The kitchen is the heart of every home, the engine room where the important things get done and where family and friends spend the most time chatting.
In this economic climate, kitchen renovations fall to the bottom of the list though, as most of us are trying to keep food on the table, let alone worrying about the color of the plate it’s on.
Whether you’re moving into a new pad, or just need to reorganize, now is the perfect time to learn how to kit out your kitchen without overspending on superfluous items and passing trends.
Trying to decorate your kitchen in the latest styles is the quickest way to waste your money. Unless you can afford to redecorate every few years, putting in a trendy kitchen will only end up looking dated in the long run.
Instead go for classic designs and neutral colors, or if you wait long enough – your old fashioned cabinets might make a retro come back.
Wood goes in and out of fashion, so it’s not a bad idea to stick to polyurethane. Technology has come a long way and it’s getting cheaper and easier to simply fit new cabinet facades and doors into existing kitchens.
Do It Yourself blog has plenty of ideas on how to reinvigorate your kitchen on a tight budget, including painting over dated wooden cabinets, re-laminating counter tops and replacing old splashbacks.
Desert Island Appliances
Do you dream about kitting your kitchen out with the latest pink stand mixer and matching toaster and kettle? Do you love browsing kitchen shops for the latest gadget? Pack those dreams up and get back to reality.
You don’t need to spend exorbitant prices on high-tech garlic presses and ultra fancy kitchen scales. Those expensive gadgets often don’t work as good as simpler, less expensive, versions and in the end simply require more washing up.
Don’t concern yourself with food dehydrators and slow cookers. As long as you have a food processor and stand mixer, you can do without a blender, a stick blender, and hand-held beaters. A good heavy-based pot will serve you better than any slow cooker.
A garlic press with no removable parts will not only give you the best results, but you won’t have to fuss with washing and losing small pieces. Unless you do a lot of frying, you can do without a deep fryer. A standard sauce pan will work wonders. And no one likes air-popped popcorn anyway. Meat grills and sandwich makers are also items that simply take up room for the amount of time they’re used.
Don’t get fooled into believing you need the latest appliances in the latest exciting colors. As long as the kettle boils water, it doesn’t really matter if it’s white, stainless steel or cherry red.
Less Is More
Instead of buying a set of measuring cups, all you really need is one or two measuring jugs.
You don’t need seven different chopping boards, all with different colors and materials. All you need is two wooden boards, keeping one for cutting things like garlic and onions and raw meat, and another for fruits, vegetables and bread. Wood acts as a natural antibacterial surface and as long you let the board air-dry, you won’t have any risk of nasties lurking as they do in the cracks of plastic boards.
Most home cooks don’t need a collection of knives, in fact you’ll probably find you only end up using the same one or two every time. All you need is a bread knife, a standard knife and a paring knife you can do away with the rest.
Practical & Beautiful
Decorating your kitchen doesn’t have to mean cluttering it up with useless decorative items. In fact, the kitchen is the one room where you need all the space you can get.
Instead of decorating with indoor plants and flowers, try fresh herb pots. You’ll get the same effect as any fern and you’ll have the benefit of being able to eat the foliage.
Use your favorite bowls and mugs as decorative containers for smaller herb pots and fruit displays. A lovely bowl full of green apples is as beautiful as a bowl full of potpourri. Why not hang up your favorite tea towels instead of prints and frames.
If you have copper pots, hang them from ceiling racks or display on open shelving. Likewise with cookie cutters, they make a lovely decorative item, and hanging them up on a piece of twine or kitchen rack gets them out of the drawer.
Display your most used utensils like wooden spoons and spatulas in a lovely canister. They’ll be handy and again, it’ll keep the clutter out of the drawer.
With kitchens, it is definitely a case of less is more. Don’t be fooled into thinking you need the latest and greatest or this season’s colors. Your kitchen, above all else, needs to provide you with space and the essential equipment you need to work.
You don’t need to spend a bomb to kit out the most active room in the house. You just need to stay practical and avoid clutter. After all, what’s important is the food that get made, not the color of the pot it gets made in.