Modernise Your Kitchen Design - The Ten Best Simple, Easy Ways
Let's face it, many older kitchens are out of date with their laminate counter tops, eye-level cupboards, cluttered work spaces and dated linoleum floors. If you have the will this article outlines 10 ways to modernize your kitchen. There has be two parallel trends occurring with kitchen:
► Many apartments are now designed with virtually no kitchen, and many people have no further use for them and the can be very expensive, perhaps consuming 20-40% of the entire house budget (including the appliances and fittings).
Often the only remnant left is the sink, fridge and a microwave oven on a bench in the living room.
► Modern kitchens are designed to flow into the dining area and living room with far greater emphasis on the kitchen being a shared social engagement area.
Cooking has become a performance in a theater-in-the round. People who like to cook and entertain are no longer hidden away in a hot isolated space. They want their guests to join in with the cooking and they want to have conversations with their guests while cooking the meals.
In a sense this mirrors the opening up of many restaurant kitchens so th patrons can see how the food is being prepared. In a sense the kitchen and living room/dining areas have been combined, allowing larger working areas with island benches adding versatility and better use of space.
Top 10 Tips to Transform Your Kitchen
1. Replace old appliances with modern smart alternatives with metal finishes. Metals such as nickel, stainless steel and copper are still popular but the recent trend is towards chrome and brushed aluminum. Metals provide a clean and bright look to modern kitchens and can be used for cupboard doors, spacers, island benches, appliances, refrigerators, pendant lights, and range hoods.
2. Replace the old lino and slate tiles with timber (solid or floating timber tiles or planks). Timber is the modern look and has always been a great favorite. The modern floating boards and tiles can be placed over the top of remnants of existing flooring. Often there may be floor boards under the lino or slate tiles. These boards can be sanded and treated with a durable epoxy varnish. Timber is a much softer surface and has a warmth unlike other floor coverings.
3. Remove upper cupboards and shelving. Modern kitchens are sleek and uncluttered. Many of the cupboards are full of things you never need. Removing these items will dramatically improve the openness and airiness of your kitchen. If your kitchen is large enough consider installing a movable island bench with under-bench shelves for pots and pans
4. Change counter tops to modern innovative materials - Counter tops and benches are the dominant first-see features of a kitchen. The modern trend is towards natural materials such as stone, marble, timber and granite. They can be expensive but a generally worthwhile. If you have timber bench tops under the existing material you may be able to remove it, sand and varnish the timber.
5. Make the kitchen a multi-purpose space by installing modern seating inside the kitchen for quick breakfasts and snacks and to allow people to join you while you are cooking.
6. Replace appliances with modern energy-efficient and more functional ones. There has been a major transformation in appliance technology. It is not only more functional, it is more compact and easier to clean and maintain. Replacing old appliances with modern ones can revolutionise your kitchen design and its functionality.
7. Paint cabinets, ceilings and walls with Modern Colors - This is an obvious way to freshen up a kitchen design.
8. Install new lighting with better layouts - Properly designed kitchen lighting can be very attractive and welcoming, but its is also important for safety and utility. Changing the layout using the above suggestions will mean that the lighting has to be changed. Using dimmers is a good idea as it allows extra versatility during different phases of the food preparation.
9. Add New Decorations and Features - This is important for personalizing the space, but don't go overboard as it can create a lot of extra cleaning requirements. Adding plants and dangling vines, or even a fish tank can help kitchens stop being to static and sterile.
10. Enlarge your kitchen as a living space. Knock down walls to unused formal dining rooms to allow for bigger more versatile kitchens. The modern trend is for more social kitchens where food preparation is a shared experience. The cooking areas no longer need to be isolated no-go areas. It is a bit like many modern restaurants that have opened up to allow patrons to see the chefs at work. In many cases you may want to talk with guests as you prepare meals or even get them involved. This means having bigger kitchens. The ancient concept of a separate formal dining room has been largely replaced with open plan kitchen, dining and living room spaces. Depending on the house design, the removal of walls may be feasible and relatively inexpensive. It may add value to the house as an investment.
© 2013 Dr. John Anderson
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