BLURB: When we’re looking to remodel, we all want to make sure that the kitchen looks trendy and modern. But what does the word really mean in this context? For some, it could be a minimalist, uncluttered kitchen equipped with the bare essentials, while for others it could be about being more conscious of the environment and what we consume and throw out of the kitchen. Maybe these seven tips can help you decide what sort of ‘modern’ kitchen you like.
It’s quite common these days to be someone who takes pride in being environmentally conscious. The World over, home decor is moving towards greener option that ensures you’re doing your little bit to save the environment. But, does that mean you need to sacrifice the good looks of a modern design, especially in the kitchen?
Nobody wants a kitchen that looks like it’s not been touched since the 1960s. Fret not! There are multiple ways to remodel your kitchen, while still being green at design. Even if you cannot afford the big ticket spends, you can do much to bring your kitchen up-to-date by switching out lights and throwing in a couple of plants into the mix.
Soak up the sun
If you’re upgrading, you might as well consider upgrading the technology in your kitchen! Have you ever wondered how you can decrease your electricity bill? Did you know that the oven and dishwasher could be major contributors to your skyrocketing power consumption? Enter, solar panels, which can present you with the most sustainable solution to your power struggles.
Sure, solar panels are quite expensive, so if your budget cannot purchase the entire set for your home, at least make sure you have enough to power your kitchen. This way you can generate power on your own and humongous electricity bills will become a thing of the past.
Switch the lights
Lights are an important indication of how old your kitchen is or when it was last remodeled. Yes, that’s true. So, switch out those old incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs which will last you longer at a lower cost. In fact, they are much brighter and keep your kitchen illuminated well. Having them included as recessed lighting is the latest trend too.
In case you are looking to change the whole set up, switch to stylish pendant lights, which have become an integral part of chic kitchens these days. They’re not too expensive and give your home a lovely, modern feel. If you have a kitchen island, consider focussing all the attention on it by adding pendant lights overhead. Large, domed and industrial, pendant lights look great even juxtaposed with an otherwise traditional decor. So, if your budget is really small, then make pendant lights your top priority.
Upgrade your tech
Like with the solar panels, there are other technological decisions you can make to create a kitchen that’s more utilitarian and modern. For instance, install flood sensors. Installing these in the kitchen can help you figure out if there’s a leak anywhere way before it gets to the point of no return. Just place them under sinks and dishwashers or even in the utility rooms and heave a sigh of relief.
Another upgrade you can consider is remote-controlled window shades. This isn’t a great option just for your kitchen but for the entire house. These are useful when windows are located in tights spots that you can’t reach. Install these tech-savvy shades and you’d be able to simply flood your home with lovely, natural light with the click of a button.
Throw in a few plants
Having a garden is always a nice thing – whether it’s just about relieving some stress or the fact that they’ll purify the air in the house. While it’s not possible to maintain a greenhouse or a large garden within the house, you can do little adjustments and make your kitchen a happier, greener place.
Houseplants are a lovely addition to the countertop or the kitchen island. They add a lot of character to the ambiance of your home. And apart from this, you can grow herbs and other useful kitchen plants by the windowsill. There are scores of simple DIY projects that you can use to create space for plants even in the tiniest of kitchens.
Besides brightening the place up, plants have a psychologically calming effect on your nerves thanks to all that soothing green on them. So, get creative with container gardens; put up some hanging gardens, and add in a few succulents for a cathartic cooking environment.
Upgrade the cabinets
Let’s face it: Your kitchen is full of cabinets and there’s no escaping them. So an uphaul of kitchen cabinetry is probably the most important decision you will make while remodeling. And, rest assured, it will be the one that will truly stand out when you’re done. You have a lot to think about in this regard, though. Do you want a different color or a metallic finish? What about the material used in making them?
Modern cabinets tend to be sleek and stylish, with minimalistic design elements. Or, if your general home decor is more traditional and you’d like a kitchen that neatly ties into everything, then choose traditional wood finishes, which can look great too.
If replacing entire cabinets threatens to break the bank, then the simplest and cheapest way to a new look is via paint. Depending upon the kind of person you are, you could get really bold and give your cabinets a completely different color, like yellow or pink! Sound like you?
If not, then stick to neutral shades like white, gray or the trending navy blue – these colors look great with any design.
What’s that smell?
One of the problems of a working kitchen is its smell. Well, sometimes you enjoy the smell of food wafting out. But there are times when it may not be so pleasant and it can get quite embarrassing if you’re having unexpected guests. This is truer in the case of kitchens that are open and a part of the living space. Since the sense of smell is one of our most acute senses, you can be sure nobody’s going to notice your beautiful-looking kitchen when it smells hideous.
So, an essential oil diffuser can be lifesavers that don’t need you to do anything – not even the effort of walking around the house spraying room freshener. And let’s not forget all the harmful chemicals you’d be spraying into your home with these artificial room fresheners. The best way to keep the air and environment happy is by picking naturally occurring essential oils that diffuse themselves into the atmosphere, scenting it as they waft around. You can choose from a range of lovely, mild fragrances that make people wonder if they’ve stepped into a kitchen or an oasis.
Keep it clean
We don’t often look at the floor of the kitchen while considering a remodel and we needn’t always do that either, especially if we’re on a tight budget. But consider this – if this is a space you use often during the day then the chances of it being messy are high! And, if you have a pet or a child at home, the odds multiply.
But nobody’s a big fan of sweeping and mopping floors – so, think about gifting yourself a robot cleaner or a vacuum that you can just set your kitchen while you’re working. This saves you time while keeping the floor clean and sparkling.
Small but big
When you’re considering investing in modern appliances for the kitchen, make sure you invest on things that aren’t big and occupy too much space. Thankfully, technology has come to our rescue yet again. Many appliances have now got smaller versions, that work just as efficiently to cook that pot roast or to toast your bread. Do some research and splurge on these things. Another important consideration, while spending on new kitchen appliances, is their energy ratings.
Although they may be slightly more expensive than the rest, you will recover that cost through reduced power bills. Not to forget the fact that they are better for the environment as well. So, investing in smaller, energy-efficient appliances can help you achieve that elusive minimalism because it’d be easier to find hidden storage spaces for the appliances when they aren’t in use. Now, your kitchen will never look cluttered with things despite having everything you need.
Yes, at the end of it, remodeling comes down to a lot of decision, especially if you are looking to upgrade to a modern kitchen or are on a tight budget. So make sure you know what you are getting into and also be prepared to make some adjustments here and there. And voila! Your 21st-century kitchen is ready in your head and all you need to do is convert it into reality.