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Category Archives: accessories

Creating a Smart Kitchen

There are plenty of definitions in the KBB market for the term ‘Smart kitchen’, and with the evolution of Smart phones and other ‘smart’ devices, the boundaries seem to have become somewhat blurred.

A SMART kitchen as we know it is a kitchen that has been well designed to suit the specific needs of the end user. This involves understanding the client brief in detail, and visualising how the kitchen will be used on a day-to-day basis. This then allows zone planning, and the careful placement of appliances and work areas.

It encompasses how the kitchen will be used by the entire household, whether it’s a family home or a retired couple, a Smart kitchen is something that facilitates the needs of each individual in some way to ensure it is a pleasant environment for them to occupy

The classic triangle that we often see is the starting point for a Smart kitchen. This principle has been used for many years, and is still a well-trusted method for its efficient design. Many good kitchen designers will also incorporate lighting design, and storage design to name but a few, whilst also ensuring the kitchen area flows in a fluid manner into the rest of the home, ensuring a cohesive design is achieved.

But you have to question how long it will be until a Smart kitchen has to go that one step further and start to integrate some of the smart devices that consumers now use on a daily basis. For example, kitchens can now be controlled remotely in a bigger way than ever before. Smart technology is being released that allows kettles, cookers and lighting to be turned on and off using a smart phone, even sound systems and televisions can be set, programmed and controlled through these devices, so it goes without saying that Smart kitchens will be getting a lot smarter in the not so distant future.

Whilst there are limited products on the market at this moment in time, we don’t think the day this innovation becomes commonplace will be too far away, and we’re excited to see what changes this creates. One thing for sure is that Smart phones are here to say, and as long as they continue to help make consumers lives easier and more enjoyable, they’ll start to play a bigger part in all aspects of the home.

What it all hinges on – Kitchen Hinges at HPP

What it all hinges on – Kitchen Hinges at HPP

A critical, yet often overlooked item in most kitchen designs are the hinges that we use. These un-sung hero’s help to make our design ideas possible, whilst giving the end consumer a quality and enjoyable kitchen experience that stands the test of time.

The choice of hinges available often comes as a surprise, as there are combinations and options which are suitable for a number of applications, from basic kitchen door hinges straight through to specialised bedroom hinges.

We’ve pulled together a brief overview of the types of hinges on offer, and their best application.

Un-sprung hinges – Un-sprung hinges are perfect for handleless furniture design. The reason for this is that they offer no resistance when the Blum TIP-On mechanical door release is pressed, which gives a smooth mechanical opening action.

CLIP top hinges – The award winning CLIP top hinges offer spiral-tech depth adjustment, as well as an additional locking pin which means the hinge performs well even when subjected to extraordinary loads, ensuring easier and quicker installation.

CLIP hinges – For those wishing to really speed up the installation process, the CLIP range from Blum offers a great solution. These hinges require no tools for installation, and allow for the door to be simply clipped onto the back plate quickly and easily, whilst also providing the usual adjustments of a normal hinge.

The formats available are also quite varied, so we thought it’d be useful to give a quick insight into the types of hinges on the market, and their most suitable applications.

Full Overlay HingeFull Overlay Concealed Hinges – This type of hinge is the most common type used within the industry and offers good value for money and easy fitting. These have a straight arm that attaches to the door, hiding the carcass out of sight once the door is fully closed. This system offers typically three adjustment pins to ensure each door lines up correctly.

 

 

 

 

 

half overlay hingeHalf-Overlay Concealed Hinge – This type of hinge is typically used in bedroom furniture design where there is a single carcass to which two doors need to be attached. As the name suggests, this hinge allows the door to overlap the carcass by only half, which then allows the adjoining door to overlap the remaining space, giving a seamless overall look.

 

 

 

 

Bi-Fold and 170 Degree Concealed Hinges – Bi-fold hinges lend themselves perfectly to corner units that often house carousels. This helps to maximise the usage of space, whilst also giving improved access to the consumer.

Both a bi-fold hinge and 170-degree hinge can be used together to create an L-shaped door combination, which gives even greater access to corner units and cabinets. This allows both doors to close smoothly and flush to the cabinet.

 

 

Inset Hinge DiagramInset concealed Hinges – These hinges are used most commonly in traditional solid wood kitchens, where the cupboard door is set within the edges of the cabinet. The hinge has a large ‘crank’ which allows the door to fully open without hitting the frame itself.

Waste disposal vs composting – which way should we go?

With increasing pressure on the government and society as a whole to recycle its waste more effectively, it’s becoming more common to see green bins in our gardens, and smaller green bins in our homes.

This improvement in our ability to recycle is a great thing, and as a result should create a cleaner, more sustainable environment for our family and future generations to come. One question we do get asked on a regular basis however is whether waste disposal units are bad for the environment, so we did some digging.

After speaking to a number of our contacts within the trade, and a few local authorities, we found surprisingly that the environmental impact of using a waste disposal unit is on a par with putting your food waste in the green bin ready for collection.

The reason for this is that waste disposal units grind up food into tiny particles, which are transported through the sewer network to a water treatment plant. The waste is then filtered through anaerobic digestion, which is a process that takes the methane gas and turns it into biogas. Once the process is complete, the biogas can be recycled and re-used for a number of applications and can even be fed back into domestic gas pipelines!

Many people have raised concerns over the years about waste disposal units increasing the likelihood of blocking sewers and drains, and information from the experts shows that, providing fats aren’t poured into the disposal unit, blockages won’t occur as the tiny ground up scraps of food are permanently suspended in water, keeping the sewers flowing freely.

When looking at composting, there are a variety of options available here too. The easiest, and most widely available option is to dispose of food waste via your council green bin. This is then taken to a recycling plant where anaerobic digestion takes place to create biogas in the exact same way as it would be at a water treatment facility.

Storage of unsightly bins can be taken care of within the kitchen by using any one of a wide range of wirework bin storage units, which hide waste bins discreetly in a cupboard ready to be taken out on collection day.

Whichever decision you make, you can be sure that either composting, by using your green bin or using a waste disposal unit, you’re preventing food waste going into landfill, which has a negative impact on the environment. Instead, your waste will be put to good use in an environmentally beneficial manner.

Blum’s Movento pulls out all the stops for installers

Blum’s Movento pulls out all the stops for installers

November saw the introduction of the new Movento range of drawer runners from Blum, which has generated plenty of interest with our customers thanks to a clever design that helps to make precise installation so much easier than ever before.

The system does exactly what you’d expect from a Blum product, it makes motion effortless, feather-light and a pleasure to use. But this product, which also holds up to 60kg of weight, makes achieving a precise, high quality fit simpler than ever before too.

The drawer runner uses a height and tilt adjustment system, alongside a new slide and depth adjustment tool, all of which allow installers to create the perfect spacing between every drawer quickly and easily, giving a premium crafted finish without the hassle usually involved.

The system works perfectly with the well tried and testing Movento and BLUMOTION soft-close ranges, and the TIP-ON range of mechanical opening solutions for handle-less furniture.

For gadget lovers out there, the new Movento system can also be used alongside the electrically operated SERVO-DRIVE system for even more user convenience.

To see the new units in action, why not call into our trade counter and try the new drawer runners for yourself.

Stainless Steel or Ceramic Sinks?

Stainless Steel or Ceramic Sinks?

A sink is quite often one of most important items to be selected in a kitchen design. It’s something that’ll be in place for a long time, and that will be used over and over again by the consumer.

We often find our own customers asking for our opinion on which sink options are the best – stainless steel or ceramic; so we thought we’d give you a quick insight into the benefits of each, and how they might be used most effectively within your next project or design.

Stainless Steel
Stainless steel sinks are presently the most popular style of kitchen sinks within UK homes. The main reason for this is thanks to their durability, resistance to heat and most cleaning products, and their overall practicality.

Another major benefit of stainless steel sinks is that they can easily match in with kitchen appliances, fixtures and fittings, thanks to their clean, neutral look, and the variety of finishes, styles and designs available.

Stainless steel is great for meeting any budget requirement too. Our range offers quality stainless steel sinks from a little as £75.00; and design led and integrated options are available too, which are perfectly suited to premium kitchen installs and upgrades.

Ceramic
Ceramic sinks are the most robust type of sink on the market, and are a doddle to maintain and clean.

This type of sink has become more popular in recent years with the increased demand for solid stone or composite worktops, which allow for the sink to be mounted from the underside. They also act as a stunning focal point for a kitchen design, and can often help build on the kitchen’s design and theme.

The process involved in making a ceramic sink is much more labour intensive than stainless steel. This often produces unique and rustic characteristics, which can sometimes be mistaken for defects or imperfections, but they are merely typical of a man made product, and often give a feeling of quality and ‘one off’ manufacture.

Whilst ceramic sinks are very easy to maintain and aesthetically pleasing to look at, users must be careful not to chip the edges of the sink when washing heavy pans and cutlery, as this can sometimes be an issue.

Whichever sink you choose, there’s a wide variety available at HPP, all of which are available online, and many on display in our trade counter. For helpful advice about which sink option might best suit your next kitchen project, why not call in to speak to a member of staff, or call us on 0161 628 610.

Perfecting Motion

Perfecting Motion

We’ve been stocking Blum products at HPP for over 20 years, and for good reason too. We regularly speak to customers about their kitchen projects and often ask how they feel they can add that extra air of quality, luxury and craftsmanship to their designs, and a common answer seems to come back every time….. closing systems.

As consumers use their kitchen and interact with it, they experience the tactile feel of the materials in use, and the way in which each door and drawer opens and closes. This is where Blum comes into its own.

The feeling of smoothness and refinement achieved by using one of Blum’s vast range of closing systems gives a real sense of craftsmanship and quality. Each component provides a highly refined feel to a kitchen, making it a more enjoyable and pleasurable experience for the end user.

There are options for just about any application. A popular item tends to be the Blum clip top hinges, as they’re effortless to fit and adjust, and have a quick fit soft closer known as the Blum Blumotion. This adds a real touch of class to any door system, helping it to close smoothly, quietly and effortlessly.

There are additional options for drawer closing systems and the gadget lovers out there too! Electronic, automatic door opening systems known as the ‘Aventos’ range, lift doors vertically at the touch of a cabinet front, giving any kitchen a unique and stunning edge.

We swear by the range of Blum closing systems and feel they add a great finishing touch to any kitchen project. To find out more about the products we stock at HPP, view our range online, or pop into one of our trade counters in Oldham or Sheffield where you’ll find our most popular items on display.

What’s your perfect mood?

What’s your perfect mood?

Whatever the mood of your kitchen, it’s important to make sure your lighting is planned well in advance of any work, and that it sets the right atmosphere for you or your customer.

When discussing lighting, we often talk about three distinct areas; these are task lighting, ambient lighting and mood lighting.

Task lighting should be addressed as a first port of call, and includes lights that are bright and don’t cast shadows when being used to prepare food. For this reason, it’s critical to ensure you’ve got well-planned ceiling and under-cabinet lighting that provides an abundance of light to work surfaces, hobs and sinks.

Some of our most popular products are our white LED recessed spotlights for ceilings, coupled with some sleek, ultra slim fluorescent tubes for under cabinets. If you’d rather not have a pelmet on your cabinets, there’s always the option to go surface mounted with your lighting instead. These are available in a number of shapes and sizes, and offer stylish and sleek designs that complement any kitchen design and layout.

For those wanting to create an additional wow factor with their kitchen design, we have a range of lighting that helps to create the perfect ambient or mood lighting for a wide range of requirements.

LED strip lights and recessed plinth lights provide subtle back-lighting to areas such as plinths, cabinet tops and centre islands, which look great when being used as a standalone, and also when being used in conjunction with primary task lighting and mood lighting.

If you’re wanting to set more of a mood in a kitchen, we also supply colour changing LED lights that can be mounted almost anywhere. Colours can be changed remotely to help create the perfect atmosphere. Colour changing LED lights are available in a number of different sizes, and can fill the smallest and largest areas of a kitchen effortlessly.

Our entire lighting range is on display in our newly refurbished trade counter, and is also available to view online at www.hpponline.co.uk and in our latest product brochure.

We’ve helped hundreds of customers with their lighting designs over the years, and are always on hand to provide you with tips and advice, as well as keeping you up to date on all of our latest products and innovations. If you need advice on your lighting requirements, call into our trade counter or call us on 0161 628 6100

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