Most of us know that German and Italian kitchens are known for their quality, longevity and sleek designs, etc. Along with the branded kitchens there are also local kitchen manufacturers that can produce almost a similar quality kitchen.
Based on our experience in the local market we know that clients go through a dilemma of whether to buy a branded German kitchen or get their kitchen locally made.
The objective of this article is to help clear this dilemma and to assist buyers make a better decision. This can be better understood by understanding the advantages and disadvantages of both:
German and Italian Kitchens:
Locally Made High End Kitchens:
In a custom made high end kitchen the materials and fixtures are from the best manufacturers in the word the only difference is that they are tailor made and installed to fit the spaces.
To put it in simple terms a locally made high end kitchen is like a quality tailor made suite whose materials, accessories and buttons are all from a quality brand but it is locally stitched to fit ones body.
Since the advantages of a good quality locally made kitchen far out weigh the advantages of a branded kitchen we can conclude that a kitchen that is locally made by a right company with good quality fixtures and materials, you not only get a cost affective kitchen but it also lasts long like any known branded kitchen.
This is just our opinion, please feel free to comment or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments we will be more than happy to respond to you.
As exciting as renovation may sound it can be a very daunting task especially when it comes to selecting a right contractor who will be responsible to bring your ideas and dreams into a reality and finishing the project on time successfully.
Following are few pointers for anyone who is embarking on a renovation journey to help evaluate the contractor and work with them towards a successful and a rewarding project:
1. Reference checks: As straightforward as this may sound, please take time to speak to the existing customers of the top 3 or 2 contractors you have shortlisted. It is also a good idea to do a cross check and perform your due diligence on social media forums and websites like Expat Women, British Mums, etc.
2. Compatibility: Look for compatibility between yourself and the contractor. We always say renovation projects are like mini marriages and in order for a project to be successful both he parties need to be compatible. Or it doesn’t matter how amazing the idea and the design and how competitive the contractor the projects exposure to the risk of failure is high.
3.Avoid all-inclusive bundled renovation packages:
Predominantly in a renovation project there are two main components of a proposal:
a. Services (bathroom renovation, kitchen, anything that needs customisation, etc.)
b. Materials (Variants - which is tiles, sanitary ware, appliances, etc.)
By having the flexibility to choose the materials(Variants) for yourself will not only give you flexibility but will help avoid a lot of misunderstanding and disappointments between you and contractor. There is hard work involved here but you can always take the help of the contractor to assist you in buying materials but in the end it will all be worth it once you see the finished project.
4. Business to Consumer mindset of contractor: It is of paramount importance that a contractor needs to understand renovation from a business to consumer standpoint. Because if a contractor starts treating home renovation projects like a typical contracting mass building projects the project will most probably fail. Many contractors have a separate Business to Consumer division, it is important that you enquire about it and understand how their approach is different for B to C project when compared to B to B project.
5. Liberty to ask questions: If there is an interior designer or stylist involved it is the responsibility of client and designer to give space and build confidence of the contractor so they feel comfortable to ask questions especially when executing complex designs. We have come across instances in the past where contractor was not comfortable working with designers and hence assumed something and executed the designs by themselves because they were hesitant to ask questions and the end product was far from what was expected or desired. You will avoid a lot of repeat work, time and money if there is a clear communication between the three parties.
6. Time consciousness: Finishing projects on time is the challenge construction industry has always faced. Understanding the time consciousness of the contractor is very important, we will write in a separate blog about what are some of the questions you need to ask to understand the time consciousness of the contractor. On the other hand projects also get delayed when the client is not decisive, so we recommend most decisions are made even before the start of the project so when the project starts it is a sprint and not a marathon.
If you have any home renovation related questions please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com and we will be more than happy to assist and answer your questions.
Home automation has generated lot of buzz for long time, but it has not taken off as every one expected, which evokes the question “Is home automation justified.”. There are some devices that add value and make your life easy and justify their purpose.
One of the major advantage is saving energy, devices like Nest which are capable of learning and enable user to control remotely help save energy. In average house A/C accounts for 22 percent of the total electric bills, a learning thermostat can target this portion and save a sizeable amount, Economics is simple, 10 percent of 22 percent is greater in comparison with amount saved with led lights or efficient appliances which is 50 percent of 6 percent.
Utility is also an advantage; a coffee is waiting for you when you reach home from office or your coffee maker wakes you with a message, “The coffee is ready do you want me to keep it warm.", these devices can also be controlled remotely, so that you can order coffee for your self or for your guest before they reach. It will also warn you when it is about to run out of supplies. So the next time you are lazy to make your coffee you don’t have to get up if you have this machine.
We can’t talk about home automation without talking about the home security aspects it brings to the table. Devices like smart door bell, front porch camera, main door interfaces and other devices help keep your home safe and give you a piece of mind while you are on a vacation or traveling for business reasons. These devices are capable of giving you live stream video and allows you to interact with the person without you opening the door. The smarts locks can be operated remotely so you can schedule a maintenance while you are not home, you can let them in after confirming on the live video. The hi-tech Wi-Fi enabled cameras can also help you keep an eye on the young children.
Home automation devices are becoming more affordable, there was an age when these devices were only meant for people with deep pockets but that is changing. The amount these smart devices are saving they will pay for themselves in a no time.
Home automation is still a developing idea but the advantages the idea presents are already emerging. The future is exciting where soon you will be able to interact with your home, tell it to keep an eye on you kids, tell it to keep the house safe while you are away and save energy when your are not home. The limits are endless. The housing industry should also start to embrace the change because it will make their customer’s life easy.
A kitchen update doesn’t have to cost a fortune. In fact, with a little time and effort, you can make a difference to your kitchen.
Quick and easy steps
These easy kitchen updates breathe new life into tired old kitchens, for less money than you might expect. You do one or do them all.
Wall paint is an easy way to update the look of your old kitchen. Neutral tones offer an excellent backdrop for décor. Remember, if you use trend colors in small amounts, like an accent wall or accessories, it’s easier to change when your interest turns.
A fresh coat of paint on the cabinets changes the entire look and feel of the room. Use paint with primer to reduce the number of coats you’ll need for coverage. Also, consider a washable finish to make cleaning your kitchen easier.
New hardware can transform a kitchen. Switch out knobs and pulls for a dramatic update without spending a lot of money or expending a lot of effort.
Make your kitchen a warm and inviting place to be. Illuminate dark corners and enhance workspace with with spot lights installed underneath the top cabinets.
By adding or changing the backsplash, you can completely change the look and feel of your kitchen.
Larger tile with less grout would be a good option.
Changing your kitchen’s countertops may be one of the most obvious ways to change its appearance. But, what you might not know is that today’s options are more affordable and better looking than ever.
Whether you're installing brand new kitchen cabinets or looking to refurbish existing ones, the range of available kitchen cabinet styles can seem overwhelming at first.
Your cabinet door style can be one of the most important factors in your kitchen's new design. Not only are cabinet doors one of the most visible design elements in a kitchen, but they can also be one of the most expensive. From the elaborate to the simple, there's a door style for every home design. Take a look at some of the better-known styles here and see which will work for your home's style and your budget.
The Shaker-style cabinet door is the most common door style in kitchens today. This five-piece flat-panel style has a frame made from four pieces and a single flat center panel for the fifth piece.
Simple but stylish, the flat-panel cabinet door is void of any expensive details. Its hard lines and minimalist form make it a great fit for contemporary and modern interiors.
Many flat doors come in decorative laminate,Veneer or wood. Laminate tends to be more budget friendly and offers a greater variety of colors and sheens.
The inset door gets its name because it is set inside of the cabinet frame — typical cabinet doors rest on the outside of the frame. The door is designed and constructed with extremely precise measurements so that it nests inside the frame and opens and closes properly, even when the wood expands and contracts.
The center panel of the cabinet doors in this style are made to look like traditional beadboard paneling.
These doors are molded out of MDF (medium-density fiberboard), wrapped in a plastic-type coating and then baked under intense heat to create an impervious seal. Durable and cost effective, they come only in solid colors and imitation wood grain.
It's durable, but it's also extremely difficult to repair any damage to it. Some lighter colors can also yellow from sunlight and heat over time.
1. Consider having a work triangle (Fridge, Cooking top and Sink) always.
2. Minimal grouting for splash back tiles (Always use bigger sized tiles)
3. Make sure the counter top is either quartz, artificial treated top or granite because they don't get stained.
4. Have enough drawer space so you can easily reach the former end of the cabinet by pulling the drawer out.
5. Sinks should be under-mounted so the food debris doesn’t stick around the sink.
6. Always have under cabinet lights to have enough light on the work top.
7. Have wall cabinets till ceiling and seal the joint so you do not have to worry about cleaning the top of the cabinet.
8. Design kitchen to have enough work top space, in order to avoid this have all the tall cabinets on one side of the kitchen.
9. Have a pull out ladder in the storage spaces so it gives access to the former end of the cabinet.
10. Always have a semi- gloss finish cabinets. The disadvantage of having a glossy finish is the visibility of finger print marks and the one with the matte finish is hard to clean.