How long has it been since you’ve truly enjoyed cooking a meal in your kitchen? Do you cringe when you look at your décor, or do you just wish you had a completely different kitchen? Did someone else decide how to decorate and now you’re stuck with a style you don’t like? There’s no reason to torture yourself. Your kitchen should be a place where you enjoy being, preparing food, cooking meals, and spending time with other people.
Research has shown that the act of cooking food improves wellbeing and contributes to life satisfaction. One study found that cooking is the best predictor of happiness. If you aren’t enjoying the time you spend in the kitchen, you’re missing out.
If you don’t like your kitchen, it’s time to give it a makeover. Even if you don’t have the budget for a full renovation, here are some ways to make it a bit cozier and more enjoyable.
Extend your kitchen outdoors
You can paint the kitchen walls and change your décor, but have you thought about getting an outdoor kitchen? Not just a barbecue, but a real kitchen setup with a stove or grill, countertops, and maybe even an ice machine?
Compared to cooking indoors, it’s a completely different experience outside. Not only are you out in the fresh air, but depending on your house, you might have far more space outside. That’s great news if you like cooking for multiple people, but never seem to have enough room inside.
For instance, when you have a party, most people want to spend time in the kitchen where the snacks are. That’s usually where the host is located, which means it’s going to be a tight squeeze. When your space is small, this doesn’t work. It’s even worse when you have food on the barbecue outside, but still need to bake or fry food inside because you have to run between that long distance.
An outdoor kitchen can be fully-functioning
An outdoor kitchen can be anything you want, from a simple gas grill to a griddle or several modular units connected to make a full-service kitchen. There are endless possibilities for outdoor kitchens. If you don’t have anything specific in mind and need inspiration, RTA Outdoor Living has some wonderful design ideas for outdoor kitchen designs. The best part is you can even get extra counter space and islands. They can be powered by natural gas, propane, electricity, or even firewood if that’s what you prefer.
If you want a fresh look and feel, but don’t really have the space inside to extend your options, get an outdoor kitchen. You’ll have the option of cooking anywhere you want, and that variety might be just what you need.
Ask others in your household for input
Although there are countless kitchen design ideas that people rave about, especially on Pinterest, that doesn’t mean all of those designs will make you feel good. You might hate the farmhouse style, while your family members don’t like the shabby chic look. However, both styles are extremely popular and come highly recommended by influencers. In this case, it wouldn’t make sense to decorate your kitchen in either style. You might prefer an eclectic style that has no name, or a style that isn’t popular enough to make it to Pinterest.
Regardless of differences in taste, there’s surely something everyone can agree on, even if it’s nothing too fancy. You don’t have to change everything to give your kitchen a new look and feel.
Before making any decisions, talk to the other members of your household to get their input on what they would like to see in terms of wall décor and other elements. Come to the decision together to ensure everyone will be happy with the changes.
Improve the flow in your kitchen
There are many things you can change about your kitchen, but if you’ve got a decent budget, consider improving the flow first. The best-looking décor can’t make up for a kitchen with bad flow.
Do you find it awkward to chop vegetables and then place them into a pot? Do you have to walk a long way to get to the fridge, or is your sink in the wrong place when you need to rinse pasta or wash your hands?
Your refrigerator, stove, and sink are the main elements, and should be spaced apart properly. Some design experts say to draw an imaginary triangle on the floor connecting these three items and each side of the triangle should be between four and nine feet apart. Anything less than four feet is too cramped; anything more than nine feet is too distant.
Add more counter space
A little more counter space will go a long way to create a cozier kitchen. One of the biggest reasons a kitchen starts to feel icky is because it’s cramped. If you don’t have enough space to prepare veggies, cold cuts, or meats without having to move things around to accommodate other prep needs, you’ll get frustrated.
Your first option is to get longer or wider counters. Another option is to add a kitchen island. A cheaper option is to rearrange how you use your existing counter space by removing large appliances and stashing them away when they aren’t in use. You need at least two feet on either side of your sink free at all times to function in the kitchen.
Improve your lighting
Lighting can change everything. If your kitchen feels dull and drab, it could be a matter of poor lighting. Overhead lighting is ideal, but you need a proper shade and the right bulbs to make it work. Yellow hues are uninspiring, as are lights that act more like a spotlight.
Call in a lighting expert to advise you on your situation. You might need updated fixtures, or something as simple as strip lighting can make a big difference.
Your kitchen is important – make it cozy
If you don’t like your kitchen, give it an upgrade. You and your family will feel good, and it will increase your desire to cook delicious, healthy meals.