Afraid of investing in a renovated kitchen that becomes glaringly outdated after only a few years? To avoid the cost of paying more money for a second makeover, choose a classic style that keeps to design elements that never fail: Light, white and open spaces ensure balance and harmony in the kitchen. Read More >
Subtle textures, ceramic tiles and metals, 2016 is all about classic and timeless style so you don’t have to keep reinventing your kitchen and bathroom.
TREND & INFO DILEMMA
In this digital age, it’s so easy to access information and global trends in home renovations. With so many trends to follow, along with the home renovation TV shows like The Block or House Rules, and enough ideas in your magazine subscription to Better Homes & Gardens to renovate your kitchen and bathroom ten times over - how do you know what will look right for 2016 and also endure for years to come?
Here are some top 2016 trends and tips for you to consider so you don’t regret your stylistic choice.
# 1 TEXTURES
Just about everyone likes the idea of textures, but are they practical? It can be hard to blend seamlessly between textured and smooth surfaces and furniture but it’s not impossible! With the help of an experienced team with an eye for design you can ensure the look is just right.
There are a number of approaches you can take when introducing textures to your bathroom. For starters, you can use patterns or designs that have the appearance of being textured but are actually smooth surfaces. You can also try creating a “strip feature” which is a great way to add texture in a small area such as in the shower, without the texture dominating the whole room. Look below and not above by introducing floor tiles or even a pebbled floor with its organic look and feel.
Another way of arriving at a textured look in the bathroom is through introducing stylish stand out pieces. Try introducing a natural stone vanity basin or why not go all out in glamour and include a marble bathtub if you are into luxury features.
Gone are the glossy kitchens of 2015. 2016 is now all about the serenity and homely feel. Think white tiling, exposed timber and a touch of greenery (say hello to indoor plants) to create a welcoming feel to any family home. Due to its white palette with touches of timber, the kitchen can be both a warm and classic feature of your house that doesn’t date and you don’t have to break the budget to achieve.
#2 ALL THINGS SHINY
Fridges, stoves and ovens are taking center stage in many modern kitchens - with a trend that won’t go away anytime soon being stainless steel appliances. For the more daring, stainless steel is getting mixed with copper, gold and brass features such as taps in the sink basin, a splashback or a pendant light. For an affordable way to quickly introduce metallic elements to your kitchen without remodeling, try some copper-coloured dining chairs or bar stools that will give your kitchen that unique touch it needs.
Equally attractive in a bathroom setting, corrugated metal can give a modern and chic look to a shower. Again if you don’t want to reinvent the whole bathroom, introducing metallic fixtures and accessories can give you the best bang for your buck when revitalising the space. Try a copper round basin with matching taps or a free standing solid brass bathtub with matching bathroom faucet. If you don’t want to take the full leap with metallic fixtures a simple, cost effective solution is to use metallic accessories throughout the room like soap dispensers and mirrors.
Will this metallic trend stick around? Who knows, but our advice is to keep it simple and allow yourself the flexibility to make easy changes later down the track if you need to.
#3 THIN COUNTER TOPS
Say goodbye to the chunky and hello to barely there benchtops. How slim should you go for benchtops in the kitchen? Our experts say the thinner the better. Since they are lightweight, they are easier to handle with the added bonus of being better priced. Benchtops, thanks to advanced technology are now available in slabs as thin as 13mm. This style has been slowly snowballing into to 2016 and it fits in with other trends such as smaller details and letting the texture of each material do the talking.
What do we think? These thinner benchtops look fabulous so are definitely worth looking at, but as always, remember to look at them in the context of the look and feel of the whole room and the rest of your home.
Be careful though as it is easy to go overboard with geometric. Why spoil a good thing? The best approach to introducing geometric patterns in either the kitchen or bathroom is to mix and match but stick to the same colour palate to blend. Less is more when it comes to the geometric look, where blending bold patterns with neutral pieces gives a stunning makeover to any average kitchen or bathroom.
What do we think? Geometrics have the potential to add something a bit different and special to your renovation but we suggest using them in moderation to really make them pop and avoid the room feeling overwhelming.
So there you have it, 4 trends that are on the rise in 2016. What do you think? Would you like to see any of them in your next renovation? Get in touch today for a free consultation and quote to discuss your ideas with our expert team and see how Nu Look Renovations can help bring your ideas to life.
Want to see more great examples of these trends in action? View our Houzz Ideabook now.Read More >
Whether it’s a new addition to the family or just the kids getting older, having a kitchen that is designed with your changing needs in mind can mean the difference between a space you love and one that makes life harder for you.
Today we’re sharing some ideas to consider if you’re realising that the kitchen you have may not be the most suitable as your family grows and are thinking about renovating.
Idea #1: Make sure it works for how your family will live, both now and in the future
When thinking about what you want in a kitchen it’s easy to forget to think ahead to what your needs will be in the years that follow. For example, the toddler years go by much quicker than you’d imagine so designing the whole space to be childproof is an often unnecessary consideration when there are temporary solutions you could employ instead. Try and think ahead to what would be handy over the whole of the next 10 years and factor those into your planning.
Idea #2: Make simple cleaning a consideration in choosing surfaces
Wipeability, durability and ease of cleaning are really important considerations when choosing materials throughout the whole kitchen. This means thinking about the materials that you use, the types of finishes & even colour. While natural stones, such as marble, are simply beautiful for your benchtop it does tend to stain due to its porous nature. It's also not particularly forgiving of having plates and glasses carelessly flung onto them. So if your children are young these might not be the best surfaces to choose for longevity. If you’re going for the sleek and modern no handles look in the kitchen, cabinets that have a gloss finish and dark colours are more likely to show up your fingerprints. Chances are the kitchen floor will also see more than it’s fair share of spills so make sure whatever material you choose is easy to clean.
Idea #3: Accessibility of key areas
The ability to make their own snacks is a key to helping kids develop healthy eating habits so making sure that they have access to “parent approved” foods easily is something to consider when you’re thinking about the design of your new kitchen. Think about drawers lower down that the kids can access with their own plates, cups etc, pantries laid out so desireable foods can be placed on lower shelves so the kids can help themselves and even fridges with drawers that you can designate for the kid friendly food.
Idea #4: Think about where you’ll be sitting
Most families don’t have time to eat every meal all together at the dining table so providing alternate seating means that you can still be present even if you’re not all sitting down together. Think about a breakfast bar at the bench so the kids can be having breakfast while you’re preparing lunches or doing homework while you’re cooking dinner and you’re all still together and able to interact.
Idea #5: Embrace open plan
The lines between kitchen, dining and living areas are becoming less clear as time goes on with more families preferring to embrace open plan homes that allow everyone the flexibility to be in each space without feeling isolated. Dinner prep can be happening in the kitchen while homework happens at the dining table and small children play in the living area without feeling like everyone is in different areas of the house. It may sound drastic, but think about if walls could be completely or partially knocked down to increase the space and open feeling in your home.
Idea #6: Make life easier for yourself
Are mornings particularly busy trying to get everyone out the door (and it’s not likely to change anytime soon)? Make sure you allow space to make all the key things you need of a morning, like the toaster and coffee machine, easily accessible. Busy weeknights mean the washing up isn’t always done after dinner? Consider extra space around the sink area that doesn’t impact your workable bench space in the morning. Likely to be getting up during the night? Think about having dimmable lights in the kitchen so it’s gentler on you. It’s a matter of sitting down and really thinking about what you’d love in your kitchen to make things flow smoother and then deciding the best way to make it happen.
These are just a few things to consider when you’re planning a kitchen renovation for your growing family. There are of course lots of other things to think about so we suggest requesting a free consultation with us to discuss your needs and ideas and see how we can work with you to bring them to life.Read More >
We’ve all seen the glossy catalogues and smiling people on the TV commercials showing off “easy and beautiful” flat pack kitchens and we completely understand why they look so enticing. The idea they present of being able to have a brand new kitchen in a flash at a “fraction” of the price certainly sounds good. But let’s take a closer look at these supposed savings of time and money and see how they really stack up.
Cost and quality of materials
On the face of it, it may seem cheaper to buy these kinds of kitchens, especially when you're just getting the flat pack but beware of the hidden costs. Like most things, the quality and finish is in the details so when you take a closer look at these “cheap” products you start to notice that generally speaking, the quality is just not there.
Some things to be on the lookout for:
- Cost comparison - make sure you don’t just assume that flat pack kitchens will be cheaper. When it comes to kitchen cabinets and benchtops many of the quality brands we supply are available at a comparable price, but the quality is exponentially better.
- Predrilled holes - when you first think about it, it probably seems extremely helpful to have all those holes predrilled to allow things like handles and drawer runners to be easily attached. But in order to give you maximum flexibility there will be A LOT of unused and unnecessary holes which you’ll need to cap off and which quite frankly, reduces the integrity of the product.
- Support for your cabinets - Some flat pack kitchens come with basic plastic supports or need to be mounted on a wall via a suspension rail. Take a moment to consider the weight bearing down on these supports including the benchtop (particularly if it is something solid like stone or cement). You want to make sure that whatever system is used it will be able to withstand the weight and evenly spread the load. All our kitchens are mounted on load bearing solid bases for lifelong stability.
- Make sure that the materials being used meet Australian chemical standards. Many are manufactured overseas, some may contain more nasties than you’d expect and you’re left with a stinky and potentially toxic kitchen!
- Are the materials made using High Moisture Resistant (HMR) board? The brands we use are. This means a little water is not going to result in them falling apart on you.
- Can you be flexible? Most prefabricated or flat pack kitchens generally only come in certain sizes/dimensions which means that you might not actually get the most out of your space.
- Quality of fixings like screws, hinges and drawer runners - you use your kitchen every day so the wear and tear on these components can potentially be quite high. You want them to last so if you need to purchase better quality parts this will add to the costs on top of the flat pack itself.
Your time is valuable so be sure to factor in the cost of your own time when you’re doing the calculations of how much you’re “saving” by DIY. Don’t just think about the time you’ll actually need to install the kitchen itself, remember to think about:
- The planning stages - many places that sell flat pack kitchens have software in store that allows you to plan out your design. But generally this is a cumbersome process, especially if you’re not familiar with how it works so you’ll likely need to allow quite a bit more time than you initially think.
- Measuring and remeasuring - are you 100% confident in taking the measurements of your space and that everything is level? Being even just a couple of millimetres off can throw things out completely which doesn’t just waste your time but potentially materials too.
- Project management - unless you’re a master planner and organiser you’ll be surprised at the time it takes for the logistics of organising several tradespeople to do the tasks you can’t. Tasks need to be completed in a certain order during a renovation so the task of organising everyone to be where they need to be at the right point in the process is time consuming. So be sure to factor that into your cost planning.
- Marriage counselling - we’re kidding! Sort of… Renovations have the potential to add some stress to your life for a short while when done by professionals, but when you factor in all of the above as well if you’re DIY-ing, that’s a lot of extra burden on you and your family that shouldn’t be overlooked.
At Nu Look, renovating kitchens and bathrooms is what we do every day. We know exactly what we’re doing and take care of the time consuming logistical tasks for you so you don’t have to learn the lingo, worry about dealing with tradies (especially unprofessional ones as we only use ones we know and trust), or deal with all the stress that undertaking a task like a DIY kitchen renovation entails.
What you get is a custom designed space, made from exceptional quality materials that will stand the test of time all while supporting a local Canberra business who in turn supports a local Canberra cabinet manufacturing company and benchtop supplier.
If you have your heart set on building and installing your own kitchen, no worries! Give us a call and we can help you design your kitchen for success, supply you with quality cabinets that will last and provide you with some advice to get you started.Read More >
Glass splashbacks are becoming more common in modern homes thanks to their easy to clean finish, affordability and stylish simplicity. No grout means no mould, mildew or food stains will ruin the look and keeping them clean is as simple as wiping them over the way you would any other glass surface.
At Nu Look we use a supplier who provides 6mm toughened glass for use in bathrooms and kitchens because it is extremely durable, great quality. Glass is well suited to just about any kitchen or bathroom thanks to the huge range of colours to choose from. A glass splashback in a well chosen colour won’t date the way that tiles have a tendency to and with the range of textures and finishes available you’re sure to be able to find something that works beautifully in your space.
What are the main advantages of glass over other splashback options?
- Glass always looks brand new
- Low maintenance - no falling tiles in years to come
- Looks sleek and seamless
Glass panels can be installed on any structurally sound surface and needs significantly less preparation than traditional tiled splashbacks. Once painted glass is installed you can’t see through it so the backing doesn't need to look perfect. You may even have the option to install it over the top of existing tilework if it’s in good condition and adhered well, saving time and money.
Most people worry about the cost of using a glass splashback, expecting it to be significantly more expensive but while it’s true that per meter glass is more expensive than tiles, when you factor in the labour and drying time you really aren’t paying a huge amount more. Plus you have the advantage of glass being a better investment thanks to its longevity.
Why do we use toughened glass?
Quite simply because there shouldn’t be shortcuts and cost cutting when it comes to safety! Toughened glass is up to 5 times as strong as standard glass and is designed to withstand much more heat, an essential characteristic when you’re considering it behind a stovetop. Toughened glass also doesn’t splinter into razor sharp shards that can cause serious injury when broken the way normal glass does, it breaks into small and relatively harmless pieces.
How do you keep a glass splashback clean?
We’ll let you in on a little trade secret. Use methylated spirits or denatured alcohol to clean your glass and keep it looking like new. Alcohol evaporates quickly so doesn’t leave any residue the way a lot of cleaners do. Just spray the surface, wipe with a clean rag and you’re splashbacks will look brand new for their life.
When are glass splashbacks installed during a renovation process?
We generally install glass splashbacks after the cabinets and benchtop have been installed and we’ve identified where you want the electrical outlets to go. This way the splashback integrates into the space seamlessly.Read More >
It's a part of the kitchen that doesn’t usually get a lot of thought but with so many options on the market these days you really can choose the perfect sink to suit your kitchen design, usage and look.
Today we’re looking at a few of the more popular choices for you to consider.
This is the type of kitchen sink that you’re most used to seeing. It’s estimated that around 80% of all sinks are stainless steel.
- It’s relatively inexpensive compared to other options (but bear in mind there are some expensive stainless steel options out there too)
- Available in a range of styles including undermount and top mount which gives you options
- Excellent stain resistance
- Although it can be noisier than other materials, stainless steel sinks are usually coated to dull the noise.
- Stainless steel can scratch easier than some other materials
An older material used in sinks but still remarkably popular today.
- bright glossy enamel finish
- porcelain coating is resistant to scratches
- Coating is very hard and will withstand day to day use in a family kitchen
- Easy to clean and the coating means that water spots don’t show as easily so it looks great
- Can be purchased in a range of colours to complement your space
- Lighter colours may show stains more easily
- Porcelain enamel can be prone to chipping
- Usually more expensive than stainless steel - price depends on the size, style and colour chosen
These types of sinks are relatively new to the market and look great in modern kitchens
- made by combining a resin with crushed granite or quartz
- look of real granite or quartz without the price tag
- tough and resistant to stains and scratching
- Some manufacturers claim composite sinks are the toughest on the market
- You’ll need to be more careful with the kinds of cleaners you use as harsh chemicals can damage your sink
- It’s unforgiving when things are dropped on it. If you tend to drop your wine glass or plates in the sink you’ll likely find they break more easily
- They can be expensive compared to other options
So you’ve got an idea what material you’d like to use for your sink, now you need to think about the style that will best suit your kitchen. Here are some of the options to think about.
Unsurprisingly, this style has just the one bowl. If you have limited space this is the perfect option for you. The options within this style are surprisingly vast - you can choose from smaller single bowls if you’re really short on space, or go for a single bowl the same size as a double that makes cleaning larger items much simpler. Single bowls are also usually a cheaper option which is a big consideration if you don’t really need two bowls.
This style has been the most popular over the last 2 decades because it offers the flexibility of being able to utilise separate spaces. Within this style you have some choices on the layout including 2 same size sinks, one big/one small and different depths.
If you’re looking for a more traditional or old school sink, you can’t look past the farmhouse style. The main characteristic of this style is that the front of the sink replaces part of the bench. This style usually has just one deep bowl however double bowls are available from some manufacturers. Something to bear in mind with this style is that it is more challenging to install and generally costs more to purchase.
As the name suggests this style is mounted on top of your bench with the body dropping through a cavity cut in the benchtop. They have a lip or rim to hold the sink in place. This is the most popular style of sink for those being very aware of budget because they are relatively simple to install and don’t usually require any additional support.
With this style the sink is essentially glued to the underside of the benchtop. With stainless steel that is usually all that is necessary but with heavier materials an additional support system is necessary. Because of this installation, it is usually more expensive. This style does create a modern look with no lip or rim which reduces the amount of places for debris to accumulate.
Before making a final choice on your material and colour it’s really worth taking the time to think about how you use your kitchen and the type of sink that will complement your style.
Not sure which way to go? We’re experts at evaluating your situation and providing experienced advice to help you make informed decisions. Contact us today for a free consultation and quote.Read More >
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