Kitchen Countertops

Selecting the right kitchen counter top is an important piece in designing a kitchen and it should be considered carefully. When deciding which is the best counter top to invest in, there are a lot of factors to consider. A worktop is not just a question of fulfilling aesthetics in the design element. It must also be functional, practical and, above all durable. The goal of worktops is to balance out the furnishing with the rest of the kitchen. Gone are the days when choosing a worktop was just about the colour of a laminate. Today there are several technologically advanced materials available in the market.

1) QUARTZ top

Quartz tops are made of slabs formed by a mixture of quartz and resins that offer considerable benefits and are also extremely practical. Tops in this material are flexible and can reach lengths of up to 3 metres. The choice of quartz for your kitchen top guarantees the use of a material which, albeit more expensive than laminate, offers excellent performance. It is extremely resistant to scratches and knocks and is both long lasting and stain resistant. This translates into practical use in an environment where surfaces are subject to intense and continuous pressure. Quartz tops can be cut to measure based on the size and layout of your kitchen.

2) OKITE® tops

Okite® tops mainly consist of natural quartz with the remaining part made up of acrylic resins and coloured pigments. This type of mixture guarantees excellent performance and resistance against scratches, attacks by chemical agents, liquid and heat absorption, and is five times more resistant than granite. The surface is extremely hygienic and antistatic, does not attract dust, while also guaranteeing consistency and good heat stability. This is a valid alternative to natural stone. Tops in Okite® have no pores into which dirt and bacteria may seep.

3) MARBLE / GRANITE tops

Marble tops are compact, consisting of medium hard materials that are easy to polish, are processed to reduce the natural porosity and are then, treated with water-repellent and stain proofing products. Granites, which are also compact and easy to polish, are made of ultra-hard minerals and generally feature more dynamic and varied colours. Moreover, they are much more resistant than marbles to surface abrasions. Granite, which costs less than marble and is less precious, is in fact an extremely resistant product. When used for kitchen tops, it undergoes a special process to create an irregular surface and, thereby, enhance its natural look. In this case, this means brushed granite. Finally, composites are aggregates of marble fragments bound together with resins and cements. Highly appreciated by anyone who likes a natural look in the home that fits in well with more traditional style kitchens.

4) CORIAN® tops

This is a composite material that is non-porous and even, consisting of a third acrylic resin and two thirds mineral substances. The main component is the aluminium trihydrate mineral derived from bauxite. It has been used for furnishing purposes for some years now. Its use as a kitchen top ensures a pleasing tactile sensation, but above all great performance as it is non-porous, robust and resistant to scratches and humidity, can be repaired, has no joints where dirt can be deposited, is ecological and hypoallergenic. A material that can take on any shape and has demonstrated its reliability and ability to innovate with colours for decades, as well as technology and environmental sustainability.

5) STEEL top

Stainless steel tops feature high resistance against wear and are not affected by high temperatures, although they do require constant maintenance and cleaning. Steel is stain-proof and highly suitable for hygienic treatments of kitchen foods. One of the advantages offered by stainless steel tops is that they can be directly soldered to sinks and hobs, for a seamless finish and eliminating joints where dirt deposits may form. From a visual point of view, this type of top adds a more industrial touch.

6) GLASS top

This top consists of a sheet of extra-light glass with a variable thickness of between 15mm and 19mm. It is coloured and has undergone a treatment to make it resistance to knocks. Tempered glass tops are obtained from a slab of glass, heated at a high temperature until it softens. Extracted from the furnace, it is quickly cooled with high pressure jets of cold air, which only stiffen the external surface, while the inside cools slowly. This procedure, which creates tempered glass, is used to improve the top’s mechanical resistance against flexing and thermal shock. If a glass top breaks, it shatters into lots of small, blunt pieces. For this reason, glass is considered a safe and robust product. This material makes a bold visual impact when used on work tops, but does not offer a very good performance as scratches are very visible.

If you would like more insight on kitchen tops, finishes and what best suits your need and budget, do get in touch with the designers at The Platinum House on design@platinumhouse.ae for a free consultation.

 

5 Benefits of An Outdoor Kitchen

More and more clients these days are considering adding an outdoor kitchen in the construction or renovation of their villa. And most of the time their motivation to do so comes from the desire to spend more time in the open air and enjoy their outdoor area as much as possible.

So, if you are having questions about that vacant space in your backyard or garden and considering using it to build an outdoor kitchen, here are some points to meditate upon that will surely convince you.

1. A new room

It may be construed that remodeling the existing internal kitchen could be a more viable option than constructing a brand new kitchen outdoors. But having an entirely separate kitchen is actually a more functional option. In fact, one of the many reasons why outdoor kitchens are becoming more and more popular is because their creation expands the size of the house and essentially duplicates the size of the kitchen. It gives the family an additional room to cook, eat, relax and entertain in.

2. More livable space

The fact that an outdoor kitchen represents a real new room means expanding the livable space of your home. Building a space organised around a cooking area means giving one’s family an extra area to spend time together. Moreover, if an outdoor kitchen is created under an already existing veranda and there is the possibility of having sliding windows that define the space, it will be possible to use it even when the weather is less pleasant.

3. A meeting place

Among the advantages of having an outdoor kitchen, no doubt having a real meeting area is one of them. Modern technologies make many accessories available such as heating or cooling systems, fans, lighting and even outdoor TV’s to create a real paradise outdoors with all the comforts. The outdoor kitchen turns into an excellent accomplice for creating memories and emotional bonds. Birthdays, holidays and family gatherings can be even more memorable if it is possible to bring together family and friends in a particular setting different from the usual living room.

4. An investment that you can see

The construction of an outdoor kitchen has a high rate of return on investment compared to other home renovation projects. Regardless of dimensions and accessories, it is necessary to use materials of high quality that satisfy various requirements, among which the most important regards resistance to extreme weather conditions. Among the most used materials stainless steel undoubtedly stands out, which, together with the design of various other elements made for outdoor use, ensures maximum resistance and durability.

5. A custom-made design

It is well known that one of the peculiarities of outdoor kitchens is the ability to customise almost every single component. In addition to size and layout, you can choose from a variety of appliances that can also be adapted to specific spaces.

In the same way, it is possible to customise the structure by enriching it with a wood-burning oven, a barbeque or a fireplace which may not be adaptable to an indoor kitchen.

One can choose from countless materials for outdoor kitchens also in terms of surface finish. Customisation embraces not only the space intended for the kitchen but the whole living area created outdoors. The development made in terms of research today allows us to use various materials far from the classic idea of the built-in kitchen, making the space luxurious and consistent with the surrounding property.

All in all, one of the best reasons to embrace the idea of building an outdoor kitchen is that ultimately it is an investment in your own well-being and family. There are several scientific studies that show how staying outdoors improves memory and concentration, facilitates mental rest, reduces stress levels and stimulates creativity. Building an outdoor kitchen in your home means creating an opportunity to spend time outdoors.

5 Questions To Ask About Lighting Your Home

Before you upgrade your furniture, replace floors or remodel a kitchen or bathroom, consider whether your lighting works. Lighting is a significant sign of design quality and one of the most affordable ways to refresh the look of your home. It sets a mood and helps define a style. Without it, important architectural details, artwork and focal points fall flat and go unnoticed. When done right, lighting functions as a carefully tuned orchestra, creating a pitch-perfect composition of light, layers, direction and flow.

If your lighting choreography consists of a single flip of the switch, then perhaps it’s time to illuminate your mind.
Lighting placement, fixtures and functions are the three main ingredients to think about when giving your living space a light makeover. So if you’re wondering if it’s time for an update, ask yourself these questions.

  1. Am I Lighting Unexpected Areas?

    As you evaluate the status of your lighting style, keep in mind that lighting also functions as art that helps define your style, set the mood and perform practical tasks. Think of adding light in unexpected places, such as a chandelier in the master bathroom. And consider using light in unconventional ways — such as using hanging pendant lights as reading lamps.

Painting with light is another way to add surprise. Colored LED lighting underneath the kitchen island and cabinets creates dramatic appeal. Highlight the silhouette of a cabinet with under cabinet and in-cabinet lighting.
One can also use tape lighting to achieve a subtle illuminated line of sight.

 

  1. Does My Lighting Have Layers?

    A perfectly lit room has three basic layers: overhead lighting, task lighting and accent lighting. In the bedroom one can pull all these options together; with a chandelier overhead, bedside reading lamps as task lighting, and accent lights above the headboard. Think of the functional and decorative purpose of each light source.

 

  1. Do My Lights Dim?

    Good lighting should multitask and set the mood. A dimmer is an inexpensive and essential tool that puts you in control of the quality and quantity of light. With a home automation system you can install dimming controls for a single room or the entire house and control lighting though one smart device.

 

Think of lighting like a radio. You don’t want to have just one volume. Lighting should have the opportunity to be task lighting and ambient lighting. Dimmers give the light multitasking capabilities.

To make the most of your lighting, install the highest wattage light bulb possible, then dim it down to accommodate the mood and lighting needs. Consider putting dimmers on both overhead lighting and lamp lighting.

As another bonus, dimming your lights 50 percent can save approximately 40 percent in electricity and increase the life of your bulb.

 

  1. Are My Fixtures In Line With Current Style Trends?

    One of the quickest ways to update the look of a living space is to swap decorative lighting fixtures for more up-to-date styles.

Use an attractive aye catching chandelier for the center of the ceiling. Keep the overhead light at 150 to 300 watts for optimum illumination. Mix and match your lighting fixtures. They don’t have to be from the same lighting family or design.

Crystal remains a popular choice for lighting fixtures and is used across the style spectrum.

Lighting choices can also take cues from transitional style, defined by clean lines and lighter finishes. A trend in light fixtures right now is mixed metal, dulled gold, and foiled silver over gold. The finish is popular with the transitional style because it has an antique yet contemporary look.

 

  1. Is My Lighting Focused?

    Lighting design is all about the strategic placement of light and matching the perfect light source to its intended function. Indirect lighting pulls focus, adds texture and layers the sight line.

Pick focal points that you want to highlight, then direct a light source toward them. Wall lamps are great accent lighting fixtures to highlight artwork and bring light to a space at eye level.

A chandelier in the dining room should hang 30 to 36 inches above the dining table. The width of the chandelier should be at least one half the width of the table.

Recessed lights and track lights are ideal for low-voltage direct lighting.

Translucent glass shades on pendant fixtures will reduce glare in the kitchen. Hanging overhead lighting fixtures such as pendants should sit 30 to 36 inches above the island work surface.

So finally, when was the last time you upgraded the lighting of your home? Is it time perhaps?

 

Furnishing Small Kitchens: Optimising Space

Optimising Kitchen Space

Optimising kitchen space is extremely important and modular kitchens offer various solutions that ensure ergonomics and practicality.

When furnishing small kitchens, the role of the designer can be vital: a designer can help you choose from the many space-saving solutions, according to how you use the kitchen.

Space-Saving Solutions

Extractable Columns

If you enjoy inviting guests to dinner, but your home is too small for a large table to accommodate all your friends, you could opt for a folding table, which will give you extra places when you need them.

If there is no cupboard for storing cleaning materials, why not choose a kitchen design with wardrobes, to keep everything tidy and within easy reach.

Make sure you can move around easily: working in limited space is dangerous and rather unpleasant.

If you dream of a kitchen with a peninsula or a central island, but space is limited, you could choose a snack bar for short breaks, where you can read e-mails or organise a small aperitif, dividing the kitchen from the living room in a practical way.

Extractable columns make the kitchen both functional and attractive. Until very recently, kitchen designs left unused spaces, often measuring just a few centimeters. Extractable columns solve this problem, and a cabinet for storing food or cleaning materials can now be installed in a space of just 15 cm.

Corner units with extractable shelves mean even normally inaccessible corners can now be functional, practical and easy to reach.

If you have a poorly-lit space, White is the best kitchen colour for small, poorly lit areas, since it brightens them and reflects the light. Some people think it is too plain, but it actually offers a whole range of opportunities for customisation. It blends with warm or cold shades, woods with different grains, smooth surfaces with opaque or shiny lacquer, and many other solutions, also through combination with the work surface.

 

Choosing A Kitchen Style: Mistakes To Avoid

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Febal Casa, Dubai’s First Italian Kitchen Showroom

italian furniture dubai

Febal Casa – Dubai’s first showroom within the Platinum House Interior Design showroom.

Just like Gruppo Colombini, which opened his first store, Colombini Casa, in Dubai a few years ago, Febal Casa also rushes to conquer the United Arab Emirates, hoping to turn this new and dynamic market into one of the most important ones for the Group.

The watchword is Italian design. Innovative concepts and high quality are the true protagonists of the showroom, a 400 square meter exhibition space conceived and set up to offer a true experience of the furnishing of a house, with a touch of Italian lifestyle, but adapted to the needs of global consumers.

Febal Casa Italian Kitchen design showroom

Italian design will play a key role but in an innovative way. This unique business occasion confirms the vocation for internationalisation of Febal Casa, a company looking at the future with an innovative approach, although firmly rooted in its values and history.

Primavera, Romantica, Chantal, Cherry are just some of the kitchen models by Febal Casa on display in our showroom, together with a wide and diversified technical area. These lines were conceived for dynamic, international consumers, open to new ideas and products. They were imagined for those who see the kitchen as the most important area of the house, a fireplace where family and friends meet and enjoy their time together.

Febal Casa knows how to best combine the great functionality at project level that is required by today’s lifestyle, with an aesthetic taste that doesn’t deny the past, on the contrary, it revives it by using natural materials, making it even better through its modern, exciting interpretation.

Rossana Italian kitchens design showroom

In order to offer consumers a broader taste of Gruppo Colombini’s presence at an international level, Platinum House in Dubai showcases ROSSANA ISLAND, a corner dedicated to the brand, well represented by this “futurist” kitchen DC10. Burnished brass, wood and stone are the staple of this island-only Italian kitchen, featuring original volumetric design, and a “work table” that revives tradition, by offering a new interpretation of it.

From the very beginning we worked hard to help the brands Febal Casa and Rossana enter this new market – states Emanuel Colombini, CEO of the Gruppo Colombini – and today we can proudly affirm that we are a symbol of the Italian design the world appreciates so much. Febal Casa brand is now ready to achieve the success it deserves on international markets, and we will do our best to get to it as soon as possible. The right mix between tradition, design and attentive planning are at the basis of that qualitative-rational approach that has always distinguished Febal Casa, a brand that from now on will be well known and appreciated also in Dubai.

For more information about our Febal Casa Italian Kitchens in Dubai, please get download our Platinum House brochure: