Archives for June 2015

Optimise your office kitchen space with these space saving designs


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When working in an office, regardless of how large or small the office is, a well-designed kitchen is essential. You need to have adequate space to move around in, but you don’t want to be wasting space. Kitchen design is always important as you’ll want to provide visiting clients with a uniformed look to the entire office as well as making things more comfortable for your staff. A good looking kitchen reflects well on all those involved, particularly in offices where appearances matter.

However it can be hard to find the right balance between a practical and attractive kitchen and an extravagant kitchen. The former is considered professional in business situations, whereas the latter feels a little over the top and may come across as gaudy. By keeping your kitchen style and themes in keeping with the rest of your office as well as providing minimalist features and accessories, you can help to design a functional, fashionable kitchen.

We’ll take a look at four exceptional space saving kitchen designs that have been flawlessly incorporated into their respective companies, and how each style can benefit your business – with the expert advice of interior design specialists

Minimalist Features

By keeping it simple, you stick to a fundamental design that won’t overwhelm or overcomplicate any other design features of your kitchen. While your home kitchen may be extravagant and elaborate, office and business kitchens need to have form and function, so elegant features and accessories are really unnecessary in this environment. Stick to a simply colour palette; white or cream is always a good option to choose, and blend it with a slightly darker colour so that it doesn’t have a ‘sterilised look’, depending on what style you are going for.

You will also want to invest in minimalist appliances and cabinets, In order to keep the overall style of the kitchen. Many appliances come in a variety of sleek designs, so they are easy to find to decorate your kitchen with. Keep the essentials in mind! Every office kitchen needs a fridge, sink, microwave and kettle.

Slim Kitchens for Slim Offices
Sometimes you can get caught up designing a kitchen before you realise that it may be impractical for your workspace. Slim offices are normally caught out with encroaching kitchens so it is important to consider the width of your kitchen. Kitchens are versatile areas and unless your employees are planning on cooking three course meals at work, they don’t need to take up a lot of space. However they do need to be able to fit several people in the kitchen at once, otherwise you will end up having awful congestion come lunch time.

Take measurements of your current kitchen  area and decide whether or not you can saver any more space by making the kitchen slimmer. Make sure there is still enough room to pull drawers out and open the fridge door, otherwise you might end up with a fairly frustrating kitchen to work with.

Match your Office Décor

There is no use planning a colourful, spotted or patterned kitchen design when your offices are designed to look modern and minimalistic. It is important to make sure that your new kitchen design is in keeping with the layout and the décor of the entire office, otherwise it will look out of place and jarring to any visitors. You can certainly have a kitchen that stands out and is unique, but it is important not to stray too far from the office theme that it becomes ridiculous.

Take tile samples and colour samples with you to the office, or get a professional interior designer to draw up or even create a 3D image of what your new kitchen might look like in your current office. Never leave anything up to chance and always compare samples and pictures as your memory is not perfect. We may have spent years and years in one office, but our minds are programmed to tune out certain details i.e the colour of the walls. One might think they are pale blue when in fact they are a more vivid blue and this is essential when choosing a theme and colour scheme for your new kitchen design.

Adding a Kitchen to an Open Plan Office

In the case of open plan office, space is not always an issue, but it is important to be aware of the space you use. By placing a kitchen in the corner of an open plan office, you eliminate the need for the kitchen to be small and compact and also provide a space accessible to the entire office. Another benefit of having an open plan kitchen is that this discourages people from stealing food (it is an unfortunately common fact).

One downside of having a kitchen in an open plan office is the smell. Some colleagues like to have a tuna sandwich or a boiled egg for lunch and they are well within their rights to do so. However in doing so this can lead to a bad smell pervading throughout the office and this can be quite off-putting. Installing a good ventilation system will help to disperse some of the stronger smells.

If you are unsure on a certain style of kitchen, perhaps taking a vote with your employees might help the situation. After all, chances after your staff will be using the kitchen more often than yourself and they can better advise you on the accessories or features that they would like to see in the new kitchen design.

It may sound strange but ensuring a well-designed and functional kitchen is sure to leave a lasting impression on any potential future employees and business partners, very much like a telephone system or a reception area would also leave an impression. If you reflect quality and professionalism in everything you do including the little design details such as kitchen design and décor, it shows your dedication to detail and quality all round as a company.

5 Tips to Protecting Valuable Belongings Stored Away in Sheds


Sheds are an excellent choice for outdoor storage options and provide you with plenty of room to store valuable garden equipment among other sizeable belongings.

They are of relatively low cost to build but are always a target for thieves seeking valuable possessions stored away in outbuildings. This shouldn’t put you off having a shed in your garden, so the best thing to do is maximise the security of your shed.

One of the main reasons thieves are attracted to sheds is that many people store valuable equipment such as golf clubs, bikes, power tools and lawn mowers. For obvious reasons, sheds are much easier to break in to than houses.

If you’re wondering what it takes to enhance your shed security, the South Yorkshire gate furniture specialists provide some helpful tips you can use to deter any potential thieves.

Shed Placement

The area of the garden you choose to have your shed based is fundamental when it comes to preventing a burglary. If you install your shed somewhere where it’s difficult to get a good view from your property, thieves are more likely to take the risk.

Having a view of your shed from the kitchen window is the most efficient choice of placement, while making your shed difficult to see from outside the property is also a helpful way of hiding your shed from thieves.

Shed Locks

In order to lock the shed securely you will need a strong, reliable and high quality padlock or hasp that is well-fitted and secure. If you are using a hasp to secure your shed, make sure that the screws cannot be removed with a screwdriver as this is a common method of entry for many thieves.

Ideally you should try and use non-returnable screws or bolts. Closed shackle padlocks are more difficult to cut with a bolt cutter, so these are also highly recommended.

Shed Doors & Hinges

Once the shed has been locked up securely you need to make sure the hinges cannot be easily removed. Non-returnable security screws or coach bolts are both the best bet to ensure hinges cannot be removed by other tools.

The shed door should be thick and hard-wearing to prevent damage that could cause the shed to become more easily accessible. The door should also be able to resist hard kicks or any other kind of physical attempt to gain access.

Lighting & Alarms

Security lights that shine on to your shed are an ideal way of scaring off any thieves, with the lights being triggered when anyone is nearby. The light flicking on will alert you to someone’s presence and give you time to call the police.

A shed alarm is also a very effective method of security and you can connect your home security alarm to your shed so that you are quickly informed of any trespassers.


If your shed has windows, make sure they are securely locked and fastened to prevent being opened from the outside. Alternatively, you can use a bag of sorts to cover the window and restrict views of the interior. You can increase the security of your shed windows by installing laminate glass or Perspex.


Why choose window shutters for your bathroom?


When designing a beautiful new bathroom, often you are limited in terms of light levels, space and budget. While you may have a gorgeous bathroom designed, however it doesn’t take into account the light levels needed for your bathroom, ergo you need to install a whole bunch of spotlights into the ceiling just to improve the overall look of the room.

However, what if you could use the natural light from the window to increase light levels, without having to compromise on privacy? Interior window shutters provide a range of different privacy settings as well as still letting ample light in. In comparison to curtains or blinds, roller shutters are incredibly versatile as they can be adjusted to suit your personal preference.

The Benefits of Adding Window Shutters to your Bathroom Design

Easy to clean

Window shutters are treated in order to make them incredibly easy to clean. With many styles of window shutter you can simply wipe down the window with a damp cloth and then wipe it dry, making any stains or spills no trouble for window shutters.


Certain styles of window shutters have been designed for bathrooms so that they are waterproof and durable. This makes them vastly preferable to curtains or blinds, as curtains can harbour mould and mildew as well as the chords on both blinds and curtains. Perfect for reducing mould in the house and as window shutters don’t have any dangling chords they are safe alternatives for young children.

Cut to measure

You may have an oddly shaped bathroom window, or a little window that is more of a porthole than a window. Still, privacy is a necessity so it must be covered. In order to continue an underlying ‘theme’ in the bathroom, window shutters can be cut and fit to measure, suitable for any size or shaped window you might have. This makes it far easier to decide when trying to pick out a ‘theme’ for your bathroom!

Choose your shutter colour, style and finish

Complete customisability is important when choosing accessories for your new bathroom. It can be difficult to compromise when you have a particular idea of what the bathroom will look like in your head, however having the choice of different colours, styles and finishes in window shutters really helps you to make the decisions that matter.

Choose your shutter design – louvre width, shutter arrangement

Want to let in a decent amount of light in but also love your privacy? Looking for something that gives a subtle amount of light without having to completely close off the window? As window shutters can be customised with different louvre widths, you can choose a window shutter suited to your needs. You can also choose alternating designs that involve half-shutters, where a shutter covers the bottom or top half of a window, making it ideal for privacy vs light situations.

While window shutters may not be at the forefront of your mind for the ideal bathroom design, it really is stunning what can be done with versatile window shutters. By switching to a simple shutter design, you can add those few finishing touches to the bathroom design. Plus as previously stated, window shutters are suitable for all ages, as no dangling chords mean they are perfectly safe for bath time for the kids as well.

When designing your bathroom it is always important to picture yourself using this bathroom in five or even ten years’ time. Bathrooms should be built for longevity and as window shutters are both durable, sturdy and flexible, you are pretty much guaranteeing a first class bathroom for many years to come.

This article was provided by Brighton based, bespoke bathroom design specialist

Make Moving With Children Easier

Moving home can be stressful at the best of times. When children are involved, though, those anxieties can reach fever pitch.

Staying calm is a crucial part of the process and you should take every precaution in order to put your mind at ease. That alone will win half the battle, leaving you to get on with the actual job of moving.

It doesn’t matter if you are moving 500 feet or 500 miles, this is a major upheaval. And like it or not, the process will go a lot quicker if your kids are out of the way. There are plenty of activities for parents to enjoy with their children. This is not one of them.

You might have the loveliest children in the world but, on moving day, they will quickly become the bane of your existence. The questions alone will be enough to drive you insane, while their tendency to unintentionally get in the way will only slow down an already painfully long process.

Sending your children to a babysitter is very wise. If they can stay with family then that’s great. If not, then paying a professional is well worth the investment. This decision will help preserve your sanity at this stressful time.

Another major thing to consider is storage, particularly if you are moving into a temporary accommodation between homes. Keeping items in a secure storage by LockAway facility will help break the moving cycle into stages, which should prevent potential cramping from becoming a problem. For some reason, transporting everything into the new house somehow makes the process a million times worse. This method will at least allow you to retain some sense of organisation.

It’s also a great idea to pack a bag of your child’s most prized possessions to keep them entertained throughout the moving process. This should also help them to bring memories of the old home into the new one.

Uprooting the family is unlikely to be a decision made lightly and you’ve probably known about it for some time beforehand. Use that time to prepare your kids for the move. The thought of leaving everything they know behind can be scary for children. Keeping a sense of routine about their daily lives should go a long way to battling these issues. Once they’ve settled into the new home, it shouldn’t take long for them to start loving their new life.

The key to a successful move is ensuring that everyone is happy. For your children, that means removing any fears they may have and helping them gain a level of excitement about the new location. Perhaps you could promise them a trip to a local attraction in order to give them something to look forward to about their new home.

For you, the parents, it’s all about feeling calm and collected. Organisation is the key. Preparation is vital leading up to the move. On the big day, though, you’ll definitely want the kids out of sight in order to let you get the job done quickly and efficiently.

A smooth transition will only benefit them too.

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Inforgraphics by: Smart Space