These days a kitchen has a bigger task on its hands than just producing food for the family. When starting from scratch, those in search of a new kitchen want to create a space at the heart of the home that will look beautiful and work like a dream.
There’s plenty of choice, with bright new designs abounding, and special deals on prices that can be hard to resist. But if you don’t want to run the risk of the headaches and hassle that often come as part of the package with a low-cost kitchen-plus-installation deal – delivery delays, wrong-sized units and bodged workmanship – it’s best to go with a brand with a cast-iron reputation.
Häcker classicArt series kitchen • 10 wood and 10 lacquer colours to mix and match • Made-to-measure units available • Planned, delivered and installed by specialists
The German company Häcker tick all the boxes. They have beautiful kitchen design concepts, a great reputation for quality and durability, and they deliver a specialised installation service that is smooth, reliable and, because meticulously planned, surprisingly quick.
Häcker light-up drawers • No external electrical supply needed • Automatic time-out if drawer is left open too long • Many options and finishesThe kitchen we’ve shown here, in the classicArt series, has clean, handle-less lines in lacquer for a sleek look. A deft design touch is to add the softness of wood to steer the kitchen away from the overly-clinical.
The base unit height is 72cm, but there are numerous unit sizes and plinth heights to choose from, giving a fascinating array of cabinet configurations, and a wide choice of fittings and accessories. All the materials used are high quality, hard wearing and easy care, resulting in a kitchen that is built to work perfectly and look good for many a long year.
An ingenious extra provided by Häcker Kitchens are light-up drawers. These are equipped with LEDs, usually side-mounted, that illuminate the contents when you pull the drawer open.
Falmec are an Italian company that make cooker hoods and nothing but cooker hoods. Their dedication to this usually unglamorous piece of kitchen hardware has lead them to make a number of breakthroughs, including the NRS system that reduces the noise of the hotte considerably.
Falmec Zephiro cooker hood • No externally-evacuating flue needed • The bonus of increased air purity in the kitchen • Automatic “pollution” sensorsNow they have come up with a “hood” that cleans and purifies the air in the kitchen as well as getting rid of cooking smells. The Falmec E.ion™ system uses ionisation to do the air cleaning. This makes for a very green piece of kit, as there is no need for an external flue and the powerful, energy-eating motor to pump the air out through it.
Freeing the hood from large-scale piping means that it can “float” above the cooking area suspended on steel wires, with a simple electrical connection fed in via the ceiling.
As you can see from the model here, the Zephiro, Falmec have also succeeded in transforming the mundane but necessary into something more akin to a work of art. The Zephiro is clad in either white or black matt glass, LED lighting, and easy touch controls. In common with the other models in the series, it has four speeds as well as an automatic mode, which when engaged sets about its air-purifying business independent of any cooking activity. The grease filter can be cleaned in a washing machine.
Gaggenau automatic hob • One “cook-anywhere” surface • Takes all sizes of pans • Touch-screen controls with intuitive functionsThe benefits of the electrical induction method of cooking are clear. Heat is generated directly into the base of the pan, meaning a greatly increased speed of cooking. Induction cooking uses less electricity than the traditional radiant kind. Also, of course, ceramic hobs are easy to keep clean.
The kitchen equipment magicians at Gaggenau have come up with a remarkable invention: a ceramic hob the whole surface of which can be used for cooking. You can place your pan anywhere on the surface and the hob instantly and automatically recognises the position, size and type of the vessel. A whacking 4.4kW of power is available for the largest pots. The hob is equipped with a touch control and is finished off with a stainless steel trim.