The kitchen is definitely the heart of the home, and we all want our kitchens to look as good as they possibly can – whether it’s a brand new kitchen, your slightly shabby existing kitchen or the new kitchen you’re currently searching for – and thankfully, cheap kitchens are no longer impossible to find …
The biggest surface area in any kitchen is the cabinetry, so it has to be kept looking spic and span at all times. Glossy surfaces seem to attract fingerprints, but patterned and wood-grained surfaces make prints less obvious. Keep a spray bottle of multi-surface cleaner handy, spray onto a soft cotton cloth and buff any prints away. Matt surfaces can also show every little print. Thankfully, as we’re all washing our hands so much more carefully these days, a lot of general grubbiness can be avoided! If you’re searching for a new kitchen, keep an eye out for designs with print-resistant surfaces.
Work surfaces are often the ‘wow factor’ in a kitchen scheme, especially where a focal-point island is incorporated into the design. Designers often combine two surfaces on islands, perhaps to differentiate between the prep space and the breakfast bar space. The idea is beautifully illustrated here in this Approved Used Kitchen from Used Kitchen Exchange, which has granite surfaces and upstands, combined with a circular solid wood table section. Keep granite looking good with a quick spray with a PH Neutral cleaner specifically recommended for granite (or other stone) use. Dark colours are a bit more resilient than lighter tones – always mop up spills such as tomato or red wine as quickly as possible to avoid stains.
Painted kitchens often have a very homely, welcoming feel – and if it’s a well-used kitchen, it may have its fair share of little scrapes and scratches! Although that’s part of the charm of a hand-painted kitchen, most of us like to keep painted surfaces pretty pristine. If it’s a new kitchen, find out the name of the paint used and it’s then worth investing in a small pot for emergency touch-ups. Most kitchen companies use eggshell finishes. This kitchen is resplendent in Light Blue, Minster Green and Charlottes Locks, all by Farrow & Ball.
Modern, sleek kitchens are often full of integrated appliances which we don’t even notice … it’s easy to hide away the dishwasher, fridge and freezer, but the ovens will always stand out. Even a sleek induction hob is barely visible, especially if set into a dark work surface. It’s definitely worth looking after the ovens – wipe over the exterior with a soft cloth after each serious cooking session, use oven liners in the bottom of each oven and keep on top of the condition of the racks and shelves. Mirrored, black and steel surfaces can be tricky … standard spray cleaners often leave smears. The trick is to buff with a soft, smooth cloth after spraying. And then buff again …
There’s a lot to think about, cleaning and care-wise, in a barn-style kitchen … it’s not just the cabinetry, but the exposed beams as well! In spaces such as these, there are a couple of gadgets worth investing in. Firstly, a steam cleaner … not only for the floors, but for large tiled areas and even the work surfaces and upstands. A lightweight vacuum with extending pole and brush end is good for the beams too. After all, who wants spiders descending onto the work surfaces, and those spotlights and high light fittings need to be kept clean too.
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