Refreshing your Kitchen: Simple changes that have a big impact
Karl Lohnes, Canada AM home and decor expert
Published Thursday, March 6, 2014 7:20AM EST
Hopefully you have the kitchen of your dreams; if not there are some ways to spruce up your old kitchen by injecting some colourful and stylish accessories. There are some easy ideas and simple rules to follow when making your kitchen look like a magazine spread. Here's a few of my favourites:
- If you have open shelving or glass-fronted cabinets, this is the spot to display your matching dishes or glasses (not cans of beans or jars of mayonnaise).
- The tools you need for the job should always be close at hand. Your cutlery near the table, knives near the cutting board (and well out of reach if you have children), pots and pans near the stove - preferably nested to save space. Try creating zones in the kitchen. Open shelving near the stove can hold stacks of dishware ready for plating when dinner is ready. Glasses in the cupboard near the fridge and a coffee maker on the counter underneath becomes the “beverage” zone. These are just basic kitchen organizing rules.
- If you have the luxury of extra counter space or a dedicated shelf, try stacking up a few of your most-used cookbooks and putting a decorative item on top.
- A small kitchen appears even smaller with a lot of clutter on the countertops. Try not to scatter small items along the countertop; put them on a tray so they stay contained. And store those rarely used appliances out of sight… my ice cream maker and margarita blender stay in the basement during the winter months while the bread maker and panini machine are in the kitchen cupboard during the cold weather.
- Select a colour palette for your accessories and then go tone-on tone. This will create a simpler look.
- Be mindful to leave some negative space (empty counter space to actually cook!).
- Every room needs a focal point- choose a few colourful or large-scaled accessories to create one in the kitchen. In most cases it will be either around the sink/window or the stove area.
- In a rarely used kitchen use smaller-scaled artwork to add interest to the backsplash- they take up no counters space and can really set a stylish tone.
When styling your kitchen countertops, keep in mind this list of items that actually look good out on display- and are useful: plant life, particularly herbs for cooking always look great on a window ledge; a wood cutting board can be a beautiful yet useful items to have close at hand and fresh food like fruits or baked goods-nothing boxed. processed food is not pretty food.
And for the stuff that shouldn't be seen:
- Store appliances you rarely use in a cupboard and take them out only when you need them
- Take a visual inventory of your kitchen and identify where there's unnecessary clutter - maybe it's a corner filled with paperwork and mail, boxes of cereal or bread on top of your fridge, excessive accessories on top of your cabinets, or mismatched jars and vessels? Do this every few weeks!
- Clean out your cupboards and pantry (throw out old food & sell or donate unused dishes, etc.) to make room for the items you need to find storage for.
- Keep it simple - leave out only the items you use on a regular basis; store spices, food, etc. in cupboards.
- Change things up every once in a while to keep your kitchen looking fresh and updated.
- Your countertop is not a curio cabinet. Too many small things will look cluttered so vary the sizes and scale of things displayed.
DO'S AND DON'TS
- Do: Remember the rule of multiples when accessorizing your counter space; always group items in odd numbers (1,3,5,7 ….) It is much more pleasing to the eye.
- Do: Blend with the rest of your kitchen décor. If your kitchen is rustic and casual for example do not introduce formal delicate accessories.
- Do: Vary the height of your display for optimal visual interest.
- Don't: Line everything up in a row. It is static and uninteresting.
- Don't crowd your counter top with unnecessary items. Your kitchen is not a curio cabinet. Don't load up open shelving with unsightly clutter. Keep them organized and simple. Punctuate the space with a few special items.