If any place in your house deserves the title “multipurpose,” it's your kitchen. Where else can you cook, eat and chat at the same time? Your coveted kitchen space undoubtedly receives some heavy foot traffic, so it’s worthy of an upgrade. This step-by-step guide to transforming your kitchen from average to awesome was designed around chef specifications for a kitchen worthy of a foodie. Enjoy!
Plan the Design First
Ideally, you should ask a professional to help you with this. But if that's not an option, here are some questions to ask before doing anything else:
- How do you want your kitchen to change, exactly? Do you want it to be more functional, more modern or a combination of the two?
- What do you mostly use the kitchen for? Is it only for cooking and eating, or are you finding yourself hosting "kitchen parties" more and more?
- How much are you willing to pay to renovate your kitchen?
Once you have clear answers to those questions, the rest of the design process will be much easier. Again, it's better to ask a designer for help, to know whether your idea is doable or could be improved.
Invest in Cabinetry
When people enter your kitchen, one of the first things they notice is the cabinetry. It accounts for a large portion of the space, and – depending on the type of wood used – lends character to your kitchen. To figure out the best cabinet style and material, it's important to learn how to mix wood tones.
Balance Aesthetics and Utility
If that shiny new oven looks out-of-place with everything else, consider buying another piece that complements the rest of the design – but is still useful for your purposes. This is especially important for kitchenware and cookware. Buy individual pieces that work best with your kitchen’s design and décor.
Give Your Kitchen a Unique Ambience
Simply because your kitchen is part of an open plan doesn’t mean it should be indistinguishable from the rest of your home. To give your kitchen a different ambience, install lights that contrast with those of adjacent rooms. Install lights overhead, under the counter or anywhere else that needs illumination.
Consult a Professional
Before you consult a professional, do your own research. The best place to start is your social circle: Ask your friends, family and acquaintances if they can recommend anyone. Then, whittle down your choices by asking the following questions:
- Do you specialize only in design? Can you handle construction and renovation?
- Given [insert your budget here], can you work with my design idea? Or can you suggest something else within my budget?
- What are your credentials? How long have you worked in your field?
- If I hire you, how long will the project take?
- May I request a list of references?
Try to have at least three people on your final contact list. That way, if your first choice turns out to be a dud, you won't end up scrambling for back up.
Avoid Wasting Space
That large, empty countertop might look better stacked with plates, utensils and other kitchenware. You don't want a cramped kitchen, but you don't want one with more room than you need, either.
Treat your kitchen with the same respect as the rest of your house. That way, your kitchen will also respect you by providing a cool, cozy environment in return.