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Open Plan Living for Entertaining and Hosting

 
Have you been enjoying the summer so far? We’ve had Wimbledon, the World Cup and some truly glorious weather. Our unusually warm summer has been the perfect setting to host family and friends, but is your space meeting your entertaining and hosting needs or is it limiting them?
 
 
During the summer months we get to enjoy longer days, giving us more time to spend with our loved ones and friends. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a beautifully spacious kitchen, giving you the room to cook for your guests and entertain at the same time? Or perhaps enjoy or glass of wine whilst overlooking the garden?
 
 
Many of us would like to create a larger open plan kitchen and living space that is welcoming for our guests and enables our social life to flourish. A bespoke kitchen and living space ensures that all elements fit together beautifully and without compromise. Creating such a space is a significant task but a rewarding one and so it is crucial that it is done correctly and with Conquest, that is guaranteed. We will create a space that brings everybody together and a bespoke made to measure kitchen will not only create the desired space for hosting but will also the kitchen perfectly fits your needs.

Kitchen Trends 2018

 

 

White
White kitchens have been popular in both traditional and contemporary designs for many years, and we don’t see any signs of this slowing down. They are neutral, clean and work well with a splash of colour from appliances or feature walls. 

Bespoke wooden cabinets 
Painted cupboard doors mean you can have you can have your Conquest kitchen in almost any colour you wish. In addition to white continuing to be a popular choice of colour, being clean and natural, forest green is on trend for 2018. The colour works well with traditional style kitchens, bringing the outdoor living indoors.

Timber Worktops
Over the years we have seen less wooden worktops requested at design and installed. Many customers now opt for natural materials such as granite, marble or stone. With timber worktops requiring regular oiling and being susceptible to water stain, people are drawn to an easy to maintain surface. 

Reducing clutter
Over the years kitchens can accumulate miscellaneous clutter – often being a primary motivator to built-in cabinets, organisers, pan drawers and pull out waste bins. Reducing clutter with suitable storage can make a significant difference to how you use and enjoy your kitchen.

Open plan
The kitchen is the heart of the home with an open planned kitchen/dining room desired by many homeowners. Entertaining friends and family in an open plan kitchen brings everybody together. You no longer have to leave your guests in another room whilst you continue to prepare food in the kitchen and balance entertaining in the dining.

Future proofing
Adapting to the future is something many of our customers consider before the design process. Renovating a kitchen with technology in mind is often at the forefront of kitchen designs, such as concealed cabling, smart technology and automation.

Induction Hobs
In the past, an induction hob hasn’t had the best reputation for cooking, with opinions of not being able to control the heat as well as gas. The report shows that 41% of homeowners surveyed selected an induction hob, 29% gas and the remaining upgrading to a gas/electric combination hob.

Personalisation
The 2018 Houzz kitchen trends study reveals some interesting insights, from what makes homeowners decide to change their kitchen through to their preferred appliance upgrades. The research shows that 40% of all people asked about their motivation for a kitchen renovation,  say that is tied to their having recently purchased their home and are looking to personalise it, while 33% had lived in their home for a number of years and now have the means to renovate. 

Winners of Best of Houzz 2018

We are delighted to have been awarded Best of Houzz 2018 in the service category for the second consecutive year. Nominated by our customers, this prestigious award goes out to the top 3% of professionals, focusing on the quality of our work and customer service. We are thrilled to receive it again.

We take pride in all of all of our designs and installations, working with our customers every step of the way to ensure they get the home of their dreams. Here are just a few of those Houzz customer reviews for Co quest that helped us to scoop the award.

“We have now used Conquest three times and just as in the other two instances, we have been delighted with the results. We are impressed by the styles of the furniture range including the colours and finishes available. The design is then carefully gone through with us. The installation is also top quality finished with a thorough cleanup.” – Lawrence Murawski 

“A highly professional and friendly installation from start to finish. The result even exceeded our expectations. A huge thank you to the team at Conquest.” – Chris Riley

“From the initial consultation onwards, the Conquest team worked with us to refine the design to meet our exact needs and build on our ideas, both during visits to our house and their showroom (including evenings/ weekends). Once the design was confirmed, the installation team attended on the agreed dates; they were professional and kept the house very tidy throughout the work. The finished product is exceptionally well made, looks smart and meets our requirements perfectly. We would strongly recommend Conquest.” – Francis Griffiths

Home & Interior Trends for 2018

(Heart Wood image courtesy of Dulux)

 

It is without doubt that the colour palette for 2017 was smoky greys and dark blues. However, moving into 2018 we are seeing a trend for warmer, natural tones.  Dulux revealed the Colour of the Year 2018 as ‘Heart Wood’, inspired by “beautifully warm wooden materials”, sitting “between a smokey taupe and a dusky mauve” – Rebecca Williamson, Dulux Colour and Design Expert

Copper has been on the interior scene for a few years and is here to stay for 2018. Joining the classic metal is natural materials such as concrete, marble, stone and granite. The popularity of these aesthetically pleasing natural materials is expected to grow through 2018, with more people choosing these organic materials to compliment home interior designs. 

According to Houzz editor Mitchell Parker, home owners are moving away from traditional white kitchens and are incorporating a splash of colour. Stylish sinks, made from natural materials such as stone or concrete are set to be a big hit in 2018. Around the house warmer rich tones will make our homes feel more inviting and welcoming. 

Conquest designer Shameen Jivraj believes the trend for working from home will continue to grow – “During 2017 we saw a strong surge in requests for home studies, converting and redesigning space within the home. With more people working from home requiring a dedicated space, we predict the demand will get stronger in 2018.”

Home owners will continue to focus on bespoke media units, hiding cables and wires out of sight – “Lounge media units incorporating AV equipment and neatly hiding the spaghetti of wires in our bespoke hand crafted units were also very popular in 2017. With the growth of connected living and smart home automation, we anticipate a significant increase in bespoke media units this year.” 

Whilst the need for media units that will display your television and associated audio equipment has been on the increase, so too have the prices of imported units. They may have been built for an incredibly low cost but that doesn’t mean that is what they’re expecting you to pay. At Conquest we have found that customers have been really surprised at how affordable a bespoke media unit is and how well it compares in terms of price to the imported ‘one size fits all’ offerings. Whilst these production line units could never compete in terms of quality or finish with a bespoke Conquest media unit, one would at least expect a correspondingly cheaper price but this is often not the case. 

Talk to one of our designers about how we could help you transform your lounge and hide all media related cable and clutter, with a bespoke media unit. As part of our Winter Promotions we are offering 2 years interest free credit (T’s and C’s apply).

How much should I spend on my kitchen?

 working together at homeNew Year – New Home?

Any housing expert will tell you that if you are only going to improve one room in your house to make your home more sellable, then make it the kitchen.
But you may ask yourself, ‘How much should I spend on my kitchen?’ In an article for the Daily Telegraph, TV house sale guru Phil Spencer explains that you need to match your kitchen budget to the value of your home, so if your house is low in sale value don’t go overboard on a kitchen and appliances as they won’t add the equivalent value.


However if your house is valuable, adding a cheap kitchen will devalue it, so make sure you invest in a high quality kitchen to add value to your property. Ideal Home echo this view saying ‘always keep expense in proportion to the size and current value of your property; for example, there’s little chance of adding value (or even recouping costs) if you add a bespoke £25,000 kitchen to a house that’s valued at £170,000 – even if it is in a brand-new kitchen extension. Nor is it sensible to put an £8,000 kitchen in a house that’s worth £1m!


Adding Value to your Home with Bespoke – 10% January discount

Bespoke kitchens will add real value to the more valuable properties. As well as enjoying all the benefits of a beautifully designed and fitted bespoke kitchen, Ideal home say that ‘a new kitchen will make your property more appealing to buyers and according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), can add as much as 4% to its value.”

In his article Phil goes further saying that ‘typically, a new kitchen will add 4.6 per cent onto the value’ of your home.

A bespoke kitchen provides unbeatable quality with the kitchen being made to measure and built to last, here in the UK but this needn’t mean expensive. Once you’ve fully priced up your new kitchen you’ll find that a fully bespoke Conquest kitchen is very competitively priced even against the flat pack, build cheap and import, one size fits all approach of the High Street. In addition, we are now offering a 10% discount on all of our kitchen orders in January 2018 so now is the time to give us a call, visit our showrooms in either Portsmouth or High Wycombe or have one of our designers come and talk to you.