Archive for January, 2011

Kitchen design tips

Monday, January 31st, 2011

While the living room is usually the centre of social and family life in any house, and a haven for relaxation, the kitchen could be seen as the beating heart of the home. Perhaps the most functional room of any home, designing your kitchen to suit your specific needs and those of your family is a great way to improve the lifestyle of everyone in the household.

The size of the kitchen and the amount of space you have available will clearly have a large effect on the kitchen design choices you make, but here are a few general tips for creating the kitchen of your dreams.

  • If space allows, a small oak or pine dining table in the kitchen can be a wonderful addition. If you already have a separate dining room, having a table in the kitchen can be a great place for the whole household to start the day with morning coffee and breakfast.
  • Often overlooked in the kitchen, chairs or stools around work surfaces can transform the way you use your kitchen. While it serves an important function as the main food preparation area of the home, the kitchen can also be a place to relax and read the paper, and comfortable seating goes a long way.
  • Work surfaces- An easily cleanable, attractive and spacious work surface is perhaps the most important element of any kitchen. For this reason, it’s wise to make a decision on this piece of kitchen furniture first, and then plan other additions around it.
  • Cupboards and shelves- Due to the amount of crockery, utensils and other such things generally found in a kitchen, carefully selecting kitchen cupboards and shelves in which to store these items is important. Pine or oak cupboards can be an ideal compliment to your kitchen setup, and are both attractive and easy to clean and maintain.

What to look for when buying a desk

Monday, January 31st, 2011

A practical and sturdy desk is a must for some people. For university students it is an essential item of furniture for studying, writing essays and organising lecture notes. Children of school age meanwhile will find a desk equally useful for getting their homework and exam revision done, far more effectively than if they were sitting on the couch with the TV on in the background, or reclining on their bed.

For anyone who works from home, a desk is also a necessity, and can be a place for working on a desktop computer, sorting through paperwork and performing other functions as required.

Whatever your main purpose is for buying a desk, the basic principles are the same. The desk should be sturdy and durable, and for this its important to consider the material that it’s made from. While manufactured wood and veneered designs may be cheaper, they are nowhere near as durable or as aesthetically attractive as a desk made from real wood. A pine desk is a great choice for anyone on a budget, offering an appealing combination of cost-effectiveness, attractiveness and functionality.

An oak desk meanwhile is ideal for anyone with a little more money to spend who is looking for something that will last for decades and retain its attractive natural finish.

Aside from materials, it’s important to think about the area of workspace provided by the desk, and whether this is suitable for your intended purpose. The number of drawers and the space available inside them is also an essential consideration which should be weighed up against your specific needs.

Furniture ergonomics and the home office

Monday, January 24th, 2011

If you work from home it’s important to ensure that your office is set up not only to maximise your productivity but also to ensure that you have good posture while you work. Ergonomics is the science of equipment and furniture design and how it relates to the human body when it is occupied in such a way.

Ergonomics has been an important part of health and safety in office jobs for a long time, and it’s equally important to make certain that the furniture in your home office is arranged to provide comfort and safety when working.

Central to the home office, your desk should be of a suitable height and allow plenty of room for your legs to move around underneath whilst sitting at the desk.

Likewise, a good quality chair is the lynchpin of the home office. It is where you will do the majority of your work, and will most probably sit for extended periods of time on a daily basis, so it’s essential to make sure it’s comfortable and facilitates good posture, in order to avoid discomfort and repetitive strain injury. A good chair should have the ability to adjust height, adjustable backrests and armrests and a tilt and swivel base. It should enable you to sit at a 45 degree position from your workspace.

Most likely, you work on a computer much of the time, and it’s also important to think about how this is situated. Ideally, one should sit at arm’s length from the monitor screen, while the keyboard should be directly in front of you. As laptops do not allow for this adjustment, it is recommended to use a desktop computer in the office, or buy an external USB keyboard.