Save money by buying the best appliances

Did you know that you can buy a fridge that costs 6p per day, a dishwasher that only uses 6litres of water and a washing machine that can save over a third on your electricity bill?

When purchasing any appliance for your kitchen you need to really think about how you intend using the appliance and what usage it is going to have in its life time.
For instance how many ovens do you need, do you want a double oven or two singles or even a single oven and microwave combination, possibly the best combination. What type of oven do you want, how complicated a model and a lot of this will depend on what you cook, as different ovens can be better for different types of cooking.
Have you ever considered a steam oven, it cooks more gently and locks in more vitamins and the Bosch Steam combination oven, steam cooks and combination oven enables you to bake bread, meat and fish keeping it moist in the inside but brown and crispy on the outside.

By choosing the correct appliance for your lifestyle and checking the energy ratings of appliances you can get a good value appliance that suits you. Companies like Bosch and Siemens offer a vast range of Ovens, steam ovens, combination microwaves and microwaves to suit any cook from Novice to Cordon Bleu.

Gas, Ceramic or Induction hobs such a vast choice of styles and sizes, but what is the fastest? Induction hobs are twice as fast as gas and three times faster than ceramic hobs. What are the most energy efficient? Induction hobs are due to their speed of cooking. What is the easiest to install? All require qualified engineers however there are induction hobs on the market that only need plugging just like a kettle. The choice is yours, but have a good look around and see what suits you best.

Laundry products are probably the most abused appliance in any household, so do you go for the cheapest machines and just keep replacing it when it breaks down or do you purchase a better machine with a better guarantee and due to its technology costs less to run that others.
With water meters do we want a machine that wastes water? The ActiveWater machines from the Bosch calculate the amount of water required for each load, and they offer a 10 year guarantee on their EcoSilence Drive. Also as time is money reducing the cycle speed by up to 60% not only saves energy. Tumble dryers are usually quite expensive to run however Bosch has a tumble dryer that has an A energy rating and costs approx 25p per drying cycle.
Got a noisy dishwasher? With the quiet washing available with Bosch and Siemens there are dishwashers in the range of 41 decibels, and ones that only use 6 litres of water in a complete wash.

Extractors now come in all different shapes and sizes and it is a requirement in a new build that every kitchen has mechanical extraction so a good extractor is vital in any kitchen and if it can be ducted out that is the most efficient method. Extractors don’t come with Charcoal filters as standard as they are very inefficient, so what ever type of extractor you choose see if it ca be ducted out.

Refrigeration is available in many sizes and combination but a fridge freezer are plugged in for 24 hours a day 7 days a week so make sure that you buy one with a good energy rating Bosch have fridge freezers with an A+++ energy rating meaning it is very energy efficient and will cost approx £27 per year to run.

So when you are buying appliances consider that cheapest is not always the best and way up the energy costs and therefore the running costs before you make your decision.
Bosch and Siemens appliances are available at MBK Design Studio


The appliance of bathroom science for that ideal room

In most houses the chance to create a ‘showroom’ bathroom is often limited by space, the majority of people only change this room because of it’s colour or the layout is not suitable to their daily needs.
An average bathroom will have a bath, basin, pedestal and toilet, the positioning of which can rarely be altered without additional expense.
So to create a bathroom with design and flair you have to use some of the new specialist products that manufacturers have introduced that can help homeowners make their bathrooms more adapted to their needs …….. often without great expense.
One of the most significant change has been with showers. Aqualisa, based in Westerham, Kent, are probably the market leaders in digital showers. Their introduction of exposed digital powered showers, which can be retro fitted over baths, has provided customers with a great showering experience without lots of additional pipework and labour. The beauty of digital showers is that compared to traditional showers where the valves are built into the wall, these digital showers have a processor, which controls the water temperature and flow rate, and they are installed either in the loft space or the airing cupboard, thereby reducing disruption to the bathroom and making any maintenance incredibly easy, and they come with a 5 year warranty, Aqualisa defiantly are standing by their products.
Another change has been the number of shower enclosures designed to replace a bath; you can have an enclosure that takes up the footprint of the existing bath. However, not every bathroom can accommodate this, so there are alternatives that provide you with plenty of space – from rectangular enclosures to P shaped enclosures that give you a large showering area but with small overall dimensions.
To add a little personal flair in bathrooms more companies are now offering bespoke tile solutions where you choose your field tile and then have the tile cut to take a mosaic insert thereby ensuring your tile finish is unique to you.
Also new to the market has been the arrival of shower bath. Originally developed by Ideal Standard the design has been modified and many manufacturers have created many different-shaped baths that double up as baths with a generous shower area. But do be careful there are a number of baths that are good shower areas but are not very comfortable baths. One of the best is the Arco by Pura, which offers you the best of both worlds.
So if you want to update your bathroom, visit a local showroom and talk to an adviser who understand your needs – and can solve your problems.

Kitchen design is simply common sense

None of us have the perfect kitchen, the perfect triangle for optimum usage; unless we designed our house round that room, we are all working with what we have.
But that does not mean that we have to compromise on the quality of a new kitchen. What needs to be considered is what you do in your kitchen.
Working with your existing kitchen, which already may be perfect for your needs, create a list of the issues you have, whether it is storage space, worktop space, no dishwasher, sink too large etc.
Once you have formulated your list any capable designer will be able to create the kitchen of your dreams and that’s the most important thing to remember and I constantly remind my clients that this is your kitchen, and I will never have to work in it, so their input is crucial.
I may have the knowledge of all the additions and accessories that are on the market that will go together to create this kitchen but it must remain your kitchen and fit in with the way you want to work in your kitchen.
Fashion provides as many tips as bad ideas in kitchen design. Islands are often requested in my showroom but not every house can have an island, often the island will create more problems than it was designed to solve.
Appliances are critical in any kitchen but you must really choose carefully and not buy an oven or combi microwave because you were advised by the shop, you need to be sure that it suits your needs; you will have to use it. Dishwashers are probably the most popular additions to kitchens however the choice of a dishwasher can save you money in running costs and those are the questions that you should be asking.
Designing the cabinets in any kitchen is not a difficult task they are all very standard it’s just a question of creating the correct combination to fill the space required and ensuring that the storage is accessible and any corners have really good storage solutions.
Worktops will always cause problems due to the choice, every single type of worktop from Laminate to Granite will have its disadvantages and advantages, price and usability will determine what type of tops you require and again any good designer should advise you about these. But do remember to ask all the correct questions and bear in mind what work you will do on your new worktops.
However remember that there is always a reason why some products cost more than others, it’s is not always due to the quality but by asking the right questions you should be able to make a valid judgment and help create your perfect kitchen. So if you want to update your kitchen, visit a local showroom and talk to an advisor who understands your needs – and solves your problems.

So you are looking for a new kitchen or bathroom

So you are looking for a new kitchen or bathroom. Where do you go? Who do you talk to? Who is the best? Where will you get the best value?

To be honest I admit I don’t know.

Your choices should not be defined by your budget, whatever amount you want to spend, it is your hard earned money and you should spend it where you are comfortable and confident that you are getting true value for money.

So who should you give your hard earned income to, do you trust them, do they have your best interests at heart, are they interested in your problems, can they provide the solution, do you like them?

Have they really got what you want or are they more interested in what they want to sell?

Do they really understand how it all fits together, will they see you right through to the end, do you feel confident?

Are the big multiples the right answer, they are big, they are secure, like MFI, they have lots of displays, they appear cheap but some of their ranges are more expensive than many independent manufacturers, do they have much choice though? Do they have fitters who are vetted individually? Does the salesman understand the installation process can he solve your particular problem?

The independents are really the best people to talk to, Entrepreneurs who build business based on repeat and referral business, who have showrooms and can provide you with a vast array of product, most of them not the franchises, and who understand the whole process from the moment you walk in their door to the moment the last piece of dust is cleaned up in your house. They need you to be happy to build their business, do the large multiples?

Our next job is reliant on our last job and that has been like that for 25 years.

You need to talk to someone who knows the whole industry, who understands how the components fit together and if your dreams are realistic. Then look no further with years of experience in surveying, supplying and project managing over 3000 projects I would love to help you, no job is too small, call me or visit our showrooms and get a service from a man who knows.