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Top Tips for Planning Your Kitchen Appliances

For many of our customers the kitchen is the centre piece to their new home or renovation, they give a lot of thought to the overall design, lighting and colour scheme but often fail to consider the detail such as how the kitchen will be used and which appliances will work best.

We can help with every aspect of kitchen design but to stimulate some ideas these are our top appliance planning tips.

Design

Top of the list for consideration is how your choice of appliances will fit in with the overall design of the kitchen. An AGA range for example will look incongruous within a modern design, while integrated sleek units aren’t necessarily right for a more traditional style. 3D CAD drawings allow you to visualise the finished room, including appliances so make sure your designer can provide them.

  • If you remember one thing: think about how all your appliances work within the overall design of your kitchen

How you use the kitchen  

For some clients the kitchen is rarely used for preparing meals from scratch so the need for large capacity ovens and appliances is minimal. For many though the kitchen is the family hub where large meals are regularly prepared and guests entertained. One of the keys to a successful kitchen is ensuring you have the appropriate appliances for your scale of use.

  • If you remember one thing: consider what your kitchen use will be and plan appliances accordingly

Convenience

Modern technology and appliances can make your kitchen a much more convenient space with items such as boiling water taps removing the need for a kettle, for example. But you should also think about the smaller appliances such as toasters, coffee machines and mixers – where will they live and where will the sockets be?

  • If you remember one thing: plan the small items as well as the large and think how you can make the kitchen a more convenient working space.

Oven capacity

How large and how many ovens you’ll need is completely down to your cooking style. For many people 2 ovens are an absolute necessity, but for those who rarely cook complete meals one small oven is enough. You’ll also need to think about capacity and whether to have a range, if so what size, or an eye level stack or both.

  • If you remember one thing: ovens are important for cooks, so give plenty of consideration to capacity and how you’ll use them.

Hobs & extraction

Kitchen ranges will have integrated hobs but you do have choices; gas, induction or ceramic. For many, induction hobs present a greener alternative to gas, however all hob cooking needs extraction and this is where hobs such as those made by Bora come into their own with built-in downward facing extraction, removing the need for an unsightly hood.

  • If you remember one thing: extraction doesn’t have to be overhead when combined with the best modern hobs.

Langstaff-Ellis are Bora partners

Refrigeration

The size and capacity of fridges, freezers and/or fridge freezers will be dependent on how much cooking you do. We’ve found over the years that clients often underestimate the volume they need in a fridge or freezer so it’s always worth planning extra capacity. Column Refrigeration is the leading technology for beautiful kitchens at the moment, these integrated fridges and freezers from brands such as Sub Zero and Fisher & Paykel are customizable, energy efficient and have large capacities

  • If you remember one thing: plan to go large

Integrated or free standing

We would always recommend integrated appliances in a new kitchen, they are sleeker, space saving and fit in with modern designs. We love the clean lines of integrated systems such as Sub Zero, Gaggenau, Fisher & Paykel and Siemens. However, you may want to make a feature out of an Aga or range cooker creating a focal point for the room.

  • If you remember one thing: consider making one of your appliances into a feature

Wine storage

Modern wine fridges and storage units can be planned into your kitchen making an elegant and convenient feature. They’re not just for whites either, multizone fridges are available from companies such as Eurocave to keep red and white at different temperatures with capacities from as small as two bottles up to 100+.

  • If you remember one thing: no one ever regretted adding a wine fridge!

We plan kitchens all the time and enjoy looking at all aspects of the design, including appliances to make sure our clients end up with a space that exactly matches their needs. Contact us using the details below to find out how we can help provide inspiration and advice for your new kitchen.

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As featured in Design et al magazine

Hills End | As featured in Design et al Magazine
 
In 2019 we told you about our involvement in the Hills End project which featured one of our luxurious kitchens. The project was short-listed for an international design & architecture award due to the high standard of finish and specification.
 
We are thrilled the project has been featured in this month’s international interior design magazine, Design et al, with Langstaff-Ellis named as the kitchen designers/makers.
 
The project featured the highest specification cabinetry, Lacanche range oven, Sub Zero wine coolers and Calacatta marble counter tops.
 
 

 

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A day in the life of a project manager

All Langstaff-Ellis customers know that we are genuinely passionate about getting every detail of their new furniture absolutely right – in fact we are usually much more demanding than they are, wanting perfection every time.

For our project managers that means keeping an exemplary eye on detail, whether that means measuring and re-measuring spaces, drawing up detailed 3D CAD designs, or supervising intricate project plans, they are never off the case.

Finding time in his day wasn’t easy, but we eventually pinned down Langstaff-Ellis’s Joe Southeard to talk about his role as a project manager.

“When taking on a new project there’s a huge amount of work right from the initial client meeting where we discuss their ideas, all the way to the very final sign-off. The very first thing we do of course is create a highly detailed project plan.

What I love about it though is that no two projects are the same, there’s nothing we produce that’s off the shelf, and so we have to create something unique every time. That’s what excites our designers and I know it keeps us at the top of our game. 

We often work with architects, builders and interior designers providing upfront designs in 2d and 3d to integrate with their projects. For me it’s one of the most interesting parts of the job, taking inspiration from the spaces being created and seeking imaginative designs with other professionals to create something that fulfils everyone’s vision.

It helps that I spend a good deal of time keeping up to speed with the latest design trends and researching the best products, meaning we can specify solutions that really match the needs of the designers and the client.  

Of course a lot of my time is very detail driven, its something we’re very proud of so for example I’ll supervise the manufacture and build of each cupboard, making sure each joint is perfect, that shut-lines are exact and so forth before signing each piece off. As I like to say accuracy equals quality. 

Later in the day I could be onsite for an installation or with a client at a new build. Most importantly I think, as a project manager is that we are a little bit ruthless with the assessment of our own work, so I won’t sign off anything until it’s absolutely perfect, any imperfection is rejected. Only then can I guarantee that our client will be happy.

A lot of my work is spent with clients walking them through every step of the process, getting their approval, making sure they are satisfied at each stage from original outline drawings to final sign-off and hand-over.

For me the fact that no two days are the same is one of the joys of my job, it’s what puts a spring in my step every morning, pushing me to produce great work for everyone of our clients.”

Joe’s passion for his role is just one of the drivers ensuring Langstaff-Ellis create beautiful, precise furniture for every one of the amazing projects they undertake.

 

For more information about creating perfect kitchens and furniture for your project please contact Langstaff-Ellis using the details below. 

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Langstaff-Ellis Case Study – The Old Chapel, Oxfordshire

Introduction

Historic buildings can be amongst our most challenging projects, however with an imaginative client open to new ideas for their building we were able to create a light, open, beautiful yet functional kitchen and living space at their converted Chapel in Oxfordshire.

Challenges

Our client had been living in the building for some time when they came to renovate so had some strong ideas on what they wanted. However the redesign of the kitchen space had proved challenging, with three other designers unable to offer the design inspiration they were looking for.

Langstaff-Ellis were recommended by a number of previous clients as a team that would listen to their needs but also offer innovative design thinking to fully realise the potential of the space.

The existing kitchen occupied a small part of a larger, under-utilised, poorly lit downstairs space, including a spiral staircase and an ugly glass-brick wall.

At the same time the clients had a specific list of what they wanted in the kitchen but were conflicted between modern and shaker styles.

Edward Birks MD of Langstaff-Ellis comments;

“This is just the sort of challenge we enjoy facing as it gives us the opportunity to shape not just a kitchen but to use our creative experience of working with interior-designers and architects to reimagine larger spaces. In this case it was something that we really embraced to create a much more liveable room in this historic space.”

Design Consultation

In discussion with the client we understood that what they were actually looking for was much more than just a kitchen, in fact a boot room and dining area were also important.

Knowing this gave us the freedom to completely remodel the whole space with something more radical. Our ethos though is to design rooms that people will love, so using fully rendered 3D designs we showed our client exactly how the design would look in their home before they signed it off.

After a couple of tweaks, (the most important being to keep a space for the dog’s chair!) we were able to commence building a fully realised vision for a beautiful cooking, eating and living space.

Design Elements

  • Removing the glass-brick wall enabled us to fully open-up the room, and by moving the kitchen further into the room we created space to put-in full height tower cupboards, while freeing-up zones that could be used for dining, living and boot rooms.
  • The boot room is separated by slim, industrial inspired sliding doors that allow light into the kitchen but gives a discreet, comfortable area with extensive cupboard space and bench seats for storing coats and shoes.
  • The kitchen itself is a shaker inspired design with a stylish slim modern profile, the cupboards finished in Dash of Soot by the Little Green Paint Co to enhance the light in the room.
  • An island finished in Dolphin also by Little Green Paint Co, is topped with a CRL Verona Quartz worktop and a state-of-the-art Bora hob, which means there is no need for unsightly, noisy overhead extraction.
  • Cupboards above and below the basin are completed in a distressed oak veneer to give an industrial feel, complemented by Buster + Punch door hardware throughout. The long letterbox style overhead cupboards are fitted with discreet motorised lift mechanisms.
  • The basin is fitted with a Quooker boiling water tap and mirrored splash back to emphasise the light and space in the room.
  • Space has been created for the client’s own dining and lounge furniture though we have built a space-saving bench seat for the dining table, while the spiral stairs are now a beautiful signature feature.
  • By finishing the whole space in off-white and by using the sliding doors we have allowed the natural light that was previously blocked to flood all of the room, making it a bright comfortable contemporary living area.

For reasons of privacy our client wishes to remain anonymous but was happy to share these thoughts;

“We knew it was going to be a challenge creating a kitchen and living area that made the best use of our unusual space. After a few false starts we were lucky to be recommended to Langstaff-Ellis who worked with us to understand exactly what we wanted to achieve and who have made a wonderful job of remodelling the space to give us far more than we ever expected.”

For more information about designing a perfect kitchen or re-imaging your living spaces please contact Langstaff-Ellis using the details below.

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Modern or Traditional: Considerations for the Contemporary Kitchen

Modern or Traditional: Considerations for the Contemporary Kitchen

Creating a stunning kitchen design that works, as a centrepiece for the home is a detailed process blending together diverse elements to create a beautiful but functional space.

When deciding on a modern or traditional design there are six key elements you should consider:

Is your home modern or period?

Your architect or interior designer may have a vision for how they want your finished kitchen to appear, but often it’s left to the customer to create a kitchen once the building is complete.

First amongst your considerations should be the age and architecture of the house. A sleek, flush-fitting, minimalist kitchen in muted colours may not sit comfortably in a period home or even within traditional style new builds.

Conversely the curves, mouldings, wooden, rich or earthy tones associated with a traditional design can seem out of place within a contemporary or modernist house.

Contrast or conformity

There are no hard and fast rules, so if you really want to deliver the wow factor you could build a subtle, sharp, minimalist kitchen at the heart of your period home.

But where a design like this can work best is as a differentiator in a traditional property’s new extension, creating a stunning contrast as you move from the old to the new.

What you must do of course is consider your own personal taste. Some people prefer Renoir to Picasso, it’s the same with kitchens.

How are you going to use the space?

We like to think we build kitchens that are constantly in use, hotbeds of creativity and cuisine, but we know that isn’t always the case, that some are used irregularly or just for entertaining.

Functionality then is important; a bustling kitchen serving regular family meals may need a large range cooker and a design that reflects its cosiness at the heart of the home. Even within a contemporary home it’s possible to combine stylish modern design with comfort and practicality.

If though the room is more likely to be used for entertaining, with little everyday use, a space that is chic and impressive dialling back on appliances but up on elegance may be what you need.

We know from experience that use changes over time so it’s important to consider how you future proof your kitchen to meet your needs both now and the coming years.

Colour

The colour of your kitchen is dictated by three elements: flooring, walls, work surfaces and cabinets. The dominant feature in most kitchens therefore the most impactful is the cabinets.

In modern kitchens the cabinets, walls and work surfaces are often the same or similar shades of pale colours, with the emphasis on the elegance of the overall design, occasionally with a splash of colour to bring drama to the space.

Within more traditional designs you can create harmony and comfort within the room by using wooden finishes or expressions of the colours used elsewhere in the home.

Contemporary kitchen designs are not afraid of using a bold colour palette or contrasting wood and hand painted surfaces in their cabinetry, producing complementary finishes to create warm, liveable spaces.

Discuss the design in detail with your kitchen designer

Every new kitchen is a unique expression of design flair created through collaboration between customer and designer. Your kitchen designer should listen to your vision, elevating your ideas to create your perfect kitchen.

No matter what type of home you’re creating the designer is there to turn your vision into beautiful reality. They’ll also help with practical elements such as size, shape and colour of cupboards, location of the island, materials for work surfaces, different options for sinks & basins, a lighting plan, plus the best taps, fittings and appliances for each design.

Don’t settle for something you don’t like or doesn’t meet your needs, however after discussing your requirements in detail a good designer will produce a variety of designs to compare. After your feedback, they’ll evolve your preference into the perfect design for your kitchen.

See the drawings in 3D

You’ll never know exactly how a finished kitchen will look until you walk through the completed space and experience it first hand. However the next best thing are 3D rendered drawings showing just how your design looks within the space, including lighting, flooring and walls alongside the kitchen elements.

A good designer should show you the design from a variety of angles, enabling you to make changes before the first cabinet is cut, alter colours before the first brush is applied and move appliances before the first socket is wired.

No matter what type of kitchen you’re creating, modern or traditional, a great 3D render lets you experience the space well before the first kettle is boiled.

For more information about designing a perfect modern or traditional kitchen please contact Langstaff-Ellis using the details below.

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Working with your builder

Integrating kitchen and bespoke furniture into building plans

Every new build, renovation or extension is stressful so the last thing clients’ need is extra anxiety when it comes to installing a kitchen or bespoke furniture. Over the years therefore we’ve learned the value of working in partnership with builders and architects to ensure worry free installations.

Planning

Planning correctly is key to a successful build and while our furniture is installed as the last piece of the jigsaw, involving us from the beginning enables a quick installation when the time comes. There are a few simple steps:

Arrange a consultation with Langstaff-Ellis once architects plans are finalised
We conduct a detailed planning meeting to enable our designers to translate  thoughts and ideas into fully realised spaces.
Our designer prepare fully realised 3D drawings allowing clients to see exactly how rooms will look once finished.
Once the client approves the design we produce detailed plans for the builder and on-site team.

Site Meeting

In the majority of cases our project manager works directly with the builder, architect and quantity surveyor on-site, the first step being a site meeting.

With the on-site team we work together on technical drawings for:

Plumbing and electrical layout
Position of isolators, switches and sockets
Positioning of gas, water and waste
Flues for extraction ducting

Finally we produce a schedule of work, but because all building projects have unexpected snags we liaise regularly with the on-site team making adjustments to the schedule as required.

Back in our smart factory we feed technical drawings directly into our production software to create precision-engineered cabinets, which are assembled in-house prior to arriving on site.

Installation

Once floors are down and walls & ceilings decorated we’re ready to install, and because everything is assembled before it leaves our factory, installation becomes a swift process.

Then to ensure continuity we use the builder’s tradespeople to connect gas, electricity and water supplies.

Quality Control & Sign-Off

That’s not the last stage though; we pride ourselves on the quality of our work so the Langstaff-Ellis project manager conducts a quality control assessment, creating a list of any finishing touches to be completed.

Only when we are happy with every aspect of our work will we have a sign-off meeting with the client. And the most satisfying part is seeing the work of everyone on the project becoming a fully functioning home.

For more information about creating the perfect kitchen for your build please contact Langstaff-Ellis using the details below.