A kitchen is one of the hottest spots in every home, regardless of the lifestyle and habits of people living in it. Even if you are not so fond of cooking and prefer to eat out all the time, you are likely to spend much time in this room: drinking your morning coffee, making sandwiches for a lunch at the office or enjoying some goodies after a hard work day.
Consequently, if this room is uncomfortable or uninviting, that badly affects the quality of your life. That is why, when it comes to home remodeling, many people start with a kitchen.
However, there is one more reason. A kitchen is a room that gets out of order faster than other areas of a home, especially when it is actively used for cooking and dining.
By the way, experts claim that kitchen remodeling or renovation is a must, if you plan to sell a house or to rent it out. A newly renovated kitchen will enhance the impression of your property and increase its price.
Here are the most advantageous ideas of how to transform a kitchen for the better:
1. Change a layout
If you feel uncomfortable, when cooking or dining in your kitchen, the problem may lie in its layout.
To start with, there are 6 main types of kitchen layouts:
- One wall. If you have a small kitchen and feel that it is too loaded, applying this layout is likely to help you solve that problem. Place all the cabinets and equipment in a line along one wall, and that will free up the bigger part of the room and make it look more airy and spacious.
- L-shaped. This layout will also suit a small kitchen. It is similar to the previous one, but takes a bit more space. Still, if you cannot install all the furniture and equipment along one wall only, there is no other way out, except for partially occupying the adjacent wall. However, many people find it even more convenient.
- U-shaped. This layout provides much space for cooking and storing food, while leaving the center of the room free. Sure, you can use that free spot for creating a dining or socializing zone, if your kitchen is big enough. But keep in mind that in the case of a small kitchen it is much more preferable to use a one wall or L-shaped layout.
- G-shaped. That is also a layout for those, who have large kitchens and spend much time cooking. It is a good choice if you need numerous household appliances and pieces of furniture.
- Galley. In the case of this layout, kitchen equipment and furniture are installed in two parallel lines. That adds a sense of symmetry to a space. Such kitchens look well-organized.
- Island. An island can be used as a working area or as a dining one. It is up to you to decide. Sure, if you want, you can equip such an island with a sink or a range, but that will require making changes to the corresponding utility system, which is associated with additional expenses.
When choosing a new layout, it is crucial to take enough time and to carefully think over the future position of each and every item, so that you do not have to implement any radical changes after remodeling is finished. Take into account the size of your kitchen, so that it does not look overloaded or empty afterwards. Also, make sure that there is enough space for freely walking around. However, the choice of a layout is a matter of taste in the first place.
2. Change the position of equipment or furniture
There is no need to fundamentally change the layout right away. There is a chance that changing the position of a range or a sink will be enough to make the space convenient. Sure, there is a risk that no changes can be introduced without replacing furniture, since its parameters are usually calculated with pinpoint precision and adjusted to the originally chosen layout, so that there are no gaps.
No doubt, it is highly inadvisable to perform such homeworks on your own, especially when it comes to moving sinks or ranges.
3. Create/renovate a socializing area
If you feel that your kitchen lacks coziness, think about finding some place for a zone with a table and a couch (or chairs), where your family will have an opportunity to have meals or just discuss news in a comfortable atmosphere. You can also use this area to rest from cooking or cleaning. Make this socializing/dining space stylish and comfortable. Sure, it should harmonize with the rest of the room, so that the kitchen looks seamless, although a few contrasting details will not go amiss.
4. Consider making an open space
It may seem to be a radical idea, but removing the wall between the kitchen and the living room will make your home look up-to-date. Besides, it will make it much more comfortable for all the members of your family.
Here are some of the advantages of such an open space:
- Both the kitchen and the living room will look more spacious.
- You will not feel cloistered in the kitchen, even if you spend much time there. That may be a serious problem, if you have a big family and are responsible for preparing all the meals for them.
- You will have more time with your dear and near: when cooking, you will see and hear all the other members of your family spending time in the living room. For example, you can watch your kids doing homework and control that process or provide assistance and support. Such remodeling is likely to make a noticeable positive impact on the atmosphere in your family.
- It will be much more convenient to get snacks, when spending time in the living room, since they will be literally within arm’s reach. You can even use that in order to switch to a healthy diet: just replace chips and crisps with fruit and vegetables.
Sure, if you make a decision to create such an open space, you will need to install a powerful extraction system in order to prevent smoke and unpleasant smells from the kitchen to spread around the living room and the whole house. By the way, such an appliance will also protect your furniture from fatty spots.
One more point that is worth mentioning ― in most cases, designers recommend separating a kitchen zone from a living one in some way, for example, with the help of a table, a wide counter or some kind of a partition.
5. Replace your dining table with a bar counter
That’s another method to make a small kitchen seem more spacious. It will easily fit into the smallest kitchen and will suit the interior in almost any style. If your family is not so big or if you have a separate dining room, there is no need to install a large table, which will consume much place.
Besides, a bar counter is a stylish and unconventional detail, which will highlight your sophisticated taste.
By the way, you can install such a counter anywhere: in the center of the room, along the wall or near the window. There are no limits.
6. Apply open shelves
If the kitchen looks overloaded, try replacing some of the closed cabinets with open shelves. That will make the space more airy.
Such open shelves can be used for displaying dishes, glasses and cups or varied tools and appliances, which you need to have ready at hand.
Sure, open shelves require more cleaning efforts, but they will make cooking easier as well.
7. Change a color scheme
For example, if the interior seems to be boring, add a few color splashes or change the main color for a brighter one.
And in case you have a small kitchen, which is equipped with practical dark furniture and painted in dirt-resistant colors, adding at least a few light accents will help it look more airy and bigger. You will feel much more comfortable spending time there, since the feeling of the lack of space will go away.
In fact, there is no need to replace all the furniture or all the finishing materials, you can ask a contractor to install new counters or to change the finishing of the cabinetry, and that will make a significant difference.
8. Add light
If there is just a couple of lamps in your kitchen, it is high time to install additional light sources. That step will both help the room look more spacious and will make a positive impact on its functionality: when all the work zones are properly illuminated, cooking gets easier and more enjoyable.
Besides, due to the use of additional lighting fixtures, you will get an opportunity to change the atmosphere in the kitchen, when needed. For example, if you use small spotlights instead of a central ceiling lamp with bright light, the room will seem cozier and the atmosphere will seem more relaxed. It is ideal for romantic or family dinners. On the other hand, when cooking, you will need the kitchen to be brightly illuminated.
By the way, installing lamps on the ceiling or on the walls is not the only option available; in the case of a kitchen, you can ask a contractor to place fixtures right on the bottom of the wall cabinets or even inside them, if they are rather big and you need extra illumination in order to easily and quickly find items stored there.
One should also note that, in many cases, installing additional lighting fixtures will not require huge expenses.
9. Hide household appliances
If the space looks overloaded with all sorts of tools, hiding them inside the cabinetry is likely to give a completely new look to it. Consider the use of embedded appliances. You can hide almost any kitchen equipment: from an extraction hood to a fridge or a dishwasher.
Such a step is an ideal solution, if you want to create the interior in a classic, vintage or country style, which can be easily spoiled, due to the use of appliances with a high-tech design.
10. Place emphasis on the backsplash
This interior detail is not for protecting the walls from fat and liquids only. You can easily make it one of the key decorative details. It can be made of tiles, painted glass or any other water- and dirt-resistant material: there are almost no limits, but consulting a specialist is a must.
As for its design and style, it can be painted in bright colors, decorated with mosaics or complemented with all sorts of prints. Make it eye-catching and inspiring, so that it puts a smile on your face and help you enjoy cooking to the fullest.
Tips on How to Save on Kitchen Remodeling
- Renovate instead of replacing. If you see that the cabinets haven’t got out of order yet, there is no need to replace them. In case they do not suit the new kitchen design, you can repaint them or change their handles. The same holds for other furniture and interior elements as well.
- Choose materials wisely. If your budget is limited, there is no need to spend money on luxurious and exclusive materials. For example, if you want to cut expenses, you can order kitchen counters made of a suitable synthetic composite material, instead of natural granite or marble. Likewise, when choosing the flooring, you can choose linoleum or laminate instead of natural solid wood. So, compare the specifications of each and every material available and opt for the one, which is characterized by the most advantageous quality-to-price ratio.
- Do not remodel utility systems. For example, if you are choosing between two layouts and one of them involves fundamental changes to the plumbing, opt for another one, that will save you a significant sum of money. Making radical changes to any kind of a utility system is associated with huge expenses. However, it is highly advisable to regularly check the condition of each of them, so that to avoid floods, short circuits and other similar problems. Certainly, if you see that a socket or a water pipe has got out of service, it is highly recommended to fix or replace it without any delays.
- Optimize the cabinetry. If you do not spend so much time cooking, there is no need to pay for multiple cabinets for storing food, dinnerware and cooking tools, stick to a reasonable minimum. Also, keep in mind that open shelves are much cheaper than closed cabinets and do not consume so much space. Besides, in many cases they provide extra convenience.
- Give preference to traditional lighting fixtures instead of recessed ones. The installation of recessed lights involves making holes in the ceiling or in the walls, which means additional expenses.
- Hire a contractor Many people think that turning to a home renovation company will increase the cost of remodeling. But in practice hiring specialists will help you meet the budget and avoid extra expenses. First, experienced specialists will recommend optimal remodeling solutions. Secondly, they can advise you what expenditure items can be reduced without compromising the functionality and durability of the kitchen. Thirdly, you will avoid extra expenses associated with making typical remodeling errors, which often result in material spoilage or other negative consequences. Certainly, as far as you hire specialists, be sure to follow their advice and recommendations.