If you want to improve your kitchen but don’t know where to start, we’ve got some great ideas to help you give the space a makeover.
It doesn’t matter how small or how big your budget is, as we’ve got suggestions for budgets of all sizes.
1. It could be a great idea to dedicate some time to sorting through your existing cupboards. Try to bin anything that’s out of date or has been damaged. If you have a million and one pans but only use the same few, this might be a good time to give some away or bin those that have seen better days.
2. Next, you could try to categorise items into things you use every day; things you use every week; things you use every few months and things you use once a year. The items you use most frequently need to be stored close to hand and those you use once a year, like Christmas tableware, can be packed away. Hopefully moving things around will improve the usability of your kitchen and help you find items more easily in your cupboards.
3. If you have some spare plastic containers, why not label them and use them to group items together? For instance, you could put all your cleaning cloths and sprays in one tub; put all your ketchups, sauces and condiments in one and all your BBQ utensils in another. That way you can easily grab the tub required from your cupboard without having to spend ages sifting through to try and find the items you require.
4. Just something as simple as clearing your worktops and giving everything a good clean could improve how your kitchen looks.
5. If you can, why not paint the walls of your kitchen? You could choose a bold colour to add vibrancy or, if you only have a small kitchen, painting it in a pastel shade may make it seem bigger.
6. You could make a stencil out of an old coaster or a piece of sponge and use it to decorate a plain roller blind with any leftover paint.
7. If your kettle, toaster, tea, coffee and sugar pots don’t match your new colour scheme and you can’t afford to buy everything new, maybe just invest in a matching or neutral kettle as you can store the rest in your cupboards and just bring them out as-and-when you need them.
8. If you’re fed up with how your kitchen units look cosmetically but can’t afford to rip them out and get new ones, why not consider painting the doors and adding new door handles? This could be a great solution if the carcasses are still in good condition and you have the time to prepare and treat the doors. Alternatively you could spend a bit more cash and buy brand new doors in a different style from the same DIY shop/supplier you bought the kitchen units from originally. Just make doubly sure you measure up carefully so that the new doors will fit.
9. If you need more cupboard space why not purchase a couple more kitchen units to add to your current units if you have the room? You could also add some shelving or kitchen hooks.
10. As well as painting your walls, you could add a feature wall. If you do, make sure you choose a wallpaper that’s especially designed for kitchens as it needs to be heat- and steam-resistant.
11. You could buy a roller blind to match your new paint colour/feature wall, which may help brighten up your windows.
12. Choosing some accessories to go with your new-look kitchen can be great fun. As well as purchasing the basics, you could add an attractive knife block, chopping board, new clock, some nice potted plants … the world is your oyster.
13. If you want a dramatic change and have the budget available, you could have your current kitchen ripped out and a new one put in. You may wish to consider having a different layout that works better for you. If you need more worktop space, you might want to add more kitchen units and/or an island, for example. Another thing to think about is the ‘golden triangle’ of the kitchen. This is the rule that your most commonly-used kitchen appliances – the fridge-freezer, oven and sink – should be equal distance away from each other. So, you might have your fridge on one wall, your sink on another and your oven on another. If this is not currently the case, a refit could allow you to achieve this – although keep in mind that re-routing gas and water pipes can push the cost up significantly.
14. If you wish to have more kitchen units but simply don’t have the space you could ask a qualified builder to knock down a wall or two to create a kitchen-diner, or consider getting an extension.
This could increase the overall value of your house, as housing expert Phil Spencer explained to The Telegraph: “If you are only going to improve one room, make it the kitchen. This has now become the showpiece area of the home. We don’t just cook in it, we do homework in it, we watch television in it and hold dinner parties there. The number one priority is creating a handsome and efficient work surface and ensuring easy access between the three points of the kitchen triangle, that is, the sink, fridge and cooker (high street kitchen firms have got surprisingly good at drawing up designs). Install equipment that is as up to date as possible, so it won’t look outmoded in 10 years. And make sure the price bracket of your kitchen matches the price bracket of your house. There is no point putting a £25,000 kitchen in a £250,000 house; you won’t see your money back. Equally, put a £10,000 kitchen in a £1 million house, and you will drag down the value. Typically, a new kitchen will add 4.6 per cent on to the value.”
15. If you decide to extend your kitchen so it becomes a kitchen–diner, why not consider buying a new dining table set too? There are a vast array of different styles available – you could opt for a farmhouse style wooden table with benches, a super stylish metal table with a glass top and matching chairs, an ultra-modern plastic table with stools … whatever your style you are bound to find the perfect dining table set for your family. Alternatively, you could use the extra space created by the extension as a family chill-out zone and opt for a sofa and TV rather than having a dining table and chairs.
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By Sarah Symons