Kitchen Jargon

Construction, Design

Prospective clients are sometimes confused by the terms used to describe some of the elements which make up a kitchen so here’s a quick jargon-busting blog which should help to de-mystify those terms.

Starting from the bottom;

Plinth – Sometimes known as kick-board this is the material which fills the space between the bottom of your base cabinet and the floor.  It’s usually about 150mm (6 inches) high and made to match the colour of your door or cabinet.

Light pelmet – This is usually about 50mm (2 inches) high and its purpose is to hide from view under wall-cabinet strip-lighting.  If you choose under wall-cabinet light fittings which are designed to be seen, light pelmet is not used.

Cornice – This is a purely decorative item which is fitted to the top of your tall and wall cabinets.  It comes in different shapes and sizes and is mainly used to create a more traditional look in your kitchen.

drawer pan drawer

Drawer – Ok so who doesn’t know what a drawer is?  Well ok but it’s here just to distinguish it from a pan-drawer.  A drawer is between 110 and 175mm high and is used for all those items like cutlery, utensils, cling-film, foil-wrap, baking paper, snappy-bags, bag-ties, or odds and ends which would get lost in a deeper drawer.

Pan-drawer – A deep drawer usually between 280mm and 355mm high in which you can put your pans!  No way!  Ok ok… but you can also use pan-drawers for dishes, foods, crockery, towels and any other item you want easy access to too.  A pan-drawer is not just for pans!  Amazing, hey?

Anyway, there you have it.  Now if a kitchen designer/salesman says light-pelmet you’ve no excuse for not understanding what he or she means…

… next time, architraves and reveals for amateur builders…

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Kitchen Design Disasters

Construction, Design, Uncategorized

There are lots of different ways your kitchen can be designed badly so, in a spirit of helpfulness and fun, here are my top ten tips for ensuring terrible design.

  •  Choose a designer who is very young and preferably someone who hasn’t ever been in a kitchen to do the design. I call this the B&Q Option.
  • Go to Howden’s for your kitchen design.  This is very simple.  Just get your builder, a man who is used to plumbing and bricklaying, to use his trade account to get another man with a thorough knowledge of cement to design your kitchen.  What could be better to ensure a design nightmare?
  • Plan to have your dishwasher right in a corner thereby ensuring access from only one side of it.  This disaster works better if you have wall cabinets in the same corner because you won’t be able to put anything away when you’re emptying the machine.
  • You want your oven at eye-level? Right, well make sure you don’t check with the designer as to exactly how high it will be. A height that’s ok for a six foot bloke doesn’t always work so well if the cook is five feet tall.
  • Following on from Rule 4, if you’re planning a microwave above the oven, you really do need to not check about the height of anything.  Any checking might mean averting a planning disaster and that’s not the point of this blog
  • Plan your hob to be right up against the side of a wall or next to a fridge.  Lack of sufficient space both sides of the hob is a double disaster.  Full marks to anyone achieving that.
  • Plan to have the tall cabinets in your kitchen at maximum height but the wall cabinets less than standard height.  What you end up with are wall cabinets which are almost useless unless you’re seven feet tall.  It’s a very amusing design disaster unless you’re the person who has to live with it, I suppose.
  • Ensure your designer forgets to include something you wanted in your new kitchen.  This is easily achieved if you can find a designer who doesn’t listen to you, who simply forgets or who doesn’t ask you the right questions in the first place.  You’ll have so much other stuff to think about (especially if you’re doing other renovations), it won’t be your fault if the kitchen comes without that extra small fridge you really wanted.
  • Choose a floor covering in exactly the same colour and finish as your new doors.  This disaster works best with a wood effect door. The overall effect will be over-powering and hilarious for your friends.
  • Lastly, a general rule for terrible design is to get your design done very quickly and decide on it instantly.  Maybe you could get someone ’round to sell… I mean design and sell you a kitchen on the same night.  This is often an excellent idea especially if there is an offer for 90% off a very high unspecified amount which happens to end the night the salesman visits.

I hope this list is helpful.  Please let me know if you have any more suggestions for design disasters.  There are loads more of them out there just waiting to be incurred by the unsuspecting buyer…..

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Tap on a hot steel sink…

Appliances, Design, Taps

When it boils down to it*, a hot tap is the most practical and most time-saving kitchen device ever (and I’m not given to making sweeping statements).  It’s the one item I always tell clients that if their budget allows, they should seriously consider.

If you get a boiling water hot tap, you can use it to make tea (and coffee); you can use it to help cleaning those deeply-stained pots and oven trays; use it and you don’t have to wait for the water to boil when making pasta or boiling vegetables. And, you throw away your kettle so you’ve now got one less piece of equipment to clutter your worktop. Hot taps rock!

As to which one I would recommend, I have no hesitation in saying the Quooker Hot Tap would be my first choice. It’s very simple to use; there’s no bulky equipment to find somewhere for; it can be retro-fitted; it’s safe to use and; it looks good. And, like Martin Lewis from, I’m not being paid anything to say this!

The only downside to hot taps is that they’re not cheap and that’s a shame.

Last thing – my lawyer tells me I should remind you that boiling water is very hot.

*(Punning opportunity seized)

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Refresh or replace?

Construction, Design, Floors, Uncategorized

Do you need a new kitchen? Or do you just want a new kitchen?

Either’s good with me of course, because I sell kitchens. But it’s always worth thinking before you rip out a perfectly good kitchen and begin again about whether it really is the units and tops you want rid of, or whether just replacing appliances, or redecorating the walls, would give a pretty good kitchen a new lease of life.

Your floor, too, could make a huge difference. And once you replace the lighting with new, low energy eco or LED downlighters, the place will feel different anyway.

Of course, once you’ve relit, repainted and replaced appliances, you’re going to be even more annoyed by the old units and worktops.

So you’d better give me a ring anyway. 07973 313983.


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Taking out a wall

Construction, Design, Family, Floors

Trying to work out the best way to do your new kitchen, and still got a wall between it and a sitting room?

Get it out! Seriously. If you can live with the mess and have the budget to do a building project (and it’s not that much more work anyway if you’re going to rip out your kitchen), get a decent builder in with a couple of hefty steel joists and open up your living space.

It’ll improve the light, improve the family feel of the house, give you masses more options in designing and choosing a new kitchen and you’ll love it from the second it’s finished.

If you’re wondering if this would work in your house, give me a call and I’ll put you in touch with my favourite builder.

These guys are fantastic. They do a really good job, they’re not expensive and they’ll do all the prep work as well ready for your new kitchen to go in.


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