The kitchen. In many ways the most important part of your home. While we lounge in the lounge and sleep in the bed, the kitchen has become the main focus of a home over the years. While 70 years ago the kitchen was used purely as a place for cooking, with new designs, and the reduction in living space due to new house designs, the kitchen is a place to cook, eat and socialize. Any student house party will show you that the action always gravitates towards the kitchen and doesn’t let up until everyone is ready to go home. In short, what I’m saying is that your kitchen has become more essential to your home style than ever before, and when it comes to giving your kitchen an upgrade, there are many approaches you can take. Do you go rustic? Are you going to follow the trend and go modern? Are you going to make the kitchen the open-plan hub of activities? Whatever your thoughts are, making sure that you know the best approaches for upgrading your kitchen to give your home a boost in value is essential. In fact, a well-designed kitchen can add between five and eight percent to the value of your home. The kitchen is a deal-breaker when it comes to purchasing a home. If you are planning on doing your kitchen up, here are some ideas to take on board.
The “Burning” Question
When it comes to cooking up a new kitchen, you need to ask yourself, do you want to update your existing kitchen or would you want to start all over again? If you look at your kitchen, and you don’t plan on moving, then you are free to put your own stamp on the space. But if you are hoping to add value to the home before you sell it for a tidy profit, giving your kitchen a major overhaul is not the recommended approach, as people want to put their own stamp on the place, and if people are buying a home, they will not want to plough more money into redesigning a brand new kitchen. Start with the layout, is there any benefit to ripping everything up and starting again? Only change it if you really see a benefit. If you are looking to make changes to a kitchen, then going for the more superficial changes will give a better impression of the style you want to put across.
If you are looking at kitting out your kitchen, you need to think about how you use your kitchen. What is your whole style when it comes to how you use your kitchen? So, what elements do you want to be near to each other? Does the fridge need to be near to the cooking station, so you don’t have to be doing endless laps around the space when preparing food? Which part of the kitchen will you need the most worktop space, next to the oven for ease of transporting the goods from surface to oven? How many utensils do you have? Are you trigger-happy with your whisks and need more storage space than you have at the moment? What do you usually use your kitchen for? For example, do you have many dinner parties, or do you have young children that try and pull everything out of the cupboards? So, do you want somewhere to keep the conversation flowing such as a table or a massive surface that people can all sit around, or do you need a space to keep the kids occupied and where you can see them? The common layouts for kitchens are as follows:
The L-Shaped Kitchen: This is where the surfaces run along two walls and are next to each other. If you have an open-plan space or want to give that illusion of more space if the rest of your home is on the smaller side, this option can be for you.
The U-Shaped Kitchen: This covers three walls. If you require a lot of storage space for utensils but do not have the physical space to accommodate, this is a good method.
The G-Shaped Kitchen: A very practical approach to kitchens as everything is very easily reached. The G-Shape also offers lots of work space and storage options due to the number of surfaces that it needs to cover.
One Wall Kitchen: A common approach used in smaller flats where the need to make more of the space is an essential. If you are looking to create an open-plan area but you haven’t got the room for a separate room, having a kitchen that runs along one wall is a practical method.
A Kitchen Island: Having an “island” in the middle of the kitchen is a handy storage space which can double up as a work surface, and the centralised location of the space means it can be a space for eating, like a breakfast bar, and in a dinner party situation it really comes into its own.
A Galley Kitchen: This is where the kitchen units run along two walls facing each other. A standard for small houses where another room needs to be accessed beyond the kitchen.
This is where you may start to give yourself licence to buy the fridge that you’ve always wanted or the worktop with remote control capabilities, but the peril in wanting that big American-style fridge freezer which has the ability to make ice is that it may stick out like a sore thumb, stylistically and in the physical sense. So planning your kitchen around your large appliances is a must for creating a kitchen space that is pleasing aesthetically but also uses the space well.
If you are planning on creating a kitchen that is modern and has all the cutting edge tools and appliances, one appliance that has people marveling every time they see it, is having automatic boiling water come out of a tap. Companies like Tap Warehouse install boiling water taps, and it is incredibly handy if you have a baby and you need to make up feeds in the middle of the night without waiting for the kettle to boil, it is something that can be installed to add value to your home or to make life that much easier.
Many people like to show that they are an active baker or cooker, and if you are looking to give that impression, having the more niche cooking appliances on show really adds something. If you are a keen baker, maybe having a breadmaker handy will save you plenty of time. And with health-conscious people, a food steamer is a bulky, yet necessary addition to the modern kitchen.
Upgrading On A Budget
When it comes to upgrading any part of your home, you need to operate on a budget that is sensible. If you need a brand new kitchen but your budget can’t stretch to it, then there are ways around it without it breaking the bank in the process.
Get Painting: Giving your walls or doors a splash of paint is a lot easier on the wallet than getting a whole new kitchen, and it can add a new vibrancy that you had not noticed before. When painting, make sure that you use an oil-based paint or a latex one and prepare the surfaces according to the instructions. Or if you aren’t on a really tight budget you can hire a tradesperson.
Create A Feature Wall: A wonderful way to add some character, you can use tiles or wallpaper to create a focal point. Or you can use a splashback to really add something else to the kitchen aesthetic.
Update Your Worktops: There are local kitchen manufacturers and companies that can provide new worktops and unit doors for much less than it would cost to completely redo your kitchen, and also add a new look to your kitchen.
Use Lighting: Using different lighting can add an atmosphere to the kitchen that wasn’t there before. If you have a small kitchen, using pendant lights can give a warmer element to a cozy surrounding, while using spotlights in a larger kitchen can give a modern addition to an already contemporary kitchen.
Change Your Flooring: Wood and stone are an incredibly expensive material, changing an old flooring for an affordable material such as vinyl will give you an image makeover. Laminate flooring is popular due to it being very easily cleaned, so whatever your budget, there is a style of flooring to keep you in pocket.
Add Some Tiles: Another cheap option to give your kitchen a new image, which you can put behind the cooker or around the whole kitchen can update an old, tired looking kitchen. Choosing to sparingly put colorful ones alongside plain white tiles gives a very intriguing and striking look.
Kitting out your kitchen does not have to be as much of a chore as drying the dishes, but if you are looking for an environment that is a talking point of your home but is also a place where you can hold successful soirees or gatherings, the kitchen is the first place to start to giving your home a major overhaul.