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How to renovate your kitchen… without breaking the bank

Voice Of EU



Tips and tricks for a kitchen refresh: There’s no need to spend a fortune on transforming the most popular room in the home

  • Kitchen redesigns can easily become very expensive – but they don’t need to be
  • Adding custom fronts to budget-friendly Ikea cabinets creates a bespoke look
  • Opting for open storage is cost-effective and puts favourite items on display
  • Replacing taps, handles and door knobs can also refresh a kitchen for less 

The temptation to spend a small fortune on a new or renovated kitchen is hard to resist. But a configuration that works hard and looks good need not be out of reach.

The key is to plan your layout, customising in places and saving in others. 

Opting for quality cabinet fronts can elevate an off-the-peg kitchen to something special, while high-end handles and tapware can transform a space from average to appealing.

In tune with nature: Kitchen cupboard doors in olive from which can work with Ikea cabinetry

In tune with nature: Kitchen cupboard doors in olive from which can work with Ikea cabinetry

Cupboard love

Combining standard kitchen carcasses and cabinets, such as Ikea’s Metod range, with custom-made fronts is an economical approach. 

HØLTE pairs crafted wood veneer or durable, coloured fronts with Ikea units (from £6,100).

‘Bespoke cabinets can bring so much individuality to a project, whether it’s a wine rack on the back of an island, or slimline wall cabinets with reeded glass sliding doors,’ says co-founder Fiona Ginnett.

‘A good kitchen needs to flow — work with what you have. We always start by zoning the space to establish areas for cleaning, cooking and prep. 

Make a list of the appliances you want to accommodate and find the ideal place for them to give a solid skeleton around which to build the cabinetry.’

Try its High Ford range, whose wood or matt coloured fronts offer warmth and a contemporary feel.

Custom Fronts majors in streamlined, sustainable designs inspired by nature and created to work with Ikea cabinetry too, from £1,486.

‘Forget trends,’ says Custom Fronts founder Rachel Carroll. ‘Think about how you live and what your needs are.

‘Consider colours in your local nature spots that make you feel good and incorporate those tones.’

Rustic look: Open shelves with glass storage jars add a farmhouse feel to your kitchen

Rustic look: Open shelves with glass storage jars add a farmhouse feel to your kitchen

Canny updates

Whatever the size of your space, storage planning is key to a good-looking kitchen. A balance that combines drawers, pull-outs and traditional cabinets will make prepping and cooking effortless.

‘If your budget only stretches to an entry level design, opt for a neutral finish, add interest with eye-catching details, from stylish splashbacks through to paint finishes or display shelving,’ says Kitchen Makers’ Ben Burbidge.

‘With open storage, such as shelves and glass-fronted cabinets, display your favourite plates or glassware.’ 

Display glass jars filled with pasta, fruit and oats on open shelving to add a farmhouse feel to your kitchen. Ikea has Korken 1litre jars from £2.

Instead of ripping out an existing kitchen, try having cabinets resprayed and replacing taps and work surfaces.

‘Opt for tops that have both visual impact and resilience,’ says Graeme Smith at Life Kitchens.

‘Look at materials like quartz for a more cost-effective solution to marble, for example.’

All change

Replacing taps, handles and door knobs can all transform joinery.

Check out the range at Beardmore or Superfront for bespoke alternatives, and Swarf for a modern take.

Flooring-wise, vinyl is chic and affordable, as well as being hard-wearing.

Carpetright’s Mediterranean 575 Nuria, £19.99 per sqm, adds edge to white cabinetry, while Neisha Crosland’s Parquet in Charcoal, £55 per sqm, gives a graphic look.

Savings of the week! Planter


B&M's black New Yorker planter, pictured. It costs £10, down from £16

B&M’s black New Yorker planter, pictured. It costs £10, down from £16

A standing planter adds that certain something to any indoor greenery. 

This three-legged pot is available in a variety of designs to suit your decor.

The medium-sized Iggy copper-coloured metal planter from Oliver Bonas was £29.50; it is now £8.50, a cut of 72 per cent.

At B&M, you will find the black New Yorker planter. 

It costs £10, down from £16, a cut of 37 per cent. 

And a planter from Ferm, comes in black, cashmere, grey and olive is reduced from £209 to £177.70, a 15 per cent cut.

May yours flourish.


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Verdion starts on logistics development in Nettetal (DE)

Voice Of EU



Verdion has started the development of a new €30m logistics facility on the outskirts of Nettetal near the German-Dutch border and Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region. The speculative project is part of the value-add strategy of the Verdion European Logistics Fund (VELF) 1, which invests in last-mile logistics and value-add assets in northern and central Europe.


On completion in Q2 2023, the new facility at Herrenpfad-Sud 40 will offer 21,560m² of Grade A logistics space in up to four units, with 18,575m² of warehousing with 20 loading bays as well as 950m² of office and mezzanine space.


Verdion is targeting a DGNB Gold sustainability certificate for the highly energy-efficient building, which will not be using fossil fuels as a primary energy source and provides charging points for electric vehicles and cycle parking for a carbon-neutral commute. Additionally, the roof and electrical infrastructure will be prepared for solar energy generation. The site itself is located in the established Herrenpfad Sud industrial estate in Nettetal between Monchengladbach and Venlo, directly on the German-Dutch border and within striking distance of Germany’s largest conurbation, the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region.


Florian Stobe, Head of Investment – Germany at Verdion, said: “Within the framework of Verdion’s sustainability strategy, we determined that rather than modernising and extending the existing building as originally planned, a full-scale redevelopment would better serve this market and meet the fund’s ESG standards. We are already seeing a great deal of interest in the new space, based on its strategic location and the strength of demand for last-mile distribution space for customers in the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region. With this strategy in Nettetal and other assets in the VELF 1 fund coming forward, we are creating value at the same time as providing new space in undersupplied markets.”



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LaSalle and Accumulata to develop Munich’s first hybrid timber office building (GB)

Voice Of EU



LaSalle Investment Management, acting in collaboration with ACCUMULATA Real Estate Group, will develop Munich’s first hybrid timber office building. The building is being constructed on behalf of Encore+, LaSalle’s flagship pan-European fund. Situated on Elsenheimerstrasse in the city’s Westend district, the office building will have a floor area of approximately 16,000m². With dismantling of the existing building on site already underway and construction due to begin in the third quarter of this year, the project is scheduled for completion during the first quarter of 2024. Lettings are already being marketed in collaboration with CBRE, the lead estate agent.


Designed by the leading Munich-based architectural firm Oliv Architekten, the asset will provide flexible, multifunctional spaces including a ground-floor café/bistro and landscaped roof terrace, as well as various wellness amenities, including a yoga studio and a relaxation lounge. Tenants will also enjoy bicycle parking, electric charging points and a smart underground car parking facility. Furthermore, the building will provide customisable office units and creative collaboration spaces, ensuring the asset is well-positioned for the future.


In terms of its environmental credentials, the project meets the highest sustainability standards across all areas, including construction, materials and operations. Having already received a DGNB “Platinum” precertification, the asset will be constructed using concrete reclaimed from the existing building currently situated at this location. All materials used in construction will be documented in a material passport, showing where and how the various components were sourced and installed, ensuring they can be repurposed at the end of their service life. These measures are projected to reduce embodied carbon by up to 25%. Embodied carbon will be low at 366kg CO2e/m², significantly below the RICS Building Carbon Database (offices) average benchmark of 1291kg CO2e/m².


The use of timber in the building’s load-bearing structure will ensure that approximately 1,100 tonnes of carbon will remain stored in the building fabric, rather than emitted into the atmosphere. During the course of the asset’s lifespan, emissions associated with the building’s operation will be reduced by 65% in comparison to a typical office building through the integration of a photovoltaic system, efficient heating, cooling and ventilation systems and the use of a ground water heat pump. The building will also harvest and store rainwater, supplying irrigation systems for the benefit of surrounding green areas.


David Ironside, Fund Manager of Encore+ at LaSalle Investment Management, commented: “This is an industry-leading and best-in-class project. The first of its kind in Munich, its design in accordance with circular economy principles and resource-conserving operation will serve as a benchmark in sustainable real estate. Located in one of the most sought-after office submarkets in Munich, the property will be extremely well placed to meet the ever-evolving demands of future tenants around sustainability, quality, amenities and infrastructure while providing attractive long-term returns for our investors.”


Markus Diegelmann, Managing Partner at ACCUMULATA Real Estate Group, added: “The start of demolition marks an exciting first step in the development of what will be one of the most sustainable office projects in Munich. At ACCUMULATA, we aim to promote the concepts of urban mining and the circular economy within the construction sector and this project is firmly aligned with this objective. By utilising ultra-high-quality and recyclable materials, we are creating an office building that can meet occupiers’ shifting requirements, both in terms of flexible working environments and sustainability standards.”


Georg Illichmann, Managing Director at CBRE GmbH, said: “As the first hybrid timber office building to be constructed in Munich, the project achieves all the modern-day requirements tenants demand from office buildings: easy accessibility to public transport, sustainability credentials and working spaces that promote communication, creativity and innovation. The building’s use of timber, unique to the Munich office market, will not only support the building’s sustainability credentials but also the wellbeing of occupiers. At CBRE, we are proud to be leading on the marketing of this unique asset and be involved in ground-breaking project in the German real estate market as the lead estate agent.”

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Cain provides €99.7m for London office development (GB)

Voice Of EU



Cain International has agreed an €99.7m (£86m) development loan with BauMont Real Estate Capital  and YardNine for the development of a 95,000ft² highly sustainable, best in class office-scheme at 100 Fetter Lane in central London known as ‘Edenica’. The asset was acquired by BauMont in January 2021 with development partner, YardNine. Located in City Mid-town, in close proximity to Farringdon, the development benefits from easy access to the newly opened Elizabeth Line via Farringdon, as well as City Thameslink and Chancery Lane stations, with a diverse range of cultural, leisure, retail and educational amenities nearby.


The asset received planning consent in September 2021 for the delivery of a new 12-storey development, with over 8,000ft² of roof gardens, a new pedestrian route and garden square at ground level, alongside more than 230 cycle spaces. In addition to the light filled workspace the scheme will include a new café and F&B uses.


The building, situated at 100 Fetter Lane, has been named ‘Edenica’, a reference to the extensive outdoor spaces which form part of the scheme and adjoin it. The project is targeting the highest environmental standards of BREEAM Outstanding, WiredScore, SmartScore and WELL certifications.  Sustainability, technology and wellbeing are extensively incorporated into the design. This includes voluminous office space with clear heights of over 3 metres, openable windows to enable mixed-mode ventilation, extensive planted terraces to encourage biodiversity and provide significant external breakout spaces, facilities to encourage active modes of travel, and high-performance 100% electric building designed with the Waterman Group to ensure the building uses as little energy as possible and achieves Net Zero carbon emissions in use. Construction work has commenced on site and the scheme is due for completion in Summer 2024. 


Tanja Yerolemou-Ennsgraber, Senior Vice President – Real Estate Finance at Cain International, said: “We are excited to partner with an experienced sponsor and developer duo, joining their journey to deliver a best-in class office scheme. The project embraces the needs and desires of the future occupier, being mindful about their experience and bringing it to the fore. BauMont and YardNine have successfully unlocked a fantastic development opportunity and we are pleased to bring our construction financing expertise to the table and see Edenica unfold.” 


Damien Pasini, Director at BauMont Real Estate Capital said: “Following the recepit of planning permission last year, securing development financing is another significant milestone for 100 Fetter Lane. We look forward to working with Cain and YardNine to deliver a highly sustainable and innovative workplace in one of Central London’s most vibrant submarkets.”

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