What is a Kitchen Re-visit? Well it’s going back to see a customer one year on from their finished kitchen and it could be a potential minefield! So it was with a deep breath we went back to see Mr & Mrs Q to ask them about their kitchen after they had lived with it for a year.
From Tec’s German sourced range they have a combination of Gloss White glass cupboards, Matt Black glass drawers and contrasting Terra Oak wall units, shelving and breakfast bar. Terra Oak has also been used in the TV area and living room giving a beautiful continuity between the three distinct areas.
We had two main questions: what would you change about your kitchen one year on and what do you love? The first one was the obviously the most difficult to ask but worryingly, at first, our customer found it really easy to answer …
“That’s easy – the stainless steel double sink. It was the one thing that I overruled your designer on, I really wanted stainless steel square basins, but it was a definite mistake. Stainless steel not only shows every droplet of water but it scratches so easily that despite every effort it looks worn and old even though it isn’t. We were recommended a Blanco Silgranite inset sink and just to make me feel worse I remember that the granite was specifically scratch resistant.”
The second question, what do you love, took a lot more time to answer.
“Where do I start – the ‘wow’ pieces that excite friends and family are the Falmec Prestige Extractor and the Zehnder Radiator funnily enough, I guess because they are large and designer pieces. For us though, living with the kitchen, it is the smaller details that really make the difference.”
1 The Quooker Boiling Water Tap.
“We didn’t realise how much we used boiling water and what a difference it would make until we had it. To be honest at first I thought it might be a bit gimmicky and so only committed to the basic model. Now I wish we had the taken the option of connecting the normal hot water tap in the kitchen to it (nb this option gives you hand hot water not boiling). Because the boiling water is instant, it feels like we wait forever waiting for hot water in the normal tap.”
2 Warming Drawers
“Not saying we copied the showroom, but we liked the display of Siemens appliances so much we ordered as we saw it at Tec. We have one warming drawer within the oven setup – we could have had two drawers but didn’t think we would need an extra one and opted for the storage drawer. We use the warming drawer a great deal, almost like an old fashioned hostess trolley. It warms plates yes but it also keeps food warm as you can control the temperature in the drawer.”
3 Lutron Graffic Eye Lighting System
“Without sounding like I’m on the payroll, we used Tec’s expertise and advice when rewiring the kitchen. Because we have a somewhat open plan living area controlling the light is really important. The biggest problem with a open plan living area is the amount of light switches you have for different areas and somewhere in the region 40 lights, we have three entrances to the room, and have a Dining Area, Day Lounge and Kitchen.
Using the old fashion wiring techniques, the light switch boxes where getting larger and larger, then I mentioned dimming and the boxes where nearly 8”x 8” wide. The Kitchen designer at Tec put me in touch with the electrical department, and I was recommended to use a Lutron Dimming system with mood settings. This unit allows me to have a normal sized switch at the entrance of the room, giving full control to every area. We have 10 options of different mood settings, currently we only have used 6 of these.
Everyday Use: The kitchen, diner and lounge are the main room(s) of the house and we spend most our time here, most lamps are set to 70% brightness.
Dining: Kitchen and Lounge Dims providing a soft glow, slightly brighter around the dining table. (2 variants to this depending if it’s just us or if we are entertaining).
Lounge: Self-explanatory really Dining Room and Kitchen dim softly providing back ground light, Day Lounge is illuminated but only very softly.
The Quick Drink: Enough said, just enough light to make a cuppa. Saves electric and illuminating the whole house.
Back ground: strange as it sounds, but I don’t like sitting in the main lounge when the room behind is dark, so we have a really low setting, with the low energy lights on very dim, provides a bit of security and homely feel to the rooms.
We have the off button fading the lights to off over 20 seconds and each setting takes 10 seconds to fade into the next stetting, its really impressive. I’ve also add the Geek feature, being able to control the lights from my phone anywhere in the world. I’m not sure why I added that really. As part of the electrical system we also had some Systemline ceiling speakers fitted and again love the difference they make and use them most weekends and especially when entertaining.”
“The finish and quality of the kitchen has more than lived up to our expectations. The glass cabinets have taken all normal wear and tear with no marks and we even managed to drop our Henry Hoover on one without it even leaving a scratch!”
We finished by asking what advise they would give to anyone planning a new kitchen?
“The clearer idea of what you want the better your kitchen will be, but listen to the designers, they know their products and if they recommend something hear them out before disregarding anything!”
Gloss White Glass Cupboards
Matt Black Glass Drawers
Terra Oak Wall Units, Shelving, Breakfast Bar
Siemens IQ700 range –
Standard Oven x 2
Warming Plate and Spare Drawer
Quooker Boiling Tap
Falmec Prestige Extractor
Zehnder Anthracite Radiator
Lutron Graffik Eye QS range dimmer controls
Mixture of downlights:
Aurora Multiple semi industrial look downlights in matt white with 9w Halogen look LED lamps
Satin nickel fire and acoustic rated downlights with 9w Halogen look LED lamps
Franklight crystal day lounge lights, Franklight dining table light.