Archive: December 2014

How do I know when I need a tradesman?

December 30th 2014 by .

Not all of us are born to DIY – in fact, most of us aren’t. Getting DIY right is a skill that many of us have failed to learn and sometimes it is just a fact that we need expert, professional help with even the most basic jobs. We know that the installation of replacement kitchen doors is an easy job – it is just a case of a few screws and adjustments – but there are other parts of the kitchen makeover that you might need help with.

The finishing touches make all the difference, so don’t be afraid to ask for help

Most of our customers are happy to simply replace their old kitchen doors with new ones and can easily achieve this on their own. We have online videos and even a booklet to help you with this task. But sometimes, a more substantial change is being made to your kitchen and you may want the help of a professional to get the look just right. Luckily we have access to some qualified and experienced tradesmen who can come to your home, or you can find your own reliable kitchen fitter to help you. Here are some of the jobs they may be able to help you with:

Creating new cupboards

If part of your plan is to provide yourself with more kitchen cupboards, you will need to install new carcasses. These can be easy to fit if they are lower cupboards, but wall cabinets may be more tricky. Obviously they need to be very secure, fixed to the wall in the correct way and they need to fit in with your current kitchen style and your new replacement cabinet doors. A tradesman will be able to do this for you in no time and with very little effort.

Building a breakfast bar

Your kitchen may be large enough to accommodate a breakfast bar or even an island. This requires the addition of new carcasses, new worktops and other associated finishing items like end panels and plinths. This all takes some expert cutting, installation and planning. Once again, a tradesman can help you with this and create an eating space in your kitchen for all the family to enjoy.

Finishing touches

If you have chosen a new kitchen door colour or design that is significantly different from your old ones, you will need to change the end panels, plinths and pelmets as well. Doing so will pull the kitchen together, ensuring it looks professionally fitted and much more expensive than what you have paid. The installation of these items takes precise cutting, corner angles and careful fitting. Unless you are experienced, this may be best left to an expert.

Walls and floors

This may not relate fully to the purchase of kitchen doors, but we understand that you may wish to re-tile your walls and floors and even finish off the new look with a splash of decorating. It will be easy for you to do the hard work of removing the old tiling and flooring, but it may be worth getting a professional in to fit the new ones. There is nothing worse than wonky tiles or flooring that is uneven. It will detract from your lovely new kitchen doors and you will always notice any mistakes. A tiler can also complete the job in a short period of time, saving you money in the long run.

Our kitchen doors last a long time, they are of high quality and will look good for many years. So, it is important that the rest of your kitchen stands the test of time too. So don’t be afraid to get a little help when needed so that you will be proud of your new kitchen for years to come.

 

 

3 Tips for Improving Your Kitchen for Christmas

December 23rd 2014 by .

With Christmas drawing closer and the weather getting colder, the kitchen is, aside from the roasting of the turkey, often neglected through the winter period. But it shouldn’t be that way, and these 3 tips can help you get the most out of your kitchen this Christmas.

Reds and Greens are essential in giving kitchens that Christmas feel.

Reds and Greens are essential in giving kitchens that Christmas feel. Shown here: Ultragloss Red from the Visions Kitchen Collection.

1 – A Splash of Colour

As the wind blows outside, the right colour scheme can give your kitchen either a warm, summer feel, or embrace the cold and transform it into a cosy winter wonderland.

Sunny colours such as white, cream and bright yellow can help your cupboards to provide a great contrast against the dark winter days outside. Green, although not usually used for kitchen doors, can really brighten up your kitchen.

Alternatively, warmer colours provide the perfect backdrop to a chilly winter evening. Browns, taupes, sage and darker ivories are all ideal. Dark oak, Walnut and other dark shades of woodgrain also help with achieving that Christmassy feeling, especially when complemented with the right lighting. Which brings us to point number two.

2 – Light it Up

Some subtle lighting can really help to bring a kitchen to life. An Aga oven’s lit stove will do wonders but aren’t exactly cheap, especially during the already costly Christmas period. Lighting however, doesn’t have to be expensive, and as it’s Christmas, why not some fairy lights? A draping across the kitchen doors or windowsills not only provides some light but helps to spread Christmas cheer and add a warm glow to the room.

3 – Decorate

Following on from the fairy lights, decorations allow you to really give your kitchen that Christmas feel and helps you add that personal touch. Green and red is the order of the day here. Holly is a must and goes exceptionally well with anything red. Other accessories such as seasonal tea towels also look great. Most importantly though, it’s Christmas, so have fun!

How will you improve your kitchen this Christmas?

Unsure on what colour is right for you this Christmas, get your free colour swatches here

Small kitchens – they can be beautiful too

December 16th 2014 by .

Have you ever noticed how kitchen manufacturers sell their kitchen doors by showing us pictures of lavish kitchens on desert islands, complete with breakfast bars and dining tables – and they expect us to imagine those kitchen cabinets in our own homes. That is great if you have a large kitchen in the Caribbean – but if yours is more modest, that visualisation needs to have more than a little imagination!

A white gloss door can give your small kitchen more light and space

Smaller kitchens offer a challenge in terms of interior design – but there are a number of tricks and tips that can turn even the smallest kitchen into a space that is well organised and easy to use. The clever use of colours and materials can even make it feel bigger.

Choose the right colours

Lighter colours are definitely best in a small kitchen as it gives the room more light and brightness. But this doesn’t mean that you should just choose white – even though this is a simple and easy choice. Other lighter shades can bring a small kitchen to life including cream, vanilla, magnolia and light grey.

Mixing up your colours is also possible – even in a confined space. Using a darker kitchen door on the lower cabinets, while staying light on upper cabinets, can give an optical illusion of extra depth and space.

Exposed walls can also be painted in darker colours, allowing them to disappear behind the cabinets giving the illusion of the cabinets being deeper than they are.

Cabinet sizes

Just because a floor cabinet is usually 600mm deep, it doesn’t mean yours has to be. If a section of your kitchen isn’t going to be used for housing appliances, sinks or hobs – it is perfectly acceptable to choose a cabinet that is not as deep and to cut your worktop to match. This will offer you a little more floorspace and at the expense of just a little cupboard space.

You should also try to use tall cupboards on your walls – letting them reach almost to the ceiling. This makes the most of the space you do have and adds in the colour of your cabinet as more of a feature.

Materials

A high gloss, or possibly even satin finish, are the best options for small kitchens as each of these are reflective and add depth to the room. With a high gloss kitchen door you could even use a dark shade and still get the light into the room that you need.

A gloss finish does cost a little more than average, so you could always go for a satin finish which has a smooth painted look with a slight glow. Rather than absorbing light, like a matte finish might, this will add light back into the room – therefore adding space.

Kitchen door style

As you will know, a small kitchen can be a struggle to keep orderly,  so you may find that a plain style door would work better than a busy, highly decorative traditional door would. Plain doors will not catch the eye and will blend into the walls behind them. This may seem boring, but in a small kitchen, the emphasis should be on creating space and practicality. Plain doors are also very beautiful when they are well made and have a colour that suits the room.

Of course there are many other tricks you can apply in a small kitchen such as keeping the worktops clear and avoiding the use of curtains. You can even remove your kitchen door (fire regulations taken into account) to give you the doorway space back.

You may be stuck with your small kitchen, but you are not stuck with your kitchen doors. Get some new ones, using the ideas detailed in this article and see how much larger your kitchen will seem.

 

 

 

We have replacement drawers too!

December 9th 2014 by .

Yes, we are called Kitchen Door Workshop and there is plenty of information on replacement kitchen doors – but the little drawer fronts get hardly a mention. And we think they are well worth talking about – after all, what is a kitchen without some drawers?

Don’t be afraid to use plenty of drawers in your kitchen design

Our drawers

No, not the type of drawers that might immediately come to mind. These are the ones that you keep your cutlery or kitchen knicknacks in and they exist in almost all kitchens. So, it is obvious, that if you are ordering new kitchen doors, you will also need new kitchen drawer fronts too.

Our drawer fronts are simply smaller versions of our full size doors. We have carefully designed the drawer fronts to follow the same styles and shapes as the larger doors, but keeping the proportions smaller. In some cases the drawer fronts may be plain – especially if the detail on the doors is quite busy and it would be lost on the smaller drawer. In this case, the edging is kept the same.

Our drawers also come in a variety of widths and heights to allow you to perfectly match your existing drawer fronts and they are designed to work well with your current drawer mechanisms. That said we do sell drawer runners so you can replace any that have become worn over time.

Why drawers?

These days kitchens seem to use drawers much more often than they used to. The fact is that drawers can often be more practical and easy to use than cupboards. At lower levels, it can be tricky to get good access to your cupboards. It may involve kneeling down to reach far into the back. Many people get around this by installing pull out baskets in their lower cupboards – but drawers would work in the same way.

Deep and wide drawers can be used for holding pots and pans or larger dishes and can even have separators added to help you to keep things where they should be. A smaller drawer could be used for your collection of herb and spice jars and have you though about where your tea towels, table cloths and oven mitts need to be stored? Drawers are for much more than knives and forks!

Cupboards into drawers?

It is certainly possible to change your existing cupboard into a drawer unit – even after your kitchen has been built. You will need to buy the correct housing, the right sized drawer unit with runners and of course the drawer front. Obviously this adds to the expense, but it could really allow you to create a kitchen that is much more user friendly and where you have proper access to all parts.

You can also split your cupboard with a single or even a double drawer across the top portion of the cupboard housing. This adds even more flexibility.

Dressing your drawers

We also supply the right handles for your drawer fronts and these can make a huge difference to the way they look. With several drawers lined up in a stack, some handles may overwhelm the look. In general drawer handles are placed horizontally and this allows easier use of the drawer and more often than not they will be central. Take care to think through how this will look with your other cupboard doors to ensure that your kitchen doesn’t suddenly become all about the handles. (as good as they are!)

So, don’t forget about your drawer fronts when you are ordering your new kitchen. It is an essential part of the room and can break up a dull and uniform looking space – adding something more to catch the eye. Along with the new finish, colour and style, you will be so happy you chose replacement kitchen doors.

 

The Shakers – What makes this a great kitchen style?

December 1st 2014 by .

Many of us choose a typical Shaker style kitchen cabinet door because we simply love the look of it. It is sturdy, has a handmade look and feel and it fits in with traditional settings as much as it does a more modern home. In fact, the Shaker kitchen is a great all-rounder – perfect for a kitchen makeover that will last the test of time (and fashion).

This Kingston door in Montana Oak is a perfect example of the plainer Shaker style.

But how many of us understand where this traditional furniture came from and origins of the Shaker movement? Read on for a short history lesson that may well encourage you to try one of our Shaker style replacement kitchen doors for your new kitchen.

Shaker history

The Shakers are best known as being an American religious sect – however their origins actually lie in the UK which they left in around 1774. Led by the prophet Ann Lee, this group of English Quakers believed that the end of the world was coming and that they needed to surrender themselves to God by living a pure and simple life. The term “Shakers” came from their dancing during worship which was thought to be a physical manifestation of their religious fervour.

Shakers went to great efforts to avoid the modern world and this included the construction of their own homes and furniture – but unfortunately also included a vow of celibacy ( a rule that led to their eventual decline in recent years).

The Shaker style

The guiding principles of honesty, practicality and simplicity can be seen in everything the the Shaker’s made – but particularly their furniture, which is well known for being of high quality and a with a minimalist feel. It is this final point that really allows this furniture to have a place in modern society. It is a style that simply works well in almost any setting.

Most furniture was made from solid wood and was then painted or stained to preserve the colour and the wood itself. The colours used were strictly limited to blues, reds, greens and yellows – but a clear finish was most common. For the Shakers, it was considered deceitful to produce an item that had veneer or ornamentation as this could detract from the hand-crafted quality or worse still, hide imperfections.

This commitment to handcrafted quality did not, however, prevent the Shakers from using modern tools to help them with production. They were happy to use labour saving devices, stating that the utility of the tools allowed them to be used. In fact they handcrafted many of their own tools. It certainly did not detract from the finished articles which are still incredibly popular in the US.

Shaker style kitchens

Here, the Shaker style is best known in kitchen cabinetry and we offer a number of options that take inspiration from these original craftsmen. The standard Shaker style kitchen will use a framework around a plain central panel on both the drawer fronts and the doors. To improve on this is difficult, but we also add grooves and chamfers to our doors to bring them to life and to add extra detail.

These days, Shaker kitchen doors are produced using more modern materials including MDF and vinyl finishes. This makes the modern versions more easily manufactured, long lasting and cheaper than solid wood. However the principles that guide the Shakers are still there – the doors are simple and minimalist, well made and constructed and practical and easy to use. You can also add versatile and easy to use in any kitchen to that list.

Our Shaker doors come from the plainest and most beautiful through to the most detailed – but all adhere to the look and feel that has existed for hundreds of years.

 

Colours shown on this website can vary from one door range to another (even if the name of the colour is the same) and may not be accurately displayed on your computer screen.
You can order free colour swatches so that you can see exactly what your chosen colour looks like before ordering.

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