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 email@example.com.
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!
20 November 2017
This Inframe Display with Cockbead Detail is for sale at just £2k and includes all base cabinets and solid oak drawers, the Cooks Pantry, Glazed Wall Cabinets, Mantel and Pigeon Hole Wine Rack. The worktop is 30mm Kashmir White Granite and knobs and hinges are Pewter. You’re very welcome to come and measure but the general dimensions are; 4008mm (width) x 600mm (depth) x 2400mm (height). Finally all painted in F&B’s Hardwick White. The Range Cooker and Pink Glass Splashback are not included.
For just £1500 you can take away this Inframe Display which measures 3200mm (width) x 700mm (depth) x 2305mm (height). It’s painted in Fired Earth’s ‘Pearl Ashes’ with Britannium Cup Handles and Knobs.
This fantastic offer includes all the base units (with solid walnut drawer boxes and interiors), the glazed Wall Cabinets, the Chalk Board and Walnut Shelf and Scalloped Wine Rack. It does, however, exclude the AGA!
This Lay-On Display with Curved Quad Pilasters is available for just £2k. It measures (approx.) 3600mm (width) x 702mm (depth) x 2300mm (height). The worktop is 30mm Caesarstone Quartz Oyster and the paint colour is F&B’s Pavilion Grey. Included to take away are all base units, dresser cabinets, canopy, a brand new Siemens Induction Hob (never been used, but a discontinued model), a Bluetooth audio speaker system, 600mm integrated recycle bins plus the handmade Oak spice and wine racks.
The mirror splashback, seen here, can’t be supplied but we do have a lovely range of other coloured glasses and contemporary (or traditional) splashbacks to purchase.