How to Make Your Kitchen More Functional

We spend a lot of time in the kitchen.  It can either be a pleasant experience or a trying one, depending on how your kitchen is designed. Believe it or not, there are several ways to make your kitchen more functional without breaking the bank. Check out the suggestions below to see what might help you get the kitchen you’ve always wanted.

Add a kitchen island or butcher block

Look around your kitchen:  is there a lot of wasted floor space?  Do you feel like you’re walking back and forth across an empty floor to go from refrigerator to sink to stove?  How about your surface area?  Could you use a bit more space?  It may be time to add a kitchen island or butcher block. Many kitchens are built in a perfect square with a whole lot of nothing in the middle. What a waste!  You can easily add more surface area, storage, and functionality to your kitchen simply by adding an island or butcher block. Depending on the size of the space, a simple portable butcher block may due but if you have the space, adding a kitchen island is a fairly inexpensive renovation with a big payoff. Find a professional designer that can advise you what will work best in your home.

Drawers with a purpose

Especially in older homes, drawers were made to be multi-functional but nowadays, you can take those drawers to better suit your needs. One of the most popular upgrades is spice drawers. You’ve been there:  peering into a dark cabinet with spices 5 layers deep on a shelf. You can’t find anything, so you use the same five spices over and over again. No more!  Keep all your spices organized and right where you need them with a spice drawer under your cooktop. It’s a great way to keep all those small containers organized without wasting any counter space!

Add another sink

People are surprised by this suggestion but it’s nothing short of brilliant if you think about it, especially if you can put that second sink in a kitchen island. If you share kitchen time with another cook, you’re going to love how convenient this is. One sink for food prep, another for the dirty dishes. Heaven!

Repurpose deep cupboards

Are there some cabinets so deep that you only use the front half?  Think about repurposing a few deep cupboards with bench space, power points and lighting in them. Store your appliances here so you can use them then close the door and forget about them.

Maximize your cabinet space potential

Maximize your vertical space by having wall cabinets reach to the ceiling. That big space above your cabinets?  Dust collectors. Go vertical and make your kitchen more functional! Increase the depth of wall cabinets from the standard 12” to 15”. There are several affordable lines of cabinetry that allow you to do this.

Kitchen upgrades that don’t require remodeling

Here are a few additional lower-cost ways to make your kitchen more functional:

  • Hang pots and pans
  • Add hooks inside cabinet doors for measuring spoons and measuring cups
  • Always use your corner space and utilize Magic Corners or a Lazy Susan to access the space.
  • Utilize the seldom-used cabinet above the refrigerator
  • Store your cookie sheets vertically on shelves
  • Group like utensils

There are many ways you can make your kitchen more functional, regardless of size. Try some of these and see how much your kitchen experience will improve!

5 Trends in Kitchen Countertops

When it’s time to renovate your kitchen, countertops can often make the biggest impact as they’re the most visible part of any kitchen. Trends have come and gone over the years; some are still going strong while others are considered outdated. Want some fresh ideas for your kitchen remodel?  Check out these 5 trends in kitchen countertops.

Prominent Patterns

Natural stones such as granite and marble can come with many different patterns or styles. You may see a fairly consistent pattern throughout the stone or you can see what’s called “movement” which means a unique pattern of crystals, veins and patterns that flow through the piece of stone. In the past, movement wasn’t desirable by homeowners for countertops but the new trend is to bring it on! Very distinct, prominent patterns in granite and marble are now in style; the more unique the better. For many, it makes decorating more interesting as designers match the colors and patterns in the stone with other décor in the kitchen such as artwork, wallpaper or backsplashes.

Backsplash Tiles

In the past, a backsplash was an extension of the stone or other material used for the countertops. Nowadays, backsplashes are predominantly tiles which allows for much more versatility. Whether it’s multi-colored tiles or subway tiles, backsplash tiles are the new norm. Materials for the tiles can include marble, metal, glass, copper, slate or glass, just to name a few. The options allow homeowners to really customize the look of their kitchens.

Neutral Countertops

Another emerging trend with the popularity of backsplash tiles are neutral countertops. While many homeowners want their countertops to take center stage with interesting patterns, others want their backsplash creativity to shine through, and are instead opting for very neutral countertops. Soft greys, whites, creams and beiges allow for other items in the kitchen, not just backsplashes, to stand out. The goal is for the countertop to be neutral and not catch anyone’s eye while other fun features such as lighting, backsplashes or even appliances to stand out.

Metal Countertops

This surprising trend is actually quite stunning! Metal countertops are now becoming increasingly popular all homes due to their durability and eye-catching shine. Though not new; this trend has been spotted in more contemporary, urban homes, the look is going mainstream. Many metal countertops are made to withstand rust and surface dings that are bound to happen in the kitchen.

Integrated Kitchen Sinks

Over the years, styles of sinks change with some frequency:  Over-counter, undermount, black granite, white porcelain, stainless steel, farmhouse sinks, etc. The trends seem to be driven by the look more than the functionality. Now the trend is sinks that are integrated into countertops. Also known as an “integrated sink countertop,” “counter sink,” or “integral sink”, integrated kitchen sink countertops are a single-piece design because the sink is made of the same material as the countertop. Why is this on trend?  They’re easy to clean because there are no seams between countertops and sinks. They provide a sleek look, so the sink isn’t a visual focal point in the kitchen. They’ve been popular for awhile in bathrooms, but now kitchens are featuring them as well.

At the end of the day, if you’re interesting in building your dream kitchen, the style needs to reflect your tastes as well as what you want the functionality of your kitchen to be. Countertop trends can be fun in opening up possibilities to make your kitchen unique. Not sure if these trends will work for you?  Work with a company that specializes in kitchen remodeling and restoration to find options that are right for you.