The kitchen is more than just the heart of the home. It’s where the family gathers to catch up, finish off last-minute work and – importantly – prepare nourishing meals. That last one is probably the most critical and requires the kitchen space to be geared for functionality. With new design and storage solutions coming up, making your kitchen more user-friendly isn’t as big a job as you think. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to operate in a complicated, badly-designed kitchen. Here are 9 easy ways you can make your kitchen more functional…
How to make your kitchen more functional
1). A U-shaped kitchen island
Rather than installing a large butcher-block style kitchen island, think about the usability of a U-shaped alternative. With a large square or rectangular island, not all of the space is reachable which means a portion of the block becomes a general dumping ground. With a U-shaped island, no central space is wasted and you can use one arm of the U for seating or workspace. Stylish and functional.
Image by @hgtv on Pinterest
2). Location logic
A crucial thing to think about if you’re redoing your kitchen is where things need to be to make your life easier. Before you install things like built-in cupboards and glass cabinets, take a moment to consider how you cook and what you use most in the kitchen. Then set it up so that the space makes sense for you. Make sure everyday appliances are easy to access and that similar items are close to each other – like the kettle and coffee canisters. You’ll save so much time if things are stored where they’re used.
3). Vertical storage space
If you want to keep countertops clear, but are running low on cupboard space, think about creating vertical wall storage. With items like hooks, rods and magnets, you can store and display anything from coffee mugs and sauce pans to everyday utensils. This solution works well in any kitchen, no matter the size, and you can set it up in a way that suits you. The options are endless.
Image by @hgtv on Pinterest
4). A chalkboard wall
Or simply a small chalkboard hung conveniently on a central wall. In the kitchen, there are always things you need to remember, from daily groceries to maintenance to-do lists and pick-up schedules for the kids. An easy way to make sure these things don’t leave your mind is to write them down as soon as you think of them. A chalkboard provides the perfect solution because once something has been done, you just wipe it off. And you don’t waste paper. If you need your kitchen – and your life – to be more functional, this is an easy trick to try.
5). A spice drawer
Another easy way to make your kitchen more functional – and keep it tidy. Spices take up space in the pantry and, when you use them almost every day, you don’t want to be searching in the back of a cupboard to find the Paprika you’re looking for. And, if you leave them on the countertops, they just end up collecting dust. A simple solution is to install a shallow spice drawer where everything is easily visible and accessible. Depending on the shape of your kitchen, a vertical cupboard with built-in spice racks could also be an option.
Image by @riorganize on Pinterest
6). Two sinks
This is such a simple solution, but you’ll appreciate it every day. Even in a small kitchen, it’s worth sacrificing counter space for the functionality and long-term convenience of having two sinks. Place them next to each other if their main purpose is for washing dishes. Or, install a built-in sink into the kitchen island so that it can be used when you’re cooking. And, if there are usually multiple cooks, you won’t have to share a sink.
7). Smart lighting
How much time do you waste rummaging around in a drawer for the specific serrated knife you need? The first thing to do here is invest in clever dividers, but you also need to think about lighting. That might be the main reason you can never find what you’re looking for. Fortunately, there are clever lighting and tech solutions coming up all the time, making the most of things like motion sensors and plug-in lighting strips.
Image by @family_handyman on Pinterest
8). Glass cabinets
While it can be aesthetically pleasing to have streamlined kitchen cupboards, it’s not always as functional. If you tend to misplace things, opening four cupboards before finding what you’re looking for, think about installing a few glass cabinets in your kitchen as well. Keep glass cabinets for things you want to display, or items you use most frequently that need to be close at hand. You’ll find it’s convenient and practical.
9). Corner-cabinet space
Most kitchens will have some sort of corner-cabinet space complication. Especially in smaller spaces where you want to make the most of every inch of storage and counter space. Rather than missing out on useful corner space, install a clever custom solution. Something like a pull-out two-tiered carousel that tucks away into the cupboard is a space-efficient and functional option. It’s hidden, but not forgotten, and easy to access when you need it.
Image by schuldercabinetry.com
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