Enhance your kitchen with advice from Neptune

The hardest working room in any home is undoubtedly the kitchen, but leading design house Neptune are not content to leave it at that.

Whether you are planning a brand-new kitchen, or just looking to update the one you have, the team at Neptune have separated the good from the gimmicky and come up with the best kitchen hacks to enhance your home's busiest room.

From cooking and cleaning to eating and entertaining, while not forgetting children's homework, a good kitchen has to function effortlessly.

Inspired by open plan living, the idea of transplanting elements from the living or dining room to the kitchen has been gathering pace recently.

Bringing an armchair into an unused corner or investing in atmospheric lighting can make a kitchen feel more relaxed.

Adding other things that do not traditional belong in kitchens, such as bookshelves, rugs, and indoor wall gardens, encourage us to treat this as not just a functional space but one designed for relaxation and enjoyment.

When it comes to the practical tasks of a kitchen, where to put the washing machine can be a source of heated debate. It seems that modern technology has not killed off traditional spaces such as pantries and laundry rooms. But for those of us that do not have the luxury of an extra room, Neptune recommend a full height washing machine cabinet.

With plenty of space for a tumble dryer too, these cabinets keep appliances hidden out of view and the closed cupboard muffles noise when the machines are in use.

Even a well-planned kitchen can easily clutter up with little things like tea towels, trays, and chopping boards. This is why Neptune suggest making use of 'dead’ space in-between cabinets for storing small items, while keeping your worktops free for food preparation and other essentials.

Kitchens are big investments and you will want one that lasts for years; however, everyone fancies a change occasionally. The easiest way to refresh your kitchen is to opt for solid wood cabinetry as, unlike lacquer finishes, if you want a new look you can simply repaint the doors.

An all-fitted kitchen is the simplest route, but the team at Neptune say non-fitted rooms furnished with a series of standalone pieces are becoming increasingly popular.

Island sink units, pot boards, and butchers blocks are useful in smaller spaces and they have the added bonus that you can easily take them with you if you move house.

It seems that a clever mix-and-match approach with fitted and non-fitted elements may be the ultimate modern kitchen hack.

See www.neptune.com for a list of stockists.

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