Your kitchen is the engine room of your home. Food is stored, prepared, and sometimes served there, and this provides you and your family with the fuel to be active and enjoy life to the full. Dishes are washed by hand or machine, and sometimes kitchens also include laundry facilities so that they are at the heart of the smooth running of day-to-day life. All this spells busy, busy, busy, so if you want to make the most of your time spent in the kitchen, there are a few handy “do it yourself” tricks that you can employ to make the best use of your kitchen facilities.
Let in the light
Windows and natural daylight are important for health and wellbeing, and this is true of every room in your home. Too often, daylight is partially excluded by fussy blinds or drapes. Window treatments that use shutters instead are an elegant and contemporary solution, and because the variety of materials available is so great, you can easily find the right style and shape to complement your décor.
Try café-style shutters, for example, to maximize daylight in the upper half of the kitchen window and still retain your privacy when needed. Shutters are easy to measure for, and reputable suppliers will give you plenty of useful advice about how to do this and how to fit them.
Add glass shelves in your window space
Glass window shelves add charm and style to your kitchen, whatever the décor, and will also let in natural daylight. These are easy to measure for, and to fit, if you have cabinets or walls either side of your window recess. Use tempered glass cut to the correct size by a glass manufacturer, and choose your shelf supports according to whether you are attaching the shelves to wood or masonry.
If you have fitted internal shutters, glass shelves work wonderfully well as the shutters ensure that any plants you are displaying, for example, will benefit from daylight even before you’ve opened up the kitchen for the day.
Make the most of working spaces
In the evenings or on darker days, you will still have to work in the kitchen, so make sure that every single area is appropriately lit. Task lighting is designed for areas where you have to do specific jobs – for example, food preparation – and in darker corners, fitting lights under your wall-mounted kitchen cupboards is an easy job as long as you follow expert instructions when connecting electric lights.
If dealing with electrics makes you nervous, you can always buy battery-operated lights that you can easily attach yourself to the undersides of your cabinets. Check the brightness of the options available so that you pick the right light for the right place.
Refresh rather than replace
While you might yearn for a brand-new kitchen, installing a professionally supplied one is a pretty expensive and time-consuming exercise. Instead, there are a number of alternatives available to you. You can simply replace or recover the doors, rather than building completely new cabinets. It’s then easy to re-cover your worktops to match. Among the products available are new doors from budget stores such as IKEA and self-adhesive coverings suitable for a variety of different surfaces.
Make more working space
If countertop space is a bit limited in your kitchen, it’s easy to make an additional kitchen island, and if you create one that’s on wheels, you can move it around to suit your natural workflow. This can also provide additional storage, which can be invaluable whether you’re preparing for an important dinner party or constantly juggling the contents of your kitchen cupboards to make more space available.
With some reclaimed timber, it’s easy to assemble a straightforward rectangular or square unit with a lower shelf to hold drawers or a wine rack if you prefer. You can also add a couple of small wheels at one end if you want to be able to move the unit around.
When planning DIY projects, it’s easy to overlook the kitchen, especially if it has been custom built, as it’s easy to assume that it will have everything that’s needed. However, once you start to use a kitchen, there are often little things that don’t work quite as well as they should, such as a lack of sufficient daylight or limited storage space. Try some of the tips that you think will work for you to make sure that your kitchen functions beautifully at all times.