Gardner Interior Concepts Cape Town | Kitchen Design Tips

Kitchen Design Projects – Remodeling and Renovations

Remodeling or redesigning your kitchen is quite an exciting adventure and holds the promise of an enhanced new lifestyle. If your makeover stems from a long overdue need for change, your project will be tinged with a rosy hue of optimism.

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Kitchen makeovers born out of a need for additional space, extra functionality or a more family-oriented design, carry the weight of great expectations.

Formalize your Requirements

Kitchen renovation or remodeling projects are not overnight exercises, but take weeks or months, depending on the size and complexity of your project. A complex project may require architects, general contractors, plumbers, electricians and other professionals to assist your Kitchen Designer.

To quote a well-known truism: “To get what you want, you must know what you want.”

The best starting point for a successful Kitchen Remodeling project is getting to know your kitchen space. Begin by reviewing the way you use your kitchen and focus on how you can make it work better for you.

The important factors to note are the shape and size of your kitchen space and how this impacts on your preferences in terms of access, work-flow (zones or triangles), movement, seating and the proximity of inter-dependent items and areas. This will help you to understand your constraints and limitations.

Use the actual dimensions and measurements of walls and floor areas as a practical means of establishing the feasibility of specific ideas, wishes and plans, in order to eliminate assumptions and clarify any uncertainty. It will also prevent you from painting yourself into a corner – forever stuck on a misguided assumption. Attempting the impossible guarantees failure, before you’ve even started.

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The placement and location of your preparation, storage and cooking areas should be a prime feature of your design deliberations.

Experts concur that you should contact your Kitchen Designer only once you have defined your requirements to an acceptable degree. You can reduce your options by elimination if you subject your wish-list – ideas, wants and needs – to a feasibility/do-ability test within the constraints of your remodeling space.

Make the right choices

It is possible to make the right choices if you allow your own personal style and taste to inform your kitchen design style. This will also reduce your options considerably and make things easier for both you and your Kitchen Designer.

Your desired lifestyle is the blueprint for your new kitchen and your kitchen design should reflect the way you use your kitchen on a daily basis.

How to avoid mistakes

Search results on Kitchen Design projects are dominated by glossy images of breathtaking kitchens and numerous success stories. Sadly, excellent results are not a given. Peeking behind the euphoria, under the veneer and beyond the backsplash reveals the secrets to a successful project.

Identifying and adopting the best approach to your project is an art which is founded on proven methodologies – principles, rules, techniques and practices. These methodologies insulate your project and mitigate the risks posed by internal or external factors which could derail it.

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Historically, most epic failures are preceded by unbridled optimism. Realism, is tempered optimism. Realism limits the potential for pie-in-the-sky objectives and eliminates any premature visions of a fait accompli. Realism embraces rational reasoning while moderating emotional reactions – ensuring better choices, for better results.

Projects guided by smart choices conform to requirements. As a result, your new kitchen will be a feast to the eye, a joy to the family and a timeless source of sumptuous culinary delights.

Mitigating Project Failure

Why do project fails, when it all sounds so easy?

The four usual suspects top the list for project failures which result in long-lasting disappointment:

  • Unclear requirements (goals and objectives);
  • Overly-optimistic expectations and wayward assumptions;
  • Budget-overruns, and
  • Poor-quality craftsmanship.

By inference, the success of your project is directly linked to…

  • How well you translate your goals and objectives into clear requirements;
  • How realistic your expectations and assumptions are;
  • How well you set and manage your budget, and
  • The caliber of the Kitchen Designer you choose to appoint.

Failed remodeling projects have far-reaching consequences for your home and wide-ranging implications for your family.

You can improve your project’s chances for success exponentially by defining your requirements clearly; minimizing assumptions setting realistic expectations; setting a budget and sticking to it, and most importantly, appointing an accredited Kitchen Designer with a proven track record.

READ: How to select an Interior or Kitchen Designer

Irrespective of your motivations for remodeling your kitchen, your results should reflect your requirements accurately and deliver functionality which expresses your style and taste beautifully.

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The Evolution of the Kitchen
Modern-day kitchens have evolved into the operations center of the home – a critical component of day to day living.

New York-based interior designer, Andrew Suvalsky, says “The kitchen is truly the focus of the home today. A great kitchen design will give essential clues to how the rest of the home can and should develop.”, while Hannah Lord of Heid Interior Design senses that, “Kitchens are going back to the future with ‘workhouse island counters’ as the central feature. The island counter is where you can cook, chop, store and socialise.”

The design of your kitchen can instantaneously create a feeling or setting which you enjoy, such as a farmhouse, a cottage or a coastal getaway. Tables, cabinets, cupboards, finishes, furniture, colors, textures, decor and accessories are integral parts of the desired moood, character and ambiance of your kitchen.

The “Island Kitchen” design is growing in popularity due to flexible layout options and space-saving. An island creates a naturally central, multi-purpose hub for preparing, cooking, eating, socializing and entertaining.
The Triangle revisited
The latest kitchen designs are characterized by variations on the traditional “triangle”, focusing strongly on optimized work-flow, access, space usage and storage.

Traditional “store-prep-cook” triangles have been replaced by more expansive and practical “zones” which are allocated and defined according to their usage.

Mary Jo Peterson, principal, Mary Jo Peterson Inc. decribes the evolution of the kitchen: “We have gone from the traditional kitchen, where one person prepared meals to a multi-purpose room and a multiple-cook room, and this evolution has changed us from looking at one work triangle to multiple triangles, or ‘zones’. With that in mind, we have to increase clearances and look at adding comfortable spaces in the kitchen.”

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A Multi-purpose family room

Breaking with convention, many modern kitchens have “developed” an office and homework capability to complement the traditional kitchen activities such as cooking, eating, socializing and entertaining.

We see countertops doubling as desks for laptops and other devices, as well as paperwork. The kitchen has also lately become the de facto park-and-recharge hub for most of the family’s electronic gadgets.

Common Kitchen Design Styles

Modern kitchens bring the sophistication of technology to the heart of your home. The convenience of push-button automation provides most of the required functionality. High-tech materials up the ante for a look and feel that is cool, sleek and sexy. Space-tech appliances – recessed, hidden, retractable – together with handle-less cabinetry and shiny surfaces – keep up the awesomeness and eliminate clutter. Tasteful exotic wood and glass finishes add the finishing touches to hi-tech luxury.

Traditional and Classic designs offer unique characteristics for your kitchen, despite styles becoming slightly more fluid and sharing elements – while retaining their fundamental characteristics. Transitional kitchen designs straddle more than one style across various elements.

READ: Kitchen Design Styles and Trends

The Contemporary kitchen features well-considered mixing and matching of elements from across the spectrum and provides open spaces, seating and top-drawer cooking appliances. The additional kitchen space enables guests to interact with the chef/host(ess). This design changes traditional cooking from “social cooking” to “cooking socially”.

The Contemporary kitchen provides an inclusive social and entertainment hotspot: Guests can socialize with their hosts – enjoying an interactive cooking experience while sharing the natural kitchen heat and social buzz. Not much wrong with work and play!

Farmhouse, Rustic and Country kitchen designs feature natural – slightly rough-hewn and imperfect – furnishings and finishes to complement their inherent warm, cozy and inviting feeling. Coastal kitchen designs create an informal and relaxed setting, with imaginative, vacation-inspired furniture, decor and finishes.

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POINTS TO PONDER BEFORE DIGGING IN

Kitchen Designers offer excellent advice for you best options, but if you prefer your own counsel, you should be aware of the implications of your choices.

Your Kitchen Design Style will ultimately inform your choices but the key considerations listed below will affect your final results negatively if you ignore or overlook them.

Placement

When optimizing work-flow, your placement of the preparation area, landing area and also the storage areas for food (cold, chilled, ambient), kitchen utensils, appliances and accessories must be considered carefully. The location of your sink area, cupboards, pantry, large appliances and transient workspaces can often dictate the layout of your new kitchen.

Transient workspaces include chopping, unpacking and multi-use holding areas for cleaned, rinsed or ready-to-be-used items.

Wiring and Plumbing

Pay special attention to the location of the power-points, electrical wiring and plumbing for all your appliances and note potential changes to these locations. Keep sustainability in mind and consider energy-saving options.

Lighting

Kitchen lighting is all about brightening up your kitchen tastefully, effectively and economically. New lighting trends offer exquisite lighting solutions which add a beautiful touch to your kitchen.

Clarify your lighting requirements and your color preferences for creating the mood and personality you desire for your kitchen.

Highlight the areas that needing more light as a guide the placement and style of your lighting and fittings. Keep sustainability in mind and consider renewables, energy-saving options and also explore the use of natural light.

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Cabinetry, Cupboards and Furniture

Your preferred cabinetry, built-in cupboards and furniture should suit the style of the kitchen design you have selected.

The size of your space will determine what type of seating can be used and whether a dining table is an option.

Choose the type, style, color, usage and placement of your cabinetry, including your choice of doors and handles.

Also decide on whether you wish to allocate and demarcate different zones in your kitchen with furniture, if you have an “open-plan” design.

Countertops

Your countertops play a huge role in defining the character and tone of your kitchen and should top your decision list.

Your countertops form the face of the kitchen and have a significant impact on the balance – blend or contrast – of your overall color-scheme.

Flooring and Tiling

Your choice of flooring and tiling completes the character and style of your new kitchen. Both the “flooring” and “tiling” market offer innovative and low-maintenance materials and colors for flooring and tiling.

You could opt for a design which is distinctive or one which complements the existing flooring and tiling around your home.

Finishing touches

The quality and suitability of your decor, colors, paint, fabrics and textures play a significant role in completing your project. These elements should stay in focus, even if only at a high level. This allow you to drill down into the detail and finalize your requirements at the appropriate time.

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PLANNING YOUR KITCHEN DESIGN PROJECT

Common misconceptions such as “haste equals speed” and “the details are not important” spell disaster and one or the other party will have egg on their face.

Wayward assumptions turn dreams into nightmares. Wake-up calls come far too late, leaving the dreamer to enjoy a generous helping of humble-pie – served up cold – in an undercooked new kitchen.

For a project to take the cake with timeous delivery and excellent, results it must follow one simple recipe: Meticulous planning. In the Kitchen Design space, the proverbial devil is indeed in the detail. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Spectacularly!

Meticulous planning requires sound judgment, rigorous requirement management; stringent adherence to time-frames; deft sidestepping of distractions, focused fiscal discipline and tireless due diligence. These ingredients blended together, form the recipe for a masterpiece.

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CONCLUSION

Your chances for a successful Kitchen Remodeling project are improved considerably when you have clear requirements; a realistic approach; a well-managed budget, and a qualified Kitchen Designer.

If your objective is to create an efficient and well-organized “cooking space”, you have to focus on
functionality, work-flow and accessibility – within the constraints of your available space.

If your requirement is a warm, multi-use family space with a social cooking hub, focus on zones and placement.

In order of priority: Style and taste have pride of place, but placement ultimately wins the race.

Good placement sets everyday items within reach, enabling you to find exactly what you need when you need it, quickly and easily. It facilitates effective organization.

Accessibility, efficiency, organization, flow and functionality are all rooted in practicality.

The hallmark of a successful kitchen remodeling project is a bouquet of functionality, delightfully wrapped in efficiency and practicality.

A kitchen with optimal flow and placement is too intuitive to confuse, and an absolute joy to use!

Click here to contact Gardner Interior Concepts right away and get your dream project started today.

Gardner Interior Concepts Cape Town | Kitchen Design Tips

The Ten Best Interior Designers and Decorators | Cape Town | South Africa | Part 3

The Anatomy of a top Interior Interior Designer and Decorator

It is often said that successful people have the building blocks of success in their DNA…
Is this really true?

We are also told that artistic talent either runs in our veins or not…
Can we simply accept this assertion?

A commonly held belief is that creative insight and vision cannot be learned or taught…
Is this an absolute fact?

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When asking customers about their Interior Designers and Decorators, they are unanimous that the above attributes are at the heart of the magic that the Top Interior Designers and Decorators regularly deliver. They guarantee success, artistic mastery and high-impact creativity.

In addition to their obvious creative talents and artistic flair, the Top Interior Designers and Decorators offer a comprehensive range of professional services supported by high quality products – underpinned by excellent “customer-centric” service.

A hallmark of their service is their ability to build strong relationships with their customers based on sound communication skills, effective planning and efficient operating methods. Their engaging approach – inclusive and collaborative – enables them to get their customers and other role-players on board quickly, while deftly guiding them towards the desired outcomes.

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The Top Interior Designers and Decorators understand and appreciate the value of effective communication. They create synergy among all the stakeholders to facilitate efficient management of their projects to achieve their scope, time and budget targets. They furthermore display a transparent approach to requirements, costs and results. These skills enable them to weave the often disparate elements of a project together – seamlessly.

An important trait of a Top Interior Designer and Decorator is the ability to integrate the complex components of a project effortlessly, without drowning their customers in useless jargon. They know how to shield their customers from unnecessary stresses by providing advice and recommending innovative solutions – proactively.

The Top Interior Designers and Decorators have a special Project Management style which ensures that every task is approached in the best way possible; uses the best methods, and is delivered on time – within scope and budget – while adhering to their quality guidelines.

Due to their meticulous approach, fastidiousness and attention to detail, we find that the best Interior Designers and Decorators…

  • Have an effective and informative communication style;
  • Have the ability to stay focused despite all the noise;
  • Are trustworthy, make ethical decisions and keep their word;
  • Create achievable plans, with realistic timelines and budgets;
  • Consistently align activities with project timelines;
  • Understand the vision and mitigate inherent challenges;
  • Bring their established business networks to the project;
  • Apply smart techniques to simplify complex issues;

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The list of goodness embodied by the best Interior Designers and Decorators continues…

  • They stay on top of developments and pick up the slack in other areas;
  • They facilitate and drive the interaction among all the role-players;
  • They ensure that every role-player is engaged, focused and aligned;
  • They keep a keen eye on quotes, costs, orders and invoicing;
  • They identify opportunities to save time and reduce costs;
  • They keep abreast of best practice – trends, styles and methods;
  • They have a detailed knowledge of design constraints and solutions;
  • They provide sound advice for accessories – colors, textures, art;
  • They are dynamic and motivated – the heart and soul of the project.

Together, all these important elements improve the project’s chances for success. When a top Interior Designer and Decorator manage a project, their abilities, skills and knowledge enable customers to…

  • Understand the transition from the conceptual to physical;
  • Buy into their advice and accept their recommendations;
  • Have full confidence in their ability to realize their vision;
  • Sleep soundly and peacefully at night…

All of the above together, define the Anatomy of a Top Interior Designer and Decorator.

If you are wondering whether it’s possible to find an Interior Designer and Decorator with all these attributes, wonder no more, because they do indeed exist. And no… They do not walk on water!

Contact Gardner Interior Concepts (Cape Town) today for inspired Interior Design solutions and live the difference.

Part 1: Making the cut as a Top 10 Interior Designer and Decorator
Part 2: The Rating Rules for discovering the best Interior Designers and Decorators
Part 3: The Anatomy of a Top 10 Interior Designer and Decorator

The Ten Best Interior Designers and Decorators | Cape Town | South Africa | Part 3

The Top Ten Interior Designers and Decorators | Cape Town | South Africa | Part 1

Making the cut

Today I am feeling brave. Very brave.

Why?

Today marks the publication of the results of our project: Finding the Top Ten Interior Designers and Decorators in Cape Town. This project was launched exclusively to deliver the definitive list of Cape Town’s best Interior Designers and Decorators. The A-list!

Artistic expression – by its very nature – is an emotionally charged domain, and having to pronounce judgment on artistic endeavor, is akin to disturbing a hornet’s nest. It must be approached cautiously and sensitively.

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Negative feedback can easily be the fuse that ignites a swarm of powerful emotions, while unfavorable ratings may result in a sting of lingering resentment.

Nonetheless, this “Top 10” list will be published without fear or favor, because these results flow from a rigorous process-driven project, focused only on one primary objective: Discovering the best of the best in Cape Town – by Design.

There was no easy solution, no shortcut and no quick formula to rate or compare the huge talent, creativity and innovative potential of Cape Town’s top Interior Designers and Decorators, but this project has left no stone unturned in its quest to discover Cape Town’s very best Interior Designers and Decorators.

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Premised on fairness and objectivity, this project used an innovative approach and a future-proof methodology to support its revolutionary “rating” philosophy. A new approach was an essential component of our aim to set the results of this project apart from, and way ahead of other similar projects. No other projects provide the level of fairness or accuracy required for rating, promoting and advertising the top Interior Design companies or the best Interior Designers and Decorators in Cape Town.

This project therefore started with a clean slate, choosing transparent, honest and uniform feedback over assumptions, opinions and self-promoting propaganda. This was the only way to ensuring its independence, credibility, authority and acceptability, while mitigating challenges to its legitimacy.

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The results of this project are delivered as is – without embellishment and ornamentation. There is also no artistic or poetic license to mask deficiencies with superficial decoration. There in no room for consternation as the results of this project emanate from frank feedback and open consultation.

The ultimate list of Cape Town’s Top Ten Interior Designers and Decorators was compiled within the framework of important considerations, such as the ground-rules, qualification criteria and other pertinent factors. Together, these elements guided the selection process to finally illuminate Cape Town’s creme de la creme – the masters of the Interior Design and Decorating game.

This esteemed group of top Interior Designers and Decorators are the flag-bearers for the Interior Design industry in Cape Town. It is however important to note the following:

  • Not all of these top Designers and Decorators are associated with famous Interior Design and Decorating firms;
  • Not all of these top Designers and Decorators own popular Interior Design and Decorating businesses, and
  • Not all of these top Designers and Decorators have had their portfolios featured in glossy magazines.

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Yet, all these Interior Designers and Decorators are at the pinnacle of their profession. They fully deserve all the plaudits and accolades because…

  • Their designs are striking; they captivate our eyes – alluring masterpieces of scale and size;
  • Their decorations exceed our vision and desire – with one magical touch, they enthrall and inspire;
  • Their natural affinity for colors and textures can never be taught in courses and lectures;
  • Their innate flair for geometry and symmetry, can only be labeled “Interior Design wizardry”;
  • Their work is breathtaking, it makes us excited, while their artistic twists leave us delighted;
  • Their designs surpass average anonymity and they challenge our views and ideas of normality.

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These are the qualities displayed by Cape Town’s Top Ten Interior Designers and Decorators. They are superstars – a cut above the rest.

We applaud and salute them – they are Cape Town’s very best!

Related articles in the series Cape Town’s Top 10 Interior Designers and Decorators include…

Part 1: Making the cut as a Top 10 Interior Designer and Decorator
Part 2: The Rating Rules for discovering the best Interior Designers and Decorators
Part 3: The Anatomy of a Top 10 Interior Designer and Decorator

The Top Ten Interior Designers and Decorators | Cape Town | South Africa | Part 1

Interior Design Trends | Kitchen Styles 2016

Gardner Interior Concepts – Kitchen Design Styles and Trends 2016

Gardner Interior Concepts was one of Cape Town’s top four kitchen designers participating in the Franke ‘Heart of the Home’ Kitchen Design Project, at DecorexSA (Cape Town 2016).

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Gardner Interior Concepts showcased their vision for kitchen designs and materials to encapsulate and demonstrate the phrase ‘heart of the home’. According to Patrick Gardner, modern family lifestyles are evolving, and this evolution is changing both the role and the design of the modern kitchen.

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Says, Patrick: “The only real opportunity today’s families get to spend quality time together is while preparing dinner. For this reason, great emphasis is placed on including the kitchen in the rest of the house’s layout. And, with property prices rising and properties becoming smaller, more and more we’re seeing walls coming down and homes being opened up.”

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The Gardner Interior Concepts kitchen display at Decorex blends classic and contemporary ideas, with a twist. Patrick explained the rationale: “We want to encourage customers to embrace both past and present trends, which we believe will yield something more balanced in the future.”

Custom Kitchen Design Ideas – Optimizing and Saving Space

Patrick further contends that the optimization of space is key to modern kitchen design and adds: “Ingenious pantry pullouts, new versions of the lazy Susan, drawer inserts, wall-hung utensils, flap-down options all ensure no space goes to waste in the efficient kitchens of today.”

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Click here to view some of the many successful bespoke kitchen design projects delivered by our Interior Design team.

Be inspired and contact Gardner Interior Concepts and join our family today.

Interior Design Trends | Kitchen Styles 2016