Our friends at Houzz UK recently published their 2017 Kitchen trends report and there are some fascinating insights into what people are doing to their kitchens and why. They surveyed over 3000 registered Houzz users who had either completed a kitchen renovation in the previous 12 months or were planning one in the next three months. The results provide some food for thought.
Key findings included:
More than a third of homeowners reported leading a healthier lifestyle after a kitchen renovation, from eating more fruits and vegetables to preparing more meals at home.
Contemporary kitchen styles lead the way, comprising 56% of new kitchen styles. White cabinetry appears in nearly a third (31%) of kitchen renovations. More than a fifth of new cabinetry is custom made (22%).
People are prepared to invest in quality and craftsmanship with around 9% spending more than £75k on their kitchen renovation and 7% spending more than £50k.
Nearly two thirds of kitchen renovations are increasing the room’s size (63%). Open concepts continue to be in vogue with 59% of new kitchens more open to the other rooms and 52% more open to the outdoors.
You can download and read the detailed report here.
We have been a long time supporter of our local theatre – the Chichester Festival Theatre and this year we’ve been given the opportunity to be a very active supporter. The theatre have a forthcoming trilogy of plays by Alan Ayckbourn, entitled the Norman Conquests.
The 3 plays are Living Together, Table Manners and Round and Round the Garden and all centre around the central character Norman and 5 other friends/family members in this absurd comic tale. Norman would like to seduce Annie though he is married to her sister, Ruth. He’s also got his eye on Sarah, though she’s married to Reg – who is Annie and Ruth’s brother. Tom, from next door, isn’t married to anyone, though he too nurses secret hopes beneath the surface. It’s all about a weekend where these six characters come together and chaos ensues basically!
Each play can be seen on its own as a standalone piece in any sequence or they can on certain days all be seen as one event.
As sponsors of the Norman Conquests – Conquest Fitted Furniture are designing a special installation for the foyer to be in place throughout the run of the production. Conquest are working with our show designer Simon Higlett to design and install a bespoke piece of furniture – this will be themed around the three plays and be a fantastic centrepiece for our Festival Theatre foyer.
Vicki Gregory, Corporate Development Manager, Chichester Festival.
We are going to be creating a piece of fitted furniture modelled on our media display unit with the slaked lime finish which has provoked such a lot of interest this year from our customers. The piece will be finished in our workshop in late August and then fitted at the theatre in early September 2017 just in time for the performance. We shall of course be attending ourselves and we are also giving away two free tickets to ‘Summer time offer’ customers which will be drawn from a hat in late August.
Christine and David live in a home that dates back 200 years, which means it has plenty of character, but also some peculiarities that can very well pose difficulties when trying to re-invent your space.
The couple were looking for a bespoke shelving system for their basement that would accommodate their life-long collection of books, CDs and LPs, some of which have sentimental value. This needed to be done in a way that was attractive and that would make you want to linger for some time and possibly beckon you to pull out a book and curl up to have a read, or to pop an LP on the stereo and listen to the melodies that spark so many memories. They knew however, this job would be a challenging one, due to the basement’s tricky configuration, with low ceilings and a narrow staircase that leads down to it.
David and Christine, who are avid theatre-goers, came across a Conquest advert whilst browsing their Chichester Festival Theatre programme. Conquest has been a ‘Diamond’ level partner of the theatre for a number of years. The couple decided they should book our designers in for a quote.
‘They came for the initial site visit and very quickly assessed the basement space and made suggestions. It was obvious that they were experienced.’
They’d received quotes from other companies, but felt that Conquest understood what they wanted, which was paramount to them. Conquest’s skilled designers set themselves to work, fitting in handsome wall-to-wall shelving with sleek flush lines, disrupted only by a prominent stereo compartment, to draw the eye. All units were covered with a lick of white paint, giving the low-ceilinged basement the illusion of a grander room.
Tucking away the unattractive boiler and gas meter was an important part of the design challenge and Conquest’s designers skilfully and tactfully concealed these items behind floor-to-ceiling handleless cupboard doors, leaving a clean finish and thus reinforcing the openness and airiness of the space.All this white minimalism may perhaps sound stark to some, but it is warmed up by the rich and varied colour palette of the book jackets, CD and LP covers, leaving them to take centre stage and allowing them to tell their own story and evoke memories throughout the room. So, not only was David and Christine’s problem met with the ideal solution, but just as importantly, they felt heard and understood.
‘They were sympathetic and empathetic to what we wanted to do. They were quick to see what we wanted and at no time did they try to foist something on to us that we found unsuitable.’
The result? A fresh modern-looking room that contains elements of their past, a basement that inspires the imagination, and hopefully one where Christine and David will find themselves spending much of their time, for years to come… .
Have you thought about adding a workstation to your kitchen? While some may prefer a room of their own, if you need to keep an eye on the children whilst catching up with e-mails or cook dinner whilst keeping up-to-date with business news, then a carefully integrated and perhaps even concealed workstation and storage for files and paperwork can offer an ideal solution.
The breakfast bar is perhaps where most of us tend to sit in the kitchen when we need to check on our emails or complete that last piece of work. In recent years the kitchen has now, more than ever become the focal point in the home. The number of homes where the kitchen is solely used to prepare food is now in a small minority. Most of us like to eat our meals there, relax in there, watch television and from time to time do our work there.
Whilst some may think that it’s unhelpful to bring the workplace into the heart of the home, in the kitchen, for many it’s more a case of the growth of the blurred lines in our lives . We seek and enjoy the benefits of a more flexible work life balance which involves perhaps working from home a little more, more sharing of parenting and work roles in the family and roles within the home and this is surely all to the good. It’s only natural that in turn, the space in which we live also adapts to allow this more flexible approach to life and living and this is why we’re seeing the kitchen now fulfilling such a wide variety of roles in the home.
The key to getting these changes right is not to simply drop something into this space which rightly fits in a different space – such as your home office. Adding a work station to your kitchen can be done gently and with subtlety. It could be an approach which is as simple as reshaping a kitchen island worktop or perhaps recessing an area of shelving. As a bespoke furniture company, we can provide tailored solutions for your kitchen ad your family needs. That might mean incorporating a homework nook into a corner of the kitchen using the same cabinet and worktop materials for a desk so that there is a seamless connection. Alternatively you might like to have a workstation that will slide out from an area of worktop – as in our glass kitchen worktop design or might prefer a concealed computer station which is only revealed when needed.
If you talk to us at the early stages when planning a kitchen, we can ensure that every possible option is explored. You can see other examples in the Houzz article, ‘How to Fit a Home Office or Workstation into Your Kitchen‘.
With changing work patterns, the importance of a work life balance and the need to reduce our carbon footprint, a home based office or study has become essential for many of us. However, the study can become a somewhat contested space being such a useful, quiet location in the home where one can be reflective, creative and productive. One office beautifully designed for two could be the perfect answer.
The bespoke home office, custom built around the needs of two people rather than the usual one person can help to prevent any such problems from arising in the first place. With a bespoke Conquest home office built for two, your study can provide am elegant workspace for both you and your partner, beautifully arranged with dual desk and dedicated shelving and drawer space for both people. Our home studies are custom built to meet your needs and space.
Ergonomic design is crucially important if you are going to be spending significant periods of time working in front of your computer and our bespoke furniture is the perfect way to achieve this in combination with suitably designed office chairs.
You can view some of the contemporary studies that we’ve built as well as some classic studies. If you’d like to read about how others are managing a working from home lifestyle, you might like to read one of the leading blogs on the subject called Working from home Wisdom.