How to make your Bathroom Cosy in Winter

bathroom-ideas-for-winter

There’s nothing worse than the thought of getting out of your warm cosy bed on a cold winters’ morning, only to have to tiptoe and shiver your way into a freezing cold and uninviting bathroom.

Just about everyone starts their day with a visit to the bathroom, so it’s worth investing in a few items that will heat your bathroom and make the whole experience much more pleasant! Not only will you be able to dry off and get dressed in warmth, a heated bathroom will dry out more quickly after it’s been used.

Here are some of our favourite ways to heat your bathroom this winter.

Heat Lamps

Heat lamps are an ideal way to heat a smaller bathroom because they provide instant heat as soon as they’re switched on. A good heat lamp will raise the air temperature quite significantly in a short period of time. In a larger bathroom they lose some of their efficiency, but you can fix this by installing more than one heat lamp.

Heated Towel Racks

Heated towel racks are popular because they provide a dual purpose. Not only do they give you the luxury of a snug, warm towel as soon as you jump out of the shower, but they radiate heat that passes through the towel and warms the air around it. The size of the rack and the position are important factors to consider, as they can take some time to warm up the air. A larger bathroom will need a larger towel rack.

Permanent Bathroom Heaters

If you have a big bathroom you might like to install a permanent heater, such as a radiator or bar heater. These can be mounted in or on the wall and wired up with your light switches to keep all the controls in one place. Radiator heaters will work best lower down, and can safely be installed at a lower height without the risk of burns. Bar heaters need to be installed higher up for safety reasons, as they put out a lot of heat and can cause burns.

warming-up-a-bathroom

Under Floor Heating

If your budget allows for it, under floor heating is the ultimate solution for bathroom heating. By heating the floor from underneath via electric coils or hydronic pipes, the heat rises, warming the coldest air and the bathroom tiles first. This can be a little bit pricey to set up, but it will last a long time, needs little to no maintenance and adds a great deal of value to your property.

Whatever the size of your bathroom and whatever your budget, there’s most certainly a way to heat your bathroom this winter. No more chilly sprints from the bed to the bathroom! How do you warm up your bathroom? We’d love to hear from you.

For more bathroom ideas, check out our website.

cosy-bathroom-ideas

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Creative Ideas for a Green Kitchen

green-kitchen

Having an eco-friendly, green kitchen in your home often has the reputation of being expensive and difficult to build. But these days, earth friendly products are much more widely available, stylish and affordable than ever before, and a green kitchen can be made with no extra expense or difficulty.

So, what parts of your kitchen can be green and eco-friendly? Here are some of the basic things to consider when you want to go green.

  • Gas or electric – natural gas is a fossil fuel, but most electricity comes from coal burning power plants. Gas gives you instant heat, but new electric stovetops use induction elements to transfer energy almost instantly too. Do some research, look at the energy ratings and find a preference that will suit you and your family.
  • Appliances – energy efficient upgrades to appliances occur in every new model these days. A modern dishwasher for example, uses less water than washing by hand. When you’re choosing appliances, looks for the energy star rating, and choose wisely. Perhaps you don’t need a fridge as big as you think you do? And a simple, sturdy oven will probably be much easier to use than a fancy model with setting you’ll never need or use. Think about the water and energy consumption of your appliances before you buy.
  • Recycled materials – many kitchen countertops can be made out of recycled paper, flooring can be made from cork, and cabinets can be made from bamboo. Do some research and find out what’s available and the environmental impact those products have.
  • Lighting – LED’s are now made in a way that produces a much more pleasant light output – not the harsh, blinding light that they used to emit. They are much more energy efficient than a regular light globe, hardly ever need changing, and if you have solar paneling you’re certainly doing your bit to reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Tiles – tiles for flooring or splashbacks can be made from products like clay, and other combinations of recycled materials. These are usually handmade and sustainably produced, and look fabulous in a modern kitchen.
  • Cabinets – so many companies now specialise in sustainably harvested and recycled content for cabinets, and they are simply beautiful. Consider a recycled wood composite material for cabinet doors and drawers.

green-kitchen-ideas

Creating a green kitchen is easier than you think and no more expensive than a ‘regular’ kitchen, so next time you’re renovating or building a new kitchen, consider some of these options. Or enter our competition to recieve a $10K cashback on the purchase of your new kitchen!

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Cosy Ideas for a Winter Kitchen

Shaker door kitchen

Shaker door kitchen

The majority of Australian houses are set up for the heat rather than the cold. They are usually open plan and have large combined kitchen, dining and living areas. A small heater is usually sufficient for the Australian winter, but it doesn’t really make for a cosy winter kitchen atmosphere.

When the seasons change and you crave a warm, friendly and inviting house, the kitchen is the first place to turn to. Casseroles, hearty soups, roasts and slow cooked meals not only warm your house physically with the use of ovens and stove tops, they warm you emotionally. The aromas of delicious comfort foods warm our soul and keep up going when the winter winds make us want to rug up and hibernate. The kitchen becomes the heart and soul of the family in winter.

The red gives a degree of warmth to a slick fingergroove kitchen

The red gives a degree of warmth to a slick fingergroove kitchen

But if you’re not too fond of cooking, or don’t have the pleasure of an open fire in your house, there are other ways you can make your kitchen cosy and inviting this winter.

Lets take a look at some of the ways you can do it:

  • Warm colours – Red, yellow, burgundy and gold will instantly make your kitchen feel inviting and more vibrant. It doesn’t have to be permanent redecoration – try some new tea towels, blinds or ornamental pots.
  • Lighting – get some bright bulbs and highlight key areas in your kitchen that you want to showcase. The right lighting plays a huge part in how your home looks and feels.
  • Drafts – if there’s cold air sneaking into your warm kitchen, it won’t help that welcoming atmosphere! Find the drafts and seal them up.
  • Flowers – stock up on some autumn and winter flowers. Flowers are often the first thing people notice when they walk into a room, and they’ll do wonders for the ambiance of your kitchen.
  • Go rustic – reinvent your kitchen with some rustic furniture and accessories. Try some wooden furniture and antique pots and pans. Even if you don’t use them, hang them up for decoration. The new look will instantly transform the feel of your kitchen.

If you’ve got the space, adding some comfy chairs and couches will extend the kitchen area into a place to sit, chat, have a cuppa and relax. And what could be more warm and inviting than that?

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Eurocucina trends

The broad trends in kitchen design on display at Eurocucina will inevitably be reflected in the rest of the world in the coming year or two. For this reason, it’s important to highlight the kitchen trends on show. Some of these are already being seen in the Australian market but can be expected to be further refined or to become more mainstream while other trends are new.

Handle-less doors even for fridges and dishwashers

Handleless fridges and microwaves

This stunning stone benchtop is enhanced by the streamlined wall of cabinets behind concealing the fridge and microwave. Better electronic drive systems now allow touch opening of even the typically resistant doors on these appliances.

Interior lighting of drawers and cabinets

interior lighting

The use of interior lighting is only seen on the most top end kitchens in Australia but the development of LED technology has seen the widespread use of lighting in drawers and cabinets at Eurocucina.

Floating cabinets and open shelves

floating cabinetry 2

Floating cabinets help break down the ‘solid wall’ effect and give a lighter touch to this kitchen enhanced by down lighting underneath. Once again, floating cabinets were a common sight in Milan.

Textured finishes

textured finishes

The availability of better quality veneers and laminates has brought timber textures within reach of most kitchen buyers and aren’t the results just brilliant.

Split level benchtops

Split level bench

Split level benches help to divide food preparation from dining areas particularly with the use of contrasting finishes. These have been around for sometime in Australia but can be expected to become more widely seen for their practical application as well as design flair.

Well, that’s it from Eurocucina for 2014. If you’d like to see more of the fabulous kitchens showcased in Milan, we’ll be featuring them on our website and blog in the weeks to come.

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Timber is back!

Timber has always been a popular material for use in kitchens because of its warmth and richness as well as its variety and texture. However, the scarcity of natural timbers has made it increasingly expensive to use and in recent years, global tastes have swung towards smooth, painted finishes.

Well, the kitchens on show at Eurocucina would suggest that timber and natural finishes are on the way back. And not just solid timber either but timber veneers and even timber textured laminates, which is good news for those seeking a fabulous, natural timber look without an exorbitant price!

Today, we’re going to highlight a selection of kitchens where timber is used for subtle or dramatic effect, often in combination with other materials. Together they show the enormous versatility of this beautiful material.

black and timber

This dramatic black marble and timber kitchen is striking in its simplicity. The warmth of the timber is offset by the coolness of the stone!

orange reveal

This striking, gloss orange kitchen is completely hidden behind a wall of timber panels so you wouldn’t even know it was there! The fridge and oven are at either end.

slab benchtop

The highlight of this kitchen is the huge slab of natural timber on the bench top contrasting dramatically with the gloss white finish on all other surfaces.

stylish beige

In this stylish kitchen, timber is used to add a subtle touch of warmth through open shelves in the island and on the surrounding walls. Using timber sparingly like this can enhance the look of any kitchen without substantially increasing the price.

Well, that’s all from Eurocucina for this week. Next week, will reflect further on the coming trends for the Australian kitchen market.

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Function gets fashion

We all love kitchen appliances because they make our life easier and take the drudgery out of mundane household tasks. But until recently, the worth of a kitchen appliance was judged on its ability to perform a set task rather than its appearance.

Today, that’s all changed because kitchen appliances have become an important part of the overall design of a the kitchen enabling designers to enhance the look they want to achieve through their choice of appliance.

Of course, Eurocucina is a showcase for the most cutting edge kitchen appliances in terms of both function and fashion, so we thought we’d show you some examples.

harlequin range hoods

They look like a bunch of giant ladies’ powder compacts…can you guess what they are? Believe it or not, they’re range hoods – aren’t they fabulous!

cooktop birds

How about this latest cooktop from Smeg? It uses birds as trivets to support your pots and pans.

moveable induction 2

Speaking of cooktops, Siemens are showcasing the latest induction appliance which follows your pan anywhere you place it on the heating surface.

red fiat fridge

This one we simply couldn’t resist. We’ve all heard of the car fridge but what about a  fridge in the shape of a car. This Fiat 500 fridge from Smeg is very cute!

That’s it for today. We’ll have more Eurocucina news for you tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Neutral – with a splash of colour!

European designers have had a reputation for the liberal use of colour in fashion, furniture, automobiles, etc. But this has not always been readily embraced by Australian consumers. While many have admired the bold use of colour for it’s dramatic intent, it’s not the sort of thing they want as a permanent fixture in their home in something as central to their lives as a kitchen.

This year, Eurocucina has seen the use of more neutral or muted colours, contrasted with an intense but limited application of colour – which makes it more accessible to most Australians. Today, we’re going to highlight some typical examples seen in the kitchens on display.

Red & white kitchen

The clever use of a vibrant, tomato red colour on the strategically placed wall cabinet, in the otherwise pure white kitchen, draws the eye and sets the design apart.

yellow with teapot

This kitchen design is a little bolder with vertical and horizontal use of lemon in the cabinetry, creating a balance against an otherwise monochromatic colour scheme.

green, white and tan

Again, a neutral backdrop and muted timber tones allow the vibrant green colour to shine through, providing a simple but dramatic contrast.

yellow and white

The dramatic angles in the design of this kitchen are further accentuated by the brilliant use of colour in both yellow and grey. It’s a spectacular combination!

More kitchen ideas to come….stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog.

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