Kitchens are busy places. Very often, if they have the room, you will find people chatting, cooking, making drinks… the list goes on. It becomes apparent pretty quickly when your kitchen needs some love and affection. You want your kitchen to be safe, and enable you to cook those tasty family meals – and look good too.
Not everyone has the budget to have a whole new kitchen fitted at the drop of a hat, so you often have to take it slow, and do smaller things over the course of a few weeks.
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Even if you think you are a clean queen, unless you are taking everything out of the cupboards and drawers, there will almost certainly be dust and a little bit of grime. Once a week, or twice a month if you keep on top of regular cleaning well, do a deep clean. After all, this is where prepare things to be eaten.
Once a month clean off the pans that you aren’t using regularly and the glasses too – so that they aren’t laden with dust or a thin film of grease/fat from fryer use.
Don’t forget that inside cupboards are just a susceptible to dust and grease as the rest of the kitchen, once you’ve hauled everything out, clean those too.
If you find yourself cleaning those pans mentioned above, and never really use them. Or each time you do a deep clean, you pull out ice cream makers and mixers that you never use. It’s time for them to move on to a new home. We all love buying the latest gadgets, but unless we incorporate them into our everyday cooking, or at least weekly, they are taking up space.
You can choose to sell them and put that money towards some new counter tops, or upgrade your tableware.
If you have a few different kitchen appliances that can be replaced with a single one, then use the money that you get for the sales towards a single item instead. It’s much more straightforward and saves a lot of space.
It is an excellent idea to do the drawers too. Often you can find a range of sachets and plastic utensils from a takeout you had months ago. Crumbs, mismatched utensils and many of us have a ‘stuff’ drawer. Most of the time whatever goes in there never comes out. So consider if you really need to keep it as it is.
As Mary Poppins once said ‘A place for everything and everything in its place’. Over the years, new babies, more family members, more responsibilities or new jobs. Our once fantastic system can get messy. Chopping boards get misplaced, lids for pans do a disappearing act… and so on. You can draw inspiration from industrial kitchens and implement systems, like why kitchen colour coding is vital, how to stack pans appropriately, and how to clean the bottom effectively.
If there is more than just you using the kitchen, then there should be more than just you taking care of it. Create a rota for things like doing the dishes, or emptying the dishwasher. Making it everyone’s responsibility, they will begin to appreciate all the hard work that goes into taking care of it.
The best thing about interiors is that you can have anything you like. If you own your home, there are no limits to the look and feel that you can create. It might feel like you need to get everything done as soon as possible. But you have time to create and curate the exact thing you are looking for. You can source reclaimed wood for things like countertops and tables. Old cupboards and kitchen units and some finishing touches in the tea towels and window dressing.
Modern and Industrial style kitchens will have many more metal elements. Stainless steel, easy to clean and great if you’re a big lover of hygienic spaces, that are easy to clean and gleam a lot. Modern tends to have a monochromatic effect with some coppers or brush metals thrown in for interests.
If you need to make your kitchen look bigger and cleaner, then you should always consider white. White tiles and painted white walls. Tile as much as you like, because they are easy to clean and last for years without discolourations and rarely need more than a new application of grout to keep them looking fantastic.
If you have the space or you find yourself wanting to inject some colour. Typically a colour injection works wonderfully behind the taps. The splash back area. This also makes it easier to clean. Alternatively, the wall that has your kitchen hood fitted, or some standalone cabinets make the ideal space to have a feature wall.
If you are prone to having a really messy cupboard, or drawers, then getting a smart storage system will help you kick that bad habit to the curb. The better that things are organised, the less likely you are to need to search for that jar of spices (again), or that beautiful plate you use for your Nana.
If you have a wall that feels like it might be better used, then consider a breakfast bar, or small table (that affixes to the wall) and some chairs. Bistro style. These are great if you like to sip a coffee or read while you’re cooking, or simply don’t feel like being at the kitchen table.
Don’t be scared to add some space for technology. Almost everyone who looks up recipes is using the internet and not a book. Although you should always have a space for a good recipe book to rest, consider a rest for your tablet too.
Making your kitchen work for you is what makes cooking and creating so enjoyable. You can rest, sip coffee, read and so much more when your space is clean, tidy and well organised – it is a joyous space to be in.
What to read next:
How to upgrade your own kitchen on a budget
Cost-effective kitchen upgrades that give a good ROI
Some suggestions for maintaining a beautiful home in the long-run