How to Modernise Your Kitchen
There is a saying that the kitchen is the heart of any home.
Which, if you think about it, makes sense because the kitchen is where the food is.
And where there is food, there is usually a gathering of people.
And where there are people, there is conversation, joy and love.
In saying that, if your kitchen looks a little worse for ware: maybe a little old, dull or drab, it certainly might not feel like the heart of your home.
Have no fear though, because you can easily transform the heart of your home with a makeover to suit your new lifestyle!
While a couple of decades ago, families would sit around a table and have most meals together, nowadays, families are smaller and work longer, food is quicker, and more and more people are living in apartments with smaller spaces.
However, that doesn’t mean you need to settle for anything less than the best.
With kitchen designs and appliances being sleeker and smarter than ever before, you too can turn your space into a contemporary, modern haven where the whole household wants to gather.
So let’s dive into today’s article and learn seven easy ways you can spruce up the heart of your home.
1. Clean it up
First things first, start off with decluttering the space.
Clean up the counter, put items in their designated areas and don’t let it become a dumping ground again. Create cupboard areas so that everything has its own place to live in and utilise the pantry (if you have one) for your spices, dry goods, and appliances (especially if you have limited space in the kitchen to keep it out all day). This way, as soon as you close the pantry or cupboard door, voila! The countertop becomes completely clutter-free!
If you chose to renovate the kitchen by replacing the kitchen cabinets, opt for clean lines, flat panels and neutral, consistent colours. Some of the colours that are in style right now are dark grey, light grey, off cream, white and copper. The aim of the modern kitchen is to blend seamlessly together from one side of the room to the other. If you’re choosing to keep the kitchen as it is and give it a spruce up, consider painting the cupboards a neutral colour such as white or grey. Choose a colour and stick to it and maybe redecorate the rest of the kitchen to suit the new theme.
2. Island life
One of the easiest ways to create a sense of spaciousness is by installing an island bench. As well as making your kitchen look bigger, it also adds a focal point and increases functionality by giving you another bench-top to work on. Since most islands face outwards – especially in an open-plan area – installing a kitchen island will also create an inclusive environment for those who are in the rest of the house while you are in the kitchen or vice versa.
Some other advantages of installing an island bench is that you can convert it into anything you want to suit your lifestyle and needs. For instance, if you have a small household, you can add some stools to one side and use it as a table, or you can add some high stools so your kids can help you prepare food, or it can be a space where visitors hang around while you whip up something in the kitchen. Overall, kitchen islands create a cool, contemporary, and inclusive area.
3. Stacks of storage
Most modern kitchens are filled to the brim with gadgets. The challenge is giving all of these gadgets a home so that they create a clutter-free (and therefore, tidier) kitchen environment.
Going back to the first point, start with decluttering the kitchen benches by packing away any non-essential gadgets. For example, if you don’t bake daily, the big blender can live in the cupboard or pantry. And if you don’t eat toast daily, put the toaster away. Where possible, utilise all the space in your kitchen. We know those corner cupboards can be a pain, so maybe install or drill in a few drawers that swing out and voila! You’ve used the space effectively.
Another effective storage hack is installing large, deep drawers rather than cupboards. These tend to fit more bulkier items and you can pack them more efficiently given the extra space they create.
4. Rip up the floor
One of the most effective ways to modernise a kitchen, especially if it is open-plan one, is to redo the floors. So if you have the budget, time and means to do this, nothing says ‘fresh and modern’ like new, natural stone or timber floors.
If you choose this path, you can create the illusion of space by contrasting the floors against the colour of the cabinets. For instance, if you have dark floors, make your kitchen cabinets light grey or white. Light floors? Paint the cabinets darker.
Next, before choosing the material for the floor, it’s important to consider how much foot traffic it will need to endure. Will kids be in and out of the kitchen with potential spills (in which case avoid porous natural stones)? How much time and energy do you have to maintain the floors (low on time? Maybe consider porcelain pavers)? How much sunlight does the kitchen get (darker tiles will heat up with direct sunlight and be hot underfoot which would be especially unpleasant in summer)?
Once you have decided the colour and have a general idea on what material that will suit your kitchen and lifestyle, feel free to reach out to our natural stone experts at Armstone for help. We stock a range of options to suit your needs including porcelain pavers, natural limestone pavers, travertine pavers, bluestone pavers, and marble tiles, and both wooden and wood-like flooring. If you need any help choosing an option, reach out to us at 1300 560 560, online or visit our Sydney showroom in Glebe and see them for yourself.
5. Bring in some colour and texture
While we have emphasised that modern aesthetic typically favours neutral colours, you also want the heart of your home to ooze with a sense of warmth and cosiness. You can do this by adding splashes of colour to the space. Whether it’s a splash-back, or installing a differently coloured island or hanging some funky shelves, or installing bright coloured appliances: these small touches really transform the space and make the kitchen the focal point for the entire family. And if you’re feeling really creative you can always add some texture to the space by building a feature wall from stone cladding.
6. Open the space
While not too long ago, society adhered to very stringent gender roles, nowadays, families are more diverse and household responsibilities, like cooking, are shared. This means that for a kitchen to be the heart of a modern day home, it needs to be built in such a way that two, or more, people can use it at the same time. So if you’re sprucing up the kitchen and have a budget to work with, open up the space by adding different work zones to it. Another nifty way you can make it more workable is by adding a double oven so that you can have multiple meals baking simultaneously!
7. Light it up
Finally, make the kitchen more enjoyable and an easier place to navigate by increasing how much natural light it receives. As well as elongating the space, this will reduce your energy bills – it’s really a win win win situation. And if these advantages aren’t enough, by creating more light in your kitchen, you can also plant and nurture an indoor herb garden. This will help you save on herbs and the green space will also add a sense of cosiness and comfort to the space.
If, for whatever reason, you can’t add more natural light to your kitchen, consider installing some extra ceiling lights. Where possible, we recommend choosing energy efficient lights so that you save on your energy bills and help the environment while also giving your kitchen that contemporary feel.
If you want to pull out all stops, install pendant lights over the island bench and if you really want to make a statement in the kitchen, it’s worth making these the feature of the space. You can achieve this by finding unique looking pendants in different sizes or textures and creating an abstract installation over your kitchen island.
Another way to utilise lighting in your kitchen is by installing strip lights under the bench-tops or in the cabinetry. These will add a sense of drama and draw the focus to the kitchen features and brighten up any dull spaces.
And there you have it!
Seven ways you can transform your kitchen into the heart and hearth of your home.
Whether you choose to utilise a few small tweaks or embark on a full-scale renovation, modernising your kitchen will create a seamless, contemporary, comfortable space that you, your family and your friends will enjoy using every day.
And if you need any help choosing the materials for your renovation, reach out to our expert team at Armstone. We have over 10 years experience in helping people like you transform their houses into homes and would love to help you too. Find us online or at 1300 560 560. If you are more hands on and would like to see our natural stone, porcelain and timber tiles in person, visit our Sydney showroom in Glebe and be inspired by designs and materials.