It’s a new year and a new beginning for your home. As we’ve discussed previously, your kitchen is one of the easiest rooms to renovate—and most likely to give you more bang for your buck. Start the year right by planning your own kitchen overhaul, and consider these four ideas to make the space stand out.
1. Change the Aesthetic
Starting out, ask yourself what kind of feeling does your kitchen currently gives you and your guests? Maybe you’ve created a warm, friendly room that encourages relaxation and socializing. Or you could have a kitchen with a more modern edge, featuring sleek, metal appliances. You may even be housing a kitchen that lends a more classical approach to cooking and dining. Regardless of your current design, changing the appearance, and ultimately the ambiance, of your kitchen is easier than you might think.
Clean lines, a cool color scheme, and plenty of space are all hallmarks of the modern look. Depending on your appliances, complimenting them with a light grey or pale blue paint job will make them really pop. You’ll want to open up those windows and let all the light in you can in order to make the space feel larger and more inviting. Aside from brightening your kitchen space, you’ll also use less electricity, keeping your electric bills down.
A classic look is all about earth tones: tans, browns, and natural wood. This is a great opportunity to repurpose old furnishings that might otherwise find themselves being replaced. Your favorite antique chair or table, with a little sanding and staining or painting, can help revitalize your space by matching the new decor. Darker wood cabinets such as rosewood, teak and mahogany will warm up the room and make it feel more comfortable and relaxing. Bring in a light-colored futon or a set of painted stools to complete the look.
2. Create or Eliminate Space
The amount of space you have to work with should be a determining factor in the aesthetic you choose. This is one of the first rooms your guests will see, but it’s also a space you’ll be working in every day. Remember, your kitchen shouldn’t just look beautiful, it should be functional, too.
With more space to work with, a modern look will be best. Clean, sharp lines with minimal design contrasts well with open spaces. As before, the more light the better. This will make your kitchen feel even larger. When designing toward a modern aesthetic, don’t try to fill up the room, only placing furniture when it’s functional and absolutely necessary.
If your kitchen is a little cramped, go for the classic look. The woods and earth tones that a classic aesthetic highlight make a space feel warmer and homier. Not everything has to be functional here, so place furniture and affectations where they look best. Think of the room as a place of entertainment. As long as you can still work in your kitchen and comfortably seat guests, the room will be a popular spot.
3. Replace the Countertop
You might be surprised at how drastically replacing your countertop will change your room. This is the business end of the kitchen, where all the work is done, and the focal point of the space. Once you’ve decided on your aesthetic, here are two choices to bring the room together.
To bring a modern design together, recycled glass countertops are a great choice. It comes in many different patterns and styles to match your aesthetic. A Black Star or Nero Maltese colored countertop will draw the eye and center the room. Supporting the sleek, clean lines, this surface looks best in composite, giving your countertop a unique impression instead of a basic slab.
A colored granite countertop can bring some color into your classic kitchen. A basic white will draw the eye to your wooden cabinets, but you can distract from plain cabinets with a stronger hue. If you have basic cabinets, consider a bright red surface to make them pop. A classic space can be diverse, so don’t be afraid to make a strong choice to surprise your guests.
4. Finish with Flooring
Deciding what flooring to install in your new kitchen might be one of the most difficult choices. This is where you need to know firmly what you want your room’s aesthetic to be, as your flooring will make or break your space.
If you’ve decided that the modern look is what you want to work toward, you’re going to need to choose dark flooring that will offset the whites and greys the aesthetic implies. Even if you’re working with a darker set of modern cabinetry, offsetting the choice with a lighter color can also add a modern flair. Materials like tile, slate, or even concrete would be a strong choice for your kitchen. You need something sturdy and sleek to compliment the straight lines and minimalist design of the room.
With a classic kitchen in mind, you’re going to want to choose wood. It’s a versatile surface with a variety of looks, all of which warm up a room. Wood not only compliments but also underscores a classic aesthetic. Depending on the color of your cabinets and countertops, a dark wood like teak, or a light wood like pine, will tighten up the space and please the eye.
Remember, decide on an aesthetic first and then work toward it. With an ultimate goal in mind, you won’t be buying pieces haphazardly, working sideways toward a mismatched design. Once you have your dream kitchen in mind, get to it and enjoy the new year and the happiness and comfort your new kitchen will bring.