete benchtops and honed stones are taking the spot light. Whilst we all know lime green hasn’t been in for decades, things like polished marble are also on their way out.

Doors

Plain works. No, it’s not all plain white gloss doors anymore, but thinks like shaker doors just aren’t necessary for a tidy modern looking kitchen. For country homes and the like, they certainly have their place, but for modern homes, flat panels work a charm.

The ease of cleaning is a clear advantage but there’s also the flexibility. flat panel doors fit with all sorts of styles. Modelling or remodelling your home, may be a lot easier with these doors.

Conclusion? For now.

I’m going to leave it at that for now. Of course, trends come and go, design preferences change and so on. But the elements above are foundational in modern design. If you’d liketo suggest an edit or discuss this topic in detail, please contact us.

If you’re planning a new kitchen, I highly recommend the ‘Matera’ range of laminated benchtops from Polytec which can be viewed here: 

https://www.polytec.com.au/new-matera-range/

New Vanity

New Vanity

My New Vanity

Still on my home improvement quarantine kick, I recently installed a new Vanity in my bathroom. I kept the design simple but effective whilst maximizing storage. A new vanity fit for a family of 4.

The Benchtop

The benchtop is a laminated benchtop from Polytec. I selected ‘Bernini marble’ from their Matera range as I felt this would tie in with the other greys in the room. I also like the Matera finish which resembles honed stone and is fingerprint resistant. The result is a modern and clean looking benchtop.

The Doors

The next selection was the doors. Nothing too exciting here. I utilized Polytec’s ‘Classic White Matt’ melamine. I wanted to keep it neat and modern but also hard-wearing and child-resistant. Classic White Matt was also a very economical option.

The Handles

Once again, simple but effective is key here. The handles are the ‘Dallas D Handle’ from Momo Handles in brushed finish. These are a big seller and an economical choice. One of my favourite common handles on the market.

Internal Hardware

The doors are fitted with ‘Sensys’ hinges from Hettich. These are quality german-engineered concealed hinges with integrated soft-close. They boast a lifetime warranty.

The drawers are also from Hettich. They are ‘Arcitech’ soft-closing drawers, one of the best options on the market in my opinion. The value for money is great and they boast a 40Kg load limit.

The drawer runners are 500mm deep and the two larger drawers have tall sides. This allows for maximum storage. I’ve also inserted some plastic organizers from Bunnings to keep the drawer contents tidy.

Conclusion

My family and I are very pleased with our New Vanity. If you would like assistance in designing a vanity for your family, contact us.

Roller Blinds from DCF Young

Roller Blind

Recently I’ve been working on my home. What better way to self isolate, right? One of the things I’ve done is install some new roller blinds and I couldn’t be happier.

I saw Melissa from DCF in Young and she was extremely helpful. Melissa explained the various options available and we settled on the one pictured above. We placed the order and in a couple of weeks the blinds were in. They were quite simply to install and did not take long.

I installed these blinds in the kitchen, bathroom and toilet. The fabric has a water-resistant coating to assist with longevity in these spaces. The pulley system works very smoothly and is easy to use. I chose full-block out fabric for the privacy and to prevent solar heat gain in summer.

We installed the blind in the window reveal for best thermal performance. Without a pelmet, a face mounted install would have contributed to a cool draught coming from the window. Setting the blind into the reveal helps to combat this.

I also feel like these blinds look very clean and tidy. Previously I had horizontal blinds which collected dust and were a pain to clean. And the roller blinds were a very affordable solution.

All in all, I am very please with this purchase and the service from DCF. I couldn’t recommend them more. If you’re in the market for new blinds or curtains, phone Melissa at DCF on 02 6382 6690.

If you’d like to suggest an edit or provide feedback, please contact me.

COVID-19. Good for Industry?

Foreword.

When COVID-19 hit, the world was in a panic. The radicals asked if our species would survive. The economists asked if our economy could survive. The government poured money into economy-boosting schemes and containment procedures. Is it possible this has had a positive effect on the construction and furnishing industry? Let’s dive deeper…

Boosted Spending.

Unfortunately COVID-19 has cost some individuals their primary sources of income. Many workers deemed ‘Non-essential’ were stood down and many more failed to reach regular sales targets. Ironically, some people have ended up spending more money, at least in our industry.

Many of the people spending are older people who would normally be holidaying. With COVID restrictions in place they are stuck at home with holiday funds unspent. Consequently, many of these people are reallocating their holiday funds to spend on renovations and refurbishments. This has contributed to a massive boost of sales in the industry.

I myself am a low income earner. However, I too have been spending less on leisure activities and therefore have been able to allocate these funds to some home improvements. My work has been stable with over 6 months of upcoming work booked in and I’ve been able to do the most to my home than I have in years. But this brings us to the next point…

Waiting lists & Backlogs

My years in the industry have taught me that consumers don’t like to wait. This may be a double edged blade as many businesses are inundated with work but having to knock back potential sales as a consequence.

For competitors who typically acquire less sales, this may be beneficial as customers may seek them as the alternative to waiting. But for businesses with long waiting lists, they are possibly losing repeat sales and recommendations. But how long will this last? Is it the new norm?

Is this sustainable?

So it would seem COVID-19 has driven alot of money into Construction and Home improvements. But my biggest concern of late is whether or not it is sustainable.Will this be the new norm or will it come to a halt in the near future leaving us with a quiet period of minimal spending? I for one, am uncertain. I can only hope that the money keeps coming in and home owners are able to enjoy refurbished and newly constructed homes.

In Closing...

I don’t have a ‘conclusion’ for this article. Only time will tell. But I hope the information I have shared will help others and perhaps others may contribute their ideas and predictions. If you would like to suggest an edit or share your thoughts on this subject, please contact me.

Vinyl Doors vs 2-Pack, An In-Depth Look

Introduction

If you’re considering installing a new kitchen or cabinetry, one challenge you may be facing is what door finish is right for you. Two popular options are vinyl wrapped doors and 2 pack polyurethane doors.

If you’ve heard of both above door types then you are probably aware that there is a lot of debate as to which is ‘better’. In this article we will investigate how each option performs in various aspects.

Aesthetics

A huge benefit with both vinyl doors and 2-pack doors is the door design. These finishes allow you to choose from a range of door profiles such as ‘V-Grooved’ and ‘Shaker’. 

A vinyl door in a profiled design will generally look quite nice. On close inspection you may however notice a slight rippled effect in the vinyl at certain angles. Vinyl can also only be formed to a tight radius and so any square corners or rebates will be slightly rounded.

From a reasonable standing distance, 2-pack doors will typically have the same appearance. However, when you look much closer you will find the surface is more even and not rippled. As a paint, the 2-pack polyurethane is also able to penetrate into rebates better and create tighter, square lines and corners. For this reason, many high end client’s looking for the utmost of detail often steer toward 2-pack doors.

Durability & Longevity

All kitchen doors, melamine, 2-pack polyurethane and vinyl doors, as well as others, should be tested to the same Australian Standards. This means that generally they have a similar resistance to scratching, discolouring etc. Thus Vinyl doors and 2-pack doors generally perform similarly in this regard.

However; There are a lot of old articles on the web claiming that vinyl doors peel easily. This has truth to it but nowadays has been resolved. Decades ago the adhesives used where not strong enough to bind the vinyl to the substrate for a long time. In over 8 years of selling Polytec’s Thermolaminated vinyl doors, I’ve never had any peel. I’ve had hundreds of happy customers purchase them including my mother.

I unfortunately can’t attest to 2-pack polyurethane doors as positively as in my experience they are quite prone to chipping. There for it is my opinion at least, that they should be reserved for high end customers whose kitchens and cabinetry will not take too much abuse. Personally as a father, I know my children would likely chip mine too soon.

Options and Limitations

As I’ve mentioned above, both options grant a variety of door style options. There are however, some restrictions.

Vinyl doors typically only are available in a small range of colours. They typically include matt, texture, gloss and ever wood-grained finishes.

2-Pack Doors can be painted in virtually any colour but typically only in Satin, Semi Gloss and Gloss finishes.

Pricing

Another very important factory of course, is the price. Vinyl doors tend to be more affordable than 2-pack doors. This is generally across the board. And this is why 2-pack doors usually fall into the upper end of the market.

Conclusion

So with the above considered, I personally would utilize vinyl over 2-pack in my own home. Though for those wanting a higher detail product in a lower-traffic area, 2-pack is still certainly a great choice. Hopefully this has given you the information you need to determine which option is best for you.

 

If you have any questions or would like to suggest an edit, please contact us.

View the Polytec Vinyl Door Range Here.

View the Zeev 2-Pack Door Range Here.

 

Dodgey Tradework I’ve encoutered

Introduction

Over the years I have encountered a lot of dodgey trade work.  I have seen consumers get ripped off and have stood in burnt out kitchens and partly demolished homes. Now I would like to share some things I’ve encountered in hopes that you may learn from other peoples mistakes and avoid dodgey trades people.

Knock-offs and Generic products and materials

This is a serious scourge to the industry. 

Example 1:

I once had a stone mason reach out to me offering quotes far cheaper than what most stone masons I’d worked with could offer. He claimed to be selling authentic Caesarstone. However, authentic Caesarstone slabs are stamped to identify them. I was sceptical and learnt that this person had no ABN, was working out of their garage and using cheap stone they imported direct from China and NOT Caesarstone.

Example 2:

I have quoted many kitchens. When I’ve quoted kitchens they generally would be fitted with all reputable German Engineered soft-closing Drawers and Hinges. All with lifetime guarantee.

In the past I’ve had customers receive ‘cheaper’ quotes. When investigated, it has been found that the hinges and drawers were cheap no-name imports and not soft-closing.

The lesson here is that you need to investigate the products a trades person or company uses. Be sure you are getting what you expect and that when comparing quotes, they are indeed for the same products.

 

Unlicensed and Uninsured Work

Something I’ve covered A LOT in the past. A Tradesperson or Company offering a Tade Service MUST be correctly licensed. You as the consumer should not enter any contract until you have confirmed that the trades people or company are correctly licensed.

In addition to the above, you should confirm that appropriate insurances are in place. One that is especially important is Home Owner’s Compensation Fund. This is required for any residential trade work exceeding $20,000.00 in value that includes structural work, Electrical work or plumbing.

Poor Design & Attention to Detail

When planning your kitchen or renovation it is important to work with a knowledgeable and experienced designer. It is also important that the manufacturer and installers have a good grasp on design and an eye for detail.

Consequences I have seen from under skilled tradespeople and designers include;

Grained panels where the grain doesn’t line up and looks messy

Kitchens with little preparation space where there could have been more

Kitchens with potential storage space wasted

Minor damages and blemishes which could be avoided

Impractical layouts

Incorrectly and Poorly Installed Cornices

Plaster cornices are adhered to walls, heads and ceilings with cornice cement. While the cement is setting however, it is important that other fixtures such as nails, are holding the cornice in place. Otherwise, the cement may not set correctly. Unfortunately I have seen cases where the plasterer has not nailed the cornice and the cement has let go. Consequently, the cornice has fallen to the ground.

Another thing I’ve seen with cornices is poorly set joins and mitres. Obvious joints which are a mess of plaster and should have been at least sanded back before painting.

Supporting Sources:

https://www.gyprock.com.au/-/media/gyprock/content/documents/install/diy-projects/gyprock-212-cornice-201604.pdf 

https://www.selleys.com.au/guides/project/living-room-projects/how-to-install-cornices

 

Using Factory Seconds in place of Quality Materials and Products

People tend to look for a competitive price, naturally. However, the average consumer may not know enough about the industry to pick up on product issues.

One scam I’ve observed is companies using factory second (rejected) materials and hardware. Things like poorly set particle board, scratched melamine or standard (not moisture resistant) rated board.

By doing this they can often save money on materials but supply the client with a material or product which looks typical at first glance. 

Your best bet here is to stick to reputable companies. You may also ask to view completed works or projects under construction and query where they source their materials from. 

Not Installing Fire Board behind Cooktops

Australian Standards call for fire resistant material to be used behind cooktops. This typically includes sheeting a section of the wall with fire board instead of gyprock. A heat-resistant non-combustible splashback is then installed over the fire board.

 

Not Sealing Joins with Silicone in Kitchens

Bench top perimeters, joins and cut outs all must be sealed with silicon. This assists in preventing moisture penetration into vulnerable substrates.

Similar as with bench tops, kick faces must have a silicon seal around the base to prevent water penetrating beneath the kick face.

Kitchen Renovation Time frames

hourglass

Introduction

So you are thinking of renovating your kitchen but don’t know what times frame to expect. How long does it take to get a quote? What about manufacture and Install? Let’s discuss.

Getting a Quote

Typically, you will start by requesting quotes. You might visit kitchen manufactures, phone them or enquire online. If you have detailed plans with measurements you may provide these. Otherwise, the supplier will want to conduct a site measure and consultation.

If you know what you are after when you meet the consultant it will be much faster. You will typically receive your quote within 1 to 2 weeks. However, if you have not selected appliances, materials, finishes etc, then it may take longer.

Accepting the Quote

Once you have received your quote and are happy, contact the supplier and let them know you would like to proceed. Additional documentation such as production plans and a contract are then prepared for you to sign. This will usually happen within around 1 week.

Once all the documentation has been signed, specifications confirmed and a deposit paid, the supplier will queue the job for manufacture.

Manufacture

Your supplier will now order the materials and products required to build the kitchen. Stock items and common goods will typically take 1 to 2 weeks to arrive. Made to order items will typically take 2 to 4 weeks or even longer in some cases.

With the above considered and depending on the manufacturer’s workload, the kitchen is typically built in 4-6 weeks time from approval.

Install

Once the kitchen is ready, the supplier will contact you to book in the install. For a small entry level this may only be 1 or 2 days to complete. Other kitchens may take 1 or 2 weeks. This will depend on the size, the products used and how many trades are required.

Typical time frames, start to finish

So from the above we can calculate that typical time frames may be up to 11 weeks. This is why I always recommend that people allow at least 3 months for a kitchen renovation. From the initial enquiry to the finished product.

Exceptions

Exceptions do exist. In localities with limited suppliers you may find that they are backlogged. I have known of companies with up to 12 month waiting lists. Furthermore, if you are contacting a supplier for a quote from September onward, expect it to be completed in the following year as the industry closes down around Christmas.

Want to suggest an edit? Contact us.

Request a kitchen quote for 2020 here.

Scandinavian Design

What is Scandinavian Design?

Scandinavian design is a concept originating from Scandinavia and booming in the 50s. It has since become a popular concept around Europe and the rest of the world.

It is simplistic, neat and features neutral and natural colour tones and textures. Stone and timber also form a part of the concept along with other natural products such as animal furs and plants.

The style comes from Scandinavian culture, architecture and the Scandinavian environment. It is inspired by forests, shores and glaciers.

Where can I find Scandinavian Design?

You can find this style all over the world., in both modern and heritage homes. You will see it demonstrated in magazines, on TV and so on. It is a favourite among designers so expect to encounter this style in show rooms and exhibitions.

This design concept is utilised in kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, everywhere throughout the home! And certainly not just in Sweden or Norway!

Who can assist me with my design?

The best place to start is by consulting with someone who is passionate about Scandinavian Design. Someone who understands and appreciates the concept so they may assist you in making it as organic as possible.

Most Interior Designs, Home Designers and so on, will understand the basic principles. However, not all will understand it with the same depth and passion. It helps to do your own research, view reference photos and develope an appreciation for the style.

View some of my joinery design concepts here:  https://www.houzz.com.au/ideabooks/128503498/thumbs/the-nordic-range-by-will

Conclusion.

Scandinavian Design is a concept that has been around for some time and is not going away anytime soon. It is tasteful and tidy creating a pleasant aesthetic. If you’d like to discuss this in greater depth or suggest an edit, Contact us.

Who installs Kitchen Appliances?

The question of ‘Who installs Kitchen Appliances?’ gets asked alot. To answer this question we need to look at what is involved in installing kitchen appliances. 

Electrical Appliances (Hard Wired)

So let’s start of with Electrical Appliances. Wiring these appliances involves more than you may think. You may require additional circuits, you may need to install RCD protection and much more. For this reason, and due to the sheer danger of electricity, all wiring MUST be done by a licensed Electrician. This is a specialist trade.

Water and Gas Connections

Another specialist trade is plumbing and gas fitting. Water connections (Sinks, taps, dishwashers, fridges etc) must be connected by a licensed plumber. The same applies to gas connections for cooktops, ovens etc. Your rangehood should also be ducted by a plumber. 

Conclusion

As mentioned, water, gas and electrical all require specialist licenses. It is normal for your builder to set the appliances in place however. They may do the cut outs, screw the fixings etc. BUT, they must not make any of the above connections. For more info or to suggest an edit, contact us.

Source:

 

Furniture – Was/Now Pricing

Was/Now Pricing

So we’ve all seen those furniture ads, you know the ones “This lounge was $3,000.00, now only $2,000.00 while stocks last!”. But have you ever wondered if the item really was ever for sale at the ‘was’ price?

Recently the ACCC issued infringement notices to a few retailers for advertising was/now pricing. This was due to the fact that the items were never for sale at the advertised ‘was’ price.

This is a crime under Australian Consumer Law where as advertisers must ensure they do not mislead the public. The ACCC explains that:

The use of ‘was/now’ or ‘strike through’ price statements (such as ‘was $150/now $100’ or ‘$150 now $100′) is likely to represent that consumers will save an amount (being the difference between the higher and lower price advertised) by purchasing the product during the sale period.

In determining whether the represented saving will be achieved, a critical issue is whether relevant consumers would have paid the ‘was’ or ‘strike through’ price to purchase that item for a reasonable period before the sale commenced.”

I imagine that alot of people never question these statements. You see the sign and simply assume that a saving is to be made. Right?

So tell us, have you ever been caught out by misleading advertisements? And are you aware of any misleading advertising techniques we should look into?

 https://www.accc.gov.au/publications/advertising-selling/advertising-and-selling-guide/pricing/two-price-comparison-advertising

https://www.acfa.net.au/news/2019/businesses-warned-about-was-now-pricing-after-furniture-retailers-receive-infringement-notices