How to Modernise Your Kitchen
They say the kitchen is the heart of any home. But what happens when you don’t feel like being in that drab, old space? It’s time for a makeover, of course!
Lifestyles are dramatically changing. While a couple of decades ago, families would sit around a table and have most meals together, nowadays, families are smaller, people work longer, food is quicker, and more and more people are living in apartments. But that doesn’t mean you need to settle for anything less than the best.
Kitchens are now sleeker and smarter. But how can you turn your space into a contemporary, modern haven that the whole household wants to spend time in?
Here are seven suggestions:
1. Clean it up
First things first, declutter. Take things off the counter and don’t let it become a dumping ground again. Most things should have a cupboard to live in; some kitchens even have a butler’s pantry or dedicated cupboard to house appliances such as the toaster and the kettle. This means when the door is closed, the countertop is completely clutter-free.
On top of this, if you’re replacing the kitchen cabinets, opt for clean lines, flat panels and neutral, consistent colours. The aim of the modern kitchen is to blend seamlessly together from one side of the room to the other. If you’re not replacing, but rather redoing, consider painting them a neutral colour such as white or grey, and stick to that colour as a theme.
2. Island life
The easiest way to create a bigger sense of space is to install an island bench. Not only does it create a focal point for the space, it also increases functionality – giving you another benchtop to work on. Also, most of the time these islands face outwards, especially in an open-plan area, including whoever is in the kitchen with what’s going on in the rest of the house.
What’s nice about an island bench is that you can pop some stools on one side and use it as a table if there are only a couple of you eating, the kids can join you if you’re preparing food or visitors can hang around while you whip up something. It creates a cool, contemporary, inclusive area.
3. Stacks of storage
The modern kitchen is filled to the brim with gadgets. And where do these gadgets go? Sticking to the first point, they need to be put away, triggering the need for more storage.
Try to use all the space in your kitchen if you can. Those corner cupboards may be a pain, but pop in a couple of drawers that swing out and you’ve used the space effectively.
You can also try installing large, deep drawers in some areas rather than cupboards as they tend to fit more and you can pack them more efficiently.
4. Rip up the floor
If you can, one of the best ways to modernise a kitchen, especially if it’s open-plan, is to redo the floors. Nothing says fresh and modern like a new, stone or timber floor. If you can contrast the floor against the colour of the cabinets, that’s even better. No matter your budget, there’s a range of options to suit your needs and level of foot traffic, including porcelain, limestone, travertine, bluestone, and marble tiles, and wooden flooring.
5. Bring in some colour and texture
While you want to stay neutral to emphasise space and modernity, don’t be afraid to throw in a bit of colour. This could be in the form of a splashback, a different coloured island benchtop or some funky shelves hanging on one of the walls. Alternatively, add some texture with an interior feature wall in stone cladding.
6. Open the space
Not too long ago, it was common to have specific roles for mum and dad. Nowadays, families are much more diverse and household responsibilities, like cooking, are shared around the house. This means new kitchens should be built with this in mind – two, or even more, people using the kitchen at one time. Open the space, have a couple of different work zones and if you can afford it, pop in a double oven.
7. Light it up
If you can improve the natural light, it will make it easier for you to use the kitchen and also create a larger space visually. Plus, it will help out with the energy bills. As an added bonus, by creating more light, you may also be creating a space for an indoor herb garden to grow.
If you can’t add more natural light, consider popping in some extra ceiling lights, choose energy efficient whenever possible. The more light, the more contemporary feel you’ll get.
Additionally, install some pendant lights over that beautiful island bench. It’s even worth making these a bit of a feature statement in the space. Find some unique looking pendants, some larger shapes or even a mish-mash of different sizes and textures.
Another way to use light is popping some strip lights under the benchtops or in the cabinetry. This not only adds a sense of drama, but it also draws the eye to the features of the kitchen and brightens up these duller spaces.
Whether it’s a few small tweaks or a full-scale renovation, modernising your kitchen will create a seamless, contemporary, comfortable space that you’ll enjoy using every day.