Have you ever sat down for dinner and been irritated by the hum of your kitchen extractor or dishwasher? The dilemma in many households is whether to put up with the noise during a meal, or set off the appliances later.
Manufacturers are now tackling background noise in the kitchen as a high priority. Integrated dishwashers by premium manufacturers such as Miele are already so silent in use that it is easy to open the door during a wash cycle by mistake! To get around this, Neff have added an LED to the underside of the appliance door which projects a point of light on the floor when the machine is running. A great idea for the 21st century kitchen.
It is difficult to make sense of noise levels as the dB scale is logarithmic and is therefore not the linear scale that you might expect. The rule of thumb is that a 3 dB increase in sound level is twice as loud. The dB reading is taken one metre from the appliance, so sound levels will vary throughout the room. There’s plenty of information available on the internet for the avid researcher however the measurement of sound is complicated by a few additional factors:
- dB (decibel) ratings are very subjective and an impression of noise will vary from one person to another, depending on the frequency of the noise and each individual’s perception of that noise. Therefore dB ratings are an indication of sound level rather than an absolute measurement.
- A reduction in dB measurement can sound significantly quieter if it falls into a lower frequency. Sound falls away more sharply at the lower end of the dB scale.
- Some installation methods can increase the sound produced by an appliance.
- Sound characteristics vary from room to room, and your room will not have the same sound characteristics as the space originally used to grade the sound output of the appliance.
If noise reduction is very important to you, make sure you mention this to your kitchen designer as the era of ultra-quiet appliances has arrived. Since your extractor hoods should be turned on about 15 minutes before you start cooking, and only turned off some time afterwards, it is a prime candidate for noise reduction.
Falmec’s range of super-quiet extractors have their own registered Noise Reduction System which promise whisper quiet sound ratings as low as dB33. Most other relatively quiet extractors boast dB ratings in the low 40s. The NRS design optimises air flow and reduces resistance which is the principal cause of noise in extraction. Special sound-absorbing panels are also used in their construction to dampen any noise generated within the unit.
LED lighting is used in place of halogen to keep energy usage low and guarantee long life. The Falmec NRS range come in five fabulous designs, including the twin Horizon design shown above and there is a choice of wall mounted and island units. The Falmec NRS range offers an efficient extraction rate of 800 cubic metres per hour and some very stylish and understated designs most suited to contemporary kitchens.
Ever the innovators, Cosentino has launched a new range of worksurfaces manufactured in Spain from a range of recycled materials.
In one year of production the new Eco range recycles 65 million bottles, hundreds of tonnes of vitrified ash, approximately two million square metres of mirror and fifty thousand square metres of ceramic tiles.
If you want to give something back to the environment when planning your new kitchen, why not consider this ground-breaking and award-winning product. Read all about it on the Cosentino web site, and check out the range of muted, earth-friendly colours available here. For more information about the range of products on offer at Design Matters contact us at the office by email or call us on 01628 531584.
Our friends at Burbidge Kitchens have launched an interesting door detail in their new distinctive range of kitchen furniture called Kew.
Available in a wide range of painted finishes, this beautiful Ash door offers a contemporary twist on the traditional shaker style door with a deep chamfer on the vertical element of the door frame. A new take on the timeless shaker kitchen, this design detail allows clients to select the warmth of painted wood with a cool, modern feel.
Burbidge Kitchens specialise in elegant painted timber doors that allow the beauty of the natural wood grain to show through the paint finish. The Burbidge paint palette comes in a range of dark and muted colours to suit all tastes and their innovative colour selection tool ColourMyWay allows you to try out a variety of colour schemes before you place your order.
The new Kew range of furniture is hot off the press, and not yet available to browse on the Burbidge web site.
For more details, contact the Design Matters office on 01628 531584 for an appointment to discuss your new kitchen and to see a sample of this stunning new door.
If you’ve been dithering about a choice of colour scheme for your new kitchen and just can’t make up your mind, the new Colour My Way tool by Burbidge might be the answer.
This clever online system allows you to choose from six different kitchen styles and select either oak, or a painted finish for each part of the fixed display. There’s even a choice of worktop colours and handles. What a great idea!
We’ve ’snipped’ a glimpse of Colour My Way to show you, below. To give the Burbidge colour selector a try, just visit their web site and enjoy!
The team’s back from a great show at the NEC . Naidex National is the premier disability, rehabilitation and homecare event in the UK with over 300 exhibitors and thousands of visitors. This year it took place over three days at the prestigious Birmingham exhibition centre and we installed a fully featured kitchen in the Independent Living Show Home at the heart of the event.
This was a great opportunity to show how far accessible kitchens have come in recent years, and to exhibit a kitchen that might be fitted in a typical family home where both wheelchair users and ambulant family and friends could access the space. In the Naidex design, some worksurfaces are at fixed standard height, and others are height adjustable so that everyone has a comfortable place to prepare meals and drinks. All the important kitchen elements are fully accessible and importantly, a little safer. One day all kitchens could contain these features. Imagine how much landfill could be eliminated if all kitchens could be used by the whole family, for life!
Only ten years ago kitchen designers were struggling to break away from cold, clinical colour schemes. Now our designers have a full range of colours and wood finishes to choose from, and we’re not confined to delicate mfc (melamine faced chipboard). We can specify durable laminate doors on our kitchens (the same tough material commonly used for worktops) which will take knocks and scuffs from wheelchair footplates and walking frames in their stride. Kitchen cabinets can also be made to any dimension, which means they can be tailored to each client’s precise requirements, and still offer built-in flexibility. In the Naidex design above, we have specified midi-height storage units around the ovens, so that every cupboard can be accessed from a wheelchair or perching stool, and this height can be tailored to the reach of an individual client.
We specify a carefully curated range of appliances with extra safety features, including an oven with a door that slides into a recess beneath the oven cavity called the Neff SlideAway. In this kitchen we are also demonstrating an L-shaped rise and fall worktop, which accommodates both sink and induction hob. We are increasingly using this solution as it makes the essential elements of the kitchen accessible to every kitchen user and requires a single rise and fall hydraulic mechanism. We specify Ropox hydraulics which are durable and reliable. The rise and fall worktop is made to our own carefully developed design from a water resistant material called Corian. The sink area is equipped with front-mounted taps, and a convenient instant hot water tap – the modern, safer equivalent of the kettle. The designer extractor hood can be operated by remote control for ease and safety.
The Design Matters team chatted with hundreds of visitors during Naidex National. Next we’re looking forward to Naidex South in October, where this kitchen will be making a second appearance! If you’d like to keep in touch with us, you can ‘like’ our Facebook page which will ensure you get all our news on accessible kitchens, or follow us on Twitter - @designmatters3.
For more pictures and details of recent projects, visit the Portfolio pages of our web site. If you would like to discuss your own kitchen project, please contact us by email using this link or call us on the office number: 01628 531584 and make an appointment to see our fully accessible showroom. and meet Adam Thomas our award winning designer.
The new Metris range has been causing a stir at industry shows, and scooped the Grand Designs Best Kitchen award in 2010.
Inspired by New York lofts this curvaceous range of kitchens softens the industrial look with deeply curved peninsula options that offer many practical benefits. The range has been carefully designed to allow appliances to be integrated, and curved drawer packs make use of more available space.
With a range of fantastic new storage options, a new take on the walk-in larder and a range of cutting edge new kitchen concepts, Metris has a lot of surprises up its sleeve. Take a look at this interactive page for more ideas.
We do not display Metris in our showroom, however we are a dealer for this impressive signature kitchen range and can supply the full range to Private Developers. Contact John or Richard in the office for more information, or email us using this link.
A very happy New Year to all our clients, suppliers and colleagues in the industry. Here’s to another year of stunning handcrafted kitchens.
To kick off 2012 we’re posting images of two beautiful new kitchens on the pages of our web site designed for private clients. If you’re looking for a classic, timeless kitchen from one of the finest British bespoke kitchen manufacturers then look no further than Edwin Loxley. All the kitchens featured on our ‘Kitchens’ web site are also available to private developers, so please take the time to view our latest work for private clients.
This Premier Shaker kitchen uses a combination of painted oak, and oak doors with a pippy oak centre panel. A slender door frame, set in to a plain solid wood frame is the classic shaker style. Restrained and tasteful. Our client has selected square knobs and Ivory Brown polished granite to complete the picture. The furniture extends into the adjacent room for additional bespoke storage, and more images can be seen here.
This Shaker Moulded kitchen by Edwin Loxley (below) was factory primed and handpainted on site for a perfect handmade finish. There is a very small bead on the door frame which adds a touch of detail, without becoming fussy. The adjacent dining room is also fitted with handpainted bespoke storage and display shelves. Our client selected an antique bronze knob and Ivory Fantasy polished granite. There are more pictures of this kitchen on the portfolio pages of our site for for private clients. See more using this link.
If you haven’t already used the Design Matters contract service, then please contact us for more information. We can offer specially negotiated prices on appliances with the leading appliance manufacturers, special rates for multiples and a comprehensive project management service along with the usual CAD, M&E and health and safety documentation that you would expect from any quality kitchen studio.
Contact John or Richard on the office number for more information, or email us using this link.
A very Happy New Year to all our clients, suppliers and colleagues in the industry! This year we’re celebrating 20 years in business with a fantastic New Year’s offer for all new orders placed by Easter 2012. Read all about it using this link.
Our passion for beautiful kitchens and exceptional workmanship is the motivation behind the Design Matters team. Hot off the press this month are two great examples of the finest British craftsmanship; stunning projects using Edwin Loxley bespoke furniture which we have just posted on our Classic Kitchens portfolio pages.
The kitchen featured below is Premier Shaker style from Edwin Loxley in a combination of painted oak, and oak framed doors with pippy oak centre panels. This very simple shaker door style, with a narrow frame set into a wooden frame is shaker style in its purest form. Ivory brown polished granite and square knobs have been chosen by our client and the finished result is classically stylish. The adjacent room has been fitted with matching oak storage which is featured in more detail in our portfolio pages for this project .
The kitchen shown below is a shaker moulded door from Edwin Loxley, which has an interesting ‘bead’ detail on the door frame. This small addition gives it a slightly more traditional feel without becoming fussy. This kitchen was factory primed and hand painted on site for handmade perfection. Antique bronze door knobs and polished Ivory Fantasy granite complete the picture. The furniture extends to the adjacent dining area with bespoke cabinetry and display shelves. For more images, go the the page for this project.
The compact CM5100 Barista freestanding coffee machine is Miele’s first countertop bean-to-cup appliance.
Much more compact than previous freestanding models, this unit has touch-controls and a scroll-through menu for its many brewing options. It makes the perfect cup by allowing selection of coffee strength and water quantity, with four cup size options. The coarseness of the grind can also be specified, and its 15bar pump is capable of producing a fine and creamy ‘crema’ layer.
The CM5100 Barista comes in white or black with stainless steel highlights and Miele have produced a short video to promote its launch which can be viewed here.
The CM5100 will be available in the UK from November 2010 with RRP starting at £999.
During our recent showroom refit we came across an exciting new range of designer bar stools that we decided to feature in the front window of our showroom. Upholstered in vibrant orange upholstery they are the perfect finishing touch to our new window display.
The stools caused quite a stir with our clients due to their eye-catching colour and we’ve received lots of enquiries about other models available from the same supplier. So here are a few things to consider as you put the finishing touches to your own kitchen.
Bar stools are useful for more than just sitting on, as we found when completing the design of our showroom. Stools provide the opportunity for a final touch of colour in a room, and they can add the ‘wow’ factor if you want to have some fun after the sensible business of choosing a new kitchen.
When selecting finishing touches it’s important to consider whether you want them to draw the eye as a visual feature, or not. You may already have spotted some things about the stools we’ve featured on this page; the bright coloured stools stand out prominently, and the white and transparent versions are much less eye-catching. This is just what happens in a kitchen.
If you’ve selected a restrained colour palette for your kitchen furniture, you may wish to accessorise the room with a single accent colour that could be changed in future to keep the room fresh and up-to-date.
Here’s an interior designer’s trick for choosing an accent colour. Find a painting or print that you love and that tones with the colours in your kitchen, then pick out a single colour from that image to use elsewhere in the space. Three or four touches of accent colour are usually enough, and if you become unsure, go back to the picture as your point of reference. In this case, you might select a bright coloured stool in your accent colour. A quick look at the latest interior design magazines will give you an idea of the latest hot colour picks.
If you like this idea, but can’t imagine living with orange for more than a month, a vibrant acid green colour is a safe choice. It can be teamed with a spikey specimen plant and a photographic canvas print for instant designer chic. This is a fresh and easy way to accessorise a contemporary kitchen and dining space, and works well with most neutral colour schemes that include shades of brown, taupe, white and cream.
However, if you already have a strong colour in your kitchen, or have invested in a special finish such as a high gloss wood veneer, you may not want your bar stools to steal the limelight. In this case, the Albatros stool would be a good choice as it offers a transparent acrylic option that will not stand out visually. Alternatively select a colour that matches or tones with your kitchen cupboards, and the bar stools will blend in.
The stools we feature here are available in a range of colours and finishes to suit a variety of colour schemes. We’ve used dozens of tried and trusted colour combinations for clients over the years, and thanks to our fantastic CAD software we can produce photorealistic images of your new kitchen before it’s fitted, to help you plan the finishing touches.
Contact the office for more information on our new range of Bar Stools, or speak to your designer for more details.