HPP Logo
make it happen with hills panel products

Visit hpponline.co.uk

Category Archives: misc

Optimising Small Bedroom Design And Storage

Optimising Small Bedroom Design And Storage

The beauty of working with such a wide array of customers is that we see a stunning range of bedroom furniture designs and solutions that meet very individual consumer needs, whether that project requires walk-in wardrobes, sliding wardrobe doors or clever space saving ideas, there's always something new to look at or another way of doing things.

We recently saw a client project that managed to make the absolute most of a tight bedroom space to increase overall storage and generally make it a more pleasant environment to be in. The finished product was a testament to what could be achieved with a really good design and a little forward planning.

We thought we'd share some tips with you below:

The sky's the limit - or should we say the ceiling anyway! One of the key things we've found is that vertical space is quite often forgotten about or ignored, meaning that bedroom furniture designs are based more on floor area rather than overall room capacity.

If you're working on a design for a particularly tight bedroom space, it makes good sense to use the height of the room wherever possible. A great way of doing this is to actually elevate the bed, and create a practical storage space underneath it. Whilst some adults might not like this elevated position, kids tend to love it (providing the necessary safety precautions are taken into consideration), so it's a great idea to make kids rooms more fun too.

The space gained underneath the bed can then be used to provide additional cupboard or drawer space, and even a little office area for the kids' computer or television, or just a quiet space for doing homework.

Even in a bedroom where the height can't be used to this same extent, there are many possibilities to squeeze a little extra storage out of a space without making the room look too dark and cramped.

By specifying a fitted bed, rather than a freestanding option, the overall size and shape can be made to suit the size of the room, its layout, and to match the décor of other fitted furniture within the room. Storage compartments, such as drawers or cupboards can then be fitted underneath which helps to hide away items in a more accessible manner whilst optimising your storage, we've even seen integrated side tables that come out from under the bed, meaning they can be tucked away when not needed to allow for more floor space at other times of the day.

Glide into action: As houses have become smaller over time as the price of land increases, so too have the headaches for bedroom designers trying to make the space function well whilst feeling large and airy without compromising on space and storage.

One of the keys to making this work in a small space is the use of sliding doors, such as the Glide range of bedroom sliding doors from HPP. Compared to a tradition front opening door, sliding bedroom doors help to maximise the available floor space, meaning that where normal doors may otherwise interfere with other furniture items in the bedroom, sliding doors do not, providing a better experience for the consumer, and a better, more spacious overall look and feel.

These doors can be specified in a wide variety of decors and finishes, from vinyl wrapped board to mirrors and polished glass, meaning that any design and taste can almost certainly be catered for.

Using those nooks and crannies: Whilst newer homes are smaller, rooms do tend to be easier to work with than older houses as they are much more square and flat. Older houses quite often have odd shapes or small awkward spaces that make storage or just general use of the space difficult, but again, following some of our customers' latest project tips and advice, we can see just how well these spaces can be used.

Through building fitted furniture and using specialist fittings, awkward spaces such as roof pitches, alcoves and angled walls can be integrated with in a way that maximises the space, and often tidies up the look of the space in question. For awkward areas that are hard to reach, electrically operated openers can be used, with extendable arms that pull cupboard contents out past the actual cabinet to make items easy to view, access or store.

With the use of the right products, a bit of ingenuity and great design, almost anything can be accomplished with fitted bedroom furniture to ensure rooms still feel spacious, whilst offering storage that otherwise wouldn't be achievable through the use of free-standing furniture.

Creating Kitchens For a Growing and Ageing Family

Open Plan Kitchens

The recent issues surrounding house prices, mortgages and the general state of our economy has undoubtedly had an effect on how we live our lives.

It is now very common for parents to still have their children living at home up to, and past the age of thirty. One of the main reasons for this is the sheer cost of housing, and the difficulty for first time buyers in acquiring a mortgage.

As this change in our world has taken place, so too has a change in the way our homes are being customised and modified, which has had an impact on the kitchen and surrounding living spaces to accommodate this change in lifestyle.

Additional to the above, we are also seeing the opposite take place too, with parents moving into their children's homes in later life to help ensure their safety and wellbeing in their later years, whilst reducing their cost of living.

All these factors are having an impact on kitchen design, and we are now seeing a variety of design solutions becoming more mainstream to satisfy these changing and growing demands.

First and foremost, we are seeing open plan living within the kitchen and dining areas being more critical to this than ever before. By creating an open plan area, families gain more space from the room and are able to fit more in than if they had sectioned the space off with walls, this also brings a better and more natural flow throughout the home, making it seem larger and more spacious than it actually is.

This additional space allows for a larger dining area, often encompassing a breakfast bar too, and lower level seating, easier to use appliances and clearly defined zones for different tasks, such as mini office stations for working from home or kids homework, and entertainment zones for watching TV, listening to music or reading a decent book.

We're seeing a variety of much more obvious, and practical solutions too.

Items such as more accessible and space efficient storage is becoming common, with lift systems and corner units that make accessing the contents of cupboards and drawers much quicker, easier and safer for those who are less able, whilst also maximising the use of the space.

Electronic lift systems that also attached to doors and drawers aid those users who may either be disabled or frail, as the units move the contents of the cupboard to a more accessible location, preventing the need to stretch or bend.

Whilst not all families are in this situation, there is a significant portion of the UK market now finding themselves either already making the transition or considering it, meaning that creating a kitchen that can cater to multiple generations of a family is likely to grow in importance over the coming years, bringing new challenges for kitchen designers and installers.

15 Tips For Cool Contemporary

Contemporary Kitchen Design with Avanti

Contemporary kitchen design is still a very popular choice for the UK consumer and experience in this market sector over the years has seen a number of key trends emerging which highlights consumers' key needs, wants and desires for their ultimate contemporary kitchen.

We thought we'd highlight 15 key points for creating the ultimate contemporary consumer kitchen.

High Gloss

It goes without saying that high gloss is an absolute must for starting a contemporary kitchen. High gloss adds that cool, modern look and feel, and gives the space a clean uncluttered look; so make sure to include this in your next contemporary kitchen design.

Fit an Island

Open plan living is huge at present, not only for contemporary kitchens but most consumer kitchen updates and refits no matter what the style. Fitting a centre island helps to maintain an open plan feel whilst also helping to define the various zones within the living space and makes a great focal point for entertaining, preparing food and socialising.

Combine Colours

With the progression of high gloss decors, consumers can now select from a staggering range of colours. Combining two or more colours, usually with white acting as a base, contemporary kitchens can be created with a real wow factor and sense of individuality and personality, helping create a real sense of bespoke luxury.

Add a little curve appeal

Curves are growing in popularity as they become more readily available and accessible to the typical UK consumer. Adding curves to both base and wall unit design helps to create a more fluid, modern feel that allows the overall open plan living space to flow much easier.

Introduce Light

A key element of contemporary living is to introduce plenty of light to the design. The more natural daylight the better, so if sky lights, larger windows or folding patio doors are possible, make sure to incorporate them, otherwise, try using LED and low energy lighting to create a similar effect.

Use interesting finishes

The type of board available has come a long way in recent years so it's always a good idea to use a format that's slightly more unique and luxurious in the consumer's eyes. Wood grain effect boards, stainless steel and even concrete worktops can be great options for making the kitchen seem more unique and interesting.

Light up their world

Paramount to any kitchen design is a quality lighting scheme that serves a number of purposes. With contemporary kitchens, weird and wonderful lighting schemes can be developed that support the colour scheme of the kitchen design as well as setting different moods from task lighting to low level relaxing schemes and everything in between!

Triple lights

No matter where you look at the moment consumers are demanding and are being advised to choose triple lights over their islands and breakfast bars. These help create a focal point as well as useful task lighting.

Invest in clever storage

To achieve a real contemporary look the kitchen needs to be totally clutter free, so ensuring clever storage ideas are in place to keep clutter off the counter tops is paramount.

Built in appliances

Built in appliances help in ensuring lines are sleek, streamlined and fluid, so building in appliances behind a matching cabinet door helps to bring a cool contemporary look that is uninterrupted in its approach.

Contrast Old with New

If your next customer is fortunate enough to live in an old property with real character and charm, combining the original features of the building with the new contemporary look kitchen can achieve a stunning combination of old and new that adds to the contemporary look and feel to make it even more effective.

Invest in Energy Efficient Lighting

Investing in LED lighting and low voltage lighting is key to keep your customers' energy bills and carbon footprint to a minimum. Specifying the right lighting at the start of the project not only helps make the process run smoothly, but also helps create a contemporary look using the latest lighting technology available.

Make it SMART

Smart home technology is a growing area in the KBB industry as it allows for the automation of many elements such as lighting and heating, and even enables the automation of your cooker and other appliances from your smart phone, so to achieve truly leading contemporary kitchen design, SMART technology is a great route.

Create a feature

Having a central focal point to the space is key in creating the right impression, so the use of designer hoods, sinks or centre islands can often act as a key feature to draw the eye in the finished kitchen design. If space allows it, consider integrating a large, double sided open fire that brings the kitchen and dining space together.

Create a streamlined look

One key component of contemporary is a streamlined look. The use of handles on door and drawer units can often break this visual up, so consider handleless furniture, with either hidden handles or 'push-to-open' fittings that control the door from the internal of the cabinet either electronically or mechanically.

Moving Your Business Digital - Keeping Up With Technology

Social media networks.

With so many choices and routes to marketing your company online, we often find many retailers, installers and designers asking what route really is the best.

The KBB industry has a bad reputation for being somewhat behind the times when it comes to online marketing and digital presence, so we thought we'd pull together a few helpful hints and tips to get your online marketing and sales strategy up and running quickly and easily.

Set up your social media accounts

First and foremost, you should have some form of presence via social media channels. Most consumers have their own Facebook or twitter accounts, and often use these for information search, recommendations and general conversation.

According to figures released in America, 90% of marketing professionals use social platforms for lead generation and often turn that lead into a conversion or sale, so imagine the possibilities if you have a solid online presence in your local market.

Content through these platforms should be useful, interesting and engaging, so make sure to keep things short, sweet, and most importantly, relevant. Try to build a brand personality online, and stick with it!

Online competitions can be a great way of generating interaction and sharing of your content too, so try offering something of value to the consumer, that they're then likely to share with their friends.

By doing all of the above, users are more likely to share your content with others, helping to generate much better and wider awareness of your company and product / service offering.

Ensure your online presence is right too

Whilst you might now have your social media accounts sorted, you also need to give your own website some serious attention too. You have to think of this as your shop window or brochure, a possible first point of contact with your prospective customer, and something that needs to win them over quickly and easily whilst enticing them to find out more.

The key to a good website is to ensure it is visually appealing, easy to navigate and offers the prospect answers to the questions they might have. Being able to find what they're looking for quickly and easily increases positive feelings about the site, and the company, meaning a higher chance of an online enquiry and sale.

By doing all these things, as well as offering an easy point of contact (add contact forms, easily visible phone numbers and email addresses), your likely chance of converting that user into an actual customer increases significantly.

Ensure you can be found

Once you're site looks the part and works well, you need to make sure it can be seen too.

To make sure this happens, add quality content to your website, such as blog items, social media posts, videos, latest news and general product information. By adding good quality content, you are more likely to be better listed by Google and other major search engines, meaning your customers are more likely to find you more easily than they would your competitors.

If you're struggling to hit the listings you really want, you can always consider paid for advertising, which would be banner ads on large industry websites or trade publications, or via online advertising through search engines (known as pay per click or PPC for short).

Keep in touch

Don't be a stranger when it comes to keeping in touch with your customers.

Sending out regular email campaigns, text messages or even just social messages via social channels, you are reminding your customer base that you still exist and are there if they need you. Frequency is key, but don't overdo this either, keep communications to a manageable level to ensure customers don't feel they are being bombarded with messages too often.

Review and revise

Once you've got your online presence in line and working well for you, don't just leave it at that. There are many tools available that allow you to review your sources of traffic to your website, monitor your social media impact and reach, as well as monitoring your paid for advertising.

By analysing your content and making subtle adjustments, you can refine your online presence to ensure maximum reach is achieved, and maximum returns are gained!

HPP Online