By Uma Campbell
Before 2020, statistics said that American adults over 18 years old spent an average of 37 minutes per day in the kitchen of their home. Since COVID-19 closed all our doors, we are willing to bet the amount of kitchen-dwelling time has seen a significant hike. The kitchen is the heart of the home, and remodeling your kitchen is proven to provide an 80-100% return on investment when you go to sell your home – but if a more peaceful and functional kitchen space is what you need, there are several things you can do to improve your kitchen without spending a fortune.
1. Expand Storage
“I have too much storage space,” said no one ever. You can always use a bit more storage space in your home. Most of us have cabinets where we store old kitchen utensils, vases or things we aren’t using, but the kitchen should be a useful and well organized place. Create more storage area by reorganizing your kitchen, and consider using it to store things like medication and cleaning products, over things like craft supplies or decorative knick-knacks, that you likely won’t ever be using in your kitchen.
2. Clear Clutter
Clutter in the kitchen is a sign of clutter in your life and thought processes. It’s important to keep your kitchen clutter free and clean, to avoid inviting in bugs and small hungry animals, and also to keep your mind more focused and calm in this area. Expanding your storage may rid your kitchen of some clutter, but attempt to keep countertops as clean and clear of decoration as possible, leaving more room for cooking, eating, and conversation.
3. Refresh the Sink
Your sink is one of the most important features of your kitchen, and where most of the work is done. Replacing or refreshing your existing sink will give your room a whole new feel, and ideally, a more functional sink space. Choosing a more modern or uniquely shaped sink will create a conversation piece for guests, and give your kitchen a once-in-a-lifetime feel.
4. Hang a New Light
Adding light is one of the easiest ways to change the look of a room, in an instant. A decorative light fixture could cost as little as $30, but you’ll find a light for all budgets and styles. All lights are not created equal, so carefully consider all your options. Do you want your new light to create patterns on the wall, or are you more interested in a softer light that is easier on your eyes? If energy conservation is your thing, consider using energy-saving light fixtures and bulbs to lower your energy bill and brighten up your kitchen space.
5. Change your Cooking Range
Your cooking range is a very personal preference. Some prefer the open flame of a gas grill, while others love the sleek look of a glass-top stove. No matter your cooking preference, you can update your range to make cooking easier, and the look of your kitchen easier on the eyes. Many people choose to update their kitchen using range hoods, which are available in a wide variety of colors and styles. Some choose to go with a more eco-friendly propane oven in their kitchen space, saving money and energy cost.
6. Paint the Cabinets
While painting cabinets might seem like a huge job for a professional, it’s actually quite easy to DIY. Most kitchen cabinets are held on with simple screws, meaning anyone with a screwdriver can remove or install them. Take a weekend to remove kitchen cabinet doors, and prime and paint both the doors and your cabinets. Nothing will change the look and feel of your kitchen faster than a bright new color. Try using a “three-color palette,” where you incorporate one unchangeable color (kitchen counters), add a neutral color as a backdrop, and a bright or unique color, for a bit of the unexpected.
7. Change Hardware
The hardware in your kitchen sets the tone for the type of activities you will enjoy there. Installing a sink fixture with an ultra-small, or low-flow tap will send people scurrying to the bathroom for a drink of water, while installing an industrial water spout will make dish cleaning easier and wash-up a breeze. Go with more modern hardware for an easy update, or choose a more traditional look to class up your space.
A small investment in your kitchen, often under $5000, can boost the value of your home, and keep you inspired by the new look and feel. A beautiful kitchen is a welcoming place to share coffee, tea, food, or some of the most important conversations of our lives. Use this summer to make your kitchen a space you can’t wait to get dirty!
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