Is it time for a kitchen spruce up?

Some kitchens look so good that you want to be in them, using the equipment, cooking, serving a meal, all of the time. If you want that same feeling in your own home, then it can be achieved with a few simple changes.

  1. Freeing up space

A good kitchen centres on the cooker. Whether it is a modern ceramic induction hob or a gorgeous range oven, it must have worktops either side – and these must be clear of dishes, books, bottles, condiments, toys, keys and all the other stuff that gets in the way. After all, regardless of the size of a kitchen, a lack of clutter will make cooking more enjoyable.

Check your kitchen equipment and remove things you do not use. Do you really need two cheese graters or six pans when you only have four hobs? Most kitchens have crockery that is chipped, doesn’t match or is never used, stuck away at the back of the cupboard. Be ruthless and only keep items you use and enjoy.

  1. Adding more storage

Stick-on hooks will make the best use of wasted space behind cabinet doors – perfect for hanging up a dish cloth, sieve or serving spoon. A spice rack that hangs on the back of a cupboard will free up valuable shelf space and ensure you don’t leave basil or nutmeg sitting on the worktop.

You also need an unlikely new friend… the tension rod. Available for only a few pounds from a DIY store, they fix inside your cupboards, with no nails or glue to provide instant structure and organisation. Try one across that dreaded under sink cupboard to hang bottles of cleaning sprays.

A floating shelf is a good way to gain more storage while taking up very little space.  DIY stores sell them in a range of colours, sizes and finishes, including wood, glass and metal. If you have a little more room, then free standing shelving units are another option.

  1. Making existing storage work better

There’s more space in most cupboards than is ever used. The upper half is usually wasted but this can easily be changed by fitting mini shelves with legs. This will enable you to use all your precious vertical space.

Look at your drawers, these can hold many more utensils and household items if the space is properly managed. Fitting cutlery trays and drawer dividers keeps the contents of the drawer easily accessible.

It may seem paradoxical, but to create a less cluttered feel you could remove your high level cupboard doors and install open cupboards. These create a feeling of space, especially if you store your glassware or attractive crockery in them. If you’re doing this yourself, it works best with painted cabinets so any holes can be disguised with filler and a quick touch up of paint.

There may be hidden storage opportunities too.  If you have a range cooker, it’s a great space to store those massive roasting tins – just pop them out when it’s time to cook. This works even better with triple ovens.

What next?

Once you’ve made best use of your storage, have some fun with other items in your kitchen. What about the layout? We all know about the magical kitchen triangle of the sink, fridge and oven but what about creating a secondary triangle?

Focus on the three other items you use most and create your own triangle. If you love cooking from scratch, it could be your chopping board, knives and pans. If you are more of a wine buff then bottle storage, corkscrew and glasses would be your three magical items.

The trick is to place them where they are accessible, and you can move from one to the other in a logical, fluid manner. It makes your cooking more efficient and pleasurable – a dance around the room instead of a shuffle!

kitchen sill plants
kitchen sill plants

Quick fixes

Add a splash of colour with growing herbs or flowers. Your cooking will benefit from pots of basil or coriander on the windowsill. Try new handles and knobs for your cupboards to really change the look of your kitchen.

One of the cupboard doors can also be painted with chalkboard paint. This is a clever use of wasted space and looks great, especially if you frame it within the borders of the door. It doesn’t have to be black either – coloured chalkboard paint will brighten up even the dullest space, ensuring your kitchen looks fresh and modern for the summer months ahead.