Hot tips to update your kitchen and dining room

Rose Martin looks at what’s new and what to do in the home this week.

Looking for kitchen chairs on a low budget?

Then take a trip to town and visit Sostrene Grene the new interiors shop on Patrick’s Street, (formerly the Mothercare shop).

This store has lots of crafty, potty, painterly and household goods, but the standout deal on display this spring has to be the kitchen/ dining chairs.

The internet is alight with these great value pieces — soft upholstery, comfortable hold and solid oak legs — and guess what?

They’re just €39.95 a piece — so for six new chairs around the dining table, it would cost less than €240 — that’s great value.

Longevity will have to be tested, but on a quick reverse look, they appear solid enough and a minor piece of screwing in place will have you sitting comfortably.

Colours in the Cork store include grey and teal, but there are other choices in place — see the image — above, so it’s worth enquiring as to whether or not the shop can source other colours.

Go have a look. 

And on the subject of kitchen/ dining rooms — and low budgets,

painting a kitchen is really worth the trouble, especially if you have existing wooden doors.

A light sand and a wash with sugar soap to give the new paint a hold, should do the trick, but if there’s a patented finish then it’s best to use a suitable primer.

Drop into Pat McDonnell’s on Batchelor’s Quay and the staff will give plenty of advice on technique, they’ll also offer you a full range of paint colours and a cup of coffee and a biscuit while you wait for your colour to be made up.

It’s good to ask the staff what the designers are using, they have a good idea of what’s on trend and more importantly, what works — and will take you through the process depending on your kitchen finish.

(Also, cheapskate tip, they have a reduced corner where mixed paint is sold for half-nothing, so have a nose - you might pick up a bargain).

The Sustain range, in particular, WB50 is the perfect acrylic paint for kitchens — it’s low to no odour, dries in an hour and has a great, flat finish, that’s also washable and tough.

Colours choices are endless, but in the greys, Pavilion Grey from Farrow and Ball is a popular choice for a light, soft colour, or Downpipe for a strong, dark, grey to greenish depth of hue, (see image above). Wolfhound and Thresher from Colourtrend offer grey with a slight pinkish/mauve tone and their Silver Moonlight is a pale grey for those who prefer subtle.

There’s also the Dulux Moda range and a choice of heritage ranges for softer, paler and classic country kitchen colours.

Preparation is key — and no, you don’t have to remove the doors, unless you really want to — instead, mask-tape everything and make sure surfaces are clean, (sugar soap) and dust free.

Once that’s done, (and the painful task of removing everything from the cabinets is over), get started. Three coats will be necessary for most colours, so block off the weekend, but in the end, you’ll have a fresh, new kitchen.

And for a total revamp — save the money by painting the units, but go the whole hog and change the worktop for a good quality granite, marble or silestone finish. Denis McCarthy and Co are the go-to guys for marble and stone worktops and they’re in the Westlink Business Park on the Old Mallow Road.

And for a little piece of whimsy, how about these ceramic plates from designer Constance Guisset for Moustache as shown last month in Paris’ Maison & Objet.

Looking like pillowy pittas, these clever pieces are a tribute to sculpture, she says, in particular the work of Antonio Canova, and the modelling creates an illusion of smoothness— a trompe l’oeil flourish. Check out http://www.moustache.fr/en/



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