If you are reading this, then it means you are probably bored with the look of your old kitchen and want to give it a facelift or complete overhaul. Either way, here are eight tips for a better kitchen:

1. Ensure your kitchen's functionality and know your numbers

While there is no perfect size or shape for a kitchen, the goal of any good kitchen is functionality. Keeping a work triangle in mind is key as your kitchen layout will determine how efficient you can be when preparing your meals. If you're renovating, furnishing or designing a new kitchen for yourself or a client, these illustrations by Arther Mount are very useful guides for getting your numbers right!

2. It's all in the detail

Here comes the fun part. Most of the look and feel of your kitchen will come from the carpentry work and detail. It is absolutely crucial that your countertops, backsplash, cabinetry, hardware and flooring all paint a cohesive picture. Your materials and finishes, whether natural or engineered products, should reflect your personality and work well for you. Some products while beautiful require a bit more care and maintenance but they are definitely worth the extra attention.

Working with a carpenter is a long and costly process. Make sure you meet with at least three to four companies before settling on one (they should provide you with a free estimate). It is vital that the team is able to see your vision for your kitchen at a price that makes sense for you. Do your homework by visiting their social media pages and websites to get an idea of what kind of work they are capable of. The best way to find good carpenters is through word of mouth. If you like your friends' kitchens, make sure you ask them for a referral!

3. What's the story with appliances?

A friend once asked me for a hand with renovating the kitchen of her new home she had recently moved into. The first question she asked me is what she should prioritize in the makeover. I instantly pointed out the eye-sore that were the appliances the old home had come with. Old appliances (and I mean old), more often than not, make your kitchen look obsolete and out-of-style. So when you're budgeting for your new kitchen, make sure you account for a new set of appliances.

Here's what to consider when shopping for appliances. Your first instinct may be to pick the shiny dishwasher and fridge. However, I would recommend that you resist this urge and consider purchasing appliances that can be hidden with the same exterior as your cabinetry with custom panelling. The below example by drawhome.com is a perfect example.


4. De-clutter x De-stress

A common mistake that's made is underestimating how much storage space their kitchen really needs. From small appliances to plates and cutlery, pots and pans, glasses and mugs, herbs and spices, and a lot more, storage demands can be quite overwhelming. Oftentimes, a lot of these items end up consuming precious space on countertops that are supposed to be for preparing your meals. If you're working with a small space or have simply filled up your drawers and cupboards, don't worry, it's not the end of the world. There are many products out there to solve this problem. Consider using pan racks in cabinets, roll out drawers in corners, spice drawers and one of our favourites, the kitchen cart, as it provides ample storage with mobility. Remember, there are many ways to get creative and get more use out of your kitchen's existing storage capabilities as well!

5. Find a seat

Now that you've mastered how to declutter and make space for cooking your food, it's time to discuss where you're going to eat it. There are two main options that you can choose from (or pick both) depending on how much space you have. Option 1 is to purchase a kitchen or pub table set where you and your family or friends can gather for breakfast. The second option is to add a set of bar stools to your existing kitchen counter or island. This solution is perfect for small spaces as it hardly takes up any additional space.

Candace and Basil | 5 piece pub table set

6. Light 'em up

Keep in mind that once your kitchen is all ready to go, you're going to want to show it off. This requires the right lighting. If this means keeping your blinds open and adding a couple extra pendant lights over your kitchen island, then do it. There's also the safety aspect since there are hot, sharp or even dangerous objects in the kitchen. Hence, proper lighting is extremely important. It's best to have your lights in front of you and onto the workspace rather than behind you casting a shadow. For instance, you will want a pot light directly above your sink and inside of the hood above your stove. Lights are also a great way of decorating your kitchen. Below is a great example by Depot Kitchen.

7. Stay in your budget

Renovating is not a cheap task and it is definitely not a job done in bits. It is a total commitment. That's why it's important to research different products and services to get the best value out of your budget. See what type of countertops, cupboards, appliances and labour you can afford. If you're working with a small budget, the best way to make the most out of it is to look for great deals and sales online. A secondary option often seems to be to do-it-yourself, however, it's best to use a professional if you are inexperienced and/or uncomfortable taking the risk.

8. Some useful life hacks

Pinterest is a great tool for discovering new incredibly useful life hacks. Be on the lookout for these if you're trying to make your life a whole lot easier in the kitchen. Below are three unique examples I found with a quick Google search!

I hope these eight tips come in handy when you're working on your kitchen. Please feel free to leave comments below and remember to subscribe to our newsletter for updates on new products and blog posts! 

October 10, 2017 — Gaurav Nijhawan

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