Show your kitchen some love
Remodelling is, without doubt, the best way to create a new look for your kitchen.
Imagine it: new flooring, gleaming countertops, updated cabinets, a stylish sink, heck, you can even change the layout if you want, maybe add a kitchen island... Sounds great does it not?
Well, guess what? It is also the best way to declare bankruptcy (pardon the melodrama, but the truth is that remodelling will cost you more than just “a pretty penny”).
If you can work a remodel into your budget, then by all means go for it.
However, if a remodel is not quite in your kitchen’s near future but you feel that it is still in desperate need of a facelift, do not fret; there are other ways.
This one is pretty simple and obvious; a new coat of paint will do wonders, so do not hesitate, get right to it.
If you are looking for less “obvious” and more “interest” (at a higher cost, of course), consider using patterned tiles halfway down your wall; just make sure it complements the colour of the paint above it.
Installing new cabinetry is no cheap affair, so why not treat your cabinets to a fresh coat of paint instead.
Black will heighten the sophistication in a modern kitchen, yellow will bring a burst of sunshine, and red (a bold but rewarding choice) will help you work up an appetite.
White is a great choice for those who would rather go bold, and the sanitary feeling is definitely a bonus. Whatever colours you choose, make sure they suit you and your kitchen.
When it comes to finishes, silk vinyl is your best bet; it’s easy to clean and has a muted sheen. However, before you go about painting your cabinets, make sure that they can take paint.
If they have a real wood surface, they will. If not, then refacing them is a great alternative.
Contract a carpenter to remove the doors and reface them and the exposed faces of the cabinet with a veneer of your choice.
This option also gives you a greater variety; wood veneers and plastic laminates are available in various finishes.
Another simple way of updating your cabinets is changing the hardware; new drawer pulls and doorknobs in brushed nickel or pewter, or with sleek lines and unusual shapes, will make a great difference.
These small details can easily make or break the unity in a space, so make sure the fixtures used on the cabinets have a similar finish as the faucets, doorknobs, and hinges.
New lighting is a great way to bring new life to your kitchen. Many old kitchens have only one overhead fixture, but these do not often provide enough light.
To supplement this, consider adding recessed or pendant lights to improve the general lighting.
Getting rid of the clinical feel that the usual fluorescent tube that runs across the centre of the ceiling gives in favour of warmer lights will cosy up your kitchen.
If there are features in your kitchen you would like to accentuate, instal directional lighting that will best do this.
Wall sconces are a great way to add ambient lighting; do not forget to add the much needed but often forgotten task lighting underneath the overhead cabinets.
Overall, make sure that whatever lighting you instal works with the style of your kitchen.
This refers to the wall area between your overhead cabinets and your lower cabinets.
It covers a small area but plays a vital role in the look of the kitchen, often tying together the countertops and cabinets.
Try replacing an old backsplash with glass, ceramic, or mirror tiles or even a chalkboard — a creative choice that allows you to jot down recipes and to-do lists.
Art and accessories
Kitchens are the perfect place to display fun and quirky pieces of art, so try to avoid the generic painting of fruits or vegetables and go for something a little more unexpected.
For that homey ambience, go for fridge magnets with interesting shapes or quotes, art by children, and anything else that is bound to put a smile on your face.
Clean, fix and de-clutter
1. No matter how new and sparkly your fixtures and fittings look, a dirty kitchen is still going to look dirty, so set aside some time to clean up all dirt, grime, or muck that has lodged itself in every nook and cranny it could find.
2. Fix any leaks and reseal any cracks that will give your new-look kitchen a bad name.
3. If it looks cluttered, it probably is. If you cannot remember the last time you used it, then you probably do not need it. If you have got two of each appliance, both of which are in working order, then one has to go. You will thank me once you’ have sold them and have a little extra cash in your pocket.
Make sure that at the end of the day, your kitchen makes you smile. For the space that is most often abused and aesthetically neglected (more because it is not often in the public eye than for any other reason), it could definitely benefit from a bit of love.