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Add some hygge to your home this winter

Everything has its placeHygge- pronounced Hue-gah is a Danish word, the closest translation to English is ‘cosy’ or ‘warmth and comfort’. As the ‘heart of the home’, the kitchen is the perfect room to create hygge.

This trend seeks to break the stressful impact of modern day life, bringing over some well needed relaxation time and turning a house into a home. Hygge could be a hot drink at home after a busy day at the office, or warm sheets straight from the tumble dryer.

To really achieve hygge, you are looking to inspire a cosy, sanctuary that brings feelings of comfort. It is important to create a nostalgic feel with plenty of space to display family photos and personal objects that make you happy.

Create a warm atmoshpereHere are some helpful ideas for beginning the journey to a hygge lifestyle, beginning in the kitchen:

Be clutter free. Hygge promotes reusing where possible, and keeping only things that make you feel positive; subtle storage keeps a kitchen hygge and tidy. Everything has it’s place.

Natural lighting, like candle flames or fireplaces, but light from windows or even dimmable electric lighting can be just as soothing.

Warmth: comfortable seating and the opportunity to lounge or entertain friends is vital to have that homely and affectionate atmosphere. Any opportunity to add a faux fur seat cover, or a few cushions is a bonus.

Personal touches, such as photographs and loved objects to decorate.

Typical hygge décor remains clean and subtle in tone, no harsh colours, although many choose to place colourful spring flowers around a room in winter. Keep kitchens from looking cold by adding different shades and muted tones.

Food and drink: usually warm… soup, hot chocolate, even cake- whatever brings that feeling, although home baked is always best!

We hope we’ve inspired you to embrace a ‘hygge life’.

Photos are of Earle & Ginger’s completed projects photographed in our customers homes.

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If it was your kitchen…..?

There are 6 designers on our team at Earle & Ginger, and as your designers, we often spend our time scratching our heads and pooling our ideas together to make sure we can make your dream kitchen become a reality, no matter what the circumstances. During the design stage we often get asked that age old question, which is incredibly difficult for us to answer; because it all comes down to personal taste. As much as we can suggest ideas and provide you with all the information you need, ultimately you will still end up making your own decision.

 

So, what would we do if it was our Kitchen?

As you can imagine, we hold an incredible amount of information in our heads, and in our showrooms, of all the different styles, colours and materials available for your bespoke kitchen; and like you, we all have different tastes and opinions on what we think looks good. So, wanting to try a little experiment, myself and Lucy have taken some time to think about what our own personal kitchen would be like if we had no restrictions at all. It was really difficult to get started on this because just trying to choose a style is bad enough, traditional, classic, modern, European, rustic, industrial, lofty… overload… beginning to understand how our clients feel!

 

Lucy’s Kitchen

Lucy is Earle & Ginger’s head designer and the manager of the Hale showroom, she has many years under her belt and has created some incredibly inventive and completely bespoke designs, which can be viewed in our gallery. She has very strong ideas of what she likes and I always thought she might have opted for a sleek glossy design, but I love her interesting choice (and I’m a little gutted I didn’t think of it).

Lucy opted for a modern ‘Italian’ style kitchen which would boast lots of hidden storage in very slim tall larders and wall units, accompanied by lots of open shelving; and a mix of textures to create a warm & inviting space.

“I like the use of the wall and base units as a division within an open plan space.”

Being a true modernist, clean lines and linear shapes are a must with Lucy, along with sculptural forms and use of furniture to divide open spaces appropriately.

 

“European design interests me, particularly Italian design and it is often the continent I turn to for inspiration.”

 

Ultimately I would love my new kitchen to have a very similar feel to this Leicht kitchen (above). The deep and raw feel of the wood grain used contrasts so well against the matte or gloss neutral units, it’s a modern scheme that still manages to feel warm. Although I think I would break the back bank up to allow for extra work surface.

Getting down to practically, there are a few specific items that Lucy said were vital to making this kitchen her own, one is a Miele Sous chef warming drawer.  Once the colder months roll in, she loves making one pot soups and casseroles, and the simplicity of a sous chef makes it an easy job.

An induction hob was key to keeping the clean lines of the kitchen and to allowing her to use a traditional whistling kettle, which also eliminates the need for extra plug sockets and even a hot water tap.

Instead of a microwave Lucy opted for a steam oven to enable her to retain the flavour and vitamins of her food which a much tastier result than from a microwave.

The final item that Lucy needed for her dream kitchen was a larder fridge with humidity control to ensure all those veggies stay fresh for a longer period of time; and a small ice box as she doesn’t often require a freezer.

 

Francesca’s Kitchen

I’ll just start off saying that I found this task so difficult, there are so many different materials and colours I would love to use in my own kitchen but looking over my research there were a few reoccurring options so I felt that must be the right choice. Similar to Lucy’s kitchen, my kitchen has European influences, is incredibly linear and uses a mix of natural materials alongside the likes of gloss and quartz. With a slightly Scandinavian style, my attention is always drawn to pale washed woods, white & nude, and chunky materials such as a 60 or 80mm quartz worktop.

The image below, found on trusty Pinterest, was one of the first images that stood out to me, I love the linear lines and the play of depths and levels with the contemporary wall units. I feel for such a square kitchen it adds depth and interest to something that could have risked being quite flat. The colour scheme is on point for me, white with warm mushroom greys and modern wood textures, it’s feminine without being ‘girly’ which can sometimes be a difficult look to achieve in the kitchen. (If I had to choose one, this would be my exact kitchen!)

 

Although I enjoy contemporary styling’s, it’s important to me that the kitchen stays warm and inviting; which is why I think I’m so keen on wood as a main material. In terms of  actually using the kitchen, I enjoy cooking but I can safely say I won’t be hosting any extravagant parties, so minimal but functional appliances are perfect for me.

Personally I love the look and features involved with Siemens appliances so my first instinct is to opt for them for my cooking. Steam ovens are popular at Earle & Ginger and I don’t think any of us would turn down the chance to have one. A steam oven is a must for me, almost any meal can be made in a steam oven with a lot less prepping and attending to your cooking, but with maximum flavour and nutrients locked in. Who doesn’t love easy gourmet cooking!?

A pyrolitic (self cleaning) single oven would accompany the steam, no more scrubbing combined with perfect baking & roasting results thanks to the huge selection of pre set programmes available with the likes of iQ700 models.

Making sure my new Quartz worktops are kept clean and tidy, a Quooker boiling water tap would save me energy, money and clutter which is a pet hate of mine!

Finally, to give me optimum storage space a slimline dishwasher would suit me perfectly, it has all the same features as a full size model but leaves me more room for cupboards & drawers.

 

Although mine and Lucy’s kitchens appear to be fairly similar the detailing and specifications make them very different,and very personal, to the ways in which each of us use our kitchens on a daily basis. I found this task so difficult and can understand more now than ever, what our clients go through when trying to even get started on a design; which normally leads them to ask “What would you do if it was your kitchen?”.

 

In relation to this post I will be putting some tips & advice together for you on how to make the design process easier, if you’re currently struggling to design your kitchen. As a designer we can easily create a practical layout or even a show stopping kitchen full of gadgets and gizmos; however it’s up to you to specify what you need and to ensure that the space will work for you and your needs. Don’t let our creativity run away with us, because if you do…… you’ll end up with one of our kitchens! ^^^^

If you’d like to talk to one of our designers about creating your perfect kitchen, use the tab above and choose your local showroom and get in touch.

 


 

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