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Add glitz to a kitchen conversion.


ALTHOUGH kitchens have to be practical, it's also perfectly possible to inject the space with some subtle glamour.

Choose granite worktops flecked with gold, to give a delicious shimmer. Star galaxy is a firm favourite of mine, and is widely available from good granite suppliers.

Look for splashbacks in coloured glass, mirrored materials, or pearlescent mosaics that glisten by night.

Traditional cupboard doors can be glammed up with the addition of glass knobs that catch the light.

The secret to preventing all this glittering material from looking gaudy is in the lighting.

Selecting materials that look their most spangly under electric light ensures that they will become more subtle during the day - shafts of sunlight will illuminate them here and there, but in an appealing way.

Angle lamps to maximise or minimise the shimmer, depending on your mood, and ensure all overhead lights can be dimmed.

If you are fond of entertaining, it might be worth investing in a lighting system that works on a colour wheel, so that the mood can be changed, start off with vibrant colours, and tone them down as the night progresses.

Sensio ( has introduced a remote-controlled lighting system that allows you to change colours from the comfort of your chair.

Your kitchen is the hub of the house, so design it to make socialising easy. If you have a breakfast bar, put stools by it, so that people can sit and chat (and help!) while you prepare a meal.

Islands are great for working on if you have plenty of space, but don't be tempted to make them too deep, or you will land up with a large area of unreachable space in the middle.

Moveable work stations are handy, as you can shift them as your needs dictate.

Another key factor is to leave enough room for a good traffic flow within the kitchen, so don't over clutter.

Also, allow enough room between items of furniture for doors and drawers to open comfortably.

The seasons are definitely changing, and the leaves are beginning to turn to gold on the trees. We can look forward to even wetter weather as winter approaches.

Muddy feet make work, so invest in a boot cleaner from Cox and Cox (, and make sure all that messy mud is scraped off before it comes into the house.

The Wool Croft (01873 851551) in Cross Street, Abergavenny, is a new boutique wool, craft and gift shop created by Ginevra Croft.

Ginevra has a life-long love of crafting, colour and natural materials, and stocks a wide range of designer names such as Rowan, Debbie Bliss, Louisa Harding, Natural Dye Studio, Noro, as well as quilting fabrics by Amy Butler and Kaffe Fassett, and embroidery materials by DMC and Sajou.

Wools from Ginevra's emporium have also been used in the making of also the gorgeous Blanced Hiraeth, a community project aimed at raising funds for Arts Alive Wales.

Yvonne Jones is a Royal College of Art trained designer, and owner of Chameleon Interiors. Call 029 2037 1277 or visit


* 1. This kitchen allows plenty of room for human traffic, and the work station can be moved. (courtesy of Fired Earth). 2. Keep the mess out of the house with this handy scraper from Cox and Cox. 3. The magnificent Blanced Hiraeth made with wool from The Wool Croft in Abergavenny.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Sep 10, 2011
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