Along with spring comes a frequent itching to clean out and redesign parts of our homes. The room that often gets most use (and every party ends in) is the kitchen so it parts of it can look tired quite frequently. It is easy to get bored with the look of our kitchens especially if you feel like you spend too much time in there! Cooking should be a joy, a relaxing way to treat and care for you and your family. So make sure your kitchen is somewhere you enjoy being. If it isn’t then there are some easy and cheap ways to give it a lift.
Your cooking area is one of the easiest to redesign because even if you don’t have a big budget, you can get a lot of mileage out of things like cabinet refacing, reorganising cupboard contents and installing new lighting. If you’re not sure where to start the here are some insider tips to help you get the job done.
Before you can make decisions about what you want to re-design, you’ll need to get all of the clutter out of the way. Start by emptying your cupboards. Throw away any expired food, broken appliances and things that you don’t use. You can even make a little money by selling things that are still in good shape. Take a good look around your kitchen – are the work tops crowded with appliances, food and utensils? Tidy as much away as you can. Empty work tops are easier to keep clean they make your kitchen look bigger and they provide the space for low stressed and hygienic food preparation.
If you are running out of space in your cupboards even after your de-clutter then think about wall racks. Magnetic wall strips are great for storing utensils and knives – everything is easy to access but out of the way. Pans and lids can also be stored on metal racks and this frees up loads of space in your cupboards. Don’t forget to use the back of your kitchen door for hanging towels and aprons. You can also buy storage racks suitable for doors which have lots of little pockets – use them for spices, utensils, bags and clips.
Think about how you use kitchen – are the cups near the kettle, are the knives near the area you chop on, are there any annoying niggles you have? Can you re-arrange your contents to make your kitchen easier to use? Consider buying internal shelves, lazy susans, boxes and organisers for your cupboards. A little bit of money here can go a long way making things easier to reach and easier to keep tidy.
Try your hand at cabinet resurfacing
This is a very inexpensive way to make your kitchen look brand new, especially if your cabinets have taken quite a beating over the years. There are myriad ways to resurface, from getting adhesive wood laminate to re-painting. Or if your cabinets are genuine wood, you can add a new coat of stain or paint. If your budget allows, you can even choose to some or all or your cabinet doors and handles to make the entire unit look new. If you are daunted by this job don’t worry. It is actually pretty simple so for detailed information on how to go about this task have a read of this howstuffworks article, there is even a helpful video.
Paint the walls
When you’re done with storage, think on a bigger scale. Walls in kitchens collect grease and dirt quickly and can make the whole room look shabby. Paint all your walls or just one of them for a quick and easy face lift. Start by washing the walls to remove all the oil and grease that comes from cooking. Then, make sure that no matter what shade you go with, the paint is a semigloss latex mixture, which will make future wall cleaning sessions easier. If you want to the space look bigger, choose an accent wall to paint in a different colour.
Many kitchens suffer from poor lighting, this makes preparing food miserable and cooking quite challenging. So if you are doing a kitchen redesign always take into consideration the position of the windows and how much light they let in. Can you change your curtains for a roller blind to let in loads of light? Can you put a mirror on a dark wall to reflect light into the room? It might also be worth seeing if you can install a skylight as this lets lots of natural light in. If putting in new windows is out of the question then think about your lights.
Careful selection of your main central light can really make all the difference to your room illumination. Simply upping the wattage of your bulbs in existing lights can do the trick. But a quality central light fitting can really lift the look of your kitchen and add a style statement. Don’t think cheap IKEA fitting here, pick something that is going to scream quality and style like one of these ceiling lights from John Lewis.
A quick and easy lighting solution is also to add some wall lights or under cupboard lighting. You can buy whole units inexpensively and many of them plug into sockets to make the job of fitting them easy no matter how poor your DIY skills.
Install new flooring
Lastly, don’t forget to look down. New flooring could be one of the easiest home projects you take on this year. Just choose a tile in vinyl or wood tiles that snap together instead of requiring adhesive. These solutions are as easy to keep clean as they are to install, ensuring that you’ll love your new floors from start to finish. Read about the benefits of vinyl flooring in our article, Practical Vinyl.