Tips for Getting Your Kitchen Ready for the Summer

If we were being strict about the calendar, summer is actually already with us, in fact, the solstice has passed and the days are getting shorter! That said, the school holidays are still here and we’ve still got a lot of fun times ahead of us. There’s even time to still do a barbecue. So, kitchen designers Stone and Chrome invite you to have a look at how we can prepare for the “summer fun” if not the peak summer weather.

Ready for Summer: Cool and Fancy Fridges

When was the last time that you updated your fridge? Modern fridges are amazing. There are so many different styles to choose from, and there are plenty of appealing colours as well. There’s no need to stick to boring old white any more.

Whatever style you want to have in your kitchen, modern, rustic, high tech or understated, there is something that will suit you. Be sure to pick up a fridge with a built-in ice machine, especially if you have kids in the household, since they will love having access to it for nice cold drinks throughout the day. Having ice on demand is a luxury they will get used to quite quickly! It’s so much nicer than having to mess with an ice tray or finding that the last person to make drinks forgot to refill it!

Brighten Up Your Kitchen for a Year-Round Summer

Brightening up your kitchen space is a good choice if you want to make it feel like it is summertime all year round. Introduce more light to make the space that little bit nicer, or choose a design with crisp, sleek lines that will make it seem as if the kitchen is roomier, and will draw your eye to the window as a focal point. Let natural light flood in for a fresh and relaxing environment.

You can even go one step further and use a herb garden on the windowsill to bring the light from the outside in. Grow mint, basil, and thyme so that you can have a nice tasty addition to your summer meals, and have dried herbs year-round too. These herbs are quick and easy to grow and don’t take up a lot of space either.

Light Colours Make a Big Difference

If you can’t afford to replace the whole kitchen, then you can still make a huge change to the atmosphere of the room with some low-cost changes. Use colourful dinnerware and storage containers. Lay out bright floral table mats and coasters, or change your blinds for something bright and refreshing.

Any light and bright decorations can make a huge difference, and you can get a lot out of just making small changes to the room. Use downlights under your cabinets, put lamps in dark corners and use candles on the kitchen table.

Revamp Your Kitchen Cabinets

If your budget allows then replacing your cabinets and countertops can be a good option. Bright and summery colours can work well …

Learn all You Should Know about Sash Windows

Sash windows can be a timeless feature to any home. Here, KJM Group explains the sash windows’ elegant style, their history, when they should be replaced or restored, and how to pick out new ones.

If you are renovating a Victorian, Regency, or Georgian property, then this item needs to be a high priority for your shopping list.

What are Sash Windows and How do they Work?

The very word ‘sash’ is a reference to a singular frame for glazing. Traditional sliding sash windows had a pair of sashes sliding up and down. In simple terms, this kind of window would function by balancing its sash with an opposing counter-weight of cast iron, steel, or leaden weight that hangs on a cord but is concealed inside a hollowed-out box frame. It’s possible to retrofit insulation into these pockets for older windows.

This is certainly a classic design and one most frequently seen in Georgian properties, although variations can also be seen in some variations of later Edwardian and Victorian houses.

Sash Window Styles

When you replace the windows of any older property, or you’re choosing the aesthetic for your period-style residence, then you need to proceed with caution so you can be sure you get the proper time period. Sash windows have gone through a number of stylistic evolutions through the course of their history, so be mindful of this lest you get caught off guard.


Sashes normally comprise of several small panes known as ‘lights’. Glazing or astragal bars hold these all together in order to form up a broader glazed area. This happened because glass technology back then didn’t permit broad expanses using clear glazing.

Should Sash Windows be Repaired or Replaced?

Whenever possible, avoid removing any sashes using original period timber in lieu of modern replacements. It’s far better to first restore and then waterproof an existing sash if it’s at all possible.

The advantages of doing repairs when practical include:

-A home keeps its original character and charm

-Homeowners can take advantage of enhanced thermal performance thanks to draught-proofing and double glazing when a box frame gets retained with replacement glazing

-The original timber is likely to be of superior quality to modern products

Expenses Involved in Replacing and/or Restoring Sashes

Glazing might be replaceable in sash windows when the original frames prove to be salvageable. If you can renovate something to a relatively prime condition, then you might be able to upgrade single-glazed panelling to a thin double glaze. New sashes that can be fitted into your existing frames are possible, with estimates starting at £1,000 per window.

What Kind of Material is Best for Replacement Sash Windows?

Timber Sashes

If you live inside a conservation area or building, or you’re just a traditionalist, then you should opt for authentic timber sash windows. In fact, they should be your only real option, because while plastic offers many benefits, it just doesn’t have a similar tactile effect. Some of the benefits of timber …

New To Glass – Check Out This Handy Guide

Glass splashback tiles and worktopGlass is one of the most versatile materials in use. It’s commonly found on doors, windows and shower enclosures. Well, have you been wondering whether you can use glass in your kitchen? Have you come across glass worktops and splashbacks? Here are some Glass Inspirations for you, what you need to know about the benefits of using glass, and what to check out, as well as some tips to help you get it right.

The Material

Any glass to be used for work surfaces is very tough. Therefore, it will become a very durable kitchen worktop. Glass is non-porous so it is heat and stain-resistant. When engineering a splashback or worktop, you can enjoy numerous colours and printed images. If you are looking for an upcycled feel, you can look for recycled glass options with light refraction similar to that in quartz or granite surfaces.

The Benefits

Some of the benefits of using glass in your kitchen include the following.

1. Durability – toughened glass is resistant to both water and heat damage. Therefore, you can spill as many things in your kitchen as you like without worrying about the repercussions.

2. Flexibility – when you choose glass, the surface can be cut, sized and shaped to meet your preferences. You don’t need to compromise or choose a design you don’t like.

3. Hygienic – glass is a non-porous surface so it reduces long-term wear and tear since there are no crevices where bacteria will linger. You can clean your worktop easily by wiping down.

4. Choice – are you struggling to find the best hue to match with the rest of your cabinet and furnishing choices? Glass is the best choice since it has a lot of colours, textures and finishes available.

5. Impact – yes, having a glass countertop is quite unusual in your kitchen. However, it’s bound to attract envy and compliments from any guests. It has the elements of transparency that allows you to illuminate your surface much better than any other material.

What Do You Need to Worry About?

If you choose glass countertops, some of the things to worry about include the following:

1. Scratching – Don’t chop anything directly on your worktop. Yes, the glass might be toughened and durable. However, if it comes into direct contact with sharp blades, there will be damage.

2. Fingerprints – It has a glossy sheen which means that it will show more fingerprints compared to other materials. You can wipe down the surface to remove any smears. You can also choose matt or textured glass finishes to avoid the fingerprints.

3. Cost – Depending on how bespoke you want your glass worktop, you can check various price ranges to choose the best one for your needs.

How to Choose the Right Glass for Your Worktop

Now that you know how perfect glass would be in your kitchen, you need to make the right choice. Here are a few things to consider.

1. Feature – …

Making the Most of Your Attic Space With a Loft Bedroom

Unused loft space to convertWhile the value of UK homes is rising, they are shrinking in size. A loft bedroom is one of the great ways that you can boost both the value of your property and the living space. If you are fighting for space, you should clear the clutter from the loft and turn it into a bedroom. While this might sound like a challenge, it is not as hard as you might imagine.

The Right Ingredients

Before you invest emotionally and financially in a loft conversion, you need to do a quick reality check. First, consider if your loft is big enough to become a usable bedroom. Does the loft have enough height?

It is recommended that you have a minimum height of 2.4 to 2.6 metres for a modern trussed roof. If you have a cut roof, you need 2.2 to 2.4 metres. These roofs are made with the traditional method of cutting timber on-site and then building the roof with rafters and purlins.

You also need to take a look at the design of the roof. Modern trussed roofs are harder to convert compared to the traditional cut roof. This is due to each truss being made for a specific position in the structure of the roof. If they are altered, the roof could potentially collapse. You have to take this into account when you consider a loft conversion and get a structural engineer to take a look.

Rooflight Loft Conversions

There are three primary types of loft conversions that you need to know about: rooflight, dormer and mansard. The rooflight will be the cheapest option and it is also the simplest. There are few alterations required to the space other than putting a window in the slope of the roof. These types of conversions will generally cost around £1,200 to £1,500 per square metre.

Dormer and Mansard Conversions

If your property has a pitched roof, you can probably have a dormer window. These are best known for the box shape they have and will project out of the existing slope of the roof. They will create a generous headspace and internal floor area. The rear of the property is where these windows will generally be found.

When you have a mansard conversion, the slope of the roof will be replaced with a new structure. This will have a steeper sloping side and a flat roof. This is a good option if the original roof had very little or no headroom on offer.

Do You Need Planning Permission?

Loft conversions are generally considered a permitted development unless you are looking at a mansard conversion. This means that you will not have to get any planning permission. The only time you need this is when you need to extend the roof space by more 50 cubic metres. While this is the case, there are strict rules which apply such as the material needing to be similar in appearance to the rest of the house.

Working With Building Regulations

You …