Thursday, 20 June 2013

Can a luxury kitchen add value to your home?

With the world property market slowly starting to show signs of recovery, people are now looking for ways to increase the value of their home. The question is, what parts do you update and how much do you spend? It is no good spending thousands if it isn’t going to increase the value of your property. If you are just looking at upgrading parts of your house and you are not thinking about the overall value, then you should still keep it in mind. Adding a bit of luxury to a house, even if it is just one room, can see an estate agent improving the value, the art is to increase the value by more than the cost of the upgrade. One room that people always pay special interest in when viewing new property is the kitchen. This is the area where many families share a meal and friends have coffee breaks. Research has shown that upgrading a kitchen and then selling the property straight away will recoup 60% to 120% of the value, although with house prices increasing the latter value could be higher. A new kitchen in a property for sale will really catch the eye of the potential buyer so a point must be made to show them that part first, that will put them in a positive mood for the remainder of the viewing, and it also means that they will be able to use the kitchen from day one without any modifications. When deciding what style you are going for to include the look and feel of luxury, you have a large selection of contemporary kitchens available, or if you are one of those people that like to be totally unique then you may settle for bespoke kitchens. Some people may decide to go with more of a European look and install one of the many German Kitchens available. Before opting for a style it is often worth doing some research into what people like the most, it is no use installing something that isn’t trending if you are aiming to add value to your home. How much you spend will depend on what you are updating, but a good coat of light paint is usually good enough for the walls and ceiling, you do not require expensive wallpaper or tiles. Although kitchen units can be cheap, if you want them to stay together then you are best purchasing wooden ones that have more quality. Worktops should be solid and long lasting, with Corian and granite being the best, and if you are changing the appliances make sure that they are energy efficient. One thing often ignored is the floor, solid stone tiling can certainly give out the impression of luxury. If you will be continuing to live in the property then you need to improve the kitchen so that it feels homely, but for those looking to sell quickly then install what the general population want rather than what you want.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Would you like to design the kitchen of your dreams?

Planning out the perfect bespoke kitchen might seem overwhelming at first. There are lots of aspects to consider and choices to make. You can come up with your own plan, or work with a professional kitchen designer. Understanding the basic concepts before starting is essential. Read our guide on how to plan your dream kitchen and turn your ideas into reality.

Use Space Efficiently

The first step is to measure the kitchen area and find out exactly how much space you have to work with. You should make the best use out of the space available and maximise your kitchens potential. The style and function of the kitchen design should be balanced against your budget for the project.

The size and shape of the kitchen vary from house to house, but there are a few common types:

- L-shaped
- U-shaped
- Gallery
- Peninsula

Take a look at existing kitchen designs to get an idea on what type you prefer. No matter which style of kitchen you choose, you need to keep it practical. Think about the location of the fridge, hob and sink. You should be able to easily move between these working areas when preparing and cooking food.

Make your kitchen more high tech by including a media centre for watching TV or listening to music. Such elements should be fully integrated into the plan, to ensure a stylish looking design.

A typical example of this can be found here at Mascari with their concealed appliance bank.

Storage Solutions

Having sufficient storage space is required for a usable kitchen. The number and size of the Cupboards, drawers and cabinets should be carefully considered. A well planned design will fit all the storage solutions efficiently for maximum space, while maintaining functionality and a uniform look to the kitchen. Opting for quality material and build design, will ensure everything will stand up to everyday use

Colour Scheme & Lighting

Select a colour scheme that suits the style of the kitchen and the overall feeling you want to convey. You can make the kitchen design uniquely yours, but make sure the colours match well. Choose an appropriate colour for the furniture that fits in with the colour of the kitchen units.

Good lighting is a very important kitchen element. Take into account the location and size of the windows, so you can maximise the amount of natural light you get by keeping that area uncluttered. The type of lighting should reflect the mood you want to create. Create a system where you can switch between lighting for when you are working in the kitchen and sitting around the dining table.

A Bespoke Kitchen Solution

German kitchens are a great choice for a custom made plan. They offer great flexibility in design choices and are highly rated due to their excellent quality. Innovative features and jaw dropping results are just some of the reasons for their rising popularity. The kitchen is a focal point of your home and nothing can beat the style and functionality of a top German kitchen.

For more information on kitchen tips why not visit the Mascari news pages

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Tips to create a family friendly bespoke kitchen

Tips in Creating a Family Friendly Kitchen

Do you have a contemporary kitchen that you specially chose to make everything look simple and functional? Or do you have a bespoke kitchen that is specially designed for you alone? Well, there would be no problem if you want to create a family friendly kitchen that is going to be comfortable for you and your whole family.

Bespoke kitchens such as those found at Mascari are being chosen by many people nowadays in order to make that special part of their home more presentable and comfortable for everyone who is going to spend time preparing food in that corner. As parents, you should consider that your kitchen should not only be functioning for adults, you should create a place where your kids can also spend sometime while chatting with you in that area. You should make it a place where you can socialize with your husband, children or some friends who would be coming to visit you. If you have a bespoke kitchen, it would be easier for you to do this. Below, you will find different tips that you can use if you want to create a family friendly kitchen out of your contemporary kitchen or designer kitchen.

  • Make a multifunctional area out of your kitchen. Traditionally, people use different rooms for dining, cooking, drinking and chatting. Well, if you want to create a comfortable atmosphere in your kitchen, you can make include an area where you can drink tea and share chitchat with your family or friends. This can be done perfectly for bespoke kitchens, click here to see some fine examples. You should add some stuff in such a way that the room will not look so crowded. You can add a TV set in one of the walls in order to make it livelier.
  • Upgrade and add up modern amenities for the convenience of everyone. With this, you can choose to create a bespoke kitchen that is equipped with equipment that can be very helpful to your family. You should make sure that everything is organized and you are purchasing things that will make your kitchen look more spacious and makes things easy to access. When upgrading, you should thing about the best improvement for your children and spouse.
  • Make it look more comfortable by adding color to it. For your own kitchen, you can always look for the best color that fits everything. If you want to have an elegant looking one, you must try elegant colors like royal blue or shades of gold. You can also look for the best color that can perfectly coordinate with the different amenities that are present in your kitchen. With this, it all depends on your choice.
  • Consider your children when you are designing. Remember that they are not that tall to get whatever they need. If you want them to learn how to search and manage the kitchen on their own, make sure that you are leveling things that they need with their height.

The things given above are just few of the things that you need to consider when you want to create a kitchen that is perfect for your whole family.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Luxury Kitchen Design Ergonomics.

An incite into kitchen design from a Mascari point of view

This sentence is read only too often in the kitchen industry, but does it mean the same thing to every designer or more to the point do the same rules apply to each and every individual design. There is no doubt that a kitchen needs to flow, it is a space to prepare, cook and serve food as well as entertaining in the modern luxury kitchen.

Clearly money has a big part to play in creating the perfect ergonomics, as does available space and shape. But a designer can always do the best with what they have to work with. Another factor to throw in as well is the customers preferences on usability and looks. I for one believe you should always start off with getting the basic appearance agreed with the customer and the try and pull it in to get improved ergonomics.

Compromise to gain work space

A prime example of compromise in this situation is my own contemporary kitchen. I would never say to anybody put your sink right at the end of your worktop up against the wall. It is tight to use and you are moving here and there to get your dirty dishes arranged, washed and the draining. However in my situation we only had 2 runs of solid oak worktop in an L shape arrangement. I wanted space on the tops for baking, buffeting and also serving up plates. We like to entertain and my modern fitted kitchen needed to get this factor on the top of its design list. So I decided to put my granite sink at the very end of a worktop run. I can not tell you how well this has worked in terms of appearance, space and yes ergonomics. The sink is now kind of out the way, the oak top is not broken up by it so I have stacks of space to bake, prepare, serve and whatever else. When I do the dishes it is also not as much of a problem as you would anticipate, the dishes are maximum 90 cm away from the bowl so really no big deal. I would not call this compromise as now its in use it really is in my opinion the right way to have executed the design.

Think about your cooking appliances

I am a big fan of spreading out your cooking appliances, I think this is good practice in kitchen design. Hob with an oven below can get a bit hectic at times, such a lot of heat concentrated into that space and also pans above on the hob while checking the oven is not ideal. Yes this is how they build cookers but that's because you are buying one appliance. When it comes to separate built in appliances think about how you would like them spread out, safety advantages are to be gained here because an oven out of the reach of little hands is one less thing to worry about.

Fridges and freezers out the way

To many seem to have the opinion that your fridge and freezer needs to be at handy reach to be convenient whilst cooking. I have to strongly disagree with this. It needs to be in the same room but out the way is no bad thing. A family home even during cooking periods can have a kitchen full of teenagers grabbing this and that out of the cupboards and fridge. Move this big appliances and once again you have gained breathing space. You have also made enough room to reduce that cramped feeling of everyone on top of each other, which in turn means plenty of space to gain a little help from your loved ones.

True ergonomics are down to you

The real way to get your kitchen working just they way you want it is to take time deciding what goes in which cupboard and drawer. Sounds obvious but these are the most used areas and the spaces you will be constantly dipping in and out of. So to glue the whole contemporary kitchen design together take your time and really think about how you will store what where. The beauty is you can alter this over time to fine tune your kitchens flow. This is where you get to make your room work the right way for you and for me this is where the true ergonomics are created. We are all different and so like to do things completely different to each other so there can really be no rule of thumb to executing the perfect universal design. It is all about the right look, the right space and the right place to store the right things.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Enhancing the Look of a Small Galley Kitchen

Sometimes contemporary kitchen design in smaller rooms can be a struggle. It is not always about the chosen doors and colors. You can not go wring with modern fronts and neutral paints to give the feel of enlarged open space. But to often this looks a little typical. However there are little design points and ideas you can take on board to help really give you that wow factor even in a thin galley kitchen.

Look at the positives of your contemporary kitchen design 

The step to a great modern fitted kitchen design is a positive attitude  Now i know this sounds a little cliche, however a good designer will always look at every opportunity to make a design statement. So when confronted with a small galley kitchen in stead of thinking this is boring with no corners on units or work tops I always view it as a gallery walkway, a cat walk, even an airport runway. This gets me excited because straight away I am thinking lights, reflections and shine.

The right kitchen floor

A good strategy with smaller rooms is of course to add space enhancing features, so maybe I will look to put  in a nice glossy porcelain floor. I like an option like this because on the floor you have a shiny reflective surface which not only gives the appearance of space but also has waterway look to it as light shines off it. Often most floor finishes fall into budget because the floor is such a small area so this does give you many options. I still stick to a few basic rules of thumb such as dark floor light walls, light floor dark walls.

What worktop works?

Door finishes are not to much of an issue in this shape room because modern fitted kitchens come in so many different tastes that nothing seems to look wrong in any situation. But I will say the kitchen furniture doors need the right worktop. Here I would probably say less is more. When putting together your contemporary kitchen design try and choose a solid colored worktop. Anything with lines and shades such as marbles etc just look to busy. It doesn't have the space to breath so you can often end up with a messy and tense look to it. By using solid colors this creates a minimalist side to a large surface area, once again creating the look of space and softening whatever door fronts you have chosen  I will say though that wood is still an option so long as it is a butchers block, the block then follows the direction of the room and this works well.

The kitchens finishing touches

For tiles and paint it is pretty much down to your own taste just try not to use to many tiles if you choose a small size as this creates lots of busy grout lines which a gain can look a bit much. Go for it though with your design as the colors are where you can really put the stamp on your bespoke kitchen.


Now Lets not be tight. You have this cat walk going through your kitchen so why not light it up. You can use plinth lights or even led tap just under the units. This always looks wonderful because it reflects of that glass floor and creates a skyline in water look. When you achieve this you really feel you have something special to show off. Do not be shy either with the lighting, under cabinet lights also add to the beauty. Small rooms love light because light enhances space which in turn enhances the wonderful modern fitted kitchen you have took the time to create.

For much more great inspration please take a look at the images at

Monday, 11 February 2013

Gloss Kitchen Doors For That Modern look

The kitchen is now an integral feature of family life, the heart of the home and a sociable space for sharing precious time with family and friends. This surge in popularity has brought about huge advances in the way we design the most important room in the house and for this reason contemporary kitchen design is now big business in the UK.
Most modern fitted kitchens are created with the focus on making everyday tasks as convenient  and hassle free as possible and designers are constantly trying to improve the functionality of the kitchen. A kitchen needs to flow effortlessly and this can only be achieved if everything is in the right place, it should be logical and commonly used items should be easily accessible.

Of course for a kitchen to actually sell it also needs to be visually appealing and contemporary kitchens combine the latest technologies with the ultimate in sleek design. Most recently gloss kitchens have been particularly popular as they fit effortlessly into almost any living space from houses to flats or apartments. High gloss modern fitted kitchens come in a range of colours from stylish black, vibrant reds or cool and chic white gloss, but the colour you choose may depend on the size of your kitchen as it can have a big impact on the overall feel of the room. Black gloss works well if you have a large kitchen that is well lit by natural light, complementing the units with statement chrome handles will create a bold designer impression. In a smaller kitchen black gloss can be just too dark and the overall effect will look dim and depressing so this is probably best avoided.
On the other hand a smaller space would benefit from cream or white units that will reflect the light, making the room feel brighter and bigger than it actually is. You can up the designer feel by creating a feature wall or using a bold wall colour for added dramatic effect. Real wood worktops can add warmth and depth to the blank canvas a white kitchen creates.
For contrast why not consider using two different colours, a popular option for those creating bespoke fitted kitchens. A long run of black wall units looks stunning accompanied by white base units, ultra modern and sophisticated design. 

Although a high gloss finish does mark easily it is easy to wipe clean, this makes it particularly appealing to family homes with young children. In order to maintain the appearance of your new high gloss kitchen you should wipe clean the cupboards and drawers regularly to prevent the build up of dirty fingerprints and smears.

Contemporary kitchen design is the interpretation of your own personal tastes, and the flexibility of a gloss kitchen offers you the opportunity to mix and match to create a look that is ideal for you, your family and your lifestyle.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Choosing a splashback for your new kitchen

In all modern kitchens uk designers will incorporate a stylish and practical splashback into the overall design. Deciding what sort of splashback to use is a vital decision, not just for decorative purposes but more importantly to protect the areas behind sinks and hobs from moisture, grease and food debris. Without a suitable splashback these areas will soon begin to look tired and worn. Paint will peel, fade and stain, destroying the look of your new kitchen. Choosing a splashback is an exciting aspect of contemporary kitchen design, with many new and imaginative products on the market it is an area that can really make an impact and show individual flair and creativity.

So what are the options available and the pro’s and con’s associated with each choice?

Tiles - Tiles can be an affordable and practical splashback solution and are widely used in modern fitted kitchens. Available in a vast range of colours, shapes, textures and designs they can make a real impact without costing a fortune. They are also fairly easy to install. Mosaic tiles are also a very effective way to make a feature of your splashbacks. However as hygiene is an important element in any kitchen it is worth mentioning that a tiled splashback can be difficult to keep clean. They can of course be wiped down easily with a damp cloth but bacteria will get trapped in the grout and some staining may occur. Poor quality tiles are also likely to crack over time so it is worth keeping a few spares so they can be replaced if necessary.

Glass - For those with a more generous budget, perhaps in the market for bespoke fitted kitchens, such as those on sale at Mascari, glass splashbacks are the height of popularity right now. They are incredibly versatile, a plain glass splashback can be installed directly over a painted surface or you could opt for coloured or textured glass for a different look. Another popular option is to apply the splashback over patterned wallpaper, this can a be beautifully effective way to add a personal touch to your kitchen. Glass splashbacks are very hygienic and easy to keep clean. However they are expensive and they need to be made to measure and cut to size for the perfect fit.

Stainless steel - In a professional kitchen uk installers will commonly choose stainless steel splashbacks. They are hygienic, easy to clean and can be moulded as an extension to the work surface. Stainless steel works just as well in the home although it is not seen very often, probably because it needs buffering frequently to limit the appearance of smudges, water marks and fingerprints.

Worktop upstands - These are quite simply a continuation of the material used for your worktop. This could be a laminate, solid wood or granite. They are perhaps the easy option, they will always match and look good.

The kitchen is usually the most expensive room in your house to renovate so it is important to get it right and stick to your budget. Splashbacks do serve a purpose and will lengthen the life of your kitchen's appearance so spending a bit more is worth while in the long run. For this reason splashbacks play a key role in contemporary kitchen design. This guide has been created to help you make an informed decision on the best option for your requirements.