Last weekend was a wet one so I had a good opportunity to tackle something that has been bothering me daily, one of my kitchen drawers! I LOVE drawers, don’t get me wrong. As a designer I hear a lot of clients enthusiastically request roll out drawers. It’s almost become a status symbol in the home improvement community. I say not so fast. I would take a bank of drawers any day over a cabinet with doors and roll outs.
Think of it. You can open most drawers with one hand. The roll out alternative requires you to open two doors all the way then slide out the roll out, not very efficient ergonomics. There is also an aesthetic component. A bank of drawers can be a nice visual break from a sea of doors. Anyway, I digress.
We have this one nice bank of drawers 30” wide in my kitchen. It’s supposed to house plastic containers and stuff like that. Well with a family of four, including two teenagers, lately it has gotten ridiculous. Believe me when I tell you all this was in one drawer.
Who knew we had so many funnels??
It only took minutes to empty, sort and re pack. A few broken pieces and odd lids went into the recycle basket and here’s what we’ve got now, a clean drawer WHERE I CAN FIND EVERYTHING! Drawers are the best, honestly.
You’ve heard of Snakes on a Plane. Well yesterday we had snakes in a Kitchen Design Studio. Ok I exaggerate. It was one snake, a juvenile black snake (according to Trevor’s iphone Googling). I think he slithered in to tell me it’s high time I write a blog post so here I am with a topic that is especially near and dear to our hearts nowadays, saving money.
If you don’t have thousands of dollars to invest in a new kitchen, there are some small tricks that can make a big difference. Whether you just seek to make your tired dysfunctional kitchen great looking and user friendly, or you want to up the appeal for a potential buyer, these smaller upgrades fit the bill.
Consumer Reports’ latest tests offers the home owner a variety of low investment ideas to freshen up the kitchen. Here’s my twist on what they had to say.
“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.”- Henry Ward Beecher (Love the quote and was going to find a way to work it in here no matter what) SO, how about painting your nature in your kitchen? Paint is the most inexpesive low-risk investment you can undertake to make a dramatic difference. Most of us can even tackle the walls ourselves. You can be bold as there typically isn’t a whole lot of wall exposed in a kitchen (except this one!). Don’t forget to consider adjoining rooms and how colors will work together. I prefer a satin or even a semi-gloss finish that is easy to wipe clean in the kitchen. If you’re more ambitious and want to paint your cabinets, do it right. Remove the doors, drawers and hardware, clean all surfaces, sand or de-gloss, use a primer and take your time!
Make it work! (As Tim would say)
You know what I’m talking about. Are you tired of falling spice containers? Do you yearn for a convenient trash receptacle? If you’ve lived in your kitchen for a while you will probably have a few functional pet peeves. Many of them can be addressed without breaking the budget. There are all kinds of ways to store those unruly spices. Check out my previous post Spaces for Spices. If you have a 15” to 21” wide cabinet to spare you can install a pull out trash container. I’d say this is the number one accessory for a kitchen and every kitchen needs one! How about roll out trays? You can also purchase these and install them yourself if you’re handy.
One of the most visible elements in your kitchen is the counter top and a new one can make a world of difference. Unless you’re going with a laminate, and there are some really nice selections out there, you’re going to spend more than $1,000. If that’s the case make sure your cabinets are worthy. Check for damage, especially for water damage in and around the sink cabinet. If the integrity of your cabinetry is compromised you certainly don’t want to set a butt load of money on top! Did you know that once granite or quartz are installed no one will guarantee it can be removed without breakage?
Create a splash
The back splash is another visible element with a lot of impact. Here you can get even more creative than with the counter top because it’s purely decorative! Other than being cleaner- friendly it doesn’t have to do anything but look pretty. Tile, tin panels, or even wine bottle corks can make a unique statement on your back splash.
It looks great, it’s pet proof, kid proof and water proof. It’s really easy to install. I know, my hubs installed it for us and it still looks great after five years!
No excuses. I find that even the smallest project completed yields such a sense of accomplishment. These are even things you can do to tide you over until you have saved enough for the full Monty! (At which time you will call me) In the meantime, send me pix. I want to see what you can do.
The new sexy isn’t always sexual. In fact the Brits have coined the term “sex it up!” meaning to make something more interesting, attention grabbing or appealing. So, guess what? Now you can “sex up” your kitchen by updating and refreshing the look and function. Here are some tricks:
1) Roll outs Want easier access? Install shelves that roll out. These are great in the lower cabinets as well as in your pantry.
2) Open shelves can be extremely functional allowing you to view and easily grab and go. I also love them for cookbooks and they break up the monontony of too many cabinet doors.
3) Color and texture What’s more seductive than color and texture? Think sleek stainless steel paired with a rustic tumbled marble backsplash or a RED quartz counter top in the midst of a clean white kitchen.
4) Dimmable light fixtures above your cabinets can create a subtle glow. Add them under your upper cabinets and they double as task lighting when turned up.
5) Art is One of my favorite additions to any kitchen. It’s a great way to personalize your kitchen and create visual interest. (See my 3/18 post).
What are you passionate about in your kitchen? Dying to know and hoping you’ll share.