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Modern Utility Style

White utility room decor

This is a practical, organised look, with ‘thrift’as its watchword, resulting in space-saving furniture, clever storage ideas. Where possible items recycled to squeeze that last ounce of use out of them. If you are alarmed by the ultra-sleek modernity of so much contemporary style, this is a good way to introduce a few second-hand pieces, creating a softer look that has retro charm without being overly ‘antique’.Utility style dates from a time when everything was rationed, not just space. Post-war utility furniture from the 1940s and 1950s in the UK was designed so that it used up the smallest amount of wood and involved the minimum amount of time and effort to make. Hence its small scale, unfussy shape. Everything has a function and nothing was designed purely to look good. And it is this that rescues the style from acquiring too much of a country-cottage prettiness.

Making it work

Don’t let the effect lapse into chintzy or country house. Keep the florals in order with plenty of hard surfaces and practical features. Such as clever storage solutions, fitted cabinets, will have space for where it’s really useful. As long as you don’t clutter up a small kitchen. With bespoke cabinets you will have better organised space, hence you can customize it to your needs. The entire look promotes ‘neatness’ as a way of thinking with the emphasis on tidiness rather than chic.

Style as a way of life

A clever storage solution will be creating fitted cupboards floor to ceiling, open shelves a row of wall pegs holding utensils.Much of it is to do with schoolroom simplicity: wooden bench seating to help you fit more people round the dining table. Old school chairs lined up against a wall to give a sense of no-nonsense practicality.
Remember that the simplest patterns can also be practical space-making solutions. Candy-striped wallpaper will make a low ceiling look higher and white tongue-and-groove paneling – the perfect background for brightly painted junk-shop chairs. Will create neat vertical lines for the same effect.

Finding extra space

alcoves cabinets

You do not want to cram every inch of your home with shelves and cupboards. But you will probably need more storage space than you have. If you want to keep your living space clear and uncluttered, make the best possible use of wasted corners and unexplored angles, by adding fitted cupboards, bookcases or custom-made wardrobes.
What does your storage space need to house? At the very least, it will include clothes, shoes and a minimum of tableware and kitchen gadgets. On top of that you will have books, videos and any number of other personal possessions. Some more important than others, some needing more regular access than others. Photographs and letters are precious but you will not need to get at them too often. So they can be hidden away in closed storage, wardrobes, while everyday tableware needs to be near at hand and easy to retrieve and replace.

Where to look

The first place to look is anywhere that provides a ready-made recess.These slots can be fitted with storage without robbing the room of any useful space. Alcoves on either side of a chimney breast can be transformed into shelves, cupboards or wardrobes. Are deep enough to take chunky equipment like television and music system. Fireplaces themselves are useful spaces. If the fireplace is no longer functioning, or you are happy to forgo the idea of an open fire. You can remove the fittings and reline the space or go in front with floor to ceiling wardrobe as well in the recesses which will provide a practical, useful space.
It is up to you to decide whether you leave these storage spaces open or front them with cupboard doors. Doors can give the room a neater, more streamlined finish by continuing the line of the wall. But remember that you will need space for doors to open into the room. To solve this problem, either fit sliding doors wardrobe or aim for a series of narrow doors, each one exposing just a small section of storage.

Create the ultimate streamlined look with custom-made wardrobes

fitted wardrobe

If your bedroom is used for more than sleeping, you will have additional storage considerations. Custom-made wardrobes, dual-purpose furniture and under-bed storage are all excellent solutions.
When choosing furniture, remember to take account of its storage potential. Hence we recommend fitted wardrobes custom designed to incorporate all your needs.

Custom-made wardrobes

If you follow the approach whereby items are kept where they’re needed. There won’t be much more to store in your bedroom than clothes. But if it’s to often a peaceful haven for a good night’s sleep. A bedroom must be tidy and free of clutter. Which means that adequate well-organised storage is of the utmost importance. Invest in custom-made wardrobes for the ultimate streamlined look and a clever use of space. Also walk-in wardrobes if you have the space are a must have with open shelves and racks allow easy access to clothes and shoes.
If you are following the practical approach whereby items are stored close to where they are needed. There will probably not be very much to store in your bedroom besides clothes and shoes. Also if you have a dressing room then it will be easier to organize your bedroom making it a safe haven. Creating your perfect retreat where you can simply unwind after a long day.

Bespoke furniture

Bespoke furniture are often favored for its practicality, clean lines also can be made to work well. For example floor to ceiling custom-made wardrobes in recesses either side of a chimney breast or in an alcove. Also if space is tight fitted wardrobes are a great addition. Opt for bedside cabinets rather than tables. Or even better a small chest of drawers that is the perfect height to use as a nightstand. Another clever idea is built-in dressing table with a mirror fixed on top or hung on the wall just above it.
Whatever your preferred style, it is an excellent idea to invest in either custom-made bed with deep drawers in the base are the best or under bed boxes.

Living room – Storage requirements

storage cabinets

As a recreational space, the living room often has simpler storage requirements that the parts of the home with specific practical functions (for example, the kitchen). Even though it tends to be the place where we spend most of our waking hours. The majority of living room only need storage provision for entertainment technology. Media collections and comfort related items such as firewood, cushions and throws. That said, living spaces with a dual purpose – those with a corner used for hobbies or a play area – demand special consideration, consider investing in a bespoke furniture.

Uncluttered look

For an uncluttered look, try to invest in storage that keeps the TV, games consoles, media players and any discs collections out of sight – a specialist unit or a fitted cupboard will do the job nicely. If you don’t mind your TV screen being always visible. There’s no reason why you can’t re-purpose another kind of cabinet as an entertainment centre, simply by drilling holes in the back for the cables. Glass fronted examples can be a benefit here, as remote controls will work without the doors having to be open. But make sure that there is adequate ventilation. Or you could find that your electrical equipment is overheating. There are plenty of designs available with integrated shelves and drawers. Even some with a laptop table that rises up, simultaneously offering a higher level surface and access to the storage space inside.

Fitted storage

If you live in a period home, your living room may already feature fitted storage. Such as shelves and cupboards either side of the chimney breast. If it doesn’t, this traditional arrangement is both pleasingly symmetrical and makes good use of the alcoves; without encroaching too much on the floor space, so it is well worth emulating.
A more contemporary take would be to create a whole wall of storage, concealed behind sliding doors. Where literally anything and everything could be stored; allowing you to have only carefully edited belongings on show in the rest of the space.

When did the ‘study’ become the home office?

Oak study

It may have been as computers were embraced into the home and women gained ground in this traditionally masculine domain. Gone are the dark wood and ‘men’s club’ leather chairs in favour of lighter, brighter more ergonomic and democratic furnishings.

Home office

A home office, study should reflect your individuality, as should the storage. While box file and filing cabinets can look great in an apartment with an industrial aesthetic. They may also look great in a more traditional home as per bellow example. Where the filling cabinets have been incorporated into this bespoke solid oak study.
oak file cabinet
It is possible to customize more domestic shapes and finishes by choosing custom-made home office’s, study’s to keep the office in step with the rest of the home.
If you have to hold meetings in your home office you will need to make doubly sure that your space looks passably professional. It is also a good idea to situate your office close to the entrance to your home; so that clients and colleagues won’t have to traipse through the whole house to get there.

Storage

To assess storage requirements here, begin by itemizing the equipment that you use: different professions have very different paraphernalia. Technology makes its own demands on space and most home offices, study’s need at least a computer, printer and phone. While some call for other more career-specific, from a sewing machine to a drawing board. If you do use electronic equipment, remember to ensure you have sufficient power points; so that you can position it, and task lighting, where you want them. Here is a great example of storage unit in solid oak.
oak storage unit

Home office storage

Efficient home office storage is for those with a healthy horror of, not an unhealthy interest in, filling. Try to maintain a clean-desk policy by putting away everything that is no longer needed. Keeping everything off the primary work surface apart from the task immediately in hand has been shown to improve concentration by minimizing visual distractions. Mess equals visual noise. It is difficult to concentrate or be creative in chaos.

New Kitchen

shaker doors kitchen grey

The most expensive home improvement

A new kitchen is about the most expensive home improvement that you can make and probably the quickest way to add value to your home. If you are able to upgrade, put a lot of thought into the planning. Particularly with regard to safety; you need to ensure a clear passage around the room so that carrying hot, heavy pans from the oven or hob to the sink is nor hazardous. If you use a specialist design company be sure to brief them comprehensively as to how you work within the space and what your particular priorities are.

hidden kitchen door shaker grey

Shaker doors

The design of this kitchen has taken into account the fact that it is part of a larger space. Hence has been created a wall with full height cupboards including integrated appliances such as fridge/freezer, double ovens, larder units also a hidden door that takes you into laundry room. It works really well for the space in hand.
white kitchen

White seamless kitchen

This light, airy kitchen is also used as a work space. Which creates even more pressure on the available space. The solution found here is an effective combination of a number of different elements. A majority of closed storage means that almost everything is hidden away when not required. Such as the walk in pantry cupboard or the integrated swing door that takes you to a different room.

Small space

With any kitchen larger than a galley kitchen,it makes sense to give yourself the option of eating in there. In a relatively small space choose a table with a fold-down leaf, which can be stowed back against the wall when not in use to maximise circulation space. Instead of chairs choose long, low benches that can be stored under the table between meals. For a very small space there are tables that fold right back to the wall. But whatever the size of your table it could easily double up as a work surface for household paperwork.

Fitted kitchen for contemporary home

custom-made white kitchen

The kitchen remains the heart of the modern home; not simply a functional are where food is stored, prepared and cooked. But also a social space where the family eat together, talk on the phone, finish homework and entertain friends.Ergonomics should be tempered with atmosphere to ensure that the kitchen not only works well but also remains an appealing room in which to spend time.
With the introduction of the fitted kitchen, now so frequent in the contemporary home, things have become even more streamlined. A well planned, fitted kitchen will answer all of your storage needs. Providing enough organised space for food and drink, cutlery, crockery, pots and pans. It may also include space for extra hi-tech, labour-saving gadgetry, as per our example a pop up plug socket fitted into the kitchen island.

Pop up plug socket

It makes sense to site your larger appliances. The washing machine and tumble dryer and of course the increasingly indispensable dishwasher. Within an overall fitted kitchen, which will often include space for them to be installed. To save extra space and give yourself more storage room in a fitted kitchen, invest in an integrated washer/dryer. In a small house or open-plan apartment choose the quietest models available. So that you can run them at night and still get to sleep. If your kitchen is exposed to your living or dining area. Then think about creating a closed-off utility area for storing the noisier appliances; such as the washing machine and tumble dryer. Also if the open plan kitchen allows you invest in a kitchen island with breakfast bar.We have as an example this great custom kitchen island that we have created and installed in Winchmore Hill.

Kitchen island

kitchen island
The island includes a selection of cupboards, drawer units, pull-out bin unit, Belfast sink, hob and breakfast bar. Cooking and eating should be stimulating, enjoyable activities and not complicated by messy, overloaded worktops, hard labour and out of control cupboards. A streamline kitchen that is hygienic, safe and easy to clean, with well planned storage for all your needs; will tempt you into culinary creativity.

Kitchen spaces

white kitchen

The sort of extension you decide to go with will dictate how much space your new kitchen will have; but as a general rule a single height and side return are often the first steps towards making use of otherwise unused space. And creating the best connection with the garden. The kitchen is still the main selling point of any house. And is also the one area that you will not want to scrimp on when it comes to extending. You have to be practical about your present and future lifestyle demands too.

Open-Plan Living

While open-plan living is so often the ideal you might want to think about incorporating designed zones in your re-imagined space for pantry storage, utilities and media, as well as areas for formal and casual gathering and dining.
It’s incredible what you can fit into a tight kitchen with a bit of clever design. Think about your own lifestyle and design around that. So, if you dislike loud appliances, a laundry room is a must. Or if you’ve a lot of small appliances you might like a walk-in storage space. Even deciding whether you want to eat or cook facing the garden can be a good starting point to evolving your design.
From the moment you open a front door, the value in a house is always in its long view. I want your eye to always run out to the garden. I feel that the join between old and new should be seamless. It shouldn’t matter whether you are in the extension or in the original part of the house, there should be no disconnect or threshold. It should just feel right.

Interior design solutions

Before you embark on any project make sure you have furnished it on plan.With open-plan living you have very few walls. So where do you hang art or put that sideboard? Square spaces can be very difficult to furnish.
Beware of creating over-large areas which you may not use, and also think about the amount of glass you will need. I personally like transparency but it is important to preserve privacy, so remember that large areas of glass will mean large areas of open plan.

Create an inspiring bedroom for your child

children's bedroom ideas

See the world through a child’s eyes and create a bedroom that will inspire them and provide a place in which they can play all day and rest peacefully at night. For kids who are feeling artistic, wall stickers are a great idea and they’re an easy update to a plain wall. Our above example actually is painted in colorful squares with MDF letters and numbers to give a 3D effect.
Playful, exciting and fun are three words that spring to mind when we think of kid’s bedrooms. On this premise, even the most colour-shy and minimalist amongst you can afford to loosen up. Let your creative side out and be bolder and more imaginative when thinking about style choices.

Young at heart

When it comes to planning it’s important to think about the practical side such as how the bedroom will be used and how it can grow and adapt to your child’s needs. For example, you should consider if you’ll be able to easily update the space for siblings to share; or make it flexible to suit a change in activities such as homework. Also aside from the essential elements, such as a bed, fitted wardrobe and custom-made deep drawers. You’ll also want to consider clever storage. Kids love ample storage to stash away their toys; hence we can recommend custom-made deep drawers. Remember that good storage appeals both to the neat freak and to the messy monster.

It’s fun to learn

Once you have all the practical elements sorted, you can turn your attention to the decoration for your kids bedroom. It can be fun to get your child involved either to choose a theme for the room or to pick out their favorite wallpaper. The walls are a good place to start and when you’ve got a colour scheme you can go from there. Once you’ve achieved the room you desired, all that’s left to do is to enjoy quality time in it with your children.

The principle of clothes storage

Custom-made wardrobes

The principal of clothes.

Only clean items should be put away and store everything behind closed doors. It’s said that we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. So the first step to achieve a well-organized custom-made wardrobes is to conduct a clothing audit. Try everything on, and remove any garment that hasn’t been worn in the last year.

You might want to sell higher-value items through an online auction site, but if you don’t think you’ll find time, be bold and donate everything to charity instead.

Store separately if you want to keep for sentimental reasons, or children’s wear intended for a young sibling to grow into. Chest of drawers are best suited to folded cloths , such as sweaters, T-shirts and jeans. Keep like with like (perhaps with the help of drawer dividers). If you are stacking things up, put heavier garments underneath lighter ones.

Custom-made wardrobes built into the eaves of a room represent the ultimate in understated interior style, as well as maximizing storage capacity. Clothes intended for long-term storage should be fully cleaned. Place them in a clean suitcase, or a space-saving vacuum storage bag. Don’t keep clothes in unheated spaces such as cellars garages and attics. You could find there’s a problem with damp, which is detrimental to fabric.

Once or twice a year, unpack everything, unfold the garments to check for signs of mildew or moths. Refold and repack them differently so that any creases don’t develop into damage to the fabric.

Streamline your storage

Another way to streamline your storage needs is to separate your clothes into seasonal wear and rotate them between the closet and a less accessible space. Guest-bedroom wardrobe/ armoires and drawers are ideal to keep out-of-season garments. While bulky items such as knitwear, winter coats and ski-wear are ideal candidates for under-bed storage.

If you want to keep treasured or expensive garments free of dust and tip-top condition, invest in specially made covers.

Never stack folded clothes right to the top of a space. A good air flow required to keep garments in the best possible condition. If you pack them in too tightly, you risk damage from mildew; easy spread of moths and other pests.

An economic way to create custom-made wardrobes space to install a hanging rail in an alcove. Simply put up a curtain to screen your clothes. Minimalist floor-to-ceiling wardrobes are perhaps the best way to keep a bedroom or dressing room to look sleek uncluttered. Provide plenty of dedicated space to clothes and shoes.

Tall shoe racks and cabinets are often a better choice than low designs if you have a lot of footwear. They offer a much greater capacity for the same base area.