Category Archives: Home Improvement
“Contemporary” is one of the slipperiest terms in home improvement. It can mean the latest fad or it can represent the decorating themes of the 1950s when the term was first used. Even in the 1950s the term seemed to be an offshoot of space exploration and was dominated by the then futuristic-looking linoleum. For many people, a kitchen is far more than just a place in which food is made, pots and cutlery are washed and pets are fed. To such people, a kitchen can also serve as a reflection of their own individuality and hence a place where, even while busy with chores, they feel truly at home. If you, too, happen to fall into this category, then you should already be aware of the importance of a kitchen’s design in helping to cultivate this area of the house as a warm and welcoming place.
How to Decorate the Contemporary Kitchen
Contemporary kitchen design isn’t a strict philosophy for kitchen decorating. There is no manual or set of rules to follow that will allow you to call your kitchen authentically “contemporary.” There, however, common scenarios and concepts that will inform any contemporary decorating scheme for the kitchen: The touchstone for the contemporary kitchen is handling the chaotic stress of modern life.
Appearances aren’t quite so deceiving Though it should go without saying that different people are often attracted to different types of kitchen design, many people like to have a kitchen that is aesthetically pleasing while still reflecting the unique and immediately recognisable character of the 21st century.
Where to go and what to buy So, now that you have decided that you would like to splash out on a new kitchen of contemporary design, the natural next step should involve finding a suitable retailer of such kitchens, carefully perusing that retailer’s most likely generous range of designs, and then, finally, choosing a kitchen to buy. There are certain pieces of advice that we can give you that should substantially assist you in your plight.
To begin with, you should be highly discerning concerning what retailer you opt for. As you will be spending a substantial amount of money on a kitchen, you do not want to run a great risk of feeling disappointed with the kitchen that you receive. For this reason, turning to a long-established, reputable and relevant retailer like Magnet would be a wise and reliable move.
Secondly, you should carefully study images of your considered kitchens to ensure that their designs not only satisfy your own unique preferences but also effectively complement the visual character of the rest of your residence. The right modern kitchen for you will suit your budget while also wooing guests and offering plenty of 21st century functionality.
How to Design a Contemporary Kitchen
The kitchen triangle (sink, refrigerator, oven range) is still widely observed and accepted as a central component of kitchen design, but the parameters of these work stations are loosening considerably. While a tight-knit work triangle may be best for cooking large family dinners and entertaining, more isolated kitchen stations can also facilitate hectic morning routines. Coffee nooks, built-in wall ovens, and more open kitchen spaces are now more common and more prevalent elements in contemporary kitchen design.
Different Styles of the Contemporary Kitchen
The ambiguous meaning of contemporary also lends itself to subcategories of the decorating style. This mixing and matching of styles can help you understand the kitchen that’s right for you.
- Urban Contemporary: Focuses on materials found in the urban setting. A mix of metal, concrete, and glass gives this kitchen a stark, sleek look. Traditional “warmth” is sacrificed for chic style and no nonsense access.
- Casual Contemporary: Uses softer lines but maintains a streamlined design. Wood and color return without being ornate or formal. Often, the island kitchen works well with this decorating scheme.
- European Contemporary: Employs bolder colors and patterns. These patterns, however, stray from more traditional kitchens with larger contours. Instead of small linoleum tiles, this kitchen will use large stone tiles for floors.
Kitchen Feng Shui is considered to be extremely important as kitchens are one of the most important gathering places for family and friends. If you’ve been considering a kitchen remodel investment, taking a look at some of the guidelines for a Feng Shui kitchen might give you some interesting ideas for your home.
Materials for Kitchen Feng Shui
A Feng Shui ordered kitchen also deals with the actual materials that are found there. Where modern construction and decorating often uses hard corners and metal or synthetic materials, Feng Shui is characterized by rounded edges and natural materials that have been used for hundreds (even thousands) of years. If you are building from scratch, Feng Shui also has suggestions on where doors and running water should be placed.
Kitchen Feng Shui Tips for Organization
Though when most people think of Feng Shui, they imagine adding plants, mirrors, and the like, a lot of the discipline focuses not on adding to what you have, but improving the quality of what is already there. A clean environment is a harmonious environment, which is why Feng Shui teachings recommend that kitchen cabinets be spring-cleaned regularly, and should be well-organized, uncluttered, and easily accessible.
Get rid of all unnecessary clutter because it attracts stagnant chi. You should only have items in the kitchen that are used regularly and do not get in the way. This means that not only will you have easier access to the things you use often, but you’ll probably have more counter and storage space to work with, which will make preparing food and cleaning up easier. Certainly, you don’t have to throw away items that aren’t used often, but if you have an ice cream maker that you only use part of the year taking up valuable cabinet space, it might be a good idea to find a more suitable place to store it.
Things You Must Avoid :
- Avoid placing kitchen near front door of home.
- Avoid a kitchen at center of home.
- Never have a kitchen under a toilet.
- Avoid kitchen directly under a bedroom.
- Avoid keeping soiled utensils and platform overnight.
- Never have a kitchen in North-West of home; if there’s no option then paint the kitchen in blue or black color or change the floor tiles to black color.
- Never place the stove directly in front of kitchen’s entrance door.
- Never ever in any case keep gas stove/burner in North-West of kitchen.
- Avoid kitchen door facing a bedroom, toilet or main door of your home; if there’s no option then place a partition or a sort of screen such that the stove isn’t visible from other doors.
- Always avoid keeping gas stove under a beam; if there’s no option then make a false ceiling to solve this defect. Another – simpler and cost effective – remedy is to place or hang images of clouds, flying birds or a rising hot air balloon on the beam.
- Make sure that the cook doesn’t have his/her back towards the door of kitchen; if there’s no option then place a mirror in such a way that the cook can see the kitchen’s door while cooking. However, make sure that the stove’s flames aren’t reflected in that mirror.
- Make sure not to place kitchen’s entrance in any corners.
- Never face west while cooking in kitchen; this may – and in many cases has – lead to severe health problems to the cook.
- If the cook faces south while cooking then the family faces monetary losses.
Things You Must Follow :
- Try to place the kitchen towards back door of the home.
- Keep the kitchen clean and uncluttered at all times.
- Keep the kitchen well lit and ventilated.
- Face east while cooking in kitchen.
- You can have windows in East or West walls of kitchen.
- Make sure to keep light weight things in East and North of kitchen.
- You can have a sink in North or North-East of kitchen.
- Keep the gas stove/burner a few inches away from wall.
- Keep at least 1-2 feet distance between stove/burner and kitchen sink. If there’s no option then place small plants (Available in Amazon US, IN & CA), pot of herbs or something in green color between stove and sink. You can also place a green color decorative glass panel between stove and sink.
- Point 9 applies for refrigerators too; you must keep 1-2 feet distance between stove and refrigerator in kitchen.
- Repair all leaking taps and faucets in kitchen (or anywhere in your home) else that’ll drain away all money and wealth from the house.
- You can place a dining table in North-West or West of kitchen (if your kitchen is huge).
- Use yellow, orange, rose, chocolate or red as floor and wall colors of kitchen.
These were all the general guidelines that you must follow to have a feng shui compliant kitchen in your home.
Dining rooms are an invaluable part of your home. Whether you’re throwing a party and hosting a business gathering, having a more formal dining area gives your home a much-needed space for elegance and prestige.
Kitchen Nook Design and Placement
For convenience, kitchen nooks are the best choice for placing a nook in your home. Family dining too frequently leads to arguments and grumbling about setting and clearing the table. There’s no guarantee your teenage son or daughter is going to suddenly become cooperative, but the shorter the distance from the kitchen nook to the kitchen sink the easier the dining chores become.
If you don’t have the room directly in your kitchen, chances are you have a place near your kitchen that will accommodate a dining nook and will still give you the benefits of keeping your family dining area separate from your dining room. Many homes have open spaces near the kitchen that aren’t confined by a narrow doorway. Near your bay window can be the perfect place for a dining nook. The angles of the window may cause a traditional kitchen nook to look awkward. A more rounded bench that still approximates the same dining atmosphere can be specifically designed for your home.
Benefits of an Extra Dining Area
You may fear that you’ll never use your dining room and, it’s true, a kitchen nook may probably reduce your use of the room. On the other hand, it’s never a bad idea to have extra dining space. Your kitchen nook can help ensure you have enough seating for family parties and can act as a buffet table for more intimate gatherings. If you haven’t invested in building a home office already, a few minor alterations can turn your dining room into a viable working space.
As much as the kitchen nook may help bring your family together, the extra table is a good idea for more than just food presentation. It will enable different family activities to go on without fighting for space. Whether it’s playing poker, board games, a working space or just a place to sit and talk, your spouse and kids don’t have to fight over where they can hang out with their friends. It sounds simple enough but, a kitchen nook can be an excellent conduit for communication and peaceful coexistence for everybody in your household.
Here are some ideas to inspire the perfect kitchen nook.
A nook is a cozy space designed to provide an intimate meal space for just two or four people. Generally a breakfast nook is tucked away in the corner of a kitchen or within a bay window. If possible, start by adding a padded window seat. This provides you with a great opportunity to show some personality and add some color to your space with an interesting fabric pattern and a few charming pillows.
Next, choose a table. Remember, a breakfast nook is supposed to be small and quaint, so you won’t need a table rivaling the size of your dining room set-up. Generally a nook is not a place for entertaining guests, so a small café table should suffice. Arrange two or three small chairs around the table opposite the window set. If you do not have a window seat, you may choose to add more chairs. However, remember that a breakfast nook can also be one-sided.
Lastly, when decorating your breakfast nook, remember that it does not necessarily need to look like anextension of your existing kitchen decor. As long as it complements the rest of the space, it’s okay to add different colors, patterns and textures to give the space its own identity. In the end, your breakfast nook should be the perfect place to enjoy a hot cup of coffee and a good book.
The kitchen is the most used room in the house. At parties, guests seem almost magnetically drawn to the kitchen. That’s where the food and drinks are, so this makes sense. But before they arrive, when you’re cooking, is your work triangle like the Bermuda Triangle? The work triangle refers to the triangle created between the stove, refrigerator and the sink. Of course all of these areas would be useless without a countertop to work on but still.
Determine the Dimensions
To make the most of your triangle, separate your work stations with the least amount of steps, but with the proper amount of work space. That means the distance between any two appliances should be no less than 3 feet and no more than 7 feet. Total sides of the kitchen work triangle measure no less than 12 feet.
Consider a Galley Layout
In a galley kitchen layout, food is taken from the refrigerator, prepared by the sink and then moved to the range or microwave area for cooking. The aisle in a galley kitchen should measure no less than 4 feet and no more than 6 feet. The dining area is typically located at one end, which helps contain activity at meal time.
Get the Most Efficient Design
The most efficient design is the L-shaped kitchen. This is where two adjacent walls form a natural triangle. This layout offers flexibility in arrangement of kitchen space. If space permits, consider adding an island. This will minimize the work triangle, help define traffic patterns and create a gathering spot.
If you’re limited on space, use a small rolling cart or install a peninsula for an extra work area. If space permits, think about placing a sink and dishwasher or cooktop on the side of the island closest to the work core. The other side can be used to create an eat-up bar.
Work Triangle Basics
Long ago, when designers started paying attention to how kitchens function day-to-day, they realized there was a natural triangle of traffic for whoever was doing the cooking. Through years of research they discovered some figures and principles of sound kitchen design.
No one side of the triangle should be greater than nine feet or less than four feet.
The triangle should not be interrupted by traffic or cabinetry.
The perimeter of the triangle should measure no more than 26 feet and no less than 12 feet.
Getting Started With Your Work Triangle
Get a tape measure and define the actual sides and perimeter of your kitchen work triangle.
- Determine how easy it is to work in your kitchen. If you think it is anything but easy, decide why that is. Are your components too far apart or too close? Is the traffic a mess? Are there islands or cabinets in your way?
- Take stock of the items that could be moved or removed with little expense or effort.
Decide on your budget. Do you have the budget for a total kitchen remodel or only for a small redesign that will help you work better in the kitchen?
Kitchen islands are an incredible addition to many homes and allow homeowners to get the most from large kitchen spaces. However, given that there are as many kinds of kitchen islands out there as there are kitchens, you need to plan how you’re going to design and use your kitchen island. Here are some great kitchen island ideas to get you thinking about how your kitchen island will work for you.
Everyone Loves an Island
Kitchen fads come and go (remember trashmashers?) but customers will always want an island in their kitchen.
The kitchen island is the perfect place to balance congregation and separation, ensuring that hosts can cook and clean while they socialize with their guests. And they can be a great place for kids to do homework under the parents’ watchful eyes.
”Why would you want to prep food with a wall or a cabinet door a few inches from your nose, or eyes for that matter?” says Johnny Grey, renowned Bristish kitchen designer. “An island that faces into the center of the room is the place for prepping and cooking. Sociability is not possible without eye contact.”
Color Adds Variety and Focus
With a contrasting scheme, the island takes on an identity of its own—and makes an interesting focal point. Though the cabinetry might be similar to that of the rest of the kitchen, the island can be given a contrasting shape, color, finish, or countertop material.
Different Counter Heights
An island with a cooktop allows the chef to socialize while making meals. Here, the cook can prepare food on the six-burner cooktop and serve guests sitting on the stools.
If your customers have small children, they might want to think twice about this kind of arrangement. Clumsy kids could easily spill their juice cup from the higher counter down into a sizzling frying pan on the lower level.
A Good Place to Put Appliances
Other appliances that can be tucked neatly away into the island include the dishwasher, microwave, warming drawer, garbage disposal, and beverage center. This 10-foot island allowed the designer to minimize appliances seen at eye level, putting more focus on the character of the cabinetry.
It’s not only appliances that get stowed away in kitchen islands. Large 30-inch-wide drawers on one side hold cookware and linens. The open shelf stores serving dishes.
If your customer likes this design, you might want to warn them that anyone who pulls up a stool or even leans on the countertop is going to want to rest their foot on the bottom shelf, which could cause problems with cleanliness.
There is no hard and fast rule for size, but architect Duo Dickinson recommends that an island be at least 4 feet long and a little more than 2 feet deep, with ample room to move around it. “Unless your kitchen is at least 8 feet wide and more than 12 feet long, don’t even think about an island,” he says.
That means there should be at least 36 inches between and island’s the perimeter and the cabinetry or appliances that surround it. The National Kitchen and Bath Association recommends 42 inches, or 48 inches if two cooks are using the room—not an uncommon situation in many families.
Keep these figures in mind when some one tells you that they just have to have an island in the tiny galley kitchen.
Wine storage at the island is as stylish as it is practical. The racks, along with decorative pineapple feet and a bow front, make this one look like a piece of fine furniture. But with its 4½-by-3-foot butcher-block top, microwave, pull-out trash bin, and multiple drawers for pots, pans, and cutlery, it takes a lot of pressure off the perimeter countertops and storage areas in the kitchen.
Open space underneath an island might seem like a waste, but in a crowded kitchen it’s a great place to stash the stools when no one is sitting on them.
Sink in an Island
One of the beauties of putting a clean-up sink in an island is that there is usually lots of counter space surrounding it for dishes or even bounty from the vegetable garden.
But before your customer gets all excited about an island sink, make sure they know about the added expense of running a vent pipe to a sink that doesn’t back up to a wall. And check with your local inspector to find out what does and doesn’t pass code in your location.
Kitchen Island Lighting Design
The most common mistake most homeowners make with their kitchen island lighting is simply not making it bright enough. This is not the time or place to create a romantic, dimly-lit ambiance. Of course, there can be legitimate reasons for wanting subtle lighting above your kitchen island. For homeowners who tend to get up for a late night snack, they probably don’t want the full force of their daytime lighting fixtures shining into their sleepy eyes. Light dimmers are the perfect kitchen island idea for this situation. A three-light pendant or track lighting setup with a dimmer switch will provide the versatility you need for both general and task lighting, sufficient light during the day and a dimmer substitute for the wee hours of the morning. Naturally, lighting fixtures are available to match not only kind of kitchen decor, but the size and shape of your kitchen island as well.
Kitchen Island Cabinets
Kitchen island cabinets are a must for most homeowners and kitchen islands. Storage is almost always an issue in the kitchen, and kitchen island cabinets are a great way to alleviate this problem. The number and size of cabinets are naturally a function of need. For a kitchen island used mostly for cooking, large cabinets are probably the best idea to store larger kitchen items and appliances. For island used for sitting areas and extra counter space, a variety of cabinets can help you store your kitchen items most effectively.
Other Kitchen Island Ideas
- Adding a butcher block in the middle of your kitchen island counter.
- Installing a stove or oven into your kitchen island.
- Using your kitchen island as a home wet bar.
- Install elements of decorative storage such as wine racks or open shelving.
We sometimes find that people are surprised at the cost of installing an open air kitchen. The fact is that it is a substantial investment — for good reason. If you look at an outside kitchen, you will realize that installing one is every bit as much of an investment as replacing your indoor kitchen — sometimes more, if you are including a roof or other structural elements.
Adding an outside kitchen is really adding an addition to your home. Expect to budget at least $10,000 for a good basic kitchen for your outdoors. Of course, if you have the budget and the imagination, the sky’s the limit from there.
Much depends upon your taste and your expectations; for example a high-end grill unit can cost $10-15,000 by itself. However, if you love spending a lot of time outside and it enhances your lifestyle, it’s worth the expense!
Are you looking for some upscale kitchen designs that can add a modern feel to your kitchen, being useful at the same time? If yes, then you’re in luck! We have picked out some of the most useful yet trendy kitchen additions which will not only enhance the beauty of your kitchen but will amp up the functionality as well.
IN-WALL MICROWAVE OVEN
People are often found pondering over a question that, ‘what’s so special in an oven installed in a wall? Well, those who make several dishes at a time can easily understand the importance of an in-wall oven. There is no use placing an oven at a spot that is not easily accessible to the cook. This is where a wall oven comes in! An in-wall microwave not only provides quick access to the cook but it also makes more space on the countertops, reducing the clutter and maintaining the beauty of your kitchen. There’s also something to be said for the extra elbow room that comes with having a range located away from the oven if you plan on preparing several foods at once. Another bonus: Wall ovens with more than one compartment can make baking multiple items at different temperatures far more convenient (and with the convection, steam, and rotisserie options available, possibly faster or even healthier, too!)
Homes are often built with spacious kitchens but not every home has extra closets or storage spaces. Pantries are considered as one of the most upscale kitchen designs these days, because they add the much needed extra space in the kitchen. Cabinets often fall short on space when it comes to storing each and every kitchen item and this is when homeowners turn to the kitchen pantry. Pantries are often considered as a storage space used for storing dry food items but the use of a kitchen pantry is not that limited. Rarely used supplies and kitchen appliances can also be stored in a pantry to prevent the items from cluttering on the countertops.
Homeowners don’t consider the ventilation system as a kitchen addition, but in reality, vents are among the most important and useful additions in home and must never be overlooked. The food cooked in our kitchens smells heavenly tempting at the very moment, but it might not seem healthy after a day or two. Lack of proper ventilation in kitchens is the main cause of bad odors all over the place. However, an efficient ventilation system can play a major role in eliminating the contaminants and odor from the kitchen, making the place all neat and healthy again.
The promises of the 1950’s have finally been fulfilled. With large capacities, serious cleaning power, and even separate compartments, today’s dishwashers are truly the time savers we’ve always dreamed about. With enough cleaning power to tackle even baked on food without scrubbing, everything you use to cook or eat can go directly in and come out clean. Even better, many newer dishwashers can provide all this while still being more energy-efficientthan the model you currently have!
HANGING POT AND PAN RACKS
For many homeowners, the path to pots and pans is full of obstacles and falling objects. The solution: get your cookware out of the cabinet and into plain view. A single large pot rack suspended over an island or several smaller racks placed around the room makes finding the right tool for the job less of a hassle and gives you more storage space, to boot. While wall mounted pot racks are generally a drop in the bucket, prices for hanging pot racks can get pretty expensive. However, in just a few minutes online, we found several options for under $100 (and even a few under $50).
A kitchen island is yet another useful kitchen addition that works best for increasing the counter space especially in smaller kitchens. A kitchen island can be used as a primary countertop for preparing food, while the other countertop can be utilized as a secondary option for placing all those kitchen appliances that are used on a regular basis such as the mixer, juicer, toaster etc. However, a kitchen island can also work as a seating area for your guests or a homework space for your kids.
In older homes, a room makeover is often necessary not just to improve appearances but to increase functionality as well. A room makeover can spruce up the look of a dingy den, but it could also make a living room or study more technology friendly. In no place in the home, however, does a room makeover make more sense than in a kitchen. Older kitchens often lack the space and storage that the modern kitchen requires, not to mention the amenities that many new homeowners take for granted.
Kitchen Makeovers for Appearance
When you already have all the things you want and need in your kitchen, a skin-deep change is often all that’s necessary.
Countertops are one place where a kitchen makeover can have a very noticeable effect, without the need to pull anything up or tear anything down. After years of use, countertops can look pretty sad; getting stained, stabbed, and sliced for decades can really take its toll. Many different countertop materials can be installed directly over the existing countertop in an hour or two. The measurements are taken, the material is decided upon, then the new counter is fashioned to slide right on with no mess or hassle.
Cabinets are what a kitchen makeover is all about. There are so many different cabinet options that you’re sure to find one that suits your needs and tastes. Even if you don’t replace the entire cabinet structure, some spiffy new doors and hardware can change the feel of the room for the better, without the high price or long labor.
Flooring is subjected to a lot of wear and tear, and it can get downright ugly after years of traffic. If you’re lucky enough to already have some good hardwood in your kitchen, you may want to have it stripped and refinished to enhance the look. Those dealing with a floor that’s beyond saving can, of course, install new linoleum, but a lot of modern homeowners are opting for laminate. It looks like wood, the performance, in many cases, is even better, and the price is significantly cheaper.
Kitchen Makeovers for Function
Rather than just scratching the surface, a functional kitchen makeover is often about pulling out and replacing appliances and fixtures. Many people find that one of the things they most want to replace in an old kitchen is the sink. With built in water filters, spray hoses, and wider (or multiple) basins, new sinks have far more options than their predecessors. They’ll also look nice, to boot!
Older kitchens are often missing dishwashers, which can be a big job to install if the room wasn’t designed to accommodate one. Old stoves are often unreliable and can’t properly perform the job they’re supposed to do. A new fridge (maybe one with an ice maker) is another common replacement. One of the greatest things about getting all new appliances is lower energy consumption. Those who use their kitchens a lot may very well notice a marked difference when the electric bill comes around.
Open Up and Update
Opt for open shelves instead of upper cabinets to provide display space and make a small kitchen feel larger. Install shelves at standard upper-cabinet height — the lower shelf is 18 inches above the counter.
Upgrade Your Appliances
The most popular kitchen update is installing new energy-efficient appliances, such as a dual-fuel range with convection double ovens, a high-tech range hood, an energy star certified refrigerator, and a water-saving paneled dishwasher.
Add more personality with new cabinet hardware. Create a cohesive look with a mix of knobs and pulls in the same style family.
Don’t Ignore Ceilings
Add texture and a pop of color. Ceiling tiles made to mimic the look of antique tin tiles click together like laminate floor surfaces and can be painted to fit any color
Make a Splash
Classic white subway tile with a beveled edge is an inexpensive, yet high-impact, backsplash material. Use a herringbone pattern to add interest and movement to walls.
Get the look and texture of stone with all the benefits of laminate. This travertine silver laminate with a bullnose edge looks like the real deal for a fraction of the price.
Freshen up walls, cabinets, and ceilings with a coat of Valspar Signature paint. It’s one of the quickest, most budget-friendly updates.
Laminate shelves mimic the look of the countertops. (Ask your countertop installer to make the shelves.) Add stylish metal brackets for support and to repeat the metallic tones found in the appliances, hardware, and faucet.
Rethink the Sink
This Kohler top-mount, apron-front sink is perfect for remodels — it requires only a rough cut to existing standard cabinetry, and can be paired with most countertop materials. Top it off with a Delta high-arc faucet featuring a hidden pull-down sprayer.
Install soft-close hinges and glides — and say goodbye to slamming doors and drawers.
Lighten It Up
Brighten your room with an allen + roth (TM) ceiling light, mini pendants, and under cabinet lighting.
Focus on Function
A small kitchen cannot accommodate homework, mail storage, laundry duties and recipe hunting. Unless you don’t cook at all, the small kitchen’s main chore is meal prep. So focus first on function, making sure you have the appliances and work areas you need. You may be able to save a bit of space by using scaled-down or innovative appliances, including refrigerator and freezer drawers and pint-sized microwaves, stoves (some with just two burners) and single sinks. If workspace is at a premium, consider a small-scale island or a counter-topped cart that can be rolled into a closet when not in use.
Go for Glass
One of the easiest ways to visually expand a kitchen is to incorporate glass. Try a glass counter or tabletop, tile, door cabinets or kitchen doors that lead to the outside world or to the next room. Mirrors, in a backsplash or strategically placed around a room, or pass-through windows into the next room, also lighten up the look.
Visually Expand With Lighting
A small kitchen requires a combination of task and atmospheric lighting. To counteract the bluish cast of fluorescent lighting and add drama, install pendant lights in the eating area, incandescent lighting underneath upper cabinets and incandescent spot lighting above cabinetry. Lighting can also be installed under base cabinetry so it shines down onto the toe plate.
Invest in Flooring
Where does the eye go when one walks into a room? Often it goes down — right to that dust bunny or scuffed floor. That’s why flooring in a small kitchen is so important. Linoleum in a checkerboard pattern can be really eye-catching and relatively inexpensive. Since square footage is small, you may be able to afford a beautiful tumbled marble. Marble tends to be cold and hard underfoot, but the impact may be worth it. Or try cork, a beautiful and eco-friendly choice.
Go Bold With Color
The color of walls, appliances, counters, stools — even the dishtowels — can change the atmosphere and perceived size of the kitchen. Pastels or light colors, with good doses of white, reflect light and draw the eye up, making ceilings appear higher. Bold colorations can be very effective in smaller kitchens. How about some Porsche red metal cabinets with celery green walls and a banana-colored concrete countertop?
Embrace the Space
Rather than using tricks to visually enlarge the space, consider embracing your kitchen as-is. Instead of going light or sleek, opt for country cozy. Make sure there is a little nook where you can sit with a visitor knee-to-knee. Or choose a rich dark color that creates a sophisticated feeling — and use accessories that emphasize that look. The kitchen is small, yes, but it sure is inviting.
In an effort to maintain the period look of this 1932 Cape Cod remodel, close attention was paid to details like the intricate bracketed molding and drawer pulls. It is the robin’s-egg-blue cabinets, though, that really grab attention and create the illusion of space in the small room.
The old cabinet doors that were once in this galley kitchen couldn’t take another coat of paint, so the homeowners brought in a design pro for a complete overhaul. The new layout called for the removal of a wall between the small kitchen and family room to open up the space. Scraped maple floors and simple cabinetry with river-stone hardware give the room a clean, uncluttered vibe. The glass-tile mosaic backsplash twinkling beneath undercabinet lighting is a bold focal point that draws the eye.
Light and Bright
This kitchen packs every homeowner’s most-wanted features into a small space: a storage-filled island with seating, double wall ovens, pendant lights, and a beautiful mosaic backsplash. Light English sycamore and dark maple trim play nicely in the custom cabinetry, creating a striking but natural balance. Recessed lighting and open shelving above the cabinets create a perfect home for collectibles.
The owners of this American bungalow wanted to make their small kitchen more exotic. Dark cabinets with brown-and-black tiger striping makes for a sleek, contemporary look, while the pale solid-surface backsplash creates a bold contrast. The design makes the most of very little countertop space with a wenge butcher block that slides over the sink. A dining table on casters allows an eight-seater to slide under the island when not in use.
Open Up Cupboards
Tiny kitchens can feel claustrophobic when cabinets are towering overhead. Many cooks can’t reach what’s in them and the overall feeling is boxy and closed in. Get organized and trade the top cupboards for open storage. Consider shelving, pot racks and magnetic knife or spice holders instead. Your kitchen will look more spacious and serve up display space for your favorite dishes, shiny pots and pans, or artwork.
Mix Up the Materials
Because your kitchen may be short on interesting architectural details, it’s up to you to add the all-important style via compelling countertop surfaces, cabinetry, fixtures, flooring, lighting and color. To ensure a cohesive look, create a mix board with samples and swatches of materials under consideration. One tip: Using the same color and style of fixtures and cabinet pulls can help unify a look.
The wall between tiny kitchen and an adjacent living space was removed to make room for more storage. Visual separation between the rooms was maintained with an island-breakfast bar. Placing the sink in the corner of the room made for more food prep space, while brushed and polished stainless tile forms a standout backsplash.
Designer: Areti Tanya Rentzos, Andros Kitchen & Bath Designs, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Room for Two
Small kitchen boasts floor-to-ceiling windows that flood the place with natural light, opening up the space, so the design of the once-cluttered kitchen—in which the refrigerator door hit the dishwasher or stove when it opened—was planned around them.
Reorganization of the footprint and a few clever island design tweaks allowed for counter-height seating. Rich, stained cabinets and dark granite counters form a bold contrast with light porcelain floors.
This homeowner, a top Realtor in the area, wanted a unique small space to show off to her clients. That’s just what she got with the dark shoji-style cabinets and custom round butcher-block table on casters. The cooking range is flanked by floating shelves, which help to open up the tiny kitchen.
This 1800s Federal style home features a contemporary white kitchen. The smallness of the room allowed the homeowners to splurge on luxurious materials. Crystal cabinet pulls and knobs, a Turkish marble subway tile backsplash, and taupe silk wall coverings make for a classic, indulgent space.
Space-Smart and Sleek
Though her old home is old as well as tiny and traditional, this homeowner requested a contemporary cooking space. The clean design makes the perfect backdrop for collectibles. Mother of pearl granite countertops and frosted-glass tile contrast with dark cabinets, while a custom-built, space-saving table on casters nests into the back of the island when not in use.
This hardworking small kitchen features two space-smart pull-out pantry units and hidden stepladder storage for upper cabinets. The use of butternut wood, copper, hickory, and antiqued bronze give the room warmth, while a rich blue beadboard backsplash delivers a shot of color.
Along with getting a great return on your investment, making the space work for your needs is important when considering a kitchen remodel. The most beautiful kitchen will only create stress for a homeowner if it isn’t designed properly. Consider these tips for a kitchen remodel that will simplify your daily routines.
Probably the busiest room in the house, a kitchen can serve a multitude of functions these days: cooking, eating, entertaining, and family gathering place.
1. Remodel by the work triangle.
Designers have been using the kitchen work triangle to create efficient kitchens for many decades. The work triangle refers to the arrangement of the three basic work areas: the refrigerator, sink, and stove. You don’t want these to be too far apart or you will spend a good deal of time running back and forth. Click this link to read more about work triangles.
2. Don’t waste space.
Install cabinets that go all the way up to the ceiling add baskets and shelving inside to maximize storage space. Add a hanging rack for pots and pans to free up some cabinet space.
3. Consolidate kitchen contents with a pantry.
Walk-in pantries have become very popular as they allow a homeowner to quickly take in the kitchen’s contents without having to search through the cupboards. If you’re tight on space a pull-out pantry can be installed into areas as small as a few inches wide. A kitchen pantry is a great way to keep the kitchen traffic localized to one area, so that you can cook without interruption.
5. Let appliances do some of the dirty work.
A dishwasher with a third rack can cut down on the number of times you have to load that dishwasher. Self-cleaning ovens are everywhere today. If you are in the market for energy efficient appliances, consider a dishwasher or even a refrigerator with the Energy Star rating. Click this link to read more about Energy Star Appliances.
5. Create areas for your kids.
A couple of stools at the kitchen counter create an easy, informal place for kids to eat. Also, consider keeping your kids’ snacks and beverages on lower shelves where they can easily access them.
There are a wide variety of improvements and upgrades that can bring beauty, value, and performance to your home. From low-budget to high efficiency eco-friendly updating, just about every homeowner will find a project that will fit not only his or her wallet but lifestyle and aesthetic taste as well.
Energy-Efficient Kitchen Upgrades
In many cases, energy efficient kitchen upgrades are focused almost entirely on replacing older appliances with new, eco-friendly models. This, of course, can add up to a very sizable investment. Thankfully, most eco-friendly kitchen upgrades are also money-savers in the long run. That old electric stove, dishwasher, and refrigerator are literally costing you money every day in the form of utility bills. Though buying new ones (preferably ones that carry the government’s Energy Star label) is going to set you back initially. Much of the additional costs can be made up in lowered monthly bills though.
Along with electric stoves, water heaters and clothes dryers are some of the biggest drains of electricity in the house. While an environmentally conscious kitchen update is certainly a good start, don’t forget that upgrading these other appliances can also lead to large savings and reduce the amount of energy your household wastes. While you’re at it, don’t forget your lighting! Not only is replacing your old bulbs with new, compact fluorescent ones easy, it is also one of the cheapest and most effective energy savers on the market.
Don’t live with an old kitchen! Use this link and hire local for a custom
Low-Budget Kitchen Updates
Let’s face it: many of us are simply not able to spend a ton of money on high-end kitchen remodel upgrades. Fortunately, there are many small, inexpensive projects that can make a world of difference in just about any kitchen space! If you have tile counters, floors, or backsplashes, a simple re-grouting job can go a long way for a very meager investment. Another popular low-budget kitchen upgrade is painting or staining cabinetry. While it won’t do wonders for how your kitchen functions, a little sanding and a fresh coat of stain or paint can breathe new life into nearly any kitchen!
Low-cost kitchen upgrading is, of course, a bit limited in nature, but by choosing small projects wisely, you can get a lot of bang for your remodeling buck in this versatile, unique room. Remember, the biggest costs in kitchen remodels are often avoided by keeping all of your projects focused on surface features. Moving the sink area, running new wiring, and changing the layout of islands, counters, and cabinetry are costly endeavors. By keeping everything in the same spot and changing only surface appearances, you can have a kitchen that looks brand new at the fraction of the cost of a typical kitchen remodel!
High-End Kitchen Updating
While most of us are very careful about stretching each and every dollar we spend on a home improvement project to its fullest extent, if ever there was a place to splurge, it’s your kitchen. Though there are certainly no guarantees that any one item will be worth more than the cost of its installation, much of the data and many expert opinions suggest that kitchens are the place where higher-end materials are likely to bring the best resale values.
Of course, if the rest of your house is strictly mid-range, installing a built-in refrigerator, a professional cooktop, and finishing the room off with marble floors is probably going to look out of place and do more harm than good if your house goes on the market. However, when placed a little higher than the price range of the materials in the rest of the house, your cabinetry, counters, and flooring will hardly seem out of place and will do wonders for appearances, performance, and resale value should your home ever go on the market!