5 Practical Kitchen Improvements That Make An Aesthetic & Functional Impact

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When it comes to renovating your kitchen, it’s easy to fall into the trap of favouring trendy but largely impractical ideas. Thanks to magazines and websites that showcase some of the cleanest and most fashionable designs, homeowners can sometimes fall prey to overambition, but without the financial backing or knowledge to pull it off. 

But ‘trendy’ doesn’t necessarily translate as current, modern and in fashon. In fact, there are loads of kitchen trends for 2023 that people are already adopting for their new builds which are easy to pull off. Whether it’s soothing colours or large communal spaces, there are a lot of different ways to renovate and redesign your kitchen.

But we need to ask the all-important question; does it make a difference?

Today, we’re going to take a look at practical kitchen improvements which make a real impact on the way you use them, and how you cook and eat in the space. Instead of only bringing the look of the space bang up to date, here are 5 practical kitchen improvements that make an aesthetic and functional impact. 

Countertop Upgrades

Countertops play a central role in the functionality of your kitchen. Simply put, these surfaces stand out, especially if you’re leaving them largely clear of clutter. If you have a communal kitchen island that is fairly large, then it’ll typically have ample space that you can use for prep or storage. To make an impact, you want these countertop surfaces to look great, too.

Replacing these wholesale can be quite expensive, especially if you’re going for a sleek look which ties in with the rest of the kitchen. However, countertops aren’t just for looks. They help to protect your kitchen and when making bread or pastry, also represent the surface most conducive to clean, delicious results! Yep, a smooth and clean surface is going to make a huge difference to certain cooking methods, and as such, it’s well worth your time to invest in a new countertop.

If you’re interested in a practical upgrade to your kitchen, then replacing damaged or dull countertops is one of the best moves you can make. Whilst we’re a big fan of wood effect worktops and concrete worktop, granite surfaces arguably make the most worthwhile investment, as they’re durable and won’t suddenly go out of fashion in the near future! Phew.

New Backsplashes

Backsplashes are primarily designed and installed to protect your walls from different spills and splatters from the kitchen. Yep, we’ve all had a bolognese sauce which has gone rogue and ended up adorning the wall; backsplashes (and lower hob heat) are your greatest defence against this.

Practicality aside, backsplashes have also become a key component of kitchen design, and have come a long way since their first use in older kitchens. Now, they can serve both form and function.

There’s a huge range of different materials that you can use for your backsplash. Ceramic tiles are the most common, but you can even deploy marble or wood. If you’re designing your kitchen around something specific, stand out aesthetic, then unique materials like stainless steel or marble can be used.

Some people have even experimented with vinyl peel stickers and an entire chalkboard wall to create a very specific design for their kitchen. Rather than thinking conservatively, there are backsplash ideas to suit any taste. The world is your oyster; just don’t spill the accompanying tabasco on the wall.

Diverse Storage Options

Kitchens can get very cluttered, very quickly, especially if you have a lot of single-use appliances such as a rice cooker, spiraliser or coffee machine, all on the surface. Whilst these appliances are incredibly useful if you use them a lot, they don’t half take up unnecessary room if you don’t. 

There comes a point when you realise that your kitchen has become overcrowded, and it’s negatively affecting the functionality and flow of the space. If this realisation has dawned on you recently, you’ll want to look for smart ways to add more storage to your kitchen. This will be highly dependant on your kitchen and how much space you currently have, but here are a couple of ideas to help you out:

  • First, try to declutter your kitchen. Remove anything that you don’t use very often, ideally for good. Be ruthless, but if there are things such as extra plates and cutlery sets that you might use in the future, then store them elsewhere.
  • Next, consider adding a few more cupboards and shelves if space allows for it. Look around your kitchen and if you see a bare wall; that’s a candidate for a cupboard or shelf, right there. It may be difficult to maintain a consistent design if you can’t source the same cupboards that you currently have, so a shelf may be the best option. Open shelving, in particular, can be economical with the scant space you have, with the added bonus of showing off some of your fancy pickle jars and interesting spices to the world! Or at least, to visitors.
  • Think vertically. Invest in functional, flexible items like vertical space racks and consider hanging your pots and pans on the wall instead of storing them in a cupboard. This frees up more space inside your cupboards and is an effective way to use space.
  • Finally, if you have a lot of wine bottles cluttering your kitchen, installing a wine fridge or rack under the counter or in a cabinet could be a good way to keep them neatly stored out of sight. Philip from Expert Wine Storage says; “Our customers often get in touch with us to try and reduce the amount of wine bottles they have stored around their kitchens. Having a dedicated space for your wine bottles really helps to keep your kitchen decluttered!”. He might be right, you know…

Storage space can be difficult to create in a cluttered kitchen, but it’s a practical kitchen improvement that we would highly recommend. It takes a lot of time, but it’s well worth the effort and investment; your cooking will thrive because of it.

Lighting

Another kitchen upgrade that delivers both aesthetic and functional benefits is the installation of new lighting fixtures.

Good lighting is key to a functional kitchen, enhancing visibility for cooking and preparation tasks and showing off your kitchen in its very best light. You can consider the installation of under-cabinet lights to illuminate those beautiful countertops we mentioned, or pendant lights above an island to add focused illumination where needed.

In terms of aesthetics, stylish fixtures can act as a focal point in the kitchen, adding character and setting the ambiance of the space. Whether rustic, modern, or classic, there’s a wide range of lighting options that can perfectly complement your existing interior style. In addition, dimmable lights offer flexible control over the mood and energy of the kitchen.

So, the upgrade in lighting is not only visually appealing but also enhances the functionality of a kitchen. And that’s what you’re here for, right?

Upgrading The Everyday Fixtures & Appliances

Think about your daily routine in the kitchen and consider what tasks feel needlessly obstructive and lengthy, and what processes feel unnecessarily slow. For example, do you find it difficult to wash dishes because you don’t have much space to dry them? Perhaps get yourself a dish drying rack or even a dishwasher if you have space. Do you find that your kitchen sink is a bit too small? Consider swapping it out for a larger one and change the taps while you’re at it so you have more control over where the water goes.

Go further and look deeper. Do you find certain places in your kitchen hard to clean? Maybe your microwave is in an awkward position or perhaps you have an old stovetop that can be replaced with something like an integrated version with more features.

Modern, slick appliances are increasingly affordable in an ever more competitive market, and their addition may well make your life easier in the kitchen, as well as bringing a cutting edge look to the room. And that’s why you arrived at this article in the first place, right?

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