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Kitchen Islands: A Timeless Addition to Your Home

Historical roots

Kitchen islands date back to the 1800s in Victorian Britain. During that era, land was inexpensive, homes were larger, and middle-class families often had ample unused kitchen floor space that could be transformed into a preparation area. Originally, these islands were often just additional tables brought in from other rooms. Today’s islands, however, are crafted with both practicality and aesthetics in mind.

Enhance your Kitchen

1. Double your storage

A kitchen island is a superb way to add extra storage with shelving, cupboards, and drawers. A well-designed island can nearly double your kitchen’s storage space, keeping your most-used pans and utensils within easy reach. Many modern islands even feature fold-out tables and chairs, optimizing floor space further.

2. Divide and conquer

Open-plan living has become increasingly popular, especially in modern apartments. A kitchen island can divide a large space, allowing you to work in the kitchen while staying connected with the living room. This setup adds a social vibe and lets you prep meals without pausing your favourite show.

3. Go rustic

While contemporary kitchens often feature metal, glass, brass, and marble, these materials can be expensive. Consider using antique or repurposed furniture as a cost-effective alternative. These pieces can be refinished and restored to create a beautiful, unique island that contrasts elegantly with modern designs.

4. Make it your centerpiece

Kitchen islands can also serve as the focal point of the room with the right positioning and lighting. Many people opt for low-hanging spotlights to illuminate the island’s surface, making it ideal for entertaining and serving guests.

5. Bring it into the future

To maximize convenience, consider integrating appliances and features into your kitchen island. Installing a range or hob in the island prevents you from having to cook while facing the wall and frees up perimeter counter space. You can also relocate the sink to the island for easy access during food preparation.

6. Create a hub

With the increase in home electronics, it’s practical to add power connections, CAT5 ethernet ports, and high-speed USB charging sockets to your kitchen island. This setup makes the island a central hub for both culinary and electronic needs.

7. Keep your walls safe

If your children love to draw on walls, adding a blackboard to one side of the island can be a lifesaver. Provide them with colored chalk and let their creativity flow, then simply wipe it clean when needed.

8. Make It social

A kitchen island is perfect for informal dining and socialising with friends. Add a set of matching stools, and your kitchen becomes an ideal spot for evening gatherings without straying far from the wine.

9. Split It

For those with limited space, a split-level island offers a solution by combining a preparation surface and a serving table in one unit. Some islands feature foldable sections, making them versatile for work, browsing the web, or sitting down with friends throughout the day.

Visit our showrooms for more inspiration…

showrooms

A step-by-step guide to help you design your ideal bedroom

Designing a bedroom involves combining aesthetics, comfort, and functionality to create a personal retreat.

Our design team will help you achieve your dream bedroom. However, we’ve put together the following guide which includes just some of the things we consider.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you design your ideal bedroom:

1. Define the Purpose

  • Primary use: Is it just for sleeping, or will it also serve as a workspace, reading nook, or entertainment area?
  • Personal style: Modern, traditional, bohemian, minimalist, etc.

2. Choose a Color Scheme

  • Calming colors: Soft blues, greens, and neutrals promote relaxation.
  • Accent colors: Add interest with pops of color through accessories or an accent wall.

3. Select Furniture

  • Bed: Choose a size that fits comfortably in the room. Consider the style of the bed frame and headboard.
  • Storage: Dressers, nightstands, and wardrobes should offer ample storage. Opt for multifunctional furniture like a bed with storage drawers.
  • Seating: A cozy chair or bench can add functionality.

4. Plan the Layout

  • Focal point: Usually, the bed is the focal point. Position it against the longest wall or in a place that feels balanced.
  • Flow: Ensure there’s enough space to move around comfortably. Avoid overcrowding.
  • Balance: Distribute furniture evenly to create a balanced look.

5. Lighting

  • Ambient lighting: Overhead fixtures or ceiling fans with lights for general illumination.
  • Task lighting: Bedside lamps, reading lights, or desk lamps for specific tasks.
  • Accent lighting: Fairy lights, sconces, or LED strips to add ambiance.

6. Window Treatments

  • Curtains: Choose based on your need for privacy and light control. Blackout curtains are great for sleeping.
  • Blinds: For a sleek look, consider roller shades or Roman blinds.

7. Add Textiles

  • Bedding: Layer with comforters, quilts, and throw pillows for a luxurious feel.
  • Rugs: Add warmth and texture with an area rug. Ensure it’s large enough to anchor the bed and other furniture.
  • Throws and pillows: Mix and match textures and patterns for a cozy feel.

8. Decorate the Walls

  • Art: Hang artwork, photographs, or mirrors. Ensure they are at eye level and proportionate to the wall space.
  • Shelving: Floating shelves can display books, plants, or decorative items.

9. Personal Touches

  • Plants: Indoor plants can add life and improve air quality.
  • Personal items: Incorporate personal mementos, such as framed photos, travel souvenirs, or books.

10. Consider Functionality

  • Tech integration: If you have a TV, gaming system, or smart home devices, plan for their placement and wiring.
  • Organisation: Use baskets, trays, or organisers to keep surfaces clutter-free.

Sample Layout Ideas

  • Small bedroom: Opt for a queen or full bed, use wall-mounted shelves, and keep furniture minimal.
  • Large bedroom: Include a seating area, a vanity, or a small workspace. Play with larger furniture pieces.

Tips for a Harmonious Bedroom

  • Symmetry: Creates a balanced and serene environment.
  • Layered lighting: Offers flexibility and creates a cozy atmosphere.
  • Consistent theme: Stick to a theme or style to ensure cohesiveness.

Final Thoughts

  • Comfort first: Ensure the mattress and bedding are comfortable.
  • Practicality: Your design should fit your lifestyle and needs.
  • Flexibility: Be open to rearranging and updating as your preferences change.

By following these steps, you can create a bedroom that is both stylish and restful, tailored to your personal tastes and needs.

Planning a New Kitchen: A Comprehensive Guide

Planning a new kitchen is an exciting yet challenging endeavor. The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home, a place where functionality meets aesthetics. Whether you’re remodeling an existing space or designing a kitchen for a new home, thoughtful planning is crucial to creating a kitchen that is both beautiful and practical.

At FK&B, we will work with you to plan and design your new kitchen. However, we hope you find our guide helpful.

Step-by-Step Guide to Planning a New Kitchen

  1. Assess Your Needs and Lifestyle
    • Usage: Consider how you use your kitchen. Do you cook often? Do you need space for entertaining?
    • Family Size: Larger families might need more storage and larger appliances.
    • Special Requirements: Think about any special needs such as accessibility features or space for children to do homework.
  2. Research and Gather Inspiration
    • Magazines and Websites: Look for inspiration in home design magazines and websites like Houzz and Pinterest.
    • Showrooms: Visit one of our showrooms to see products and designs in person. FK&B has showrooms in Newcastle, Gateshead and Whitley Bay.
    • Trends: Stay updated on current kitchen trends but ensure they align with your personal style and functionality needs.
  3. Design and Layout
    • Work Triangle: Ensure the kitchen layout follows the work triangle principle (stove, refrigerator, sink).
    • Types of Layouts: Common layouts include U-shape, L-shape, galley, and island kitchens.
    • Space Optimization: Utilise every inch of space, considering options like pull-out cabinets, vertical storage, and corner drawers.
  4. Choose Your Style
    • Modern: Sleek lines, minimalistic design, and high-tech appliances.
    • Traditional: Classic designs, ornate details, and warm colors.
    • Transitional: A blend of modern and traditional elements.
  5. Select Materials and Finishes
    • Cabinets: Options include wood and laminate for example. Consider durability and maintenance.
    • Countertops: Choices range from granite, quartz, marble, to more affordable options like laminate and butcher block.
    • Flooring: Popular choices are tile, hardwood, and vinyl. Ensure it is durable and easy to clean.
    • Backsplash: Can add color and texture. Materials include tile, glass, and stainless steel.
  6. Lighting
    • Ambient Lighting: General lighting for the entire kitchen, often provided by ceiling fixtures.
    • Task Lighting: Focused lighting for specific tasks, such as under-cabinet lights.
    • Accent Lighting: Adds drama and highlights specific areas or features.
  7. Appliances
    • Energy Efficiency: Look for Energy Star-rated appliances to save on energy bills.
    • Features: Consider features like smart technology, convection ovens, and induction cooktops.
  8. Storage Solutions
    • Pantry: A well-organized pantry can greatly enhance kitchen functionality.
    • Cabinet Accessories: Pull-out shelves and drawer dividers can maximize storage space.
    • Open Shelving: Can be stylish and functional but requires neat organisation.
  9. Hire Professionals
    • Kitchen Designer: FK&B provide expert advice and design solutions.
    • Contractor: Ensure they are licensed and experienced. Get multiple quotes and check references. FK&B has approved kitchen fitters and can manage the installation of your kitchen too.
    • Specialty Installers: For tasks like plumbing and electrical work. FK&B has approved installers and will manage this as part of your installation.
  10. Plan for the Future
    • Resale Value: Consider how your design choices might affect the resale value of your home.
    • Sustainability: Opt for eco-friendly materials and energy-efficient appliances.
    • Adaptability: Design your kitchen to be adaptable to future needs.

Planning a new kitchen involves a balance of aesthetics, functionality, and budget. By carefully considering your needs, researching thoroughly, and working with professionals, you can create a kitchen that is a joy to use and a focal point in your home. Remember, a well-planned kitchen is an investment that enhances your lifestyle and adds value to your home.

Contact FK&B now and we will help you to plan, design and install your new kitchen. Click here for your nearest showroom