Winter kitchen warm up – health and beauty checklist
The kitchen is the focal point of every home and needs to be both functional and ...
The kitchen is the focal point of every home and needs to be both functional and beautiful.
You’ll probably be spending more time in your kitchen over winter boiling the kettle for hot drinks and creating warming meals in the oven or on the stove. Regardless of whether you plan to spend many more winters cooking in the kitchen of your current home, or are making plans to sell in Spring, it is worth giving your kitchen a health and beauty check-up because it can have a major impact on the mood of the people in your home and also its attractiveness to potential buyers.
How functional is your kitchen?
Is it effective for all the roles it plays - meal preparation, sharing conversation, sorting mail, storing paperwork, studying and generally hanging out? A modern kitchen should have good storage, plenty of bench space and working appliances.
Get a second opinion.
Dream as you sip warm cocoa and flip through magazines. See what you like so you can make plans. If you are considering selling your home you could also speak to your real estate agent to find out how you can make your kitchen more appealing to buyers before you take any major steps on renovation. Your agent can guide you on whether the cost of your renovation is likely to improve the value of your home.
Basic kitchen fixes:
- Repair the floor – peeling coverings, scuffed boards or a broken tile may not cost you much to deal with but if you are selling prospective buyers will factor in a repair cost and it may be higher than the actual cost of you doing it.
- Consider replacing old bench tops and cupboard and pantry doors, remembering to stay with the era and character of your home.
- Update cupboard handles and re-grout tiled splash backs.
- Clear the clutter, install plenty of lighting and replace old taps.
- Get rid of old appliances and replace them with new, modern ones.
The colours used in the kitchen influence everything from your mood to appetite and can impact on the colours used in the rest of the home. A general guide to choosing colour is to start by choosing all the colours that you like and then narrow them down to a few options. Use sample pots of paint in your shortlisted colours and paint canvases with them. Look at the canvases in different areas and at different times of day. You’ll soon decide if the colour really works for you or not. Alternatively, you can pick one feature for your kitchen and choose colours based off that. For example, you could choose a gorgeous mosaic tile, or find a laminate sample (from kitchen designers and in most carpet or tile stores) or granite that could be the benchtop of your dreams. Use the colours present in the material that you find and choose complementary tones. For example, if you find beautiful speckled black granite, use the lighter tones on your walls and for cabinetry.
- Setting the mood – colours set the mood for your kitchen so think about what you’d like that to be. In general terms that might be light and airy, or rustic country or cool modern and trendy, or snuggle up warm and cosy. Now choose colours that will complement that mood. Some basic colour rules are that warmer, richer colours like deep reds and browns will create an enveloping feel. Lighter whites, creams, blues, greens, greys and reflective surfaces will create an open, cool, clean feeling. If you’re after a classic country look, think whitewash, china blue and sunny yellow, with cottage pinks and reds. Take a piece of crockery or fabric that inspires you and use the colours in that.
- Colours can also affect your appetite. Reds and oranges will stimulate your appetite while dark blue or black can represent ‘off’ food, curbing your appetite.
- Neutrals stand the test of time - if you are after a kitchen that will last for years without dating, you can’t go past using classic neutral colours. These are the colours that you would find in nature – off whites, creams, greys, earthy browns and greens and so on. These colours are calming and comforting and they are very easily jazzed up with accent colours as your mood or trends dictate. If you’re selling it is often a good idea to tone down the wild colours to give broader buyer appeal.