Picture your dream kitchen. Close your eyes and put together all the elements you’ve admired in those perfect Pinterest kitchens. What do you see? Is it all white and high gloss? An old homey country kitchen? Simple wooden shaker cabinets or rich hues that bring a touch of personality and flair to your cooking environment? Whether you are the Master Chef of your neighbourhood or your idea of cooking is pouring a bowl of cereal, you probably still have the kitchen of your dreams saved to a Pinterest board somewhere. And no matter your lifestyle, you need a kitchen that is both functional and beautiful. You may think that designing your dream kitchen is expensive and out of reach. But with planning and creativity, it doesn’t have to be. Take a look at how you can make a plan to design your dream kitchen in a few simple steps.
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Design with Purpose
For starters: don’t choose a kitchen design simply because it is trendy, filling the pages of every interiors magazine or favoured by celebrities. That style of kitchen may not work for your family or for your existing space.
Instead, consider the sort of kitchen that is best for your lifestyle and for your family’s needs. If you feel like the kitchen is your sanctuary and you love cooking, then invest in decent appliances. If you buy cheaper, less well made versions, you could be calling out for refrigerator repair on a regular basis. No one wants that.
But if your idea of a home-cooked meal is zapping a Lean Cuisine, then get a great microwave and don’t fret about the other appliances. Use that budget for something else.
If your kids are of high schoolers, perhaps they would enjoy a large table or breakfast bar to do homework on in the evenings while you are cooking up the latest culinary extravaganza that they’ll turn up their noses at. If you have tiny humans, then you might want a more open concept design so that you can always see your kids no matter where you are in the kitchen (Also cooking something they won’t eat!). Ensure that your kitchen doesn’t just look good, but that it is truly fit for purpose and works for your wants and needs.
If a kitchen re-design is a dream well beyond the reach of your budget, there are still changes you can make to improve what you’ve got.
When we moved into our home, the dishwasher was a portable one that lived in the dining room and the microwave was taking up about half of our precious counter space. We would have loved to blow up the whole kitchen and start fresh but that just wasn’t possible.
Instead, we started by removing a lower cabinet and installing the dishwasher in the kitchen instead of it sitting in the dining room. Then we purchased a microwave range, shortened the cabinet above the stove and installed the microwave there. Those 2 things did wonders for improving the functionality of our kitchen.
So don’t give up just because the problems seem insurmountable!
Money Money Money
If like most of us, money is a factor, then make a list of all the things you’d like to change in kitchen. Do you need new cabinets, countertops or flooring? Would new hardware or a paint job be enough? Are the appliances in need of being replaced? How are the light fixtures?
Write it all down. Then prioritize each item. For example, if your fridge is toast then that’s probably top of the list. If the flooring is grubby but functional, it could be further down the list.
Now figure out how much each of these items will cost. Items that need immediate attention will likely have to get charged to your credit card unless you managed to create an emergency fund to draw from. (Seriously, every personal finance guru says to have an emergency fund. Great idea, but how many of us actually do it?! lol)
But non-essential items can be saved for. Make a plan. And give yourself a deadline. Figure out where the money is going to come from, then be disciplined in setting that money aside. Tackle the kitchen one project at a time!
You can also shop the deals and sales. Head to some local kitchen showrooms, and see if there are any deals to be had. Check the Ikea clearance section. Go thrifting for light fixtures. Ask family and friends for gift cards to Home Depot for Christmas. Where there is a will, there’s a way!
Maybe your kitchen design is already good but it’s really closed off from the rest of your space and that makes you feel isolated from the rest of the family. There might be a way to love the kitchen you already have!
You may choose to extend your kitchen to create a kitchen diner style space. This lends itself well to twenty first century family living and is ideal for those who enjoy spending quality time together. Forget TV dinners and eating at separate times, a new dining kitchen is a great way to encourage the family to come together.
Even if you only manage a couple of meals together every week, this can be the ideal time to catch up and enjoy one another’s company. A kitchen dining room combo isn’t just desirable, it can be financially worthwhile, since many people are hunting for this open plan design when they are looking to buy a home.
Your kitchen doesn’t have to be a cause of frustration for you. With careful planning and deliberate design, you can transform your kitchen into the beautiful hub of your home that you dream about!