Thursday, 2 May 2013
When I first saw the job advertisement for the junior designer position at Higham Furniture, I did the first thing anyone would do and Google'd the company. From then on I have, as many of our customers also do, come to associate Higham Furniture with bespoke, good quality, traditional Shaker style kitchens. I was delighted to be offered the job and have now been with the company for two months, and am very much enjoying meeting clients and working on their designs.
I have already become aware of some current trends in kitchen refurbishments, with the most popular being 'all about' bringing the outside in, and having as much natural light in the kitchen area as possible. Very much in keeping with the Higham style of the contemporary take on traditional design, the use of the bi-folding door or wall of glass creates a space with lots of light, and makes a good contrast to the classic and warm feel of the handmade quality cabinetry. I feel that bi-fold doors are a trend that's here to stay, and a good investment for any space.
The 3D above is a design that I am currently working on for a client that has just been granted planning permission to put glass doors across the entire width of their south coast home.
If you would like to discuss the possibilities of introducing more light to your kitchen then do contact us and we will be happy to talk through your design.
Saturday, 20 April 2013
The popularity of the “hot-water tap” is continuing apace, there are an increasing number on the market and appear to be a regular item now on the "appliance" list.
We probably see around a third of our customers fitting them as part of their kitchen project – they are relatively expensive but there are a number of arguments to be made on them paying other longer term dividends. Apart from the fact it's less destructive of the environment - lots of surveys show we all overfill our kettles for each cup of tea - they also offer instantaneous boiling water that both speeds up tea making and your cooking, so time saving as well.
As well as the stand-alone hot-water tap there are also an increasing number of makes that are offering the combi-tap with both a hot / cold mixer as well as the boiling water option.
Some people are concerned around safety particularly those with smaller children but they all have worked on ensuring strong safety features – some have push and turn handles to child-proof them; in many cases the water doesn't come out in a single jet but a spray; when not depressed for water they cut-off (so no continually running, boiling water). Ultimately the hot tap is probably safer than the normal worktop kettle with their twisted cords.
We also love that the hot water tap helps keep our worktop clutter to a minimum helping with the sleek lines & minimalist look that people want with their kitchens and is obviously a difficult one to achieve in any busy kitchen!
We've integrated a number of brands into our kitchens and these include Quooker, Franke, Insinkerator and Grohe many of which are well-known names in taps & sinks.
We are always happy to discuss pros and cons of appliances and also ensure that your choices fit with the rest of your kitchen.
Wednesday, 3 April 2013
A somewhat US biased article on library ladders used for kitchens but interesting none the less. We have not done many library ladders but the request comes from time to time. The highest cabinets we have made were over 3.5m tall.
Where there are appliances, care must be taken to make sure there is sufficient ventilation. Often there are limitations to cabinet material lengths and access restrictions and so we have to make cabinets on top of other cabinets which can increase the costs but do open up access to space usually lost.
Thursday, 28 March 2013
We can't quite believe that Easter is here and the first quarter of the year gone, we were hoping that we might have seen a bit of sun by now - our workshop based in a beautiful rural location has certainly felt the chill over the past few weeks and we've been telling customers to wrap up warm for visits! The Design Studio has things a little warmer particularly as we are at the Old Gas Works but we are looking forward to a little sun.
We have been welcoming some new members to our team – at the end of February Katie joined us as a trainee designer and she's already got the bit between her teeth and been out with clients, working on our designs and getting to grips with it all. As well as the aesthetics of a design there are plenty of technical aspects that can often challenge us so plenty to learn.
After Easter we'll be welcoming Tristan to the team as the second trainee designer. Our total number of designers will then be three plus Tim who still does his share.
We'll make sure that our designers are blogging with their ideas and with the extra team members on board the load should be spread a little as well as allowing us to think up new creative ideas! We are always delighted when our customers give us feedback about how we have managed projects process particularly when the service they've received means means reduced stress for them – a wonderful new kitchen is something we want our customers to be excited about and look forward too.
The first quarter of 2013 has seen us remain busy and and our Handle-less Kitchen Design continues to have lots of very positive feedback from customers who love it's sleek, clean lines whilst still retaining the Shaker character.
We've also had some lovely press coverage and have more coming in the spring, we'll keep you posted.
In the meantime we wish everyone a wonderful Easter and even if your eggs aren't quite from the court of the Tsars we're sure they'll taste good!
Tuesday, 19 March 2013
We take pride in, and love combining style with functionality. Here's a beautiful handmade extractor canopy in the grand Palladian style!
This classic kitchen architecture combines a clean and timeless style with modern functionality. Framing exquisite copper tiles, the handmade canopy houses an extractor fan and spotlights to create a glistening centrepiece to your kitchen.
But within this classic look, lies a secret talent. The pillars hide storage units accessible by an ingenious push mechanism, popping open without any handles giving the game away! The only handles on the guest list are from Notting Hill's Chloe Alberry. The chic porcelain handles with subtle crimson swirls, add a vibrant accent to this clean linear style .
Working seamlessly with the space, the canopy gable rises above the lit glass display cabinets, towards the pitched ceiling, bringing the whole room together beautifully.
Below are glistening black granite worktops which create an elegant contrast with the clean white panels of the canopy. Finally, for a bit of au naturel counterpoint, a stunning European Oak worktop crowning a crisp white, panelled island unit.
We love looking at design ideas with clients that combine clever functionality with something striking.
Wednesday, 13 March 2013
This alcove in Hampstead has been transformed to house a hob with integrated drawers as an effective solution to using a potentially awkward space. The Siemens IQ500 gas hob is recessed within the alcove to make efficient use of the space whilst creating an attractive focal point within this kitchen.
We love the unique colour of the Dulux 'Mercury Shower 2' painted panelling and mantle that provide a contrast to the cream walls of the kitchen and dark wooden flooring. The wooden oak drawer knobs compliment this colour whilst adding a traditional element to the drawers and the mantle itself provides a striking element to the feature.
The dark “Moon Rock” granite surface provides enough room for some cooking essentials and is striking against the light coloured tiles that cover the walls behind it. The extractor recessed into the chimney also provides two spotlights gently lighting up the space serving both a functional and an aesthetic touch.
This is one example of the unique solutions we provide at Higham Furniture, please do get in touch with us if you are looking to create a bespoke kitchen that is right for you.
Friday, 1 March 2013
Earlier this year one of our contemporary handleless Corian kitchens was chosen by Kitchens, Bedrooms and Bathrooms magazine for its White Issue in an article titled 'Stroke of Genius'.
This handleless contemporary kitchen, installed in Primrose Hill, London, features striking seamless worktops and sinks fabricated from Glacier White Corian, with the same, hard-wearing material being used for the external surfaces of the cabinetry. This uniformity of colour and texture helps to create a space which feels sleek and clean. Situated in a lower ground floor room, this kitchen could easily have felt dark and enclosed, but by keeping the colours light and the cabinetry free from clutter the space feels open and full of light.
Some flashes of variety were included in the form of a section of full stave oak on the island, Arenastone 'Bianco Puro' quartz by the hob, and imposing Gaggenau ovens, but largely the cabinetry was left to speak for itself. The rich oak finish used for the cabinet interiors acts as a pleasing juxtaposition to the stark white of the Corian, and helps prevent the space from feeling too clinical.
This design will not be to everyone's taste, but as increasing numbers of our clients fall in love with it we are confident that this style has a strong future. If you would like to find out more then you access the Kitchens, Bedrooms and Bathrooms article on the press page of our website, or get in touch and we will be happy to discuss your requirements.