A kitchen makeover can be the perfect way to impress guests, add value to your property or simply make you feel cosier in your own home. Certain kitchen design trends have become tacky or outdated over the years. Getting rid of these and opting for a few modern and classic touches could help to make your humble abode feel like the home of a millionaire. Getting inspired to redesign your kitchen is quite simple really, just have a look at kitchens through the years. Below I’ve highlighted some of the periods…
50s and 60s
Though food rationing began in the 1940s, its effect continued well into the post-war era. Stripped back and functional was what comes to mind when thinking about the pre-war era of kitchen design and interiors. But as we entered the 1950s, and the age of consumerism, the fitted kitchen with household appliances became the housewife’s domain. Influenced by bold American designs, our kitchens evolved into bright semi-open plan spaces.
70s and 80s
Fridges and freezers crept into the mass market, and more families could afford to keep food cool within the comfort of their own home in the 1970s. The bulky white goods helped to evolve the kitchen – moving away from using seasonal vegetables to having the flexibility to experiment all year round. With the advent of ready meals in the late 70s, our culinary habits and home dining experiences changed drastically from the preceding decade.
90s and 00s
As we moved from the 1990s to the noughties, only 25% of UK households owned a dishwasher. The labour-saving device found its way onto the list of white goods that a fair selection of us installed. As the years went by, and the dishwasher made its way into the mass market, we exited 2015 with 45% of UK homeowners having a dishwasher. An integrated dishwasher and fridge freezer proved to be a stylish addition to our kitchens. However, as the trendy finishes became more popular, many of us now opt for bespoke fridge housings to show off our retro Smegs or stainless steel Samsungs.
Technology began to aid us further from 2010 onwards. Our kitchen appliances have come on leaps and bounds since the 50s and 60s. Hot water taps which were first seen in commercial and industrial kitchens have now entered our domestic kitchens and allowed us to whip up meals in a flash. Multi-zone induction hobs have allowed us to effectively cook larger dishes and the ever-growing smart homes has allowed us to order our shopping online with voice control.
This decade has also introduced us to such smart home stalwarts as Amazon’s Alexa and ingenious appliances – technology that allows us to enjoy our time in the kitchen more than ever before, providing recipes, music and more.
Our kitchens have evolved through time, shaping and shifting the way we buy and consume our food – and evolving our cooking habits from those seen back in the 50s and 60s. The advance of technology and quickening pace of life in modern times has led to a particular trend of open plan luxury kitchens that can act as a multifunctional space, equipped with high-spec appliances, where we can enjoy time with loved ones without having to be in the same small room.
Below I’ve shared with you 5 top tips to help you design your perfect kitchen. Let me know what you think.
Top up your counter top
Replacing an old countertop could help to transform your home. Laminated wood and ceramic are good neutral choices for adding sophistication. However, if you really want to up the elegance, you should try a stone countertop – either marble or granite. These can be expensive materials. That said, you don’t always have to opt for the real thing. There are plenty of faux-granite plastics out there that can serve the same aesthetic purpose, as well as other stone materials such as concrete.
Upgrade old appliances
Your old appliances could be taking away from the luxurious feel of your kitchen. Replacing the white goods isn’t cheap, but in some cases you could save money in the long run. Many newer models are more energy-efficient, particularly those with an Energy Star rating. Not only that, but you could get more functions out of newer appliances. For example, a new washing machine may be able to give you a greater variety of cycles to choose from for different types of laundry. There are also smart options such as smart kettles that you can turn on and off with your phone – useful if you want to turn the kettle on whilst still in bed so that you’re ready to pour your brew by the time you come down.
Most appliances will last for fifteen years. Generally you should try to get at least five years out of an appliance, providing it hasn’t broken within that time. Whilst having new appliances will make your home fresh, you don’t want to wasting unnecessary money constantly buying new machinery.
Freshen up your taps
Modern taps are very different to the taps of twenty years ago. Pull-down taps are a popular option that could allow you to better reach all the corners of your sink, as well as helping to thoroughly rinse out pots and pans. An even more ultramodern trend is boiling water taps. These can instantly fill up a mug or a pan with boiling hot water with the flick of a switch (these taps do come with a safety feature to stop kids getting their hands on them).
Fix up flawed flooring
Linoleum is no longer the rage in households. Old and tired lino can particularly bring down the appearance of a home. Instead consider options such as laminate wood or ceramic tiles. Both approaches needn’t involve pulling up floorboards. Chessboard patterns and controversial colours could devalue your home if you ever plan to sell it.
Let there be light
A luxurious kitchen needs to feel bright. The solution to this could be to add in more artificial light. Spot lighting can help to brighten up dull corners of the room. A cheaper option meanwhile could be track lighting which involves fitting a track on the ceiling and positioning lights on it pointing in different directions to brighten up all the corners of the kitchen. Try to suit your lighting’s intensity to the tone of the kitchen. Ceramic whites and chrome steels may be better complemented with cool lighting, whilst warm lighting may help to brighten up wooden surfaces.
There are also ways to let in more natural light. Reflective surfaces such as chrome steel countertops or mirrored cabinets may help to reflect more sunlight into the room. If you’re using woods you could opt for lighter types such as beech and oak rather than the likes of mahogany and sapele (although these latter choices can help bring a sense of sophistication to an older property). Painting cabinets with a glossy white could also help to brighten the place up.
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