How to maintain your parquet floor

One thing we’ve noticed time and time again whilst restoring parquet floors around Hampshire is that many people don’t seem to know how to care for them properly. In this blog we aim to arm you with enough information to keep your parquet floor maintained and extend it’s life.

Cleaning a parquet floor is a simple process, but you need to be looking after it from the word go. Once the floor gets to a certain point of wear and tear, no amount of cleaning can bring it back to life and the only option from there is to sand it off and start again.

There are two types of cleaner, one for oiled floors and one for lacquered floors. Always use the recommended cleaner. If you use any other type of cleaner on your wooden floor, you run the risk of spoiling the finish. Steam cleaners are a big no no – wood and water don’t mix, so throwing steam into the mix will really cause you problems.

Regardless of whether your floor is oiled or lacquered, the basic process is the same. You should start by sweeping or vacuuming the floor. When vacuuming, make sure the part of the vacuum cleaner that’s in contact with the floor is soft to avoid scratching the floor surface. Henry type vacuum cleaners are ideal for this, rather than those that are wheeled across the floor as these types can leave marks. We’re constantly seeing parquet floors that have been damaged by vacuum cleaners, so it’s important to take note.

After any excess dirt and grime has been vacuumed away, then the appropriate cleaner can be used. We generally recommend Osmo wash and care for oiled floors and either Bona or Junckers for lacquered floors. Simply follow the instructions by adding the cleaning solution to half a bucket of warm water, wetting the mop and ringing it out so the floor doesn’t get too wet during the cleaning process. Too much water can cause swelling to the wood and other problems which are best avoided. Always use a damp mop, not a wet one!

We recommend repeating this process at least once a week, although this can vary depending on how much the particular area is used. Hallways have much heavier foot fall than a bedroom which may only see foot traffic in socks or slippers rather than shoes.

For any more help and advice please feel free to call us on 01962 733016, email or pop into our workshop and we can get your flooring project off the ground today! 


Tips for a Modern Kitchen

A modern style kitchen is one that uses sleek and clever designs to create an awe inspiring space to cook, eat and socialise. They’re all about the matt or gloss finish and can vary greatly in layout to suit your kitchens size and your individual taste. When considering what actually defines a modern kitchen, the main criteria is that of a simple and easy to maintain layout. They can be cool and contemporary or warm and homely, the choice is yours.

A lot of thought and focus needs to be put into the design stage to plan your storage. You don’t want to end up having clutter all over what should be a gorgeously elegant and sleek kitchen, simply because there isn’t adequate storage! Modern kitchens are very much designed around an open plan layout, making the kitchen not only a space to enjoy creating a meal, but also for socialising with guests as well, making it a brilliant place to relax. Typical features include islands, breakfast bars, frameless and handleless cabinets, strong and sleek lines, and high quality materials which are emphasised focal points of the room. These latter points are extremely relevant with German style kitchens.

Handleless cabinets and drawers are ideal for modern kitchen styles as they streamline the room, enhancing the sleek and stylish finish so sought after in modern kitchens. There are usually integrated appliances, including ovens and dishwashers, worked into the design and neatly tucked behind high gloss doors so that the kitchen’s style doesn’t hinder its practicality. A bespoke kitchen designer and fitter, such as Alresford Interiors, will ensure your needs are met for both style and function. What’s important to one person may be less so to another, so its vital to take the time to understand each customer’s individual priorities and requirements.

If you’re looking for some modern kitchen inspiration, start by making a list of what you 100% need in your kitchen for it to work for you both aesthetically and practically. This can be anything from plenty of storage space,a large work surface or perhaps a kitchen island. Once you have this list, you can then start looking at images online and in magazines for ideas on layout, colours, lighting, cabinetry doors, worktops, floors, and so on, and make a scrapbook of kitchen ideas – we find Pinterest great for this! When collecting this inspiration material, be mindful of how much room you have in your kitchen, if you are limited for space then what are you prepared to compromise on? If you have an abundance of space, how can you use it most effectively? If these questions leave you stuck for answers, don’t worry, we can help you work through the process.

A few of the factors we take into consideration when helping design a modern kitchen are how frequently it’s used and what for (only cooking, or for socialising with guests and dining for example), the size of your family, and how many cooks are likely to be using it at the same time. The kitchen is used every day, so it’s important to consider what you need from it the most. If you love to cook or bake, do you need the design to allow for a lot of worktop space centered around the oven? Or perhaps you would like a more functional design which puts the aesthetics of the kitchen first? We can work together with you to get the answers to these questions and achieve the ideal modern kitchen design for you and your individual requirements.

When considering colours for your kitchen, start by thinking about the overall look you’re going for. Why not start with the splashback behind the hob? Whilst the typical black, grey or white all work well in a modern kitchen you have an opportunity to be adventurous and inject some colour or a print into the scheme too. Choosing colour allows you to incorporate your personality into the style, with calm colours especially contributing to a clean and fresh vibe in any modern kitchen design. Selecting a theme is the best way to keep the design looking modern for longer. Neutral designs are always a popular option, but we often see clients wanting a bold colour injected into the theme contrasted against a neutral design – the results of this are truly stunning. The colour scheme generally comes down to your personal style, but we usually suggest keeping to two or three colours at most to avoid clashing and confusion. Statement walls are also on the rise with the use of modern kitchen wallpaper and are a great way to use a pattern to really bring some individuality into the design. There are so many wallpaper options to choose from, so shop around before settling!

Modern styling is extremely important when finishing the completed look of the kitchen. We always advise you style the kitchen around its functionality (as there’s no point having a beautiful kitchen which you can’t actually use). Plenty of storage facilities will allow for clutter-free worktops, which is a big part of the modern look. A hugely important, but often overlooked element to consider is kitchen lighting. Cabinet lighting makes a striking addition and contributes to a relaxed atmosphere, and overhead pendant lights are becoming increasingly popular over the standard spotlights, both emitting a sense of bright and natural feeling light. When thinking about worktop surfaces, have think about which one would suit your needs best. Whether it’s wooden oak blocks, granite, silestone, quartz or stainless steel, it’s important to consider the practicality of each material against how it looks visually – a pretty worktop that doesn’t suit your cooking needs is not ideal. There’s such a large array of choices for you to consider, and we’ll assist you along the way with your ideas and wishlist. Whatever you decide, with your ideas and our experience, together we can create the ideal modern kitchen tailored to your exact requirements.

For any more help and advice, or if you’re looking to start designing a dream kitchen of your own, please feel free to call us on 01962 733016, email or pop into our workshop and we can get your kitchen project off the ground today! 


Why choose a German Style kitchen?

In Germany, kitchen designers typically create styles which are all about the minimal, smooth, and clean designs. These are ideal for those looking for a modern and contemporary look when designing a kitchen. German kitchen manufacturing is sleek, precise, of a high quality and has great ergonomics. All kitchen ranges nowadays are generally designed around making the space as user friendly as possible and German kitchen design is exceptionally good at making kitchens efficient as well as comfortable. Within their designs, underneath the sleek exterior, you will find many innovative ideas and details to maximise storage.

The Germanic kitchen (as it’s known in Germany) can be considered ergonomic perfection which is easily recognised due to its visual appearance and functionality. The Germanic kitchen is all about clean aesthetics, precise, straight cut lines, and high quality materials and appliances. No expense is spared in the quest for ergonomic perfection! When configuring the layout of the kitchen, German designers will typically use light (both natural and artificial) to expertly emphasise the flow of sightlines. This will help emphasise the sleek and precise lines of the kitchen. Light is also used to draw attention to colour combinations and enhance the overall finish.

The Germanic style works well in a vast range of kitchen types making it a flexible option. It could look stunning in a modern chic apartment, as well as a statement piece in a period property, so the pros and cons of this kitchen style are largely down to personal preference. If you like the look of sleek, slender and precise lines, then perhaps the Germanic style is for you. However, if you prefer the quirks associated with a country kitchen along with its chunky carcussing then perhaps not.

It’s important to note that when considering styles of kitchen, you don’t have to choose just one. You can easily incorporate aspects of different designs to create something unique to you and your preferences. For instance, we find that with our clients a classic shaker style kitchen is one of our most popular kitchen designs. This shaker style can easily be blended with a Germanic design to give it a more contemporary look and feel. We achieve this by making the doors handleless, and using a smooth gloss finish on the doors while maintaining the shaker look. This is where bespoke kitchen design comes into its own, as good designers and fitters are able to produce something which suits your individual tastes precisely. We at Alresford Interiors will work with you to make your vision a reality, helping you make the most out of your space.

In our opinion, this style is popular due to its clean, precise, and high quality, efficient nature. It is extremely versatile in its ability to blend with other designs, so even if minimal and sleek is not for you, there will surely be elements of the Germanic kitchen, such as efficient use of storage or innovative use of lighting, that can positively contribute to aspects of your kitchen design to enhance it for the better. Whether you are after a modern, contemporary, or country design, it is worth considering how a Germanic twist could benefit your kitchen space for the better.

For any more help and advice, or if you’re looking to start designing a dream kitchen of your own, please feel free to call us on 01962 733016, email or pop into our workshop and we can get your kitchen project off the ground today!