08 November 2016
Call us today on 01462 452233 if you would like us to pop one in the post to you. Even better, come and chat with us, at our Showroom in Hitchin, Hertfordshire.
25 October 2016
What could be better at this time of year than having a beautifully and efficiently shelved larder ready to pack with homemade jams and chutneys – in readiness for the dark winter months ahead and, yes, the impending Xmas season?
Luckily the larder or pantry is enjoying something of a revival as we go back to our roots and embrace the good life. As we reject the chiller cabinet for home cooked food and swap costly dining out in favour of entertaining at home we are loving the built in (or sometimes freestanding) larder of days gone by. Where the larder was once a necessity – providing the only cool store room for what we now load our large fridges up with (who can’t remember their Granny’s bottle of gold top perched on the larder shelf?) – it’s now a prized addition to new kitchens providing the kind of envy factor that walk-in wardrobes generate.
The latest buzzword hitting the trend channels is ‘hygge’ (pronounced ‘hooga’) a Danish term for doing what we Brits do almost as well as our Scandinavian cousins – ‘cosy up and hunker down’ – and the larder plays a key role here by storing our homemade goodies and tasty purchases from the local Farmer’s market (for those of us not actually living the rural idyll!) which we feast on in front of the log burning stove on chilly afternoons. It has, in fact become the ‘must-have’ asset for all the home cooks and ‘grow your own’ gardeners because who can resist the idea of a beautifully organised store room filled with home-made jams, piles of home-grown apples and tins of freshly baked cakes?
Nowadays larders can be designed for the tightest of spots – it’s simply a matter of some logical thinking and skilled craftsmanship. Or, where space is available free standing larder cupboards proudly incorporating the all-important cold shelf – slate, granite or quartz – whatever tickles your fancy!
16 August 2016
The brief for this Handmade In Hitchin kitchen was to create a modern day French Farmhouse style space with functional surfaces, ample storage space as well as contemporary finishes that would stand the test of time.
The mirrored glass splash back and chocolate bronze handles have brought it right up-to-date whilst the planked oak, Caesarstone worktops and beautiful paint finishes from Farrow & Ball (Elephant’s Breath) and Little Green (Light Peach Blossom 3) reflect both function and style.
See more lovely photos in the gallery.
08 June 2016
Kitchen walls don’t have to be just a functional space for cupboards, containers and the like. Break up the look with colour, quirkiness or beautiful photography.
Here are our top tips for choosing fabulous art for your kitchen
• If your kitchen is the heart of your home (and who’s isn’t?) let the art reflect who you are; A gourmet cook? Choose pictures of countries that inspire your favourite dishes. Into gardening? How about some vintage horticultural prints?
• Theming is the thing – with limited wall space think about what kind of look you’re after – and don’t let the architectural style of the kitchen dictate what type of art you hang.
• Opposites attract – Embrace contrast and go with contemporary graphics in a traditional setting or vintage posters in a modern, sleek kitchen.
• A high gloss kitchen will be a perfect backdrop to traditional art framed in aged gilts and distressed wood.
• Your choice of frame can help bring a modern, fresh look to a country kitchen – but making sure they’re a similar type will stop your walls looking mis-matched
• Kitchens with high ceilings will always have perfect hanging space above the wall cabinets – better than gathering dust! See this fantastic link http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ways-to-add-art-to-your-kitchen-210855
• Beware the glare: when hanging art behind glass keep your pictures away from the walls directly opposite the windows – the art will be lost to the reflection
24 May 2016
We’ve taken the sleek, satin lacquer finish (Indigo Blue) and combined it with a warm, natural knotty oak to create something special.
A modern super-efficient space with oodles of personality.
The ingenious drawer and cupboard systems are a renowned feature of the next125 kitchens – maximising all available storage capacity. Very helpful for a minimalist look!
16 May 2016
We are delighted and excited to welcome ANDY DAVIES to the Planet team. He joins Ruth Gray who has been an established and popular designer in our Hitchin studio for the last 4 years.
With over 27 years’ experience of designing and building fully fitted original kitchens Andy considers himself a true cabinet maker coming from a background in high-end kitchens and high quality manufacturing.
Andy is keen to uphold Planet’s mission to bring a client’s dream to life; to interpret their brief and add his own inimitable style to the finished project. He says; “I believe that when you’re asking people to invest in their homes it should be an enjoyable process. Joining Planet Furniture has meant that I have found my niche – being able to work with a family run company that wants to produce the very best furniture whilst providing the best service”.
His approach to design is to ensure that every interior works ergonomically – making the best use of the space with a good visual balance. As a cabinet maker Andy loves to work with natural timbers but believes the key is to complement these with the fabulous contemporary materials that are available today.
“I am equally at home working with both our Handmade In Hitchin range as well as our German next125 range. It’s the attention to detail in putting a design together that really floats my boat”
As well as designing kitchens for Planet, Andy is hoping to find time to build his own timber frame home, knock up the odd cedar strip canoe and plunge into various extreme sports with his wife and 5 children.
19 April 2016
Copper is definitely having its moment!
It looks great anywhere in the house, but we think it’s especially fantastic in the kitchen. Its subtle glow and warm tones pair really well with the bright Glacier White Corian worktop here but also with the darker, contemporary finishes that are currently so popular.
And it certainly wows when coupled with natural timbers. Check out the solid oak breakfast bar here in this next125 Handleless kitchen which features a copper leaf glass splashback.
07 April 2016
Iconic styling and timeless design
The perfect partners for Planet – SMEG small domestic appliances now available from our showroom in Hitchin
SMEG Kettle, SMEG Stand Mixer, SMEG 2 & 4 slice Toaster, SMEG Blender in all colours
12 January 2016
30 January 2019
Awarded by the community of over 40 million monthly users, annual BOH badge highlights home renovation & design professionals with Top ratings and most popular home designs.
January 30th 2019 – Planet Furniture of Hitchin, Herts has won “Best Of Customer Service” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home renovation and design. The family-owned Kitchens and Furniture company was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than 2.1 million active home building, renovating and design industry professionals. Customer Service honours are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2018.
A “Best Of Houzz 2019” badge will appear on winners’ profiles, as a sign of their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.
“Best of Houzz is a true badge of honour as it is awarded by our community of homeowners, those who are hiring design, renovation and other home improvement professionals for their projects,” said Marcus Hartwall, Managing Director of Houzz UK and Ireland. “We are excited to celebrate the 2019 winners chosen by our community as their favourites for home design and customer experience, and to highlight those winners on the Houzz website and app.”
29 September 2018
No matter what size of kitchen you are planning the storage aspect is of paramount importance. What you want or need is likely to form the basis of the whole design, so it’s worth thinking about it right at the start. There are lots of aspects to consider; accessibility, cost, organization – and of course, the aesthetics – to display or not to display? Some people want everything hidden away and every surface clutter-free. Others like a more homely feel with crockery and cook books on show. But, probably the most important thing to consider is how much storage you need or can afford and this is likely to come down to life-style considerations and how many people are in your home.
So, let’s start with accessibility as this is probably the most discussed and requested aspect of our bespoke kitchens.
We’re finding that there’s a growing demand for drawers instead of shelved-based cupboards as they provide easy access to those hard to reach corners. They look streamlined and, if they replace wall cupboards, entirely, they can make a kitchen feel far more spacious. Deep drawers with dividers can keep pans and plates nicely organised and easily accessible. Quality runners, though, are essential.
Corner solutions are becoming more user-friendly and sophisticated with different options on how to make the most of the darkest, deepest corner. Cabinets and corner drawers featuring special pull-out pivoting mechanisms can be the answer for smaller kitchens and compact spaces.
The most recent design development for accessibility is a drop down mechanism into high wall cupboards – saving you the trouble of pulling out a stool and maximising what used to be ‘dead space’.
So, there’s plenty to consider when you’re thinking about storage requirements but above all we believe easy accessibility should be integral to the overall design.
ORGANISATION & PLANNING – WHAT GOES WHERE?
With regard to organisation, we start with the basics; cutlery, crockery and saucepans and naturally recycling bins have become an essential part of the planning. But then we consider the individual’s lifestyle and preferences. For example are you a cook with lots of electrical pieces and a myriad of bakeware?
We also need to consider the trickier items that can be large (Ironing board), awkward (think bread makers and the like!) or even the vacuum cleaner.
Tall cabinets are perfect in a high-ceilinged kitchens, particularly for large items – a ladder to access the high points creates a feature as well as being functional. In contemporary kitchens a bank of handleless cabinets give a sleek finish hiding everything away – this paired with open shelving, to add individuality, can stop this type of space becoming too sterile.
Inevitably most people want to conquer the clutter but this doesn’t have to mean everything is tidied away. An island with open shelving can combine function and style, ticking the box for easy accessibility as well looking stylish – you just need to be disciplined at all times!
As kitchens become larger and morph into multi-use spaces we’ve noticed a growing trend for a walk in pantry – a kind of one-stop-shop for all food storage. Where budgets or space don’t allow for this, the ‘Pantry Dresser’ can fit the bill. We’re often asked to design a storage piece that will serve as a cook’s pantry or even a breakfast station – housing the toaster and coffee machine as well as the food items. With an integral work top and shelving everything can be hidden from sight once the doors are closed.
There are many extras that can be considered from spice racks (to keep those small jars on display but at the same time out-of-sight), tray racks and chopping boards to massive pull-out larder systems. The inclusion and quality of these elements will be determined by budget – for example bespoke cutlery drawers and knife inserts or carved lettering making your storage really individual.
Ultimately, working with a good designer and building a good relationship with them, will help determine how best to bring all the storage solutions together to suit your lifestyle and your budget. You are certainly not limited by options!
13 August 2018
We are really proud, at Planet Furniture, that all of our Handmade in Hitchin furniture is completely bespoke and made to order right here in our Hitchin workshop by highly skilled craftsmen. A big shout-out, here, for our Director, Neil Dunn whose mission it is, to produce beautiful and functional furniture.
We only ever use the highest grade materials and finest timbers that are particularly suitable for kitchens where high usage and high humidity is always going to be ‘a thing’.
Because we want our kitchens to stand the test of time, all of our drawer boxes are either solid oak or solid walnut dovetail. And, keeping it up to the minute all of our drawers are on soft close runners – no sticking, no banging.
Then comes the fun bit – we can, and do, colour match to absolutely any colour required. All of the hand painted finishes are primed and receive the first coat of your chosen colour in our spray booths (think tanning salon for furniture!) and then we ask the lovely Ellie to hand paint the top coat, in situ, taking enormous care of her surroundings and requiring only the odd cuppa in return!
24 July 2018
We were very excited to design this kitchen with its brand new Orangery extension. Our clients wanted the kitchen area to flow seamlessly into the sunny Orangery where easy living and entertaining were the order of the day and with a utility area (nicely doubling up as well organised wine store!) out of view but accessible.
Go to the Handmade In Hitchin gallery for more inspirational pictures!
05 July 2018
WHAT DO YOU FEEL YOU’VE ACHIEVED WITH PLANET FURNITURE
Growing and developing the business so that it’s a sustainable family business.
WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE?
Winning the Hertfordshire Business Awards for 3 consecutive years and in the third year winning Best Business Person of the Year Award.
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP AND DID YOU EVER GET CLOSE TO THAT DREAM?
I always wanted to make things. I was fascinated with how things worked, how things were put together. When I started my working life as a self-employed kitchen fitter I became fascinated with craftsmanship and building things people loved. As I progressed I became determined to build my own company and create my own range of bespoke furniture. So, yes you could say I’m living that dream!
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE QUOTE
“All good things come to those who wait”
08 February 2018
So we know that splashbacks and tiles are there predominantly to protect walls and appliances from the hazards of cooking and cleaning but – and, it’s a big ‘but’ – nowadays the choice is so great that they are just as likely to become the statement piece of the kitchen or, at the very least, a significant part of the overall décor.
With so many different options available designers and home-owners are experimenting with a range of different materials – including eye-catching metallics, distressed mirrors and even bespoke artwork installations.
To help you decide what will work for your kitchen let us share some of the trends we’ve noticed in the last few months;
Stainless steel is both practical (heat resistant and hard wearing) but also taps into the industrial look that shows no sign of abating.
Brightly coloured toughened glass remains a popular choice for contemporary kitchens as it can be cut to size and offers up a vast choice of colours – just be sure it’s a colour that you can live with for a long time!
At Planet we’ve noticed a trend towards mirrored splashbacks – an antique, distressed mirror can look fabulous when paired with traditional style ranges or an AGA. Also, the reflective surface of a mirrored splashback will bounce light around the room, enlarging a smaller space.
We’re seeing more and more metallic finishes especially copper which has reflective properties and can add a dramatic ‘wow factor’ to any kitchen. All live metals will naturally patina with age adding to the rustic charm.
For a simple, pared back look natural stone finishes are an elegant choice and very effective when matched with neutral paint colours and chalky finishes.
For individuality Granite is still a favourite as it works so well in contemporary or traditional schemes. Polished granite is often chosen for more traditional kitchens whereas honed granite has a matt finish and can be textured so tend to suit a contemporary kitchen more. This kitchen has a beautiful splashback that is Dekton, which is a compact Quartz.
Tiles are experiencing something of a ‘come-back’ due to the vast array of designs and finishes available – from the quirky and vibrant (used either to contrast or compliment) to the sophisticated dark tones or muted colours which will enhance almost any worktop and cabinet style.
Finally the last word goes (as usual!) to lighting; because whatever splashback you choose, if the finish is a key factor in your choice, it will only be enhanced by clever down and back lighting.
21 December 2017
Good news! Our popular kitchen designer, Ruth Gray, is off to have her first baby! However this leaves us with a vacancy – to fill Ruth’s boots in our rapidly growing family business in the lovely market town of Hitchin. If you have experience in bespoke kitchen and furniture design and would like to know more please get in touch on 01462 452233 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
06 December 2017
From Schuller’s C Collection we designed this fabulous kitchen for local customers, here in Hitchin. The kitchen was the perfect choice for their new, rear extension. The Crystal Grey cabinetry is handleless and the Lava Black units with recessed handles were the perfect contrast to the beautiful copper accents. Providing the wow factor is the breakfast bar in solid walnut. Find out more about this project in Real Homes!